This is part 2 in a series about sensory sensitivities and atypical sensory processing. Read the other parts: Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4
I don’t like pistachios.
I have a sensory sensitivity to bright lights in a dark room.
What’s the difference between the two? I can eat pistachios if I have to. I won’t enjoy it, but if I happened to be served something that had some pistachios on or in it, I could eat it without having a negative biological reaction.
On the other hand, I can’t watch TV or look at a computer monitor in a dark room. The brightness of the screen is painful and my instinctive reaction is to look away or close my eyes. If The Scientist and I are watching TV at night, I need a small amount of ambient light to reduce the contrast between the television screen and the darkened room. Without it, I’ll squint at the screen and quickly develop a headache.
I know this because, like the t-shirt incident, I’ve tried to acclimate myself to watching TV in the dark.
I can see how someone who doesn’t know that I have sensory sensitivities might assume that I dislike watching TV in the dark in the same way that I dislike pistachios. If you’ve never experienced sensory sensitivities, it can be hard to believe that they’re real and that they have a biological component to them. But my body’s reaction to those two scenarios is very different. Continue reading The Difference Between a Sensory Sensitivity and Disliking Something