I would like to share my personal view on my sensory processing issues linked to my ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, Autism and PTSD.
When we think of superpowers we think of superhero’s, people who can fly, have amazing strength or other amazing things that look like an advantage.
I have seen superpowers in movies and series such as enhanced senses like hearing, sight and smell, sounds good but is it really?
Imagine being able to hear things that other people can’t, hear people talking through walls and hearing noises so quiet that only you can pick them up. This looks like an amazing thing to have but in reality, it isn’t.
Now imagine you cannot sleep because you can hear the neighbours clock ticking, the hum of a charger left plugged in downstairs. You cannot watch TV because your tuned into a conversation in the next room or while shopping every noise is so loud and intense you feel sick and dizzy. You cannot hold a conversation because you are hearing everything around you but with the volume turned up to the max.
Now add to this having your eyesight and senses so alert that even the slightest movement in your peripheral vison distracts you from what you are trying to do and even the dimmest lights are too sensitive causing headaches and dizziness.
Your sense of smell picks up the slightest odour most of which cause offence, pain in your sinuses and eyes.
My personal experience is that my brain shuts down, I have no reasonable thoughts and I am left with fight or flight responses.
The biggest kick in the teeth is when all the sensory attacks have subsided then I get an information overload as my brain begins to function again.
You eventually end up spending most of your time wearing dark glasses, headphones and a neck scarf just to block the world out. These super sensory powers are not so great after all.
There is a big difference between fiction and reality and the reality is most of us with Sensory issues struggle daily with light, noise, smell and touch.
Some of us more than struggle, in fact some days it is like a form of torture that follows us around wherever we go.
It is not just people with Autism that struggle with sensory issues, people with ADHD, acquired brain injury, fragile X and many other neurological and mental health disorders. There are people who just have sensory processing disorder without any other diagnosed disorders.
Although I understand in depth how and why these problems occur in myself, I still find it very difficult to live with and it still causes meltdown even at ripe old age of 47.
Imagine being a small child and not understanding what is happening and having no control of your environment, I struggle with it and I understand it so no wonder they have much more meltdown than I do.