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someonerandom
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03 Aug 2021, 11:20 pm

The past couple months I’ve been really struggling with sensory issues to the point of panic attacks and mental breakdown. This really only happens at night when I am trying to sleep.

What happens is I cannot stand the feeling of my hair on my neck so I have to put it up, I can’t have my thighs touching eachother because I just can’t stand how it feels so I have to put a pillow or blanket between them, and I cannot have my blankets come undone because every part of my body must be covered equally. Also, I cannot sleep with a tv on or any light shining in my room at all. Today I absolutely lost it because my blankets came undone and my hair wouldn’t stay up. I ran to the bathroom to do some business and cried when I washed my hands and a bit of soap dripped on the sink. Then I noticed I had a paper cut on my finger and I went back into my room, cried, threw my stuffed animals across the room, and had a panic attack. I can never seem to calm myself down when I get this way. The only thing that helps is smoking marijuana. I have no idea what is wrong with me please help.



Mountain Goat
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04 Aug 2021, 5:42 am

Have you tried prayer?



Fenn
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04 Aug 2021, 8:47 am

I agree Mountain Goat in this way - prayer has helped me.

ASD sometimes includes hyper and hypo-sensitivities. In some cases a particular neurological circuit may have have the volume know turned up too high, an other circuit might have the volume know turned down too low. And so on.

In the case of Bi-polar these knobs can change over time - up and down. Bi-polar, current studies show, may be related to epilepsy.

It seems possible to me that one could have a combination of the two conditions.

It is also possible that diet and other environment or lifestyle factors can also affect the knobs. Such as caffeine and sleep.

Try reading up on DBT TIPP - google or look on youtube. There are skills to help turn the knobs back the right way.
DBT was designed for those who "feel extreme emotions".

I also look at "what has changed" when there is a change in my anxiety symptoms. Have I increased my caffeine intake? Am I sleeping well? Am I eating good food and food that I like? Physical exercise? Is there an emotional issue that talking to someone could help? Have I ever felt like this before? What helped then? What changed so that I stopped feeling that way? Did I have to wait it out? Was there something else? What was I doing when I felt better that I am not doing now?


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starkid
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05 Aug 2021, 4:39 am

I have a lot of sensory issues at bedtime too.

To manage them, I created a routine that I follow every night, and I bought the things I needed to make me comfortable. It's best to create the routine during the day, when you are not tired and sleepy. Write down the steps if you need to.

Here are some examples:

You might want to make sure you have sturdy and reliable ties for your hair. Tie it up a while before bedtime; don't wait until you are sleepy because you might tie a loose knot, and the hair will come down and disturb you. Or just keep your hair cut or wear a sleeping cap if you can stand it.

I use a sleeping bag and a sleeping bag liner so that I don't have to worry about blankets coming undone. I've also bought a really huge roll of fabric and sewn it up into a kind of sleeping bag so that it's wrapped around me all night.

I bought a blackout curtain to keep early morning sunlight out of my face.

Get your sleeping space ready and comfortable a few minutes before bedtime, then take some time to relax so that you are ready to sleep. You could use music, soothing scents like lavendar, tea, whatever relaxes you.

Because your panic attacks and breakdowns have started in the past few months, you should consider that you're under some kind of stress you weren't experiencing before, and try to decrease the stress.

Also, make sure you are following basic sleep hygiene: not using the bedroom for stimulating activities, not having caffeine too late in the day, getting regular exercise, etc.



CinderashAutomaton
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05 Aug 2021, 7:10 am

In the past year or so I've become very sensitive to certain foods, which wrecks havok on my senses and makes it impossible to sleep.

As starkid mentioned, preparation and prevention is huge.

That being said, it's not always possible. Sometimes you just end up having to deal with the aftermath.

To avoid freaking out and having a panic attack, my number 1 piece of advice is to remove yourself from the trigger conditions and then distract yourself until your brain has calmed down.

For sleeping and sensitivity issues, I just get up and occupy myself with something else. Trying to plow through will just end up rilling you up. Seems like what I always end up doing is just moving my body around, usually pacing, swinging my arms around and/or bending my legs/squatting. Sometimes I'll put on a movie and watch it while standing up and moving my body.

The moving around seems to give my brain a distraction from the previous senses and lets the previous irritation gradually die down. The endorphins from the physical activity probably help too.

And I also recommend trying a change of diet. Some sugary foods reeeeally set me off. Pop/soda is absolutely a big nono for me. Maybe you've got something similar.


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05 Aug 2021, 8:36 am

Darkness is supposed to trigger an increase in melatonin and GABA (neurotransmitter inhibitors).

Prayer or meditation in a dark room, may give enough time for these chemicals to build in the brain.

However, Aspergers may be the result of a neurological variation that results in a neurological configuration that is more complex, faster, or more sensitive resulting in higher general sensitivity.

Some have found relief in taking GABA or melatonin supplements before bedtime to aid is the transition to sleep.

You may wish to research these to see if you would feel comfortable experimenting. Make sure you investigate any side effects.



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05 Aug 2021, 1:30 pm

Hello someonerandom,

I see this is your first post. Welcome!

I too find bedtime really difficult. My "just so ness" becomes very pronounced. Yet I have come to see my nocturnal hyper sensitivity as a little more than sensory issues. For me it falls more into the remit of OCD. I fiddle with zips on my pillows. The need to have the duvet just right etc etc.

Wishing you well,

Chris.



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05 Aug 2021, 6:15 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
Have you tried prayer?


How does that help?


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Fenn
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05 Aug 2021, 7:14 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
Have you tried prayer?

