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How do you cope with sensory overload?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by pazasaurus, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. pazasaurus

    pazasaurus New Member

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    I'm just wondering because noisy and/or busy environments, people talking and/or making mouth sounds like lip-smacking etc. are a huge trigger for me and often cause sensory overload and meltdowns, shutdowns or are just very annoying.

    I currently still live at home, I have plans to move out with my partner but in the meantime it's a real struggle to cope with unwanted sensory input. I wear ear inserts and even put ear protectors over the top but can still hear my surroundings when what I really want is dead silence. The tiniest sounds like taps dripping, people breathing and sounds from other rooms in the house are so loud to me.
     
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  2. Gerontius

    Gerontius Well-Known Member

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    I had to move out of a place due in part to sensory overload, so I understand.
    What I'd suggest is running an electric fan, heater, etc. Something that can set up a background sound. You seem to have the ear-defenders side covered. Also, figure what works for you in terms of other sensory stimuli causing problems--like clothing or light.

    If you move in with someone there will still be water taps running, extraneous noises, etc., so wherever you go--there they are.

    One other bit; if the sounds you hear have a negative association, then that's not going to help. I have upstairs neighbors who are a trifle noisy: one of them plays classical music on full volume in the evenings, & I think of it as "yep he's enjoying great art" and it's not noise then, but music. So I ask him what he's listening to. We're hoping to start swapping music & records--he owns a couple pianos & a high-powered stereo system, and I have vintage windup record players & an organ. So we both love music.
    If I can't put a positive spin on the noises in the background then they're even more annoying.
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dead silence. Something I suspect many of us have pursued many times. -And failed.

    You can often reduce sound with ear protectors by as much as -35db, but to eliminate it entirely isn't likely. Even better coupled with some ear buds to listen to music or television.

    Noise cancelling headphones are nice...but very expensive requiring constant battery recharging.
     
  4. Gerald Wilgus

    Gerald Wilgus Well-Known Member

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    Growing up in a small space with a noisy family, I learned early on how to tune things out. For me noisy restaurants and Airports are nearly intolerable. Nowadays I just turn off my hearing aids.
     
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  5. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    Those kinds of sounds have to blocked & wiped out by adding other sounds, sounds that soothe me. For me, I mean that helps a lot. I really detest being able to hear the neighbors talking in their hot tub :eek:
    Also I’ve noticed I’m heaps less sensitive after a run, bike ride or other sweaty workouts.
     
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  6. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have constant tinnitus so silence only amplifies it,...I need some "white noise" in the background all the time.

    In general though, when I am at work or the few times a year when I am in a large social group,...I have to take my little breaks. Sneak into a bathroom, a staff locker room, outside,...whatever,...5-10 minutes at a shot,...collect yourself,...and back at it. If people are expecting you to be around,...then be around,...you can't just disappear never to be seen again.
     
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  7. garnetflower13

    garnetflower13 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I always take my foam earplugs with me when out and about; especially noisy supermarkets or waiting rooms. I also bring my sunglasses so that people can't make eye contact. That helps.
     
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  8. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    That's a pursuit that will make you miserable for sure. I think the thing to target is your low threshold for sound. Have you ever discussed the issue in therapy?
     
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  9. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    Noise-canceling headphones. They even make noise-canceling earbuds. They have an aware mode and a silent mode. There are times when you really need to put up with some of the noxious noise because situational awareness is important.
     
  10. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Exactly this!
     
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  11. NB79

    NB79 Active Member

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    Just endure it at best as you can until you can get alone in your room and rest your senses.
    It would be hell for me if i lived like some people on a traffic busy street. I need quietness i don't know why.
    People cutting grass with those noisy things and the neighbor dogs barking is torment enough for my nerves.. i don't know what is going on with me.
     
  12. free will

    free will New Member

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    I can remove myself from the noise by going to another room however that’s hard when I want go try and engage with my (likely autistic 6 year old) son in which case the noise cancelling headphones come out; they work really well. Sony model
     
  13. Mush

    Mush Hiker

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    I usually just walk away from it. I’ve learned to never commit myself to a situation that I know will be overwhelming.
     
  14. Pieceofmind

    Pieceofmind Active Member

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    That's what I do too in most situations for holding out till the end of something where I'm getting extremely stressed and unstable like that. It buys me a little time but sometimes I still creep into meltdown territory.