A couple of years ago one of my therapists diagnosed me with sensory overload alongside my depression and anxiety. If, like me, you’ve never heard of it sensory overload is typically found in individuals with autism or ADHD. Sensory overload is exactly what it says on the tin, an overload of senses. It basically means you experience over stimulation of the different senses but the most common sense is noise. For more information on sensory overload, this website is really good: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/sensory-processing-issues/sensory-overload-anxiety
For someone who had never heard of this before it was bloody scary and I wanted to know how I could make it go away. To be honest, I didn’t want another diagnosis under my belt. I was 14 years old and overwhelmed with everything already and being told I had sensory overload really topped it off. Over time I’ve come to the acceptance of sensory overload and trying to wrap my head around what all of it is. To this day, I still put me becoming overwhelmed about certain senses as me having a bad day rather then down to this condition. It’s one you can easily forget although it affects my life on the daily. I become so overwhelmed in certain situations like if there’s too much noise, confliction, a lot of different things going on etc.
One thing this therapist suggested was a weighted blanket.
A weighted blanket can be used for a number of different reasons, some include anxiety, insomnia and sensory overload. I have all three of these conditions so I thought I would give a weighted blanket a go. It completely slipped my mind with how expensive some of the blankets can be but I used someone else’s the other month and knew I needed to get one. A weighted blanket has little beads sewn in that makes the blanket heavier. You can have different weights depending on your weight and whether you want something heavier or lighter. They can be quite pricey but if you have a shop around you can find some cheaper ones.
My mum ordered me a home made one off of the internet which I loved. It had a Mickey Mouse covering which I adored but it was a little too small. It only covered half of my body and it caused my senses to be all over the place and me to feel more overwhelmed and anxious. I told my mum about this and she ordered me a larger one. This one is a king size so it covers my whole bed but it’s quite a boring pattern. This blanket is also a bit heavier due to the size of it. I use it on top of my duvet or I just snuggle up under it whilst I’m laying on the sofa etc.
This specific blanket is from Olsen and Smith and it is such a nice material. It came with a cover for the blanket to keep it nice and clean. I have it on the grey side as it just matches my bedroom a bit better. It also comes with a weighted eye mask that is brilliant. I don’t use eye masks often but this one feels like such good quality and has a really soft material. This blanket was actually from eBay and was a lot cheaper then some of the other blankets.
Honestly, I adore this thing! No sleeping tablets are working for me at the minute and this blanket helped me to get a full nights sleep without waking up once! It was literally a miracle. It also helps with my anxiety and sensory overload because the weight of the blanket helps me to feel grounded and in touch with my surroundings. The only down side is that you can get quite hot whilst under the blanket and I struggle to wriggle around as much as I usually would because of the weight. Other then that, this blanket is a god send! I have recommended it to so many people already because I’ve really noticed a difference with my anxiety and everything. If I’m at home and notice everything starts getting to much I escape into my room and wrap this around me and it helps to keep me grounded. I cannot recommend this blanket enough!
If you are struggling with anxiety, insomnia etc then I would recommend a weighted blanket to you. I would also recommend going to the doctor and speaking to them if you are worried etc. If you think you may have sensory overload, it would be beneficial to speak to your GP and get a formal diagnosis/more information.
Lots of love,