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Do you knock things over, drop things, spill things, bump into things

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Posted

I do all of the above; even when I am pouring something or looking at an object and being concentrated on it I spill, knock over. Then holding something I drop it sometimes. Does anyone notice this? I have always knocked things over prolly from being manic and moving at speed of light. But now that I am relatively stable I do it more. I am concerned it is now caused or for some time this is a sign of neurological decline. In fact I read an article recently that said neurological impairments increase your mortality. It defined these gradual or slight impairments as those in the title of this post.

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Posted

I do these things pretty often and have bumped into walls when going through doors as far back as I can remember. In my case, I think it is probably just clumsiness.

Tommy

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Posted

But now that I am relatively stable I do it more. I am concerned it is now caused or for some time this is a sign of neurological decline. In fact I read an article recently that said neurological impairments increase your mortality. It defined these gradual or slight impairments as those in the title of this post.

hey rainy,

I don't have any answers for you, but I do have a question-- are you taking any psych meds? or any medications at all? you mentioned that now that you're stable it happens more and I'm wondering if there were meds involved in establishing that stability since they can cause or exacerbate some of this stuff. Just a point to look into, because it'd be a shame for oyu to worry about a bigger cause of these things if it was really as simple as the little pills we wash down every day, you know?

This might also have nothing to do with anything, but have you had your eyesight checked any time recently? Some of the knocking into things or spilling could be caused by messed up depth perception, impairing your ability to judge distances of things (ex: even if you're concentrating on pouring a drink into a cup, if you are unable to properly judge the distance of the cup, then spilling would be very understandable)-- so that's another thing to consider-- might it be your eyesight rather than something deeper like your brain function?

Those points mentioned, I also hope that you talk to your doctor about this stuff and you have one who will take your concerns seriously. They might have some ideas of the cause, or be able to refer you to a specialist such as a neurologist if it's very bad, or if it would be better for your piece of mind. Talking to someone professional in real life will be much better for you, and your worries than letting your mind worry over different articles and online opinions (as tempting and understandable as it is to 'find an answer' right away, I totally get the online research thing). For the most part, these things aren't superdangerous to you or others, but they could be in certain instances (which you are probably already aware of, don't want to worry you more, but things like spilling hot liquid or dropping sharp or hot things in the kitchen, etc.-- do you ever have problems when driving?) so bringing that up with a doc who might dismiss such things would be a good route since that stuff is a danger, not an inconvienance or annoyance. If it is a big worry to you, which it seems it might be, don't let the doctors minimize your concerns (but at the same time, be open to reason, you don't want to blow it out of proportion either).

Whew, another novel by meg, but I just want to make sure you don't pigeon-hole yourself into the 'neurological impairment' category and start worrying about your mortality just yet! Take a step back, make sure you look at this from all angles, and please talk to a doctor if you're this worried, k?

Hope I don't sound bossy (sorry if so)! ;)

meg

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Posted

I've always been clumsy. I'm sure someone will post on here that s/he has always been possessed of catlike grace, but, really, the stumblers among us are more likely to respond to this thread... so there's going to be a lot of selection bias.

I tend to notice it more when I'm stable. I'm right with you on the going-too-fast when manic and blundering into things/overreaching. Some meds have made it worse at times. (Example: the paresthesias from Topamax meant I missed my odd-shaped corner stair every once in a while.)

My knock-over rate goes way, way down when I'm making an effort to be mindful in other areas of my life. Doing one thing at a time helps. As someone who tends to chop vegetables while reading, you'd think I'd have figured this out a long time ago.

I respectfully suggest this: try doing what you are doing, rather than doing two or three things at once.

That tendency to try to over-task is rather characteristic of bipolar illness, not to mention several other forms of mental illness, and it leads to a lot of dropped/stubbed/broken things. Walk without the MP3 player. Chop onions without reading at the same time (blindingly obvious to everyone but me?) Drink your glass of water as an activity unto itself, not as something you do absent-mindedly while typing or watching a movie. Center yourself in the moment. We subject ourselves to constant overstimulation; it's not surprising it shows up in some motor problems now and then.

If doing that as a regular practice doesn't help, then I'd have the neuro exam.

