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Old 10-22-10, 09:17 PM
jd-adhd jd-adhd is offline
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Extremely over Sensitive

Hello;

I was dx'ed with add / adhd when young, around middle school. I think it has affected me my whole life. I've also had additional dx of depression, executive dysfunction, anxiety disorders, and a rheumtological illness.

I am wondering if anyone can related to being extremely over sensitive to things people say to you. I've been this way my whole life and it causes a lot of emotional distress for me all of the time.

I tend to take things very personally that people say to me, even when I really don't think they meant it that way. Then I have a really hard time letting go of it. I often take offense / am sensitive to comments that I think are overly critical of me.

I can even get really anxious and upset (sensitive to) even if someone I don't know like in a store questions me, say questions me for something simple, like asking to see your receipt, I know it isn't really personal, but I still get hit emotionally and feel like they are questioning my integrity and it is a huge attack on me.

I don't know how much of this being overly sensitive is related to add and how much is related to other disorders that I am afflicted with.

I tend to withdraw socially and avoid as much as possible, minimizing contact with people that I know might upset me, which is just about everyone.

I do fairly well online, but sometimes still have problems, especially when the rules of interaction or the "social contract" seems vague or is otherwise difficult for me to understand.

I just realized what a big problem this is for me. It is hard for me to even make phone calls.

Like I had to call and make a dr appointment today so I could get a refill. The dr was exceptionally busy and could not make an appt until about 2 week after I needed a refill. So I talked to a nurse I never spoke with before. I explained the situation, they said I could get a refill and it would be okay. Then the lady starts say, but if you miss this appointment then... I'm like why is this lady attacking me. I've had at least 100 appointments with this medical group and I don't even know of a single time I have missed an appointment. I just felt like she was getting all defensive with me for absolutely no reason at all.

I just never understand at all why with giving them no reason at all, people will basically just assume your going to do something wrong. It's like in school them saying, well if you do your homework and get a good grade you will have a nice life, but if you don't, your going to fail and become a bum and no one will love you and you will die a miserable lonely soul on the street. They don't say that to you in school, at least never when I was in school. But I feel like people will be critical and negative to you with no reason, it's not even like someone just saying here are the rules. It is like someone saying here are all the bad things that we are going to do to you and they act like your going to do something to deserve that treatment. I guess I feel threatened a lot, I feel like I am constantly being told do this, don't do this and this and this is going to happen to you.

I don't know if anyone can related to this at all or even if this is really related to my add dx or not, but I thought I would give it a shot. When you have a lot of different dx going on it is hard to know where to turn for support or what is because of what.

J
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Old 10-22-10, 09:22 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

I think this is part of how my ADHD manifests itself.

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Old 10-22-10, 09:23 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

When you have ADD, NLD or other learning disabilities or neurological conditions,you are always criticized,and as a result,get sensitive to criticism and often take little comments to heart. Other people think nothing of it, but people with ADD and othe neurological conditions are very sensitive.
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Old 10-22-10, 09:27 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

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Originally Posted by Princess Moon View Post
When you have ADD, NLD or other learning disabilities or neurological conditions,you are always criticized,and as a result,get sensitive to criticism and often take little comments to heart. Other people think nothing of it, but people with ADD and othe neurological conditions are very sensitive.
How do you cope with this so it does not consume your life and turn you into an anxious (nut) person like I am.

J
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Old 10-22-10, 09:47 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

I relate, but I know it's irrational. I can tell the difference between someone who is being intentionally critical, someone being careless, and someone who isn't criticizing anything at all, and even though I can take any three of those people's words personally and be hurt by them, I know it shouldn't affect me that badly. Even if someone is being intentionally critical, most people do this out of frustration or if they're being bullies. Their issues are not my issues.

Anyway, I've been working on my sensitivity for years. I still cry over it. I still withdraw sometimes because of it, but in the moment if I don't overthink it and stick to my rational outline of an appropriate reaction to what's being said, one that's practical and realistic, I can usually get by ok.

Just a little trick with critical people like that nurse. Kill it with kindness. Some people think this is cowardly, but it's very affective for me and I don't think I have to engage with every single person that sends bad vibes my way. Like, if you'd never missed an appointment and you thought she sounded snooty about it, you could have just been like, "Thanks, I definitely won't miss it." In a non-sarcastic way. That way you've disarmed her because you didn't get defensive, so she doesn't have to get defensive, and nothing needs to escalate.

