View Full Version : Hyper-sensitivity to light and noise?


leaningoakranch
05-14-07, 06:58 PM
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Hello everyone,
I am a 35 year old man with ADHD/OCD. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I as 5 years old. The doctor put me on Ritalin until I was 15. I have not taken any drugs since, and have had a terribly miserable existence ever since.

I noticed that about 8 years ago, that I started not being able to sleep very well. I am hyper-sensitive to light and noise when trying to fall asleep. Even the quietest of noises bothers me terribly, such as a clock ticking from across the room. I will literally have to walk over and unplug it just to get some peace. Only happens when I am trying to fall asleep though for some reason, any other time of day noises and light dont seem to affect me. My wife snores on most nights, so I wind up having to sleep on the couch or in the spare bedroom just to get away from the noise. Once I am asleep however, I find myself sleeping for 10 hours or more at a time. Even then I still find myself wanting to take naps in the middle of my day. I work evenings, and find myself not able to fall asleep until after
midnight, no matter how tired I am, or how much physical exertion I have performed prior to that during the day.

Anybody have any ideas of where to start with any of this. I never
had any help from anyone before to deal with any of my issues, so
any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Imnapl
05-14-07, 10:33 PM
I can identify with everything in your post. Both my son and I find our sleep improves with Ritalin and it was one of the questions my diagnosing psychiatrist asked after a month long drug trial so I assume this is a common problem for ADHDers.

speedo
05-14-07, 11:07 PM
I am sensitive to sounds and less so to light, but light can be a problem at times. I'm also prone to sensory overload.

I use inoffensive noises to mask distracting/unpleasant environmental sounds. Some people like to use white noise generators... that works, but you can use a fan to mask minor background noise in a room and it is just as effective.

For problems with light, I wear sunglasses.

Another tactic is avoidance... know when to get out of a toxic situation. Learn to recognise when you are starting to overload so you can bug out early enough to avoid a massive overoad situation. Try to have a "safe" place that you can retreat to and recover from overload.

Getting lots of fresh air and exercise is helpful. Also, seeking out things that provice a high level of sensory stimulation can help with habituation and reduce your sensitivity to some kinds of sensory input. It varies a lot from person to person.

Another tactic is habituation. Try to teach yourself to become comfy with those pesky noises. I've had some success with this, but it is no cure...

These are all things that I have tried and they all have helped in one way or another.

good luck

ME :D

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Hello everyone,
I am a 35 year old man with ADHD/OCD. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I as 5 years old. The doctor put me on Ritalin until I was 15. I have not taken any drugs since, and have had a terribly miserable existence ever since.

I noticed that about 8 years ago, that I started not being able to sleep very well. I am hyper-sensitive to light and noise when trying to fall asleep. Even the quietest of noises bothers me terribly, such as a clock ticking from across the room. I will literally have to walk over and unplug it just to get some peace. Only happens when I am trying to fall asleep though for some reason, any other time of day noises and light dont seem to affect me. My wife snores on most nights, so I wind up having to sleep on the couch or in the spare bedroom just to get away from the noise. Once I am asleep however, I find myself sleeping for 10 hours or more at a time. Even then I still find myself wanting to take naps in the middle of my day. I work evenings, and find myself not able to fall asleep until after
midnight, no matter how tired I am, or how much physical exertion I have performed prior to that during the day.

Anybody have any ideas of where to start with any of this. I never
had any help from anyone before to deal with any of my issues, so
any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

acceptance
05-15-07, 04:20 AM
I too have over sensory conditions

lights...if its fluro i gotta get out in a certain time frame otherwise i start responding to anxiety

noises...different types drives me nuts...at night my ears are extra sensitive but to distant sounds,sometimes sounds that arent even there.:)
I do enjoy a fan on..and a sleephelp pill im currently on since lastnight.

touch...can be annoying...I dont like freehandling with just aquaintinces.


Smell...i can pick up things miles away it seems.......im starting to sound like an animal!!!

Sight....i can read something quite afar.

thats it for me .Thankyou.

Crazy~Feet
05-15-07, 06:02 AM
I have sensory integration dysfunction along with the ADHD and bipolar :) so nearly every type of sensory input is either too much or too little. In other words I have hypersensitivities and hyposensitivities. Like Speedo, I am prone to sensory overload. I take 5 mgs of Abilify (an atypical antipsychotic) 3 times a day to deal with this.

Regarding my hyposensitivities, it can be really difficult for me to realize that I am sick due to my hyposensitivity to pain and pressure. I am pretty much reduced to asking others how ill I seem to be after waiting many, many times until I actually felt pain before seeking a doctor's intervention and winding up REALLY sick (pneumonia when I was convinced that I had a simple cold).

I got some good advice from Speedo since I joined this forum too. My all-time worst hypersensitivity is to odors. I am extremely prone to overload if I smell something nasty, and often I can smell things that are disgusting when others cannot smell them at all (Spacemania also can do this, so its not all in my head LOL). Many times I can distract myself from this by overloading another sense, such as taste, by sucking on a strong tasting logenze. I carry lozenges in my pocketbook at all times because this helps me in a pinch and also helps Space if she cannot get to her Risperdal.

speedo
05-15-07, 07:09 PM
Touch can be unpleasant. Especially if I am not expecting to be touched.

