Earlier this month I bought two weighted blankets and I definitely do not regret it! These blankets have been incredibly helpful for me and have definitely prevented internal chaos from escalating.
I don’t currently have access to any databases or journals at the moment because I’ve deferred from my university course which means I can’t do much research. As soon as I can do some research I’ll be finding out just how weighted blankets help and why they work.
I can’t begin to explain how useful these blankets have been! I’ve been using them to help settle us at home. There have been times where I haven’t been able to settle – I’ve been agitated, on edge and just not quite okay. Having the big, eight kilo blanket over me is bliss. Feeling that weight on my shoulders and/or chest is relaxing, calming, soothing and comforting.
Whilst at respite a few weeks ago the blanket was used (I say “used” because it was staff that used it on me as opposed to me self-soothing). I’d started to dissociate and thought I could manage it without having to tell anyone or draw attention to myself. I failed. I ended up sitting in the van (we were coming back from an activity), curled up against the window, eyes closed, desperately trying to escape from the images in my head. Other clients thought I’d fallen asleep and tried to wake me – a male client gently shaking my arm didn’t help!
Thankfully the staff knew what to do this time (I’d given them a list) and one of them went and got the smaller, four kilo, blanket from my bed. When it was folded up and placed across my shoulders I could feel my body relax – the shaking stopped, my breathing slowed. I was much more present and functional (I could move and talk) within an hour. Now, I’m not sure if it was the blanket, but I think it was. It could just be that I was able to become present, more quickly for another reason – that has happened in the past. Either way, that episode didn’t last long.
The blankets each came with several “fiddle tags” sewn on the top half, however, I wasn’t pleased with them. I managed to give the four kilo blanket a “makeover” before my wrist became too painful – I sewed loops of fabric, cord, ribbon, zips and elastic around the edges. I think it looks much better and it means there’s plenty to play with!
I’m yet to start work on the bigger blanket – I’ll have to wait until my wrist is better. Which does remind me – I shouldn’t be typing, and certainly not this much so I shall leave it there and leave you all with some photos!