If you have a history of, say, diabetes and associated neuropathy, then that is a somewhat different situation. Although mindfulness would still be a good idea, and probably helpful in order to avoid injury.

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Posted (edited)

I mostly just walk into walls and into people and stuff.

I also choke while drinking a lot more than anyone I know. I've never given myself a serious airways obstruction (that'd be hard to do while drinking water), but the resultant coughing fits aren't fun, and they're not exactly alluring either.

I generally suck at anything involving physical multitasking. Never learned to ride a bike, even though I really tried (or at least I think I did). I have no problems pedaling (I used to have a stationary bike and I used it regularly), but when I have to pedal while keeping balance, well, that's just not going to happen...

(I also never could keep track of more than a single conversation at a time, and if multiple people are speaking at once*, it's hard to pay attention to anyone. But this kind of stuff isn't really about physical clumsiness.)

*This is only really a problem if I try to go out to a bar or something.

Edited by Artemisia

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Posted

I think it largely has to do with sensory (mis)integration issues (but you're speaking to a biased autie here), regardless if your problem is purely functional (psychiatric) or physical (neurologic). (Or in between.)

I always bump into things, and my situation's gotten a lot worse with a neurological infection on top of it all. Arguably, my infection has "enhanced" some of my autie-type traits (e.g., being physically incoordinated, having disinhibited behavior, a progressively more bizarre sense of humor, etc. etc.). This why, of course, I advocate that there can be two causes at once.

Or maybe three, if we count the meds. All I can relate is titrating up my dosage of Lamictal back in 2005, which was not fun to say the least. I was bouncing off the walls. Literally... holding onto them as to not fall over.

And about riding a bicycle... it took me until I was 10 to figure out how to do it. I think the places we'd lived prior to then were too hilly for me to accurately control my bike (no surprise I guess, neither of my cousins down there, ages 15 and 23 at this time, know how to use a 2-wheeler). All that said, I suppose I've compensated for my own deficiencies in that department with 3,000 miles of (if you will) "rapid cycling" on a razor-thin road bike over the Midwest's flat terrain.

I also have this weird tendency to open doors right into my face. Onlookers characterize it as just "one of those moments", so I assume that "normal" (i.e., the undiagnosed MI ;)) people occasionally have this stuff too.

I respectfully suggest this: try doing what you are doing, rather than doing two or three things at once.

That tendency to try to over-task is rather characteristic of bipolar illness, not to mention several other forms of mental illness, and it leads to a lot of dropped/stubbed/broken things. Walk without the MP3 player. Chop onions without reading at the same time (blindingly obvious to everyone but me?) Drink your glass of water as an activity unto itself, not as something you do absent-mindedly while typing or watching a movie. Center yourself in the moment. We subject ourselves to constant overstimulation; it's not surprising it shows up in some motor problems now and then.

In some cases (like mine), I would have to respectfully disagree with some of your general suggestions, but that's my point of view from being an ADDer. In general, I work better whilst multitasking (however, I do think your suggestion of focusing on chopping an onion and not reading a book simultaneously is very wise). Nonetheless, I simply cannot imagine having to do the 2-mile hike to and from classes that I had daily whilst in college without some music to my ears.

It's weird from the perspective of an autie ADDer, someone like me who endemically suffers from this kind of klutziness. We're so easily overstimulated, and yet, we need specific stimulation (often in large quantities) in order to function. It may be the same in bipolars, as well.

As for some last words here, it is of major concern if these problems crop up over time (or suddenly, for that matter). As in NOT "oh, ever since I was a kid...". I'm not a clinician, but I feel that that's when you go see a neurologist.

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Posted (edited)

Dunno. I see both sides of it. I can tell you that, say, doing barn chores without my audio books or lectures is never going to happen. At the same time, I have had the disconcerting experience over the years of realizing that if, say, I want to clear brush... I need to clear brush. So my brain's constant search for overstim is balanced by the ability, as I grow/mature, to seek that level of stimulation by changing the level of detail involved, to the eyelash-fine level if necessary.

Damn, that sounds hypomanic as I review it; I swear it isn't.

Three things brought this into focus for me: sex, dressage, and riflery. Stop laughing, damn it!