Fluorescent lights usually do not bother me unless they are flickering... I have had problems there from time to time, but it is unusual for me.

ME :D

Crazy~Feet
05-15-07, 08:56 PM
I too have over sensory conditions


Smell...i can pick up things miles away it seems.......im starting to sound like an animal!!!



Yay its not just me and The Kid! I swear I can smell cheese burning on the grill when my neighbors cook out. Through a closed door. On a windy day! Ugh!

B-Intentional
05-30-07, 09:02 PM
Too Funny! Glad to know it's not just me! People sure want to make us think that we are alone in our oddities, don't they?

I am sensitive to noise, visual distraction, smells, and ... well pretty much anything.

Room too cold? I can't function.

High pitched sounds, and extremely low pitched sounds can drive me batty.

Visually... I get dizzy just peripherally seeing someone spin or move while I'm trying to focus on something other than them. I have to block the tv screen from my view while on the computer, or I can't concentrate. (Daughter can't miss Dora or Barney.)

I have to minimize or move the open windows on my computer screen, so that I can see just the text that I am trying to read.

On my email program & online news sources, all of the moving advertisements hinder my ability to read the main story or text, so I move the whole email or news story window, so that the advertisement portion is off screen.

On this forum, the moving avatars are totally wild, so to absorb the presented thoughts, I drag the borders in to make the screen really small, thus displaying one sentence or paragraph at a time.

Sense of smell... Years ago, I totally busted my son in the middle of the night, trying his first cigarette. He was in the basement on the opposite side of the house with the window open blowing the smoke out. I was upstairs, asleep, and woke up to the smell. Talk about a shocked pre-teen. lol

drone
06-04-07, 09:44 PM
same here! I'm glad it's not only me. Sometimes the kids are watching TV, or at my parents house, as soon as I notice people aren't watching I just turn of the TV. The noise bothers me too much. Odd thing is that I was a band geek...brass player none-the-less...right in front of the percussion!

high pitches bother me. I can listen to low bassy music but not high pitch stuff. For example, classical music I love low pitched instruments, but flutes and violins annoy the HELL outta me! I can't stand it!

I also can't stand high pitched singers, and prefer Tony Braxton and booming hiphop or even rock that has some sort of low drummy (kunka kunka) guitar stuff, but I can't stand 80's type guitar solos! Women singers bother me...but I like Tony or KD Lang and such.

Volume has to be either 100% or nothing at all. Anything in the middle and I can hear other noises and it all becomes distracting.

As far as my body sometimes if hubby caress me I just can't stand it...too sensitive. This goes down if I'm in the mood. I hate makeup...bothers the helluva me with that stuff on my skin. I like cotton, that's it. And I like either sandalls or tennis shoes.

Even foods have to be super spicy/garlicky or bland like, uh bread and butter, or rice.

I often find that with me its all or nothing. Like as far as noises... the library is THE worse place to study. It's a "quiet" so full of little noise, chairs, computer beeps, fidgeting, books opening and closing, bathroom doors. I can't stand it! Even the tic toc of the clocks is so uneverving.

Istra
06-12-07, 11:10 PM
You are definitely not alone. I have all the above mentioned symptoms when my "brain acids" are high. There are days when I wake up and I feel like Alice in Wonderland! Everything is just so pretty, bright and colorful. The sky is bluer than blue, the trees are so green, the flowers are a deep red shade. I just can't stop staring at them. The smell in the air of morning dew grass and damp earth intoxicates me and I take in deep breathes to take it all in. The wisps of air blowing through the windows tickle my face. The Pancakes and bacon on the table taste extra good. The orange juice flows down my throat smoothly and I can taste every pulp....

All of the above are the great parts of it.

Now for the annoying part?

I cannot sleep at night with any and I mean any stimulation to my senses (lights off, faucet closed, radio off, TV, and please no snoring!)

I have to make sure everything is that way because once I get into that slumber and I get bothered and wake up, I get terribly annoyed. Just a couple of days ago, my little brother walked into my room at 2AM and turned on the light and I woke up and yelled at him. The matter was amicably settled after he let me have the last say and he walked out of my room shaking his head.

So yes, I do know about the extra sensitive sensory experiences. Cheers to the good days and here's to our sometimes annoying nights.

drone
06-13-07, 09:46 AM
that is so true....ther are times I have to make sure I pay attention to driving otherwise I might crash...I'm like...oooh, what a pretty day! lol

Paige1989
08-10-07, 12:59 PM
I've always had a hypersensitivity to high-pitched noises, like dog whistles that are supposed to be too high pitched for human ears. :S It was really weird. And anything really loud, like a loud, out of control classroom or a pep rally stresses me out to an extreme. Often, I have to leave the room and I skip pep rallys as much as possible by seeking refuge in the nurse's or counselor's office as they both understand my condition. Somehow, though, concerts don't bother me as much...I think it's because it's music and not just loud, indistinctable noise, if that makes sense. :S

