Music, Television, Phone, Computer - PEM Crashes

hapl808

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Does anyone have particular theories or experience with regard to the over stimulating effects of a variety of cognitive activities?

I can't quite figure out what will or won't cause problems, and since there's usually a delay for PEM crashes, it's even harder to figure out as I don't have the discipline to do only one thing in a day. Usually I watch some YouTube, talk on the phone a little bit, etc.

I don't think random YouTube stuff tires me out. I can watch a lot of videos and it seems mostly relaxing. I don't notice any particular subjects that tire me out, unless I try to watch something to 'learn' in which case I get tired very quickly.

For TV and movies, I find that anything stressful tires me out a bit. I like relaxing content, or things I've seen before.

Music makes me feel a lot better while I'm listening to it, but a LOT worse overall. I'm not sure what makes this so different than watching videos. Maybe the level of endorphins or engagement? It's weird because a movie might be more engrossing, but it doesn't seem to have the subsequent crash.

I saw @Lolinda had a bit of a thread on music. I've noticed that some computer activities affect me similarly. Reading forums or Reddit or such seems pretty relaxing to me and I don't get too tired. But trying to edit a short video or something and I'll become crashed within 10-20 minutes.

In addition, I've noticed phone calls and video chats are also really bad - but much more so for video chats. That can crash me for days or weeks.

So in short, does anyone have thoughts on what strategies, or supplements and meds, or types of activities might be safe? It's quite frustrating that some of the most enjoyable things are the ones that leave me feeling the worst. It also goes against the traditional 'mind-body' connection stuff as less pleasant things don't bother me (listening to annoying hold music on a customer service call) but enjoyable things like listening to my favorite songs will leave me crashed for days.

Anyways, curious to hear anyone's thoughts or experiences.
 

hapl808

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Makes sense acually that any stimulus will take energy however much we enjoy it. I have no TV by choice and no music. Resting in the absence of any sound.
For me one of the parts that seems the weirdest is that while I'm sensitive to noise and such, often more enjoyable stimulation causes me worse after effects. So a lawnmower running for an hour will irritate me, but then I can rest for a couple hours and I'm fine (I think). Listening to music for an hour will put me in a much better mood, but likely crash me later that day or the following day.
 

lenora

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Hi @hapl808......Perhaps your hearing is just super sensitive. Or perhaps it has nothing to do with the crash you later experience. Have you tried different volumes? Did you enjoy music before your illness?

I know telephone and video chats can really do me in, also. Again, the video chat more so than the telephone and I think that's because I'm having to wait to make contact....I don't know. For years now I simply don't talk after 3-4:00 p.m. because my voice and throat are also affected. It's a given....the reason: probably some nerve damage.

Books are my "go to".....mainly because words have always been my friend and have comforted me. It doesn't matter what type it is, but I now find it difficult to literally study the way I used to. Now I'm reading more for escape than anything....I did have some extra brain damage 2 yrs. ago due to autoimmune encephalitis. I'm not hard on myself, after all I am 75, and still enjoy reading. Mind you, the books are for escape, but that doesn't mean they're mindless. If I have to keep start at the beginning of a chapter, that's exactly what I do, but I try to test myself first as to what I remember. Books are just a great pleasure for me....each time I see words, I want to jump up and down in them. Some are now heavier than I'd like and I've yet to try books on tape.

I have noticed that the less I do the less I want to do....and no, I don't consider that good. At least at this point. It does bother me that my mind isn't what it was, but then I turn it around and think how grateful I am that it was good for so many years. Compared to friends my age, I can still remember as much or more than they can. All have given up reading, for example. However, like I said, reading is comfort food for my brain and my body. I can escape.

My husband finds his comfort food in numbers.....that's just being different in our likes and dislikes. Some people can't sit still, while it's something that I'm capable of.

If I'm honest, I'd rather read than watch TV, although I like mysteries, spy movies but not the usual car chases, etc. That's noise just for the sake of it....and is not to my liking. Nature documentaries are also good and always, a well written series, although I haven't found too many of them. Also, a really good comedy....but then I'm asking for the moon. You're you and you're different from me.....and we all have differences in who we are and how we respond to something. I hope you find your happy medium. Yours, Lenora
 

hapl808

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Hi @hapl808......Perhaps your hearing is just super sensitive. Or perhaps it has nothing to do with the crash you later experience. Have you tried different volumes? Did you enjoy music before your illness?
Yes, I've tried different volumes. Lower volume seems slightly better, but is less enjoyable if it's very quiet. Yet I can also watch a loud movie through studio speakers with none of those negative effects.

Books are my "go to".....mainly because words have always been my friend and have comforted me.
Books also vary for me. I love reading, but when my symptoms are worse I cannot read for pleasure at all. I can peruse forums, but sitting down with a novel is too overwhelming. When my symptoms improve a bit, I can read a book or two every week, so it varies more widely than my response to music or videochats.

If I'm honest, I'd rather read than watch TV, although I like mysteries, spy movies but not the usual car chases, etc.
Me too in general, but I find watching TV is less tiring than reading these days. Not sure why.
 
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but sitting down with a novel is too overwhelming.
Novels usually start with a paragraph. Thats an intimidating piece of content to wade through....so a person who could write a book, instead is wondering why paragraphs were invented? After three sentences, I start to lose it.

. I can watch a lot of videos and it seems mostly relaxing
in the day time, watching a movie will crash me. its paying attention for that long to anything at the time of day I have not much ability to pay attention, so thats costly.

Music: I just don't understand. Mostly I do not want to hear it. And I love music.

I used to love: sort of repetitive type music- and now, repetitive is a problem. So that lawn mower droning is a huge problem. And this rap song I was asked to listen to last night- it was good. But it was a monotone. And about 2 minutes in, I had to ask PLEASE turn that off right now. Can't handle it.

