I’m A Mother That Suffers From Sensory Overload.

Every afternoon, I become irritable and anxious. It always happens. It doesn’t matter if my day has been excellent. I become overwhelmed and claustrophobic by the chaos of the day. It hits me like a wall of bricks, an instant urge to cry. I don’t know how to handle the mess. Where do I start cleaning? Why am I cleaning again? There is so much outside noise hurled my direction, and it makes me want to scream. I just want to get away and have everything around, stop.

I still have a hard time processing why this happens, even though it’s always coming. But, the truth is I know what causes it. Anxiety. Sensory overload. My mind is saying that it’s time to calm down and breathe. There are times that I ignore what my body is telling me to do. Instead of centering my emotions, they become erratic, and I begin to lash out due to irritability.

What is Sensory Anxiety Overload? It’s when all of the senses are overwhelmed, and the brain cannot process. This response is alerting you to step away because your mind feels trapped. Any person can have sensory overload, but there are several health conditions that specific triggers can attribute to it. Do you ever feel overwhelmed when your surroundings are chaotic?

The symptoms are Sensory Overload is:

  • difficulty focusing due to sensory input
  • extreme irritability
  • Restlessness and discomfort
  • urge to cover your ears or shield your eyes from the sensory input
  • feeling overly excited or “wound up.”
  • stress, fear, or anxiety about your surroundings
  • higher levels than usual of textures, fabrics, clothing tags, or other things that may rub against your skin

So, what do I do to center myself? First, I take medication. Yes, that’s right, I take an anti-anxiety pill. Second, I drink a glass of water, and while I’m drinking my water, I’ll make a list of things I need to do. To not overwhelm myself, my tasks start in one section of a room. I have to tell myself to start somewhere if not; all I see is the clutter.

It’s important to know that you can overcome Sensory Overload. How?

  1. Identify the triggers. Some people are more sensitive to a lot of noises, and others are more sensitive to crowds. It’s okay to take yourself out of situations that will trigger this.
  2. Plan for the triggers. If you are in an atmosphere that you cannot control sensory input, like your home, have a plan in place. For example, if you are going grocery shopping on a hot day, write out your grocery list. This will help maintain focus.
  3. Ask for the sensory input trigger to be removed or reduced.
  4. Remove yourself from the situation. It’s okay to step away and say this is too much for my brain to handle.

Life is overwhelming and chaotic. And, sometimes, it can be hard to function. But, remember, you’re doing a good job. Even when you have to step away and deal with everything later. Listen to what your mind is saying. You’re strong. You’re powerful. And you’re incredible.

If you are struggling with coping with Sensory Overload, reach out to a medical profession.

 

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. V says:

    I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with. That can’t be easy at all. It’s good to hear that in your shoes you’re able to acknowledge what’s Happening in order to help cope. I have friends with kids who I fe yo rly worry about. You remind me how strong mommas are.

    1. Sara Green says:

      Thank you for reading and your kind words.

  2. Oh wow, I had never heard of that condition. So sorry for all the things you are going through. It is good that you know what triggers you and how to cope with those things.

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      Knowing the triggers and how to cope with those are a blessing. Thank you for reading!

  3. Amber says:

    This can be tricky. My son has sensory issues, so we have to watch certain things. I know sometimes he just need a break from it all.

  4. natalielovesbeauty says:

    I am so sorry to read that you have been dealing with this. Anxiety creeps up on us in so many different ways, and I know how debilitating it can be.

  5. Cristina Petrini says:

    I read this blog post with my mom and she recognized herself very much in your words!

  6. Chad says:

    I am so sorry you’re dealing with this, but it is great that you’re awesome of it and trying to manage it. You’re such an inspiration.

  7. Enriqueta Lemoine says:

    Oh! Wao! I didn’t know about this. That is so good that you admit it and talk openly about this problem. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sarah Meh says:

    I haven’t known about this condition. You have given useful tips that definitely help someone with sensory overload.

  9. Hannah Marie says:

    It must be something quite difficult to deal with. Firstly, being a mother is so challenging. And secondly, this type of condition is no joke.

  10. Lyosha Varezhkina says:

    That is such an important subject to bring up! We should all be aware mothers can suffer with overload too

  11. So sorry to hear that you are dealing with this issue but I am so glad that you have a way to overcome. I don’t do well in crowds so I take extra care to take a break and go for a walk before I get to breaking point.

  12. It sounds like you have identified some great ways to work with this. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      Thank you so much for reading!

  13. Anagha says:

    I have sensor effect issues. Light, sound and crowd affects me a lot. Unfortunately, doctors not giving me medication.

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      I wish I didn’t need medication, and I try to do other things before taking it. But, sometimes, that’s the only thing that works. I hope you have been able to find relief.

  14. Alexandra Cook says:

    I have the same issue some days. it can be a lot for my brain to handle and it gets difficult!

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      Yes, it can be! Thank you for reading!

  15. I often struggle with sensory overload. I find its can be particularly worse when my anxiety is heightened. It can be quite debilitating because I won’t even be able to begin certain tasks.

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      It can be very debilitating and frustrating. I hope you are able to find some relief in those moments. Some days, I feel like nothing will calm down the chaos and others, I can manage.

  16. simplysensationalfood says:

    I have not come across this disorder but its interesting to know that people do suffer from it. I think you are doing the right thing by focussing on parts of your list to work through. You always get a great sense of achievement when you can tick off a completed task.

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      Thank you for reading!

  17. HolyVeggies says:

    I used to get overwhelmed and anxious until I started doing meditation. Also I started procrastinating the things that aren’t so urgent. Rest is also important 😉

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      I love the idea of procrastinating things that aren’t urgent. Sometimes, you need to put things on the back burner and put yourself first.

  18. Eloise says:

    It’s amazing how many health implications there are out there… Anxiety is never fun to live with, but can be maintained through learning about triggers, etc…
    great info! thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Mother Fluff says:

      Thank you for reading (super sorry for not replying)! It’s such a complicated world, but it’s comforting knowing that there is treatment and things that we can do to help reduce triggers.

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