One thing that is simple, yet helpful, is the weighted blanket. Its benefits cast a wide net on a multitude of mental health issues!
What is it?
A weighted blanket is a tool that helps ease certain issues that the average person may suffer from on a regular or semi-regular basis, such as sensory issues. It is a blanket that will come in different weights between 5 and 25 pounds depending on the weight and size of the individual using it.
It is usually filled with plastic or glass beads and includes extra polyester fiber so that the blanket is heaver and has additional softness. The weighted blanket is sold in stores such as Target and Walmart or online. Weighted blankets are usually between $70–$300.
How does it help?
It is based in pressure stimulation therapy which is a firm but gentle squeeze, hug, or hold sensation that relaxes the nervous system. It can be applied to an individual for different reasons.
The weighted blanket helps those with sensory processing disorders, as these disorders are described as “traffic jams” in a person’s brain, which can lead to anxiety and meltdowns. Having the blanket can help reduce anxiety, which some 40 million Americans currently suffer from.
The blanket can also help combat stress. Too much stress, or not taking care of the cause of the stress, can make you unhealthy. This is a situation where pressure stimulation therapy would be beneficial. It is also proving to be useful for improving focus in those with ADHD. The blanket creates a calming effect that balances the symptoms of the attention disorder.
For those who suffer from PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the blanket can be extremely useful as it lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety, and can aid with depression. Pressure stimulation therapy is often used to help with PTSD and sleeping with a weighted blanket can help with the nightmares associated with the trauma.
Weighted blankets also help with OCD, or Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. One in forty adults suffer from OCD, but symptoms differ from person to person. By using the blanket, an individual can practice pressure stimulation therapy to help ease their case.