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Coping mechanism for "social hangover"


bora.h
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Hello, 

I am (likely, waiting for a formal diagnosis) on a AS spectrum. I do not do well in large groups, or more likely in group where I need to follow multiple conversations at once and have to keep an eye on everyone's body language, my own body language and try to get out of way of too much sensory overload. These are often not social gatherings I would choose to go to but more of a work events, which are not mandatory but ARE mandatory. 

This unfortunately results in me getting home completely drained and likely to get into mental spiral leading me to anxiety (over-thinking and over-analysing everything I said and done and how apparently everyone hates me now) and eventually to me revealing this pent-up frustration / fear / energy by self-harming. 

Would anyone have a tip for a) while with people and how to keep my battery to be drained as fast, b) hacks for when you feel incoming anxiety attack or c) alternatives for self-harming, which I might try (tried few of the general ones sch as ice, creating, using a red marker, but none really did it and I ended up where I started). 

 

Thank you,

Rara

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  • Digital Mentor

Hello Rara,

Welcome to our community and thank you for telling us about the difficulties you're having with your wellbeing. All of what you've described relates to the profile of someone on the spectrum. I'm wondering, how do you feel about that label? Have you been assessed for autism? 

So, when you're with people, you get the sensory overload, and it sounds like you're overwhelmed by aspects of the social situation. I'm wondering, when you're with other people, to help your battery not drain as quickly, could you maybe go to the loo for a minute every now and then and do a breathing exercise? Also, what things do you normally do to help yourself calm down, or what other things do you think could be helpful?

I think it might be good for you to have a look at these and tell me what you think: 

https://www.ditchthelabel.org/10-quick-things-panic-attack/

https://www.ditchthelabel.org/15-safer-alternatives-to-self-harm/

https://us.ditchthelabel.org/stress-the-ultimate-guide/

https://www.ditchthelabel.org/101-ultimate-ways-chill-reduce-stress/

Speak soon. 

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