Thursday, March 27, 2014

There's a new theory going around about autism: Intense World Syndrome. I could post a link, but it's all over google, not hard to find. In a nutshell, the idea is that our nervous system is wired such that everything is SO INTENSE and SO OVERWHELMING, and we can't really filter it, so that we do typical autistic stuff like tuning it out, seeking mental comfort in routines and rhythmns and stims, zoning out, and trying as hard as we can to numb ourselves to the many, many averisve experiences in the world.

  • Eye contact? Isn't just eyes. Feels like you're staring and prying into my soul. Get OUT already!!
  • Several people talking, plus scads of atmospheric noise (lights buzzing, clock ticking, someone on the other side of the building sneezing, air blowing, doors opening and shutting)? I'm really sorry, but I hard maybe a tenth of what you just said to me, if that. There's too much noise.
  • Scratchy clothes? I can't NOT think about it. The scratchiness is there in 3-D living technicolor, driving me nuts, and the more I scratch, the worse it gets.
  • Room deodorizers? They make me SICK. I still smell the fecal odors, now it just smells like chemicals and flowery feces, and that's disgusting, lots worse than plain old shit.
  • And...the list could go on for a long, long time.....

And so yeah, I more or less agree with the people who came up with this theory. I haven't put a lot of time into studying their proposed therapies based on the theory, although I understand that the therapy is controversial because "untested" and "could do more harm than good". Well, talk about alarmist. Nobody seemed to worry about that when they were trying to train us like Pavlov's dog, with piddly little rewards and nasty aversives. There isn't nearly enough concern over the chelation "therapy", which is KILLING children, based on the erroneous idea that the kids are suffering from heavy metal toxicity.

Anyway. I digress. For my part, I can handle a lot of the sensory stuff, although it wears me down slowly throughout the course of a day. One area that has been and continues to be a source of real difficulty for me is the intensity of emotional feelings. Thankfully, I don't get angry very often. My partner has NEVER seen me truly angry and honestly, I hope he never does....but it's a rare occurence and I've been able to control it reasonably well when it does happen. "Angry" doesn't even begin to describe it. "White Rage" or, if controlled, "Cold, Shaking Rage" would be better descriptors. So luckily, real anger is a rare event for me, maybe once every year or three, and usually for a good reason. Emotional pain, on the other the worst. Things that would hurt other people, or that they might just shrug off, leave me gutted, despondant, with a knotted stomach, aching chest, muscles clenched so tightly that I'm in physical pain....the only thing I can compare it to is having am abcessed tooth in your soul. And sometimes it goes away, sometimes I can reason my way through it or it wears off, but other times, I find myself haunted and virtually crippled with an agony that does not fade soon enough. Sometimes things hurt me for years. I don't know where I was going with this. I got to thinking about stuff and now feel a little triggered. Going to bed. :-/

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