How to Deal with Sensory Overload

How to Deal with Sensory Overload
Do you struggle with sensory overload? I struggle with bright lights, the assault of loud noises, and any kind of motion that kickstarts my vertigo. Sensory overload is a painful struggle. For example, exposure to strong odors gives me headaches and nausea. For that reason, I have to be careful about what kinds of cleaners, laundry detergents, and soaps I use. I enjoy products with a lemony scent or other light fragrance. I haven't been able to wear perfume in years, nor can I be in the same room with someone wearing strong perfume or cologne for very long. I tend to use natural products because the smells are not overpowering. I really like Melaleuca cleaning products for that reason. When I'm with a group of people, even my family, constant interaction exhausts me. I love the time I spend with loved ones, but after about three hours I just need to lie down and be alone. I call that relational overload. I consider myself to be an "extroverted introvert," but fibro has diminished the extroverted side of my personality. That's an emotional burden I could not have anticipated before my diagnosis. When in a public setting that feels overwhelming, it helps just to step outside and get some fresh air, or go into another room to give my overstimulated mind and body a chance to relax. When my son got married a year ago, I knew it was time to go home just three hours into the event. I had reached my social and emotional limit. I missed the dancing and cake-cutting, but my son understood. I felt like I accomplished a lot just by being there. Temperature is another overload trigger. If I get too warm, I get nauseous and weak. If I get too cold, my pain increases and it's difficult to move around. Summer is my favorite time of year. I love flowers, the smell of fre
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  1. Joseph Bryan says:

    WOW i never thought that my Fibro was why i always got to feeling sick if i was out in the heat for more than 15 or 20 minutes. Great information, Thank you Robin !!

  2. Lindsey Murphy says:

    How do you deal with strong smells from other people? I work in a crowded office and on more then one occasion have run into someone wearing too much perfume sitting near me. Sometimes I can work elsewhere for the day or part of the day but that’s not always an option. It’s a sensitive subject. How do you tell a person you’re wearing too much perfume? Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean others can’t. I have thought about bringing the idea to my VP about implementing a fragrance free policy. That also poses other issues in my line of work but Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is something you can get disability for. It is real, I just have trouble dealing with it when it comes to other people.

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