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.
I, too, get exhausted from being out for too long - especially if around lots of other people. The physically unwell feeling is often associated with it for me, but I think - for me, anyway - it generally stems from anxiety. I am usually anxious in such situations, even if I don't necessarily have to associate with others or engage in any activities. And even if I'm with people I know.
Unlike you, I would really struggle at music festivals. I'm alright if it's a relatively sedate crowd, such as at a classical music concert. But I know that I simply wouldn't be able to handle something like a rock concert - even if it was my favourite band - and the idea of an event like Glastonbury... absolutely not! I'd end up ill. Too many people, too much continuous noise, too little sleep. I'd have to be drunk to even last a couple of hours.
On Saturday, we had a huge event on the seafront of the town where I live. A major airshow. It's been reckoned that as many as 90,000 people invaded the town that day - most of them crammed in along our two-mile seafront. I went down for about half-an-hour - but that was enough. Crowds milling aimlessly around, noise, people shouting... the proximity of simply too many people. At one stage, I had a very strange feeling of detachment. It was like I was rooted there, and no one could see me. It almost felt like they were walking through me. Very disorienting.
I can't say I've ever suffered from fainting fits, though - although panic attacks could probably lead to something similar. I've had those - but have never passed out. Have you sought medical advice on it? I know you say you have no other health issues, but I'd still check it out with your GP. There could be another cause. It could well be, though, a delayed effect of such sensory overload. Maybe others here will know better than I do about it.
All the best,
For some reason, I find music festivals to be extremely boring. There is nothing to do there, really. I only hear the noise.
Yes I do get sensory/social overload aftermath. I think my other conditions make it worse. I know that in certain situations it is almost inevitable that I will need a few days recovery or longer but that is my choice when I don't want to or can't miss out on something. Sometimes extra rest and reducing stimulus before the event can help but doesn't stop the aftermath altogether. This link might help if you want to go to other festivals; it's not autism related but does offer tips on how to care for yourself at festivals to reduce symptoms and the ideas of resting and quiet time during the activity or event apply in other situations. Ear defenders and eye mask might help to get a deeper sleep in the tent ( getting plenty of sleep is important and keeping hydrated).
Hi Misfit... the link hasn't posted, for some reason...
Thank you. I get a lot from knowing other people go through the same things. It was more of a food festival and I was there as a volunteer for the charity I work for, so otherwise probably wouldn't have attended.
I was taken to hospital second time and everything came back fine. Just got told 'this can happen sometimes its nothing to worry about'.
But I absolutely feel the same way as you in those environments. It a horrible feeling but something I just have to get used to when it happens again and try and put strategies in place.
I'm great at helping other people do this but never myself.
Thank you for sharing.
I am starting to get to know what situations might mean I will need time off to rest after. But its finding the right strategies for before during and after the event, to help lessen the 'aftermath' that I struggle with.
Thank you for the link I will have a read.
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.
Really interesting read. Thank you :)
You are such a goldmine of practical suggestions QuirkyFriend, just saying....