View Full Version : Hyper-sensitivity and nerves


ADDled
03-16-04, 02:38 PM
I haven't done any book-reading on sensory hyper-sensitivity, but it strikes me that those afflicted are generally over-aroused (including of course, myself) - in a state of permanent nervous tension, wherein we are irritable and easily startled.
In short, we're in a state of hyper-vigilance where the senses are acutely attuned to potential threats (as far as the primitive brain is concerned)- hence hearing and sight are most noticably affected, but all the senses are working overtime.

jaimegerise
03-16-04, 02:42 PM
Dat sounds like me before me started my concerta and lexapro...oh that majorly sucked booty.

neuroangel
03-19-04, 12:07 AM
I'm very easily startled... I jump when the phone rings! People always think I'm anxious or ansy, because I'm constantly shaking my legs or tapping my fingers. When I stand, I rock back and forth. I think I'm always moving around, because it helps me stay awake and it keeps me a bit more alert.

Cyndi (neuroangel)

Lafnalot
03-19-04, 12:08 AM
I am super sensory sensitive as is my youngest. I wanted to share with others who kids are sock sensitive, that i found a place that sells kids seamless socks at a half decent price. The other places have diabetic socks at exhorbinate prices. She has kept her shoes and socks on all day fpr two days!! She said she even forgot she had them on Yeaaaaaaah!

ADDled
03-19-04, 04:18 AM
Neuroangel, the rocking when standing thing is reminiscent of autistic spectrum. It's a self-stimulating thing - or as the AS crowd call it "stimming".

Nucking_Futs
03-19-04, 04:24 AM
are you sure? I mean I'm not disagreeing but I rock back and forth when I stand for long periods of time and sit for long periods of time. I'm ADHD I thought it had more to do with not being able to physically sit still.

ADDled
03-19-04, 04:37 AM
No, I'm not even slightly sure - just repeating what I read.
Seems there's some overlap of AS and ADHD physical symptoms.
But the definitive differentiator would appear to be that the AS crowd regard themselves as geeks and nerds - not true of ADDers.
You should read about the skyrocketting rates of autistic spectrum disorders in silicon valley - spiritual home of the hardcore computer geek.

Nucking_Futs
03-19-04, 06:56 AM
huh it does sound interesting I just hated the thought that something else could be wrong with me OOooooo man what a relief lol.

ADDled
03-19-04, 07:13 AM
Aut.spectral disorders don't appear to have the comorbidity of ADD. It seems fundamentally different. Adders are intensely sensitive, whereas ASers seem anything but - the reason they don't suffer the usual depression/anxiety/soul-torture associated with ADD.

codeman38
03-19-04, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by ADDled
Aut.spectral disorders don't appear to have the comorbidity of ADD. It seems fundamentally different. Adders are intensely sensitive, whereas ASers seem anything but - the reason they don't suffer the usual depression/anxiety/soul-torture associated with ADD.
You sure of that? I've seen quite a bit of the whole depression/anxiety thing on some of the Asperger's Syndrome forums I'm on... not to mention that I experience it quite frequently myself. And I show quite a few Aspie traits, as I've mentioned in threads in the past (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3081)...

Then again, maybe that's part of the reason that psychologists have had so much trouble making sense of me. :D

ADDled
03-19-04, 02:31 PM
Let me qualify - what I should have said was that there doesn't appear to be quite such a high incidence of dep/anx comorbidity as exists with ADD. Undoubtedly, the incidence for ASers will be far higher than for the neurotypical population.

neuroangel
03-20-04, 12:31 AM
Hmmm... interesting stuff. Asperger's runs on my mom's side and ADHD, depression, and substance abuse runs on both sides. Maybe I am touched? I'll probably never find out. Bah.

Cyndi (neuroangel)

Oh yeah, is crying at the drop of a hat an ADHD symptom? I don't cry when I should, like when someone passes on...just over senseless things.

ADDled
03-20-04, 03:58 AM
I saw an interesting documentary a while ago, about two transgendering women (to men).
Both of them said that when they started taking male hormones, they just stopped crying - so the old gender stereotype holds up on this occasion.
Crying is as individual as the individual - there's never a wrong or right time to do it, just more or less embarrassing times !

