I have been researching this topic for my own personal reasons, and I thought that there may be others out there who are struggling with the same issues I am. So, I decided I would share some of the information I learned on the subject.
Do you know what Sensory Processing Disorder is? I only recently learned what it is. “It is a unique spectrum of disorders impacting the way a person receives, integrates, or ‘processes’ incoming sensory information.” (spdlife.org) SPD is a disorder that can impact every aspect of your life. I know from experience.
Did you know that people who have been diagnosed with PTSD may also have SPD? According to my therapist, many people who have experienced trauma have sensory issues relating to specific aspects of the abuse they endured. For a long time, I confused SPD with autism. I thought that I might have asperger’s syndrome because many of the symptoms are very similar. Now, I know that I have PTSD and SBAD (sensory based anxiety disorder). For anyone who would like to learn more about SPD or SBAD visit SPD Life’s website. It is filled with numerous resources for adults who have SPD.
What are the symptoms of SPD? There are many checklists available online, but the one that most relates to adults with SPD can be found on the website I mentioned above. Rather than trying to repeat each symptom verbatim, I would rather explain how it affects my life.
I don’t sleep well at night; I am awake every couple of hours. When I wake in the morning, I have a hard time adjusting to the sounds around me. Just the slightest sound is torture to my ears. I hurt my daughter’s feelings all the time because I ask her not to talk to me in the mornings. This is not intentional on my part; I just don’t want to subject myself to unnecessary pain. Throughout the day, I am accosted by sudden noises that sound like a piercing cry to my sensitive ears. I have such a difficult time dealing with noises that I choose to remain at home most of the time. It is so much easier to control what I am exposed to within my own four walls. I am very particular about my clothes because certain fabrics make me itch or irritate my skin. My mom makes a lot of my clothes. I keep my blinds drawn most of the time because the direct sunlight hurts my eyes. At night, I tend to sit in the dark rather than risk the headaches caused by the lights. I have just learned how to see in the dark. I even go to the bathroom in the dark. I am OCD about my house. I can not tolerate a dirty or unorganized house. My daughter says I am a neat freak. I guess I am except when it comes to my floors. That is because the sound of the vacuum nearly causes me to have a panic attack. So do similar sounds such as the exhaust fan in the bathroom and over the kitchen stove. Hygiene is another issue with me because a simple act such as taking a shower makes me feel as if tiny needles are being stuck in my skin. I have to keep my hair cut short because I can not stand the feeling of wet hair. That would not be a problem if the sound of the hair dryer didn’t send me into a tailspin. Brushing my teeth is not my favorite thing either. I don’t like the taste or the texture of toothpaste. I prefer to use my kids toothpaste, or I use the disposable mini toothbrushes that were recently invented. Stating that I have these problems does not mean that I do not maintain proper hygiene, but it gives you an idea how troublesome it is for me. It tends to be painful, and it sometimes makes me feel sick. Speaking of feeling sick, I have a very sensitive gag reflex. Because of this, I can not eat foods that have a certain texture. I don’t eat marshmallows, cool whip, pudding, cakes with icing or any kind of filling, no cheese unless it is shredded then melted, cottage cheese, yogurt, or anything that has a similar texture. I also can not drink milk because of the smell. I am afraid to try new foods, and I tend to eat the same foods all the time. I am a very picky eater. By the time I put my kids to bed in the evening, I have been bombarded with so many sights and sounds that I need the time to rejuvenate. Then the day starts all over again the next morning. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the sensory input and I will have a meltdown. It is not a pretty sight. My life is not very pretty.
I hope that by telling my story and explaining how PTSD and SPD are related that I have helped someone to understand that they are not crazy. There are others out there just like you. Find a support group–an online forum. Anything. Don’t continue to suffer thinking you are crazy. I did it for years. It is not fun.
I wish you luck. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me.
Parents please heed this important message. This is an epidemic that will not go away….we can not ignore it thinking it will vanish into thin air.
Hello Everyone! I hope you enjoyed Laurie Cameron’s post last week! I’m back this week discussing another issue that faces our young people of today. And the topic that’s on my mind is a serious one.
