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The Oxford dictionary defines distress as “sorrow,” or “suffering,” or “pain,” or “extreme anxiety.” A lot of physiological and environmental factors may trigger distress. Some causes of distress include losing a loved one or enrolling in a new school or mental illness with chronic distress symptoms.
Like anxiety, distress affects the body but can come quickly. Thankfully, a weighted blanket can help people with anxiety. So what the heck is a weighted blanket? And how does it work? A weighted blanket applies deep pressure touch on a distressed person, making them relax and thus reducing anxiety. Visit TruHugs to shop for weighted blankets and additional information.
A one year study on 76 distressed adults aged 20-59 took place at an acute inpatient psychiatric unit. A sensory room — a room to calm down in — created in the psychiatric unit was filled with a weighted blanket, scents, music, books, a fit ball, and a rocking chair.
These patients used the room during the early stages of distress, and they recorded their perceptions after leaving the room on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing little or no perception while 10 represented maximum perceived distress.
The results? Both the patients and monitoring staff reported a significant decrease in distress. Behaviours associated with distress that decreased include anxiousness, irritability, loudness, elevation, intrusiveness, pacing, and withdrawal.
Although paranoia, calm, settled, and physical didn’t show any significant improvement, distress level decreased to both patients without medication-assisted treatments and those on medication-assisted treatments.
The investigators also noted that less distress was recorded during the study period because of the room being integrated into the psychiatric unit. However, there was no substantial change to imply that the effects of the room were long-termed.
As mentioned, the sensory room featured various items from which patients could choose from—at their will. Results from the experiment showed that participants used the weighted blanket 29 times, music 5 times, book/magazine 26 times, a rocking chair 21 times, a fit ball and scents every 5 times. Since this unbiased study shows that weighted blankets are a favoured item in decreasing stress, it must have had some positive impact.
From the experiment, the weighted blanket was the most preferred item of use, though disclosed data show several individuals used more than a single item. Based on this, it can be assumed that the weighted blanket made patients feel better and possibly can contribute to reducing distress in individuals.