Jellybean
03-20-04, 04:01 AM
I am very sensitive to being disturbed, I think I cope with it well. But I am freaky about a loud high pitched noise. And have felt traumatized
When a friend set the smoke alarm off. I cried and couldn't forgive him. totally unlike me. The forgiving part.

My son has done some noises that set me off and I react traumatically. Being pinched especially by a person freaks me out. VVVery painfull. I feel pain very easily.

I am very veiny (meaning my veins are on the surface especally on my hands and feet. I am painfully hurt if my feet get stepped on or such.

I dislike wearing clothes, accessories. Can't play violin in collar shirts, turtle necks, sleaves that wiggle. Or jewelry that moves.

My feet cramp up in all shoes except (thongs) slippers. I only put them on only for warmth or to go in a store etc..

I have a theory that I have more nerve endings than average.

#1. In middle school we did a test, using pins to learn about the distance of nerve endings in relation to different parts of the body. No matter where those pins tips touched I could feel it. I was the only kid who could feel every one no matter.

#2. In my twenties I was married to an accupuncturist, he did a lot of accupuncture on me for athsma and allergies etc. He could never slip a needle by me. There are many places people do not even feel them. He was always amazed that I always felt that thread like needle.

#3. When I had to get a root canal I had 4 roots in my molar that winded around like curly cues. They said people usually have 2 and they don't wind around like that. So they lost 4 drill tips in my gum.):

Well that's my nervy ramble!

neuroangel
03-26-04, 03:08 AM
Loud sounds and flashing lights usually startle me, or at least make me cringe. I can't wear choker necklaces or turtle necks at all. There are a lot of textures that I can't stand to touch, let alone clothe myself in. My clothes have to be loose, and I tear the tags out of most of my attire. Whenever the back of my head is touched, or my back is poked, I get really bad spasms throughout my entire back...it feels so weird.

Also, even some of those minute things stress me out; when I get stressed I tic more. :(

speedo
05-01-05, 11:08 PM
If I am somewhere that is visually and aurally "busy" I will overload very soon. Eventually I end up higly stressed, miserable and manic. It is predictable, and the same every time. Avoidance seems to be the only workaround. Medication seem to reduce it a bit, but not enough for me to really relax and not worry about dealing with it.

I'm not sensitive to touch that I can tell, but last month I suddenly realized that all of my clothes are cotton. I have no synthetics at all. (go figure). Synthetics feel slimy to me. Tags and seams do not bother me much.

For me, the worst is the hypersensitivity to sound. Most of which is caused by tinnitus. Loud, high pitched sounds hurt. Some sounds are annoying, and very loud or continuous "busy" sounds stress me.

Flashing lights are annoying, and will eventually stress me out over time.

Food textures are not much of a problem. Sensitivity to scent is infrequent for me, as is hypersensitivity to taste. It just does not happen often for me, and is not very stressful or unpleasant. Oddly, sensitivity to scent seems to trigger emotion more than stress (it is really infrequent). Sensitivity to taste is kind of neat, when it happens.

Glen

Lunacie
05-02-05, 06:30 PM
Golly, so much of this sounds like me. I'm hyper-sensitive to sound, to light, and texture, high and low temperature, temperature changes, barometric changes (migraines), used to be hyper-emotional, can't wear tight clothes especially around the neck and waist, can't wear heavy clothes or shoes that weigh more than a pound combined. Hyper-sensitive to smells, most perfume makes me feel physically ill.

More nerve endings than the average person... that sounds entirely possible.


As far as AS, I thought they were so hyper-sensitive that their brains have to block out every kind of stimulation to keep them from completely overloading and burning out.

speedo
09-16-05, 11:57 PM
(I realize this is an old post, but it seems relevant, so I thought I would respond to it)

Let me explain it like this:

I am always hypersensitive. ALWAYS. All sensory input create stress (some more than others), the stress leads to anxiety and the hypersensitivity gets worse. It does not just seem worse, it really gets worse. Environments that are sensorally "busy" seem to be worse than those which are "calm".