In all three, I get much better results if I do what I'm doing (shush), if I'm in the moment, and if I allow that sense of 'flow' to come to the forefront. It's the only way I can incorporate the cognitive/motor pieces.

Chopping onions, meh, not so much, but I bleed a lot less if I'm not re-reading Pynchon at the same time.

Signing off on tonight's edition of "Too Much Information Theatre,"

S.

Edited by Silver

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Posted

I've always been a somewhat of a klutz. Every time a glass is broken or a plate is chipped, it's always me who does it. Yesterday, I stubbed my toes against furniture on two separate occasions.

One thing I've noticed that is my clumsiness is invariably related to how much sleep I've gotten the night before. If I couldn't sleep at all, then I'm barely coordinated enough to put in my contact lenses let alone pour a cup of coffee without spilling it.

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Posted

I've doing this kinda stuff more and more in the past few years as well. And I think it has to do with my brain slowly eating itself.

It's weird, they only seem to last a split-second, giving me just enough time to grab whatever I dropped, adjust the cup I'm pouring into, etc. with my other hand. I have superquick reflexes ;) It can look really ridiculous. Someone once told me it has to do with left-right brain communication and hand co-ordination. Don't know how that works but oh well.

Anyway, I think they're brainfarts and I'm not going to worry about them as of now.

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Posted

Three things brought this into focus for me: sex, dressage, and riflery. Stop laughing, damn it!
I'm very sorry silver, but I cannot possibly stop laughing over this.

I have always been a little clumsy, but I swear it's gotten worse with the meds. I feel more fuzzy and distracted. I knock things over, walk into stuff, spill stuff on myself constantly, I am basically a spastic dork.

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Posted

Dunno. I see both sides of it. I can tell you that, say, doing barn chores without my audio books or lectures is never going to happen. At the same time, I have had the disconcerting experience over the years of realizing that if, say, I want to clear brush... I need to clear brush. So my brain's constant search for overstim is balanced by the ability, as I grow/mature, to seek that level of stimulation by changing the level of detail involved, to the eyelash-fine level if necessary.

Okay, this time you've honestly REALLY hit the nail on the head!!

I think that audio (musical or otherwise) stimulation is beneficial for focusing one's attention, actually (that's just my opinion and framed in our scenarios).

And, you do seem to know about our contrast issues between desirable and undesirable stimulation.

Three things brought this into focus for me: sex, dressage, and riflery. Stop laughing, damn it!

In all three, I get much better results if I do what I'm doing (shush), if I'm in the moment, and if I allow that sense of 'flow' to come to the forefront. It's the only way I can incorporate the cognitive/motor pieces.

*bites tongue as to not laugh*

Plus the (unintentional?) sexual innuendo of "I allow that sense of flow to come to the forefront"...

Signing off Gutterboy theater for now,

--Fous

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Posted (edited)

Hmm. Yes. Occurs to me this morning that the barn-cleaning example, however, is a situation of distress-tolerance (or, in my case, boredom tolerance.)

In the three focusing activities listed, I'm not generally bored, or I shouldn't be. They're also all direct immediate feedback activities with significant and distinct positive or aversive consequences, depending on what I do.

So - there is a distinction here, perhaps, between clumsinesses - there is the clumsiness of distraction/multitasking vs. the actual inability to perform the task. Most folks don't describe the latter as 'clumsiness,' either in conversation or here in this thread.

Lithium gives me enough tremor that it affects my shooting, and, in my usual doses, enough problems with balance that I don't jump horses or race through barrels anymore. (That, and I got older and realized, "Hey, I could, like, die doing this.") Those are both very specific motor changes, however, rather than the inattentive generic "clumsiness" of dropping things. When I've been off and then restarted, it seems like there has been a "clumsy" toe-stubbing type window about 8 weeks in - maybe an entrainment/recruitment issue, but more likely, I suspect, a very specific deficit that I haven't ever picked up on before. Topamax has left me "clumsy," but it's very specific, actually, related to paresthesias.

I haven't thought about this idea of subtypes of clumsiness before. Interesting. I should stop blathering on til I have an actual thought...

Edited by Silver

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Posted

Silver--

About that toe-stubbing, yeah...