I can tolerate noise I make myself but not noise others generate. That has something to do with anticipating the upcoming sound- when its yourself making it. Otherwise it feels like being impaled- by somebody else's noise.
 
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(listening to annoying hold music on a customer service call) but enjoyable things like listening to my favorite songs will leave me crashed for days.
I suspect its your engagement in what your hearing- your somehow ignoring the droning on hold (which I would not be) but the favorite song is stimulating emotional and mental activity in some form....

My daughter is here and we just had a big laugh fest over some old video of my grandaughter. And the laughing felt so good but then its making me feel ill and I have to stop. Curtailing joy and sadness both.

Shut that down illness. We need a new name.
 

Anchoress

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Silence has always healed and soothed and here itis such a living force. ( wrong word) ... There just is not a sound. Then a gale comes... Terrifying. And very early the sweetest of birdsong as the robin greets me. Used to love reading but no access to new glasses or to books so the youtube stores of dramas.... and houses in eg France,,,,, knitting all the while. Pure pleasure... Well when this migraine finally decides to stop grumbling... Never happy doing nothing.
 

Viala

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Does anyone have particular theories or experience with regard to the over stimulating effects of a variety of cognitive activities?

I can't quite figure out what will or won't cause problems, and since there's usually a delay for PEM crashes, it's even harder to figure out as I don't have the discipline to do only one thing in a day. Usually I watch some YouTube, talk on the phone a little bit, etc.
I would say anything that requires mental or emotional engagement will be taxing. I can watch movies without any problems, it seems that as long as I am a spectator and do not participate, it is ok. If I watch some scientific video that requires more attention or focus, it will be more taxing, same with talking, with music, because it engages emotions, and any type of work that requires mental activity. Music is dopaminergic and it may give a high in the beginning, but that high will cost some energy later.

You mentioned editing a video, do you have a creative work? I have one and it can take it's tall. I noticed that even learning a new software for example, is less taxing than creative work. I wonder if there are any studies that measured amount of brain activity during different tasks, it could bring some insight.
 

lenora

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I'm sure you've tried different types of music, but thought that may help the situation. Artists that you may not even remember or have heard of in the first instance. Some I find extremely calming, especially before bedtime and while reading. Can't have anything too loud or takes effort to listen to....just calming to the nervous system.
I'm sure you've thought of that, so don't mean to interfere if that's the case. Rather like meds, huh? We never know how they'll agree with us. Yours, Lenora
 

hapl808

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I'm sure you've tried different types of music, but thought that may help the situation. Artists that you may not even remember or have heard of in the first instance. Some I find extremely calming, especially before bedtime and while reading. Can't have anything too loud or takes effort to listen to....just calming to the nervous system.
I'm sure you've thought of that, so don't mean to interfere if that's the case. Rather like meds, huh? We never know how they'll agree with us. Yours, Lenora
Yes, in my limited experience something like soft classical seems less stimulating, but to be honest I don't have the desire to listen to calm classical music for an hour although possibly I could learn to enjoy that. Ironically, I wonder if as I learned to enjoy it more, maybe it would affect me more? Who knows.

Just frustrating that the 'best' advice seems to be to engage in things you don't enjoy as much, even though I think that's true.
 

hapl808

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Also I've noticed that audiobooks don't affect me nearly as badly as music. Just 30 minutes of music can cause me problems for days, but an hour of an audiobook just tired me out a bit (normal tired I'd say).
 
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I don't notice any particular subjects that tire me out, unless I try to watch something to 'learn' in which case I get tired very quickly.
Absolutely agree .... anything that requires real concentration, like learning something or absorbing information on a topic of interest, will leave me gasping for air and feeling like I've run the 440 in under 1 minute ....
So in short, does anyone have thoughts on what strategies, or supplements and meds, or types of activities might be safe?
I wish I did.

Like you, a phone chat can wring me out completely, and I've given up on video chats entirely. The only way I know of coping is to limit phone convos to a set number of minutes (for me, it seems to be about 10), and be relentless about politely exiting them once that timer rings.
Makes sense acually that any stimulus will take energy however much we enjoy it.
Not necessarily true. Music that I enjoy never leaves me exhausted, movies that don't require fierce focus, ditto. Reading can be a little dicier, but the lighter it is, the less I have to pay for it in terms of energy drain.


But reading theu research papers is and always has been enormously draining .... the kind of committed focus required to winnow thru all the science-ese and come up with a mental translation alone is staggering.

There are numerous things that we enjoyed before ME that we can still enjoy now, tho they'll probably be different for each of us. The trick is to figure out which does what, and stick to what we know is safe and nurturing, and limit anything else to the absolutely necessary ....
 

hapl808

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Music that I enjoy never leaves me exhausted, movies that don't require fierce focus, ditto. Reading can be a little dicier, but the lighter it is, the less I have to pay for it in terms of energy drain.

But reading theu research papers is and always has been enormously draining .... the kind of committed focus required to winnow thru all the science-ese and come up with a mental translation alone is staggering.
That's quite interesting. I really enjoy music but it exhausts me. Reading research papers is rarely too draining for me as long as it's more mathematical. (Of course I still get tired from anything, but nothing close to how much music exhausts me.)
 
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I really enjoy music but it exhausts me.
Reading research papers is rarely too draining for me as long as it's more mathematical.
It's fascinating how different we all are, how differently this crappy little jackhammer of an illness expresses in each of us.

I dread research papers, but it's usually the only way to dig into things, so I do it. But it costs me.

Music on the other hand is about the only thing that's effortless for me, and generally without penalty.

I really envy you your ease with research, you lucky duck !!!