As I’m sure you all know Jerry Sandusky was found Guilty on forty five of the forty eight counts of sexual abuse that he was charged with. This didn’t surprise me at all. The man is a predator and he’s the worse kind because he appears to be such a nice guy.
As I pondered this case, I started thinking about the victims. How did they get involved with their abuser? How does this start?
As I researched this horrendous event I noticed that these kids are groomed by their abuser long before the abuse happens. The kids are given special attention and gifts from the abuser. He builds a rapport with the child…
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I believe it is important to know if you are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD. Look at this blog and consider it carefully. Ask yourself if you need help.
Here’s how VA explains PTSD: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you, like:
- Combat exposure
- Child sexual or physical abuse
- Terrorist attack
- Sexual or physical assault
- Serious accidents, like a car wreck
- Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake
During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD. Read more here.
The Department of Veterans Affairs also put together a PTSD screening online which has 17 questions…
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This post is a lot more personal than normal, but I am really stressed out right now. My mom is very sick, and I am at a loss for how to help her. She has heart problems, severe hypertension, diabetes, anxiety disorder, and a host of other problems. She has been out of her medicine for a while, and she has no access to more because she does not have any health insurance. She was recently denied disability despite the fact that she can hardly get out of bed. She sleeps most of the time because when she is awake she is in agony. I think she is going to have another heart attack or stroke. She has already had 5 heart attacks and a stroke that left her blind in her left eye. The most recent heart attack was in October of 2010. They placed a stint in one of her arteries, and said that she had two other blockages that would need taking care of eventually. I think now is the time.
I have contacted our church to get some help for her medicine, and so she can go to the doctor. They have agreed to help but I have not heard from them again. I even contacted them a second time with no luck. I have posted requests for donations on several different websites. Her medicine costs over $600 per month alone. That doesn’t count the cost of going to see the doctor or going to the hospital. She is supposed to be taking 7 different blood pressure medicines, diabetes medicine, plavix for the stint, aspirin for a blood thinner, cholesterol medicine, anxiety medicine, and a couple more that I can not remember. Unfortunately, she does not have any refills left on any of her prescriptions. She will have to go to the doctor–one is a cardiologist–to get new prescriptions. We do not have the money for that. So, I am worried that if someone doesn’t come through for us, I will lose my mom very soon.
To complicate matters further, I have a younger brother who has autism. I am terrified of what will happen to him if my mom dies. Oh, I am not saying I am not willing to be responsible for my brother. I accept that responsibility with no problem. I am more worried about how he will be able to handle his emotions. My brother gets violent when he is stressed out, and I don’t want him to get into any kind of trouble. Some people don’t understand what it is like to feel this kind of fear. I am terrified that he will go off the deep end if something happens to my mom.
I would appreciate any advice that you guys can give me. Do you know where I can get some help for my mom? She doesn’t qualify for medicaid. I already asked. She’s not old enough for medicare. She still has about 5 years before she will qualify for medicare. I don’t know what to do. Please help. I am so stressed out.
This is an informative piece about PTSD.
By David Joel Miller.
You can recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD.
Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD is the result of repeated injuries, each of which creates additional trauma. Complex Trauma frequently arises in children who are abused or neglected over long periods of time or survivors of sexual assaults who are re-assaulted.
Being injured once is bad enough but repeated traumatization can result in problems far in excess of those caused by a single trauma. People who were traumatized in childhood and then retraumatize in later life are likely to develop severe and debilitating symptoms. Some researchers have suggested the name of Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD for this condition.
It appears that many people can experience severe trauma, recover and not develop PTSD. Some of the symptoms of PTSD are normal reactions to experiencing a trauma – in the short run. If the reaction is excessive, interferes…
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This is the first chapter of PTSD for Dummies, available from Wiley Publishers. Seriously, a good summary and a good resource for those just learning about the disorder.
Wiley’s page on PTSD for Dummies, including the Table of Contents: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470049227,descCd-tableOfContents.html