The last two toenails on both of my feet are essentially gone from repeated stubbing from the age of 18 months (when I learned how to walk) onwards... so in my personal case, I don't consider it an effect of medications or any sudden neurological illness. I guess it might be part of autistic sensory integration issues.

However, the falling down the stairs thing I complain about I've had only the past 2 years, and neurologists are looking into it (along with all my other weird infection-related symptoms, bug ID still pending).

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Posted

I've always been clumsy but oddly enough it's improved greatly as I've aged. (I'm 41.) It's also morphed into more of 'where did that bruise/scrape come from?' and less of 'damn, that's the fifth insert-whatever I've knocked over today'. I don't think my coordination has improved as I am all too often tripping over my own two feet.

My pet theory is hormones and a little conditioning. When I was a teenager, I got myself into several small accidents due to the whole, the radio fell over onto the floorboard, reaching over and nearly or actually wrecking so I've got a pretty good reflex now to NOT follow through on the thoughts that I must do so. I'm pretty sure I do that with at least a few other things but I can't put my finger on any actual examples.

FWIW.

ps Really really bad stress makes me frightfully injury-prone.

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I've always been clumsy but oddly enough it's improved greatly as I've aged. (I'm 41.) It's also morphed into more of 'where did that bruise/scrape come from?' and less of 'damn, that's the fifth insert-whatever I've knocked over today'. I don't think my coordination has improved as I am all too often tripping over my own two feet.

I have that "where'd that bruise/scrape/cut come from" issue... theoretically could be memory related (some theories say that our intermediate/working memory peaks at about age 18 and heads downhill from there, so at almost 25, I'm past my prime as well). I have a knack for carelessly scraping my forearms in the particle/woodboard/plywood sheet section of hardware stores. I think my increased pain tolerance (it's been fairly high the past 10 years and I'm not sure why, perhaps new neurological issues or just a change in age) is a major factor here. I also took a mild trip/fall at my parents' house Christmas 2006, resulting in impacting the back of my head on a couple hard bathroom surfaces, and in the process apparently incurred bleeding in the back of my head... I then went down to eat breakfast, unaware of the damage the fall had caused me. That is, until my parents saw me and had the freakout of the year and took me to the ER to have the laceration sutured.

My pet theory is hormones and a little conditioning. When I was a teenager, I got myself into several small accidents due to the whole, the radio fell over onto the floorboard, reaching over and nearly or actually wrecking so I've got a pretty good reflex now to NOT follow through on the thoughts that I must do so. I'm pretty sure I do that with at least a few other things but I can't put my finger on any actual examples.

Slightly OT, but I had a friend in HS who had a relatively small bedroom and had to place her midsize stereo system on a shelf high above her bed (there's a bad idea to begin with!). A few days after she bought that stereo, as her alarm went off one morning, she reached over to her alarm clock to shut it off, and instead caught the power cable for the stereo above her. One can then easily imagine where the stereo then proceeded to go.

ps Really really bad stress makes me frightfully injury-prone.

Ditto. As a former road cyclist (back when my body could take exercise without me coming close to death), my more stressful/depressive days would lead to single-rider mishaps on my road bike that generally resulted in falls, scrapes, and significant bleeding (Marfan syndrome = easy bleeding). I carried gauze and antiseptic in my bike's little underseat "fanny pack" at all times. I've had skin injuries to the knee severe enough that people have volunteered to give me rides back to the trailhead where my car was parked. (My motto: "It's just a flesh wound!")

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I knock things over often... for me, it's a place where my dissociation and depression meet. Also the random-minor-injury thing...

Do you-all set things in random places and then can't find them? I do it, and I think it's related...

My wife still teases me about the time she found my keys in the freezer...

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Do you-all set things in random places and then can't find them? I do it, and I think it's related...

My wife still teases me about the time she found my keys in the freezer...

Yeah, I do that kind of stuff too... my hands will randomly decide to let go of important objects at random places... partially due to MI, partially due to meds, partially due to physical illness, but I can see where you're coming from.

Interestingly, the keys-in-the-freezer (or fridge) seems to be an extremely common misplacement among everybody.

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Do you-all set things in random places and then can't find them? I do it, and I think it's related...