Lafnalot
08-13-07, 10:55 PM
Hypersensitivity to stimuli runs in line with my family and myself. The Seroquel at night has quieted my brain and the thoughts that wont stop coming to where I can actually sleep. Robert sleeps with a cd playing, the fan on, the ac running high and has restless leg syndrome in a BIG WAY (his whole body) and snores...I didnt sleep for ten months unless I was dozing on the sofa. I cant do fireworks, startle to the point of falling, cant have multiple things going on at once (TV, talking, kids running around, music etc) or I lose my mind, my eye doctor continually apologized for having to put the light right in my eyes because it literally causes pain for me (eyes watering, having to pry my eyes open so he could see). I have such a hypersensitive gag relfex that even icky THOUGHTS (which if you have OCD ... you can relate to thoughts getting stuck revolving through your head whether you like them or not) I will gag and throw up simply from thoughts. My kids Sammie and Shawn used to give each other points for how close to making me barf they could get just with words (they are evil evil beings, but fun) They also gave me a icky thought stopper (chant "Barbies, oreos, butterflys, cinnamon, cloves, babies, grass, pink bows" etc til it cleans my thought pallette. Give me a bad smell and I am ill for hours afterwards trying ot get it out of my head...odd thing about all this is for 12 years I was a dental assistant and never got ill or wigged out over surgerys implants wtc..I think like Paige said because it was a clean calculated fixing of something, not just grossness...as with the idea that you could be in a band and still have noise issues.

speedo
08-14-07, 05:57 PM
One additional thing. I've found that neurontin (gabapentin) seems to reduce my hypersensitivity a bit.
Also, for overload situations, risperdal greatly reduces anxiety so the chances of a runaway overlaod scenario are greatly reduced for me. It reduces that "flight or fight" response one can get from a sudden overload... I feel less panicky.

The bottom line is, avoidance and habituation are the most useful tools you will find.

Me :D

Who Me ?
08-29-07, 09:41 AM
I tend to find that I get really noise and light sensitive when I'm tired.
What really drives me nuts is loud voices - I have to stick a finger in one ear.
But if alone (when I'm tired), ANY noise can make me jump out of my skin.
The light thing is a bit annoying - esp. when others have REALLY bright lights on and seem quite happy with it.
And when I drive at night, I often have to shield my eyes from the seemingly ever-increasing numbers of cars with badly-adjusted headlamps.

jc10101
08-30-07, 05:59 PM
well it seems like we all have a combination of something in different kinds of this subject. For me I'm been diagnosed in the asbergers syndrome side mainly. but then again seems like we all have similar stuff.... :D it's fine if I'm different, I see we all are on the same side :0).

speedo
08-30-07, 06:04 PM
Yes, ADHD and AS have a lot of overlapping symptoms. Sensory issues is one thing that ADHD and aspergers seem to have in common. Not all people who have adhd have sensory issues.. only about 20% of ADDers report having sensory problems.

Me :D

Crazygirl79
08-30-07, 08:06 PM
I don't have many sensory issues in the visual/light sense but I do struggle with various noises.

If you want anymore information just PM me.

Selena:)

speedo
08-30-07, 08:12 PM
Yes... sound is a big issue for me. There are times when certain things like bright lights or things that are visually very complex seem to stress me out a bit, but it is not the norm for me. Mostly it is sound and occasionally scent , sometimes it is visual.

As far as foods go, I really don't like hummus at all. I hate the texture and the scent. Food odors can be downright repulsive at times. I like lima beans and brussles sprouts and asparagus. I like fried green tomatoes and will eat sliced tomato on a sandwich, but I do not like tomato soup nor do I like stewed tomatoes. I like pizza and spaghetti a lot. I especially like cold spaghettic, but can't stand the smell of it if someone else is eating it.

Me :D

Spaceman Spiff
09-24-07, 12:13 AM
I am surprised that only 20% of people with AD/HD are sensory sensitive.

I am so sensitive to sounds, lights, and touch. Visual things like moving pictures aren't usually very bad but sometimes they get to me too. I also have a pretty good sense of smell but not as much as my mom.
She can smell smells that I'm positive are not there sometimes. Ha.

When I was a kid, and still to a slightly lesser extent now I would have the most horrible time trying on and buying clothes, especially socks and shoes. It was pretty much a nightmare going shopping.

I also have the problem with bright headlights, but half of that is having astigmatisms in both eyes so they make things seem brighter than they are.

When I stay at someone else's house and they have clocks that tick all night it takes about 3 hours Longer than normal for me to fall asleep. I ask them the next day how on earth they can stand the ticking and they just look at me like I'm crazy. I inherited a little wind up clock from my grandmother and I try to keep it wound, but it's in a drawer in my bathroom wrapped in a washcloth. lol.

Oh and the thing about the library being the loudest "quiet" place I TOTALLY understand. If it's not totally quiet or I don't have other noise to block the rustling and whispering it's pretty much pointless for me to be there.
It's just so nice to know I'm not alone with my hypersensitivity. Hooray!

Wait...did you hear that or is it just me? ;)