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smooch 10-02-03 04:59 PM

ADHD and Hypersensitivity (for the 2nd time)
ADHD and Hypersensitivity

There is an article from under the section "ADD Treatment" entitled, "Having ADD and Being Hypersensitive: Is There A Connection?" by Mary Jane Johnson.

Here are some excerpts:

Throughout my life there have been numerous "little" things that have agitated me, but didn't seem to bother anyone else. I am uncomfortable wearing clothing that has elastic at the wrist or waist, or tags in the neck. I wear watches with a loose bracelet bands.

There are countless foods that I avoid because of their texture, rather than how they taste. For example, I love tomato sauce on spaghetti, etc., but just cannot abide eating a raw tomato. A number of fruits are also out because of their peculiar textures. I will eat a raw apple, but cringe at the thought of eating a baked apple. Going out to eat can be bothersome because I need to know what is in everything before I can eat it. I prefer to go restaurants that serve plain homecooked style food, rather than take a chance at some of the fancier restaurants that offer exotic dishes with unknown or unpronounceable names and ingredients. My stomach is sensitive and reacts to unusual or spicy foods, as well as to stress....

My ears are also hypersensitive and loud, or high-pitched sounds leave my ears ringing. I keep the volume on the radio and TV turned way down (which bothers everyone else in the house because they cannot hear it). If I hear an unusual sound (usually no one else hears it) I cannot focus anything else until I find the source of the sound. Once that is established I can return to what I was doing.

The author conducted a non-scientific poll of ADDers at a conference to find out if others experienced the same thing.

I've noticed in a few threads in this section and in the Women with ADHD section that the subject of our hypersensitivity to certain stimuli (emotional or sensory) has been mentioned.

Just wanted to mention an interesting article on this subject. Feel free to read the article, comment on it (or not), and participate in the poll (or not), assuming I can figure out how to set up a poll.

Personally, I have always been sensitive to loud, startling sounds, but also people who talk loudly (there are a LOT of attorneys around here who do that). Funny thing is, I absolutely love being close to the stage at a good, loud rock concert, and I'm always jamming in my car or at my house when I get the music mood.... There are foods with certain textures (coconut, for example) that I just cannot tolerate....

What do y'all think?

Wheel1975 10-03-03 12:37 AM

I mostly like th eTV and radio down very low, but turn it way up sometimes, usually for just art of a song. I can't really stand it up that loud for a whole song most times.

Keppig 10-03-03 07:22 AM

I'm sensitive to everything! I mean it. I'm easy to startle. Movie theaters are too loud, At work the telephone makes me jump and I can feel the chair through my clothes. I have no tags in my clothes, I don't eat eggs and eggplants because of texture. Don't I sound terrible?!

Wheel1975 10-03-03 09:09 AM

No. you don't sound terrible.

You sound too wired direct.

I think that happens in ADHD too.

Andrew 10-03-03 09:19 AM


Originally posted by Keppig
I'm sensitive to everything! I mean it. I'm easy to startle. Movie theaters are too loud, At work the telephone makes me jump and I can feel the chair through my clothes. I have no tags in my clothes, I don't eat eggs and eggplants because of texture. Don't I sound terrible?!
My daughter can't stand loud the point that she'll cover her ears, and even cry. She hates tags, only certain clothes "feel right", she will only eat certain foods, though we haven't yet determined if its a texture thing, or if its just a "kid" thing.

and...pssst...she hasn't been diagnosed with anything (yet). I suspect she's inherited some stuff from Dad (and maybe Mom), but we haven't gone to get diagnosed yet.

No, you dont sound terrible at all.

Andrew 10-03-03 09:32 AM

If you're interested in the relationship between Hypersensitivity and ADD, check out this Hypersensitivity Survey

smooch 10-03-03 09:42 AM

Kassie! NO!! You don't sound terrible! You sound NORMAL to me! :D

Kelly 10-10-03 07:01 AM

Hmm -

I have a hard time getting comfortable, like when I'm layin in bed. I can't snuggle with my husband because I get physically uncomfy so easily. Think this is hypersensitivity?

My husband DEFINITELY is hypersensitive to food. He won't try veggies or anything with a weird texture.