One sense will dominate, but all my senses are affected. I have unpleasant hypersensitivity to sound most of the time. As my stress levels rise due to continuing overload, it seems as though my sense of scent will often kick in, followed by visual and finally my sense of touch. At some point I become overloaded and things get a lot worse very rapidly.

I will often experience overload from visuals or touch with no intervening "stages". This means that one sense always dominates, and it is typically sound that dominates, but not always. Any of my senses can be dominant when I am overloaded. I don't think my other senses shut off altogether (I am honestly not sure) but I think they are diminished compared to the dominant sense at that time.

When I am fully overloaded, I am VERY aroused and in an agitated state, with a lot of anxiety. It is very unpleasant. Withdrawing to a controlled environment to recover is typically helpful.

Controlling/reducing stress and anxiety is also helpful. Also, learning to anticipate potentially stressful sensory events can reduce my tendency to startle and thus reduce stress and anxiety a little.

As I understand it (someone correct me if I am wrong), the current wisdom is that in autism there is more grey matter (processing area) and less white matter (connecting network) which means the brains connecting cirtcuits can be easily flodded and overwhelmed by the processing areas of the brain. In asperger's the opposite is true so the processing centers are overwhelmed due to being flooded by excessive input from too many "network "connections. The effects of the overload can be disorienting, startling and painful. In either case, the effect is the same..., sensory overload and discomfort.

Me :D




I haven't done any book-reading on sensory hyper-sensitivity, but it strikes me that those afflicted are generally over-aroused (including of course, myself) - in a state of permanent nervous tension, wherein we are irritable and easily startled.
In short, we're in a state of hyper-vigilance where the senses are acutely attuned to potential threats (as far as the primitive brain is concerned)- hence hearing and sight are most noticably affected, but all the senses are working overtime.

Jaycee
09-17-05, 11:25 PM
My son had a sleep study done this week and he is very tactile defensive. i warned the nurses but of course they didn't listen to me. When they went to clean him they used soft cotton gauze and were lightly stroking the cleaner over the surface. He tolerated for about 3 minutes and went form laughing like it tickled to screaming and kicking in the blink of an eye. I held him very tightly and he calmed.
While I was calming him I rexplained about his hypersensitivity and stressed that they had to touch him firmly at all times. They got him almost wired but he was still to sensitive the feel of the goo that they used to place electrodes. The whole night was a nightmare, because he pulled things off in his sleep and would wake up fighting. That was Thursday Night.
He was better yesterday after therapy but his system is still on overload. We went to a party where they had music playing the whole time today and he wanted to come home early. Since we only lived a couple of block away I brought him home. Within an hour he was going into my room, screaming at everyone to turn off tv's and be quiet. He closed all doors connecting halls between rooms (2 each way) and still was screaming at me because he could hear the tapping of my keyboard.

I assume that it was in part because he was rebounding off his meds, but also because with SID sensory stimulation can last hours longer than in other people. Did you know that someone who is tatctile defensive may feel a very soft touch like a bush to the arm hairs for up to 4 hours.

People who have SID can become very irritable and even violent on sensory overload. makes a person wonder how many people get mis diagnosed with bipolar or some such when it's really a sensory processing problem.

I'm going to check on the asperger's thing. I'd think that it'd be in the same strata as epilepsy if that were true rather that the autism/PDD spectrum.

speedo
09-17-05, 11:57 PM
Jaycee

Aspergser's syndrome is definitely in the autism spectrum. It is often called "high functinoing autism", but true high functioning autism is deciidedly not always asperger's syndrome.

"high functioning" is a label given to autistics who can talk, interract socially, and have a normal or higher IQ. It is not a diagnosis.

For this reason aspies are sometimes said to be high functioning.

I know what hypersensitivity to touch is like. it is not as bad as sound is for me. it is not painful... but it has been unpleasant for me a couple of times.