How does that help?


This always helps me:
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. . . ."

My mother had her third child without any medication - they called it "Natural Childbirth". So I know that physical pain can be endured if there is a purpose to it. Discomfort too. Prayer reminds me of the purpose of my life - and that God has a purpose for me, and that God has His purpose. My grandmother used to say that life is like a tapestry - we may only see the underside where things are unruly and the threads all hand out and look a mess - God sees the other side and knows the picture He is making.

There are multiple related issues - sensory issues and downstream anxiety.

My response had chiefly to do with the anxiety part. I don't have as many issues with sensory things as someonerandom. S.O.R. says these things have come up in "The past couple of months".

Sometimes I have an intense itching in my calf muscles - in the deepest part of the muscle. Sometimes I massage the mussel directly. Sometimes I take an advil or tylanol, or one of each, or two of each. Sometimes I don't want to take any medicine. I just want to be me. Sometimes I pray. And as things trouble me I picture God standing beside me I place the things that trouble me one at a time into his hands until there are none. It comforts me to remind myself that God can control the things that I cannot control, and that I can trust Him. I ask God to walk beside me through the place I am going the next few days. I ask for acceptance for things I am not meant to change, and the courage to change the things I am meant to change, and the wisdom to know one from the other.


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starkid
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05 Aug 2021, 9:46 pm

Prayer is an inconsiderate thing to suggest because not everyone is religious. Also the OP clearly said the problem is sensory; prayer doesn't fix sensory issues.



quaker
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06 Aug 2021, 7:55 am

Mountain Goat was not suggesting praying in any particularly way or to any particular God.
Therefore, his advise was compassionate, empathic and helpful to most. In my view I think this was very appropriate.



CinderashAutomaton
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06 Aug 2021, 10:43 am

The polite way to approach it would have been to first ask if they're religious.

Straight up proposing prayer (or any religious solution in general) to a stranger looking for help is a bad idea for many reasons.

Proposing superstitious or pseudoscience solutions to people looking for serious help for mental or physical health issue can be seriously offensive to everyone, even other religious people.

And most importantly, it can very harmful to the person seeking help. If they're already in mental distress, the proposition could be a very aggravating trigger. That alone could push them past a dangerous critical threshold if such is their case. And even if not, you may have sullied one of their avenues for help which will make it harder for them to seek help in both the present and future.

And it doesn't matter what your intent is. What matters is that their situation is a big unknown and thus your proposition has the potential to be harmful and in rare cases even downright dangerous.


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07 Aug 2021, 1:35 am

*IF* you are going to suggest prayer, without first asking if it is appropriate (as has become apparent), a better alternative is to suggest some form of meditation, but always with the addendum of "if it helps."

Meditation takes many forms, prayer being one of them. It is a preferred neutral territory, and while no link has been observed to tie meditation, whether it is secular or religious, to anything of a spiritual nature, there is evidence that it can have a calming effect for some.

However, the reason for the addendum is that some people are not able to endure meditation. Suggesting meditation for a person with ADHD, for instance, is not a good idea unless they have a well established history of using it for the soothing effects.

While I dislike the notion of prayer, I have long come to the conclusion that when people talk about prayer in front of me they are essentially just saying they are going to do some meditation (With other steps that I don't see the value of, but they may feel otherwise). So I tend to leave it alone, unless they are being rude about it.



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07 Aug 2021, 3:03 pm

I am not religious but I agree that prayer might work. Someone else mentioned distracting yourself as method to avoid a panic attack. Prayer is a form of distracting yourself.

I also used distraction to prevent oncoming panic attacks. But I did it by focusing on boring inanimate objects and thinking about their shape and form.

However my panic attacks were not a result of sensory issues so it might be something different.



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08 Aug 2021, 12:16 am

Prayer has a very specific religious purpose, so people talking about it as if it's just distraction or another form of meditation are being ridiculous. Yes, it can serve similar purposes to meditation or distraction, but those are not it's primary purposes: It is primarily a religious ritual. Someone who genuinely wanted to suggest meditation would call it "meditation" and not "prayer." The two things are too different to mix up. Just ask the people who think they are praying to god whether meditation is at all similar; many will strongly deny it.

A person who see's no value in that religious purpose is unlikely to use or benefit from prayer purely as a form of distraction. Because there are many other, more personally meaningful ways to distract oneself, there's no reason for such a person to bother with prayer, which, once again, shows how inconsiderate a suggestion it is.

It is simply too specialized to suggest to a stranger with a non-religious request. The person who views prayer as talking to some god would be just as inconsiderate as the person who views prayer as just another form of meditation—both project their personal views of prayer onto the advisee.



Fenn
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08 Aug 2021, 11:16 am

Starkid,
If you want to be abusive and prejudiced to Christians that is up to you.
I find your prejudice offensive.
Praying to God is talking to your Creator, not "meditation" though there are some commonalities.
Pre-judging something you do not understand is kind of the definition of prejudice, which is make up of two words pre and judge.
OP's issue was hypersensitivity to tactile stimulation and anxiety - and the observation that these hypersensitivities and anxieties are changing over time.
Two people suggested prayer (and not meditation).
My experience is when dealing with my own hypersensitivity and my own anxiety is that prayer helps. Despite your protests my experience is my experience, and it was on topic.
If you are prejudiced about praying - that seems off topic. If you have been hurt by someone in your past who you associate with Christianity I apologize for that hurt on behalf of that person. If you have some other reason for your pre-judging me you are welcome to PM me and we can discuss some more without hijacking this thread.


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