My wife still teases me about the time she found my keys in the freezer...

Yeah, I do that kind of stuff too... my hands will randomly decide to let go of important objects at random places... partially due to MI, partially due to meds, partially due to physical illness, but I can see where you're coming from.

Interestingly, the keys-in-the-freezer (or fridge) seems to be an extremely common misplacement among everybody.

I "lose" stuff around the house, too. (The annoying thing is that if I don't find something right away, I can easily become convinced that some house guests took it.)

I've never left any everyday non-edible objects in the freezer, though. Might be because I don't cook much, so I don't open the freezer often enough.

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My hands twitch, and I involuntarily drop things (hand flies open). This is mostly in my left hand, but also occurs in my right on occasion. It's annoying as hell. Didn't start until a few years ago. Not caused by meds either. Same thing happens to my schizoaffective friend, only it's both hands equally. Could be nerve damage caused by surgeries in her case though. Me? No explanation.

And on the current topic-- I lose stuff all the time. I attribute it to the ADD/100 thoughts going on at once in my head. I'm so concerned with whatever diversion my brain is currently on, that I'm not at all cognizant of putting things down or where I placed them. It's a huge source of frustration for me and my S.O.

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i go through stages. I think its when I'm stressed - really stressed - i tend to zone out and feel so paranoid and confused that i forget to do things properly. I went through a stage of walking into door frames. I mean, not walking fast, i'd just walk into the side of the door.

i lose things. and i've lost the ability to be organised. i'm really all over the place, so i put things down on the floor or the desk and leave them there. its like when i can see it all layed out its just easier to get to.

the worst though, is my memory. I noticed this when i first increased lamictal - and its worse now that i've added tegretol. At least (haha) i can't concentrate on this frustration for long before i forget what i was thinking about. Pretty much i start doing things and forget i even started them. leave food in the kitchen, stop talking because i forget i was talking (if there was a pause in conversation), leave doors open, leave taps running.

i think my behaviour is becoming more and more random. i do tend to suddenly drop something, for no apparent reason.

im frustrated with myself. I used to be hypomanic a lot and do many things at the same time. talk, write, think, listen to music, make lists in my head... watch tv...

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Like the rest of ya'll, I am embarrassingly "clumsy". I often feel that my brain is two or three steps ahead of my body. Like Silver, I have to force myself to concentrate on the task at hand. I love listening to music, but it is often a distraction.

These days when I try to multi-task, I usually end up ruining one or more of the things I'm trying to accomplish. I find this especially frustrating when my brain cells are running around like hamsters on a wheel.

The lastest ability I've lost is being able to listen to more than thing at a time. IE: I cannot talk on the phone and have music playing in the background.

Peace,

Phoenix

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I have horrible motor "clumsiness". but i suppose that comes with the territory being autistic. Anyway, just today I was kind of "skipping" (a shuffling thing i do its kind of the same sense to the brain as spinning) through the house and i meant to go through a doorway, when in fact almost half my body ran straight into the wall. that hurt. i do those kind of things all the time.

i cant listen to two or more people talking at one, or someone talking while the tv is on either Pheonix. i get extremely frustrated, my mind just cant take it.

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hi my name is jessica and i will start by saying i do all these things but the worst one is by far the falling down stairs i have fallin down the stairs at least 30 to 40 times since i was 17 and i broke my back and tail bone then and since have been fallin down alot and not just stairs i get off balence alot i have in the last month fallen down like 6 times just down the stairs i have told my doctor and have told the er when i have had to go for xrays i will be going down the stairs and all of the sudden both feet come out from under me and i fall butt first down the stairs can some one give me some clues as to why i am haveing this problem i am 26 years old now and i am tired of haveing a hurt butt as a matter a fact i have a bruised butt right now lol no its not funny really please help if you can thank you all

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I do this all the time, I'm pretty sure the reason is I'm rarely looking out of both eyes at the same time. I'm supposed to wear my glasses but I don't like they way they make everything look. Could it be you just need your eyes tested?

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I sit down and I can hold things in my hand and it like my electric short out and I will drop any thing in my hqne even when I type this My hand will drop like a shoet curict in my body In need sone help

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