My guess is that your child went from laughing to screaming because the sensory load was at first stimulating, and eventually reached overwhelming proportions.
Overload is reached very quickly and It is really very, very unpleasant.

You might have tried dimming the lights, reduced the number of people in the room to a minimum, and doing away with visual and auditory scenes that are "busy" BEFORE an overload situation is created.

Once I am in overlaod it can take a long time to recover. It is a lot easier to avoid overload in the first place.

My opinion is that all the senses come into play in creating the overload, even though only one sense seems to cause discomfort.

One autistic stated that people with sensory problems become combative because they are in pain and are trying to protect their central nervous system from what seems like an assault. Believe me if, it hurts when someone touches you , you would be combative too, if they insisted on touching you all the time.

For myself, overload can sometimes make me feel like my skin is crawling. It becomes impossible to get comfortable and my clothes start to bother me. The sensaton lasts until I can recovere from the overload. This means removing myself from the "toxic" environmental setting that lead to the overload.


I hope all this info helps

Me :D


My son had a sleep study done this week and he is very tactile defensive. i warned the nurses but of course they didn't listen to me. When they went to clean him they used soft cotton gauze and were lightly stroking the cleaner over the surface. He tolerated for about 3 minutes and went form laughing like it tickled to screaming and kicking in the blink of an eye. I held him very tightly and he calmed.
While I was calming him I rexplained about his hypersensitivity and stressed that they had to touch him firmly at all times. They got him almost wired but he was still to sensitive the feel of the goo that they used to place electrodes. The whole night was a nightmare, because he pulled things off in his sleep and would wake up fighting. That was Thursday Night.
He was better yesterday after therapy but his system is still on overload. We went to a party where they had music playing the whole time today and he wanted to come home early. Since we only lived a couple of block away I brought him home. Within an hour he was going into my room, screaming at everyone to turn off tv's and be quiet. He closed all doors connecting halls between rooms (2 each way) and still was screaming at me because he could hear the tapping of my keyboard.

I assume that it was in part because he was rebounding off his meds, but also because with SID sensory stimulation can last hours longer than in other people. Did you know that someone who is tatctile defensive may feel a very soft touch like a bush to the arm hairs for up to 4 hours.

People who have SID can become very irritable and even violent on sensory overload. makes a person wonder how many people get mis diagnosed with bipolar or some such when it's really a sensory processing problem.

I'm going to check on the asperger's thing. I'd think that it'd be in the same strata as epilepsy if that were true rather that the autism/PDD spectrum.

INaBOX
12-03-05, 03:42 AM
No, I'm not even slightly sure - just repeating what I read.
Seems there's some overlap of AS and ADHD physical symptoms.
But the definitive differentiator would appear to be that the AS crowd regard themselves as geeks and nerds - not true of ADDers.
You should read about the skyrocketting rates of autistic spectrum disorders in silicon valley - spiritual home of the hardcore computer geek.
Well this is an interesting perspective. Not sure if I agree with it though but everyone is intitled to their opinions. I guess I'm not understanding the whole AS=geeks therory. lol

I do agree that AS and ADHD have some similar symptoms. But many AS have multiple diagnoses or symptoms that are commonly associated with AS (ie: SID, OCD; Hyperactivity). It's also common for ADHD to have other issues going on with them as well (ie: SID, depression..)

Swaying side to side while standing is not a sign of AS nor ADHD but it is common in individuals with these diagnoses. Just like if you're more hyperactive than the next person, it doesn't mean you have ADHD. It's just your make-up. There's too much emphases with labels sometimes. I kind of look at it like introvert vs. extrovert. Introvert doesn't mean anti-social, nor does extrovert mean hyperactive. It's just a character trait.

speedo
12-03-05, 04:00 AM
Labels are overrated. At the same time, these things have names and are defined by written diagnostic criteria, so the names help heep track of which is which. One runs into trouble using the names to describe things that are on the edge of the written diagnostic criteria. Sometimes it is just not that simple....

In any case, rocking is not exclusive to autism. I know ADDers who rock. I think it is largely a reflex... an instinctive mechanism for burning off stress.

Me :D