Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Sensory overload and autism.

Hey readers, 

One of the problems I have is I get overloaded and my mind can't cope with all the information it wants to process.

 This is a big struggle for someone like myself on the autistic spectrum. It is very challenging and hard to deal with at times. 





This post was an idea where I wanted to discuss the impact of sensory overload as a person who is autistic. 


However, the ironic thing is I have been thinking about this post for at least three months beforehand because my head has been spinning as a result of overload. 

I had so my many thoughts that I wanted to write down but it is draughting because of how much there was to process.

I struggle to process thoughts especially when they are fast pasting causing me to stress out.

 I feel overloaded with information and one big thing for me when thinking about how autism affects me is the need for control. 

I am massively swayed to think in black and white and if it is not concrete with regards to my thoughts I find it extremely stressful to manage my thoughts. 



When I feel overloaded I feel at times excited but stressed because I want my thoughts in order and it feels messy.

 I have so many thoughts at times and I want to process them but can't because other thoughts appear.

 I like to take my time and look at the details of the information but when I am juggling these thoughts information gets lost because I can't hold all the information. it is nion impossible. It leads back to not being in control. 



Sensory is a big factor and overload doesn't just deal with thoughts though that is one big trigger for me. 



Another scenario that causes me to feel overwhelmed and the need to want to shut down is when I go shopping.

 My body aches after and when I return home and husband knows not to bother me for a while as I am snappy and need time to wind down.

 Before he used to ask questions and it would really cause me to get stressed out. 

It is mentally exhausting being in a busy environment with people walking in all different directions.

 I struggle with fast movement plus people unintentionally touching you causing me to feel nauseous. 

On top of that, there is space and big spaces and small ones make me feel suffocated.

 If I am in a big Asda store say for example there is humming noises above with the extract fans really hurt my ears. 

The music played in the supermarket is loud and words can cause an emotional response. 

Not to forget I have a need to take in all my environment which is tiring as there is so much to see.

 Then the ultimate thing is the cashier small talk where they ask questions and wait for a reply. 

I have learned to script replies beforehand to respond through new questions occur where I am not prepared. 

I stutter and worry afterward whether I said the right thing. 

I am not good at confidently speaking and saying something off the cuff. It does not come naturally to me.


Afterwards dealing with that over sensory experience leaves me drained because it has taken all my energy to get through the struggles. 

I can feel really dizzy and I need to time to lie down to help get my balance back. 

 So, in just one scenario it all adds up to the pivot point where I am having a sensory overload as there too much information to process. 

I need time and that is what is important to allow me to deal with the feelings and thoughts that I have experienced. I then need to work out how to deal with the information and file it away. 



Ways that have helped me deal with sensory overload. 



1. Learn to accept you can't hold on to everything,  the world won't stop turning because I lose some information. If it is that important I will remember otherwise let it go. 



2. Don't watch programmes that cause me to overthink before bed, I need time to slow down my thoughts. 


3. Know that if it gets too much to have a backup plan. Even if it is just to sit down somewhere quiet away from the busyness for five to give me that rest to then go back and continue if needed.

4. If you are going shopping it can help to write a list of the things you need so you can focus on getting them and then get out. 

Therefore, you don't have to think on the spot nor spend loads of time working out what to do when you are anxious. 

Having a concrete plan also gives you that control and you know what you are doing. 

5. Have sensory toys that suit you so can use if you need to stim or get some sensory seeking done. 

6. Make sure you have snacks (I get low blood sugar levels when I am out for a long time). Also, make sure you have plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated and help think more clearly. 

Cheers for reading X 

2 comments:

  1. It's easy to forget that even everyday things like going shopping can cause sensory overload but I think it's important to raise awareness. Thank you for sharing and offering an insight into your world!

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