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Hexagon
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19 Feb 2012, 8:50 am

Most of the time, although I have oversensitive hearing and sight, I don't get overwhelmed by it, but sometimes I do, and I was reminded of that in the supermarket today. I started noticing all the bright lights and sounds and everything just started flashing, and all I could do was stare somewhere. I think it was at the cashier... Does anyone know how to stop this happening?



ScientistOfSound
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19 Feb 2012, 9:00 am

I get very bad sensory overload. Especially when it comes to light, texture, and sound. Half of the anxiety problem I have is caused by sensory overload, which I stay quiet about most of the time. It's actually why I have a fixation on gas masks, some people think I like them for "other reasons" though, which is very untrue. :roll:
It's mainly because they kinda put a barrier up between me and the world, and it gives me breathing space. Also, it feels like your head is getting a hug when you wear them



questor
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19 Feb 2012, 9:22 am

I showed up at a temp assignment and had to immediately turn down the assignment due to the type and volume of the noise. It was a bottling plant. By the time I reached the guy I was supposed to report to, I was in extreme pain, and was ready to scream. I managed not to, and made it out of the place, but the man was mad because I left him short a worker. I understand his feelings, and I'm sorry I had to do that, but there was no way I could work there.

I think your best bet is to finish your errand as quickly as possible, and get outside. It is best to go at a slow time of day for the store, so you won't be stuck behind too many people at the check out counter. You could also try keeping your eyes only partly open to lessen the visual input.


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izzeme
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19 Feb 2012, 10:05 am

well, as far as i know, there is no way to prevent situations like this; but if it happens, i am able to snap out of it by deactivating the overstimulated senses and providing myself with a stronger input that forces me to act.

in practice; i close my eyes against the light; and i already have music on to reduce background noise; so i up the volume of that to kill whatever is bothering me; then i pinch myself or force my nails into my palms (pain is the universal activation trigger in the animal world afterall ;)); this usually gets me back up-and-running; or at least well enough to leave the area on autopilot



Tuttle
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19 Feb 2012, 12:38 pm

Things I've found help:
-Give yourself input you can control in other senses. If I'm at home, I pet my cat. If I'm out in public, I take out theraputty and start fidgeting with that. The other input helps regulate and make the other senses seem less overwhelming. When its sudden and short term (siren rather than a crowd that's bothering me, then I'll dig my nails into my palm because that's pain I can control, rather than things that are bothering me that I can't)

-Do the things that just help with reducing input - sunglasses, safety glasses (block UV and work better than sunglasses for me), earplugs, etc.

-Control what times you're in public situations - I do grocery shopping at 2 am.

-Go ahead and stim, if you sometimes try to shut them off don't. They help regulate yourself.



ictus75
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19 Feb 2012, 2:50 pm

I agree with Tuttle - you need to plan things out and control your environment as much as possible. Shop with a friend, if possible, for support. Things are much easier when you have some degree of control.

Good luck!


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