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Change

Neurodiversity and Mental Health: Learning to Accept Change in Order to Grow 


Change is difficult for me because it alters the way I think about things. Which is obvious. It does for everyone. But my thinking doesn’t adjust or shift easily, making dealing with change sometimes a debilitating act. It forces me into an altered state. Where if too many things are different, it’s like it triggers my fear response. And I freeze. Or I explode. Fleeing or fighting. 



Auditory Processing

Mental Health and Regulation: How Music Is a Sensory Savior 


We recently splurged on getting a Bluetooth music fan installed in our bathroom. It’s awesome. It plays music like you’re at a club. So now I dance in the shower like that’s where I’m at. 

Dancing and singing and listening to music can take me out of some of my worst moments. And send me to places I wouldn’t know how to get to without it. Music is one of my most cherished mediums. It’s poetry. It keeps me regulated. It’s my sensory savior.



Change

Mental Health and Change: Depression Comes with Transition (But It’s Okay)


A few weeks ago while packing to move to our new house, I came across the essay, "Losing It," by Dominique Browning that appeared in The New York Times Magazine in 2010. An essay that spoke to me so much that I’ve saved it for almost a decade. It’s something that calls to me often. But it was lost for years. So when I found it while packing, I put it with the things that would end up on my desk in the new house. So I wouldn’t lose it again. 



General

Neurodiversity and Traveling: 16 Ways to Meet Your Needs While Away

When I was a little girl, I imagined I could shrink my bedroom into a box that would fit in the palm of my hand and that I could magically put it back to its original size wherever I went. To keep me safe. And to have everything I needed with me while traveling.

Now, in my late thirties, I find traveling difficult not only because of the inevitable changes in routines and environments and overwhelming interactions and stimulation, but because of the number of things I need to bring with me in order to have my needs met while away. But, not only is traveling sometimes necessary, I also love breathing in the air of a place I’ve never been before. Feeling adventurous, and if only for moments at a time, free.



Auditory Processing

Noise-friendly Neighborhoods: A Sensory Utopia

It’s 9 a.m. I have my tea, my weighted blanket and my morning’s readings. I am calm. Regulated. Even quite peaceful. Then it starts. I always hope it’s just a truck passing by, but I’m not so lucky today. One of my neighbors has started mowing their lawn. A noise that is detrimental to my well-being. Before the panic can ensue, causing my body to become completely unregulated, I get up quickly and turn on the loud oven fan to try to drown the noise out. I grab my noise-canceling headphones. I settle back in, relieved I acted before the noise got to me. But I can still hear it. I can feel it. So I put on some brainwave music through my noise-canceling headphones to try to calm my nerves. And breathe.

Loud sounds, especially those with a high pitch or a heavy vibration, cause me to feel out of my mind. Well, technically, out of my body. Putting all of my on-edge nerves over the edge. And the danger is that many of these sounds can send my body into an immediate fight-or-flight response.