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Guide: Talking to a person with Dystonia

 To some closing ones eyes while someone is talking is considered rude, but you will find that if you visit a Dystonia patient they may indeed close there eyes. The first thing that comes to your mind is that they are not listening, not interested in what you have to say, or have become bored with the conversation, while this may be true when talking to a non dystonia patient it is not however the case. There have been many times I have closed my eyes when talking to someone, and they will get offended because I did so. There is a lack of understanding the dystonic mind.
    The Dystonic mind gets overwhelmed quickly, and if distractions are not shut out the brain will go into what I call a frenzy, and thus cause a Dystonic storm or I will forget whatever you where talking about anyway so I will have offended you anyway either because I closed my eyes, or that I was not paying close enough attention to the very important, worth getting offended subject about which you were talking.
    If you want to take the time to get to know and understand a Dystonic patient it takes some work you have to want to understand the Dystonic mind, and not get offended when you think something is amiss, or they are doing something to purposely offend you. To get to know someone with dystonia if you think it is worth the trouble you have to throw out everything you thought you knew about social interaction, because the way a Dystonia patient socially interacts is completely different than the way a non-dystonic mind works. So first throw every stereotype out the window and we can get started if you truly want to communicate with someone that has Dystonia.
    First the subject must be clear my mind cannot process someone talking about three different people or three different things at once only one, and if you deviate from that one subject you will lose the Dystonic patient.
      Another thing I would like to point out is that you cannot expect an immediate response it may take five or six seconds for me to process what was said or what question that you asked and another 3 to five seconds to answer the question because I have to process the question and think of the answer and it takes me a little longer than most, and if you are not willing to allow a few extra seconds than don't try to talk to me because it won't work. I am Just being as honest as I know how.
      I will inevitably close my eyes when I am talking to you this is not out of disrespect, but it is so I can focus on what you are saying and not lose what you have said or what you are going to say. It is not that I am not listening it is that I want to listen more closely so I do not miss something because if I miss something that you are saying you might as well start over or stop talking because I will have forgotten. Again it is not on purpose it is just how the Dystonic mind works, and if you do not want to talk to a dystonic person because of this I believe that is your loss often people with Dystonia ponder what they are going to say to get it right before they say it, because it may sound fine in there head, but if not careful when it comes out there mouth it does not sound the same, and on the other hand Dystonia patients may say something at which you take offense this is often the case when I do not have time to ponder what someone is saying and I feel rushed to say something, and then I have no idea what I just said.
      People get offended to easily today. I could get offended everyday of my life if I wanted. These are just a few tips if you really want to get to know a Dystonic minded person, and if you don't than you have one of 2 choices do not get to know them, which is a shame and your loss, or take the time to listen give them a chance to respond to what you are asking without getting frustrated.
      All I am asking is that you give me the same benefit of the doubt that you would want should you find yourself in the same situation.


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