Since at least my teens (I am now in my 40s) I have had PTSD-like episodes where I become non-functional for a couple of days after a meltdown, sometimes fairly public unfortunately. The meltdown takes the form of covering my ears and running away to a quiet place, which can be socially difficult. Sometimes I end up curled up in a ball on the ground for a while, also difficult as an adult to experience. The frequency of these episodes has been about once every 2-4 weeks. I am otherwise a high functioning person with children, a good job, relationships, friends, etc.
As an academic I've been able to work from home enough to accommodate my condition. I always knew I was "hypersensitive" to sound, light, touch, smell, etc. For example, a noisy restaurant or bright sunshine are very difficult for me, to the point where I carry earplugs and dark glasses at all times. As a scientist I have spent a lot of time observing and tracking my condition.
A couple of years ago I came across SPD. Symptoms seem to match mine pretty closely. As I've come to understand my condition I've felt less "crazy" and able to function much better. I know what the triggers are for my episodes. I don't try to take my children to amusement parks, for example, which for me are really hellish.
1. Alcohol damps the effect (I am not an alcoholic or a heavy drinker, just takes one drink).
2. I have limited cognition during episodes. For example,
I exhibit verbal dyslexia and confusion. My thinking feels very fuzzy.
3. I get synesthesia during an episode. It is especially difficult to see.
4. Emotional control is affected as well. I can have verbal outbursts. Sometimes I also cry.
5. I am overall an extrovert who enjoys people, but during episodes I cannot stand to interact socially.
6. Even mildly bad smells become intolerable during episodes.
7. 1-2 days bedrest ends the episode.
8. I do not have severe childhood trauma or anything else which could account for the level of my symptoms.
9. My senses otherwise function very well. I see well in the dark, I don't need glasses, I play a number of musical instruments, and I have an excellent sense of smell.
I would love if there was a well-researched pharamaceutical solution. For the moment I self-medicate with alcohol occasionally and otherwise am lucky enough to have a life I can arrange to support recovery time.
When I am on bedrest during an episode, I arrange for a simple environment -- no bright colors in my room, quiet, no bright lights, neutral smells, loose clothing. This seems to help reduce my recovery time.
Since people in public are overall clueless about SPD, and when an episode occurs I am not coherent enough to explain anything, I usually tell them I have PTSD. There is invariably a positive and supportive response, as there is a national consciousness for PTSD.
Any comments on my case would be very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read this!