Sc@tterBr@in_UK 10-10-03 08:13 AM

For me it's loud noises and food textures - I'm still pretty much a veggie because I struggled to swallow food with unexpected "bits" in (like hard/tough bits in meat) all my life. I declared myself a veggie eventually because I was fed up with trying to explain to people and having them laugh at me - I'm working on overcoming that fear though as I'm trying to follow the blood group diet to help with concentration, energy etc.

I've always been scared of fireworks and pressure cookers, and it took me years to start frying food because I was scared stiff of the sizzling noise!

As a kid I always had to have my neck covered because I couldn't stand the feel of air against my neck (LOL or too many vampire films :p )

joanrdtobe 10-10-03 01:35 PM

I also do not like loud music for long periods of time.....and I'm very sensitive to the way clothes feel on me.....If it's itchy? Forget it.....I used to HATE petticoats when I was a little girl....

And if my socks are cutting my legs forget it.....but I MUST wear socks....I can't stand the "shoe only" feeling....

and hats, winter hats, the way they feel on my head, used to drive me nuts....

Bathing suits that tie around my neck, yuck....

I am very sensitive to the way OTHER people chew their food (yup, call me nuts)....

Gum cracking drives me nuts....

Other people blowing their noses....sometimes can make me uncomfortable.....

On and on an airplace, I HATE it when the person directly in back of me keeps kicking my chair....OR when the person in front of me puts his chair WAY back....

Sc@tterBr@in_UK 12-03-03 04:15 AM

Yeah actually not just itchy stuff but things like Arcrylic and so on make my skin crawl. As a kid I had this thing where I couldn't help myself biting the fabric of my jumpers (especially when they were the kind of icky material that squeaked between your teeth) even though I couldn't stand the feeling of that - weird or what?

And Joan - believe me NOBODY likes chairs being kicked behind or in front of you, it's one of those things like screeching chalk on a blackboard, dentist's drills and pneumatic drills that annoy most people as opposed to only us weird lot :D

andreaa000 12-03-03 05:57 PM

I have a cotton ball phobia. They squeak. I refuse to touch them. Just thinking of them makes my face pucker up. I also have to smell everything. I used to drive my mother crazy when I was younger because I would only use a towel once because after that it didn't smell "fresh" anymore. I'm 34 now and still smell everything but I don't make a big deal about stuff. Did you know that the sticky side of scotch tape (only certain brands) smells like pineapple? My friends get a kick out of me because anytime there is a scent in the air, I can usually identify it or at least identify what it smells like.

Is anyone else really good at guessing voices? Like when you hear a commercial with just a voice or watch an animated film. I can always guess the celebrities voice. But I usually can't remember their name. I have to say "you know that actor that was in that movie with that other guy and they were twins and one was short and one was tall?" I'm HORRIBLE with names. It's getting worse as I get older. It's probably the most embarassing thing about my ADD. All of the other stuff I can just wing it.

By the way, this is my first post and I forgot to introduce myself (too impatient for the whole introduction thing). I'm a 34 year old female. I live in California. I suspected ADD about 2 years ago and read books and then sort of forgot about it (duh!). I started meds about 2 months ago and I feel productive and useful. I always felt like I was fooling everyone at work and one day they would escort me off of the property for being a "fraud". Or I would be fired for surfing the net too much. That actually might still happen, so I better get back to work. BYE!!!


Sc@tterBr@in_UK 12-04-03 04:21 AM


Originally posted by andreaa000
I always felt like I was fooling everyone at work and one day they would escort me off of the property for being a "fraud". Or I would be fired for surfing the net too much.
Wow that sounds spookily familiar!!! Same name and everything as well :eek:

Anyway yeah I hear ye on the cotton balls *shudder*.

I'm quite good with voices too (Jack Davenport, the guy who played the Commodore in Pirates of the Carribean, does a lot of commercials at the moment [he also is in the original version of "Coupling" which by the way is hilarious, unlike the US version] and it does my head in because I hear his voice everywhere!) in fact unless it's a really famous actor or actress I only recognise them by that, since I have a problem recognising people visually if they're not where I expect them to be (for example when meeting someone from work in town then I don't recognise them usually).

