Is there a way to sense less or deal with it better?

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forestwalker
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10 Feb 2019, 6:54 am

Hi,
This is my fist post. I'm not sure if I have autism or not. My daughter does. I'm having a kind of anxiety attack because I'm hyper-focused on my hands and all the sensory input they're letting into my body. I've been clenching them together for the last few days to try to lessen this feeling. Now they're sore. I'm not sure what I can do to make this better. I can't call my therapist until tomorrow.
It's like every tiny bit of soft fabric or rough texture is sending these tingling sensations all over my whole body. I can feel the ridges of the corduroy in my feet and my scalp just from running it between my fingers. Has this ever happened to you before? What can I do when I need to just not feel anymore? Is that possible?
Talking about it is helping me calm down some but I'd appreciate some advice. Thank you!



magz
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10 Feb 2019, 2:24 pm

That are sensory issues.
Common thing in the spectrum.
I don't have them with touch but with vision and hearing - yes. I can walk with my eyes closed, opening them only once a few seconds to keep my track. Otherwise I get overloaded by the information my vision provides. I wear earplugs in public transport. That made me calmer.

Did this happen recently or have you always been like that? Or did it get worse recently?
My sensory issues get worse when I'm tired or stressed. I guess getting your child assessed was stressful and caring for her is tiresome. Rest is the best cure. Find ways to make yourself as comfortable as possible. You may need to discover and care for your autistic self.
It will be all right :heart:


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DanielW
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10 Feb 2019, 2:59 pm

It sounds like a symptom of Sensory Processing Disorder. Which is often diagnosed alongside Autism. I have it myself. It can get worse with stress, anxiety, and low energy levels and or depression.

It can help desensitize you, if there is something you like or can tolerate in your hands. I happen to like clay or play-doh for instance. If I play with those for a while it helps calm those unpleasant sensations. Maybe a stress-ball or toy would help you?



forestwalker
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10 Feb 2019, 7:53 pm

Thank you! Yes, it's always been there but at a tolerable level, usually. Lately I'm depressed and then super stressed out the last few days so I think it just became overwhelming. I've always loved play-dough and modeling clay. Sometimes we make homemade play dough and when it's warm out of the pan it's wonderfully relaxing. My daughter has sensory processing disorder, we have many similarities. I tried going to the state insurance therapist but all they want to do is put me on antidepressants. I'm interested in a diagnosis and treatment but not drugs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't want to medicate everyday. I guess because addiction issues run in my family. Anyway, last week I started seeing the same therapist my daughter sees. She's great and I trust her since I know her now through my daughter's sessions. We talked about how much I hold in and don't allow myself to feel. She suggested I try to be more open and allow myself to connect with my feelings/emotions. I had no idea this would be the result. I'm okay now, it's still there but I can simply avoid too much contact for now. Oddly enough a little bit of pain seems to help, like very very hot water or sewing and pricking myself with the needle. Perhaps not healthy, but it's what I've got for now. Thanks again for responding! It's good to know I'm not alone. :)



Alterity
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10 Feb 2019, 10:28 pm

Some people feel some release from 'brushing' their arms. Like with a soft hair brush. That never worked real well for me personally. I always did better with compression to ease my sensory things freaking out. If you can stand o, maybe try wrapping your hands with a cloth, ace bandage, or something like that so that' it's tight but not cutting off blood flow! You could try a full body wrap too, take a blanket and make yourself into a human burrito.

A big key sounds like will be fore you to try to find a way to a alleviate your stress and depression levels. Creative activities tend to be good for that - as another said, playing with clay or playdoh. Plenty of rest...exercise can help regulate your sensory stuff and emotions. Try experimenting with some things like if holding something cold might help to try to figure out what works best for you.



DanielW
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11 Feb 2019, 5:36 am

You are definitely not alone. Adult treatment options are rather limited for SPD and autism in general. The medical community seems to believe that it magically disappears at 18. Anti-depressants can help if you are depressed, probably not so much help for the sensory issues though.

I'm glad you have access to a trusted therapist. It really does help a lot.

Be careful of too much painful stimulation...pain can cause stress, and stress can cause sensitivity. If you like heat, though, warm some play dough, or maybe heavy gloves. Maybe hand wash dishes or wringing out sponges washcloths in warm-hot water? Try different things and see what works best for you.



forestwalker wrote:
Thank you! Yes, it's always been there but at a tolerable level, usually. Lately I'm depressed and then super stressed out the last few days so I think it just became overwhelming. I've always loved play-dough and modeling clay. Sometimes we make homemade play dough and when it's warm out of the pan it's wonderfully relaxing. My daughter has sensory processing disorder, we have many similarities. I tried going to the state insurance therapist but all they want to do is put me on antidepressants. I'm interested in a diagnosis and treatment but not drugs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just don't want to medicate everyday. I guess because addiction issues run in my family. Anyway, last week I started seeing the same therapist my daughter sees. She's great and I trust her since I know her now through my daughter's sessions. We talked about how much I hold in and don't allow myself to feel. She suggested I try to be more open and allow myself to connect with my feelings/emotions. I had no idea this would be the result. I'm okay now, it's still there but I can simply avoid too much contact for now. Oddly enough a little bit of pain seems to help, like very very hot water or sewing and pricking myself with the needle. Perhaps not healthy, but it's what I've got for now. Thanks again for responding! It's good to know I'm not alone. :)



nick007
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11 Feb 2019, 6:26 am

If this isn't an everyday thing, I wonder if it's made worse by anxiety. Perhaps drinking some calming teas would help you relax.


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