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ASD, Mood episodes, stress and sensory processing


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This may sound random, but really, I am not sure if it is.

As we know, most people on the spectrum have sensory processing issues, however in the last few months they have been getting out of control, things that I could tolerate this time last year or even before I have no way of tolerating short of my ipod.

However I am in my final year in Uni, and been having a suspicious "high mood" episode since Feb, so was wondering. Could that make the sensory processing worse.

Has anyone else had the same experience?

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Makes it worse for me.

Lately it's been like every single hair on my neck has made its personal business to make its presence loudly known to the skin on my neck. Every strand is just touching me more than it should. It's touchier than just touching. There needs to be a word for this. It's so distracting. Add in the fact that if I have to feel my clothes and socks and bra squeezing the life out of me for one more minute I might snap, and it tends to make the entire situation worse than it would be otherwise, I think. And that's not to mention everything else that seems amped up to 11. Ugh.

The only thing I can do is find something with which to distract myself.

Going back on meds soon....

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, I have. When I was a small child, my tactile sense was the most sensitive. I refused to wear socks (and, when I could help it, clothes in general...) and my mother had to cut the tags out of my shirts and pants. When my parents kissed me, I had to wipe it off because of the "wet" feeling. Hugs were irritating.

Then, when I was around nine or ten, the extreme sensitivity switched over to my audio sense. I could not literally bear specific sounds, and it just got worse and worse when I got into puberty. (All of my other senses were/are still sensitive, but the audio sense is the most sensitive...) It's now to the point of me becoming enraged when I hear specific noises. It seemed to have gotten to its peak around my fourteenth birthday (I turned fifteen in November), and it hasn't gotten any better since then...

Sigh...

But I do find that, short-term, stress really does amplify it.

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Thanks for bringing this up, Helen. It just hit me that my sensory processing issues would in fact get worse when I was "a little too high above euthymic" (i.e. hypomanic before my BP2 remitted into MDD 5 years ago) or more recently, just when I'm "on edge" for situational reasons.

I know that usually pleasant sounding music (which to me is heavy metal, I know, weird, but it is) would start to sound really high-pitched and irritating, especially the higher end of the guitars, and cymbals... those were the worst.

However, I think that when someone with SP problems is in a high state of anxiety or hypomanic, that the two problems could feed into each other and create a vicious positive feedback spiral (SP caused by ASD gets worse due to anxiety/hypomania [which in and of itself may be caused by ASD, who knows!], and this makes SP issues worse since you're all anxious, and....)... yeah okay I'm confusing myself now, bbl. :smartass:

Meanwhile you might want to consider symptomatic therapy of either the SP issues or the anxiety. If you can get away from the negative stimulus that is causing the SP problem, then by all means, do. Even though rock music is an integral part of the small business I run, I don't listen to heavy metal when it annoys me. I normally don't give specific hints, but myself and most people I know with ASD are sensitive to the higher-pitched ranges (hint: try treble-reducing EQ on your iPod if you haven't yet!).

Also, if you feel you have a persistent anxiety disorder, that means you need to consult with a pdoc and tdoc and mention you have anxiety issues, since there are lots of established options for treating those. A change in your meds and/or some new therapy might help. Pulling one or both legs out from underneath the vicious cycle (if you can) makes it not so vicious.

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