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HOW TO COPE WITH MULTIPLE SENSITIVITY

Managing your load is the main principle, again, of coping with multiple sensitivity. Keep the load of allergens and substances that upset you as low as you are reasonably able. Keep other stresses as low as you can, as well – multiple allergies and sensitivity can be noticeably aggravated by unhappiness, loneliness, worry, grief, conflict, family troubles and other stresses.

Your attitude to your own situation can also help. The terms ‘total allergy syndrome’ or ‘universal reactor’ dramatise the situation and are not always helpful. By themselves, they can make you feel depressed and demotivated. Many people with multiple sensitivity have days (or even weeks) when they feel they react to absolutely everything – when nothing is safe and everything seems to upset. These times can be very hard to bear (and very scaring), but they usually pass or things get much better – they virtually never persist. In many situations, you will be able to tolerate reasonably well things that at other times lay you completely low. Psychologically, it helps a great deal, therefore, to avoid talking about ‘being allergic to everything’, ‘being a universal reactor or of ‘nothing being safe’, and to use a different vocabulary and to see the world in terms of things that you do tolerate and things that you do not tolerate. You will probably tolerate quite well something to which you are strictly speaking allergic or sensitive, if you avoid it much of the time, or avoid situations in which it is at its peak. That particular thing is not totally ‘safe’ for you, but it can be ‘tolerable’ and you may be able to live with it quite well. This type of approach helps you to perceive the world as a less hostile, aggressive place and to deal better with your situation.

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