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kaizmoto1489
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13 May 2021, 7:20 pm

Hi,

I have trouble coping with a daily dose of sensory overload. My regulation method is listening to either one of three albums (The Prodigy's Invaders Must Die, RATM's Battle of Los Angeles or Muse's Origin of Symmetry) while hitting my upper thigh with my eyes closed.

My girlfriend's response when I told her yesterday, however, was one of shock. She suggested I find a new coping mechanism when dealing with sensory overload. She's afraid I'll hurt myself more seriously after severely stressful situations.

Do you have suggestions for coping with sensory overload?

Does something like yoga or meditation work?



IsabellaLinton
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13 May 2021, 8:01 pm

Hello and welcome!

What are your sensory triggers? Have you been tested for Sensory Processing Disorder?

I have SPD and I work with an Occupational Therapist to regulate my nervous system. That's been the most helpful of anything to be honest. I do yoga but not when I'm in sensory shutdown. I can't meditate because my mind is too active. Quiet meditation also makes me hyperaware of sensory stimuli, so it's counterproductive.

Have you heard of a "Sensory Diet" ? That's what I do when I'm overwhelmed. I eliminate sensations for a long period of time until I feel settled. I can go days without electric lights, music, television, scents or aromatic food, etc. I just stay in a dark room or in my pillowfort which is my personal stim (coloured light and pillows). I guess I'm lucky that I can do this because I'm not working anymore and I have no social obligations.

I hope your girlfriend can learn more about SPD. If your coping mechanism works, then it works! It doesn't sound like you'll hurt yourself by hitting your upper thigh, and you have nothing to be ashamed of.



timf
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14 May 2021, 6:33 am

Almost everyone when I grew up smoked cigarettes. Now some substitute something like rubbing their thumb nail with their index finger.

It sounds like you have combined an auditory and tactile arrangement to penetrate anxiety with the familiar. You might consider a transition using the same music but getting a massage or doing some exercises to keep the tactile component.

It sounds like you are attempting to regain comfort and security through a sensory intensity of the familiar. For some, just getting home from work accomplishes this. You might experiment with other stimuli such as smell or sight.