Sensory Overload - 'The Aftermath'

Just after a bit of advice and to see if anyone has the same struggle?

I love to go out and do things just like any neurotypical girl in her 20's, but it really takes it toll.

A few hours shopping, visiting friends, having dinner, all zaps my energy afterwards.

I find I AM able to do these things (however hard), where I know some may not be able to cope with busy environments and loud noises etc..and I often question my ability to do so.

Its after the event when all the problems start. It depends on how challenging the situation is, and for how long, as to the length of time I feel the after effects.

It feels like the worst hangover, a complete brain fog. Sometimes I feel physically unwell from it.

Most recently, I attended a local festival, (much smaller than the big music ones like V festival). With friends (who are very understanding of my ASD) we camped for the weekend, and I felt fine until the Sunday afternoon when it all went down hill and all my energy had been used up. I felt weak, tired, had a massive headache, and could not focus on anything. This feeling lasted almost a whole week after. On the Sunday and following Tuesday I fainted twice, which I can only put down to feeling exhausted. I have no other heath issues, and I was extremely embarrassed to say the least. 

This isn't the first time it has happened, and wondered if anyone else has had any similar experiences?

It worries me to go and do these things now in case it happens again.

Any advice or tips on how to deal and cope with situations like this would be really appreciated.

Sorry for the long post too.

No Data
  • Hey Tinny, in my ND family even SD16 who has ASD knows I sometimes stagger home after a day at work where there is lots of "people stuff" and have to retreat to bed. 

    I've learned to take sensory breaks such as walking from the hospital (where I have most meetings) to my workplace - about 1.5km instead of getting a taxi or pool car, either of which would be acceptable given my seniority. I also have been known to hide out in the toilet if I need a few minutes time out.

    My SO and I plan social things around my low tolerance - family events will involve finding somewhere else to stay so we can retreat if needed. My immediate family are great. The aunties, uncles and cousins are not as tolerant of difference.

    Noise is my big issue so I will wear clear silicon ear plugs in crowds especially if the acoustics are dodgy. I don't faint but I can get headaches. I wonder if your faints could also be a bit of dehydration, because at outdoor venues I restrict fluids because I can't stomach the smell of chemical toilets. I try to remember Vicks to out under my nostrils if I'm at events now so I can use toilets.