And rubbish with names, too. I'm chuffed I remembered Jack Davenport's name but it did take me a fair few months of ranting about how great "Coupling" is and how much I liked "Pirates" to get it right :D

Salsa 12-08-03 03:42 PM

I'm super sensitive to things. Sound, smell, taste, food textures. My mother told me that I'm the only baby she's ever known who wouldn't eat mashed potatoes. (They make me gag trying to swallow them). It isn't the taste. It's the texture.

Smell is a biggee too. My parents both smoke and I can't stand to be closed up in their house because the odor really gets to me. My dad will light up 4 rooms away and I'll smell it instantly. I'm just so sensitive to certain odors. It's gotten to where I don't go and visit them for Christmas anymore. (The house is too closed up). I stick to summertime because we all go outdoors and I can breath fresh air. AHHHHH. This can be a curse, but then other times, I have smelled odors in my kitchen (that nobody else smelled) and called the gas company. The gas company has picked up small leaks of gas in my pipes that their equipment barely even sensed.

As for sound, I hear things others don't. People think I am hearing things, but then eventually they hear what I hear too. (e.g. I'll hear a train coming before others will. I'll hear a cat meowing because it's trapped in a closet when no-one else will). Also, I have close to perfect pitch (in music). I play music by ear. (I've taught myself). I can hear little things in music like a 7th or a suspension. (like hearing the difference between: D, Dsus, Dsus7, D add E, etc). Maybe that's partly experience, but I think it is sound sensitivity as well.

In the area of taste, I am a terribly picky eater. (Gee, I wonder why). ;) Again, smell enters into this. The odor of green beans makes me gag. (Big time, too). When I was in elementary school, there was a rule at that time that the students had to eat half of every serving on their plate. My mother went in and talked with the school explaining my problem with green beans. I can recall waiting in line and hearing the women in line getting ready to serve my meal. They'd say, "Oh get ready. Here comes 'the green-bean-girl.' " My mom really did stick up for me on this one. :)

I always thought I was just spoiled or weird (or something). People in my family would tell me that I was exaggerating these things. (Those rolled eyeballs, as if to say "what you're telling me can't possibly be true.") It was so comforting to read that these phenomenas were indeed common with many neurological disorders. Some of these are also seen in Bipolar Disorder, Epilepsy and Autism-- especially the sound. My daughter, who is autistic, covers her ears quite often. My guess is that she is hypersensitive to sounds-- and then gets over-stimulated. One of my medications, Tegretol, can also have the side effect of causing extreme sensitivity to sound/s (AKA "Hyperacusis").


FlakeyGirl 12-08-03 05:16 PM

Touching the edge of something plastic with wet hands. YOW! I just got the creeps thinking about the sensation. My kids are big enough to wash the plastic dishes, thank heaven.

To fall asleep, I MUST have the following things: proper temperature 66-72 degrees and a fan for ventilation. (If I try to sleep w/o a fan, I feel like I'm suffocating.) proper clothing, I cannot wear a gown, they get all twisted up. Pajamas are best, something lightweight and smooth, but not silky, which covers up my arms and legs, not too tight and not too loose, but snug, like long johns. The covers must not be to heavy or too light and they must be straight. If they go crooked in the night, I WILL wake up. The mattress must be firm. If I am visiting someone overnight and the mattress is soft, I will mess up the covers like I slept there and opt for the floor. I take my own pillow, too. Sheets & blankets have to smell like tide and bounce. My mom calls me Princess and the Pea, LOL.

Foods don't bother me too much at all, in fact, I like trying new things to eat.

I do not think I am Clausterphoobic (sp?), but I am very nervous about bridges and tunnels. I *know* that they are engineered and all, but I still get nervous and hold my breath. Also heights are a biggie, but only if I think about it. My parents took me to the top of the Sears tower when I was about 3 or 4 and were like "look, lean against the glass, its fun!" I was horrified and lied down prostrate in the middle of the floor away from the windows. I think I would probably do the same thing now, but nobody can make me go up there again, I'm grown! I do LOVE roller coasters and ski lifts, though. That's weird. Maybe it is just the more vertical heights, now that I think about it.

About the hearing, I can pick up really high pitches, I don't know where the sounds come from. I used to pretend I was the Bionic Woman.

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