If someone's being totally outrageously critical, kindly aiding them in whatever they're trying to do (in work situations for example) will usually make them feel like jerks. This isn't my goal when I do this, but it tends to humbles them.
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Old 10-22-10, 10:28 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

I either respond with kindness or ignore it. Doesn't always work but I just think if it's going to happen a lot I shouldn't let it get to me.
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Old 10-22-10, 11:09 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

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Originally Posted by Mocodity View Post
I can tell the difference between someone who is being intentionally critical, someone being careless, and someone who isn't criticizing anything at all.
I wish I was able to say that I really could tell the difference, but many times I am not. I have a very hard time knowing when people are making a joke or being serious. I have a lot of trouble telling if they are just doing their job and doing what they are suppose to do for everyone or if they are treating me differently for some reason.

I'll try the being extra kind thing again, I know I did that for a while in the past and I remember it worked well at times.

Then about a year ago, I had an incident with a person I helped out as a volunteer. This whole thing was really hard on me, nothing worked with the person, being kind, being helpful, they just kept bullying me and taking advantage of me. I think that they never even felt like a jerk even when I killed them with kindness. They were clearly taking huge advantage of me and every time I was kind / nice (in an attempt to calm them and resolve the situation) to them I felt like I was giving in more. They kept demanding more and more of me and even threatened me (to try and get me to do more free volunteer work for them), never giving up and never stopping the criticism. I caught them stealing photographs I took and they used them for commercial promotion of their business. I informed them that they were facing civil and potential criminal action for copyright infringement, I said never contact me again or the next letter I mail is going to be to file a suit in federal court. I never heard from them again.

That incident of bullying from that person has just haunted me in my mind for the last year, even though it's been over for almost a year. It was someone I had previously trusted and had a lot of respect for. I don't know if I just misread their intentions or what happened. I just can't understand why it all happened and still feel pretty horrible about it all.

J
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Old 10-23-10, 01:22 AM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

If you can't tell, assume everyone isn't being critical on purpose and they're either just grumpy or careless with their words. You'll react the same as always, but if you instantly challenge the feelings with positive rational reinforcement, it can help you tackle the situation better.

And yeah, some people are total creeps. I've known a few hardcore bullies at the workplace and yeah, I tried everything and I still got bullied. I hated feeling crappy at work. Luckily, the worst one of all got knocked up and had to move. She was pretty awful and picked on me exclusively. Most people are not that bad.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:00 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

jd-adhd: I am SOOO thankful you posted this! You just described me. It feels so good to know that I am not the only person like this. My problem is that I react with anger. It is impulsive anger that I regret later. I have good intentions and cannot believe that people would think I don't. Even though I realize they are just doing their jobs, I still feel slighted somehow.
I cannot take criticism at a job. I am always very good at what I do so when someone needs to even bring a small mistake to my attention I get angry and I am ready to quit (and sometimes have right on the spot!) How dare they accuse me of being a bad employee (even though they totally are not saying that).
I do not want to be like this. It is maddening!
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Old 10-23-10, 11:26 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

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Originally Posted by Mocodity View Post
Most people are not that bad.
Yea, I have to agree over all that most are not that bad. But the bad ones do kind of scar me and I find them very difficult to heal from.

J
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Old 10-23-10, 11:57 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

20% of all people are highly sensitive, according to http://www.hsperson.com/
you might want to look into this
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Old 10-24-10, 11:35 AM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

yes ; at the same time being sensitive in general, can have its advantages. I refuse to feel "stupid" about these reactions. And really a lot of the time, the other person is cross about something that just happened, has a weird tone of voice any, etc. (I mean people in stores, on the phone etc. )

the worst is when you relate some incident like this and the other person says "oh, you're just being oversensitive". umm, thanks...
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Old 10-25-10, 01:17 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

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Originally Posted by mechnik View Post
20% of all people are highly sensitive, according to http://www.hsperson.com/
you might want to look into this
Thank you. There is a lot of very interesting information on that site. I had no idea that this type of problem affected so many people. I would have assumed it was quite rare and would have defiantly though it was primarily limited to though with some type of frontal lobe dysfunction.

Jamie
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Old 10-25-10, 01:23 PM
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Re: Extremely over Sensitive

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeGirl02 View Post
jd-adhd: I am SOOO thankful you posted this! You just described me. It feels so good to know that I am not the only person like this. My problem is that I react with anger. It is impulsive anger that I regret later. I have good intentions and cannot believe that people would think I don't. Even though I realize they are just doing their jobs, I still feel slighted somehow.
I cannot take criticism at a job. I am always very good at what I do so when someone needs to even bring a small mistake to my attention I get angry and I am ready to quit (and sometimes have right on the spot!) How dare they accuse me of being a bad employee (even though they totally are not saying that).
I do not want to be like this. It is maddening!
Thanks for posting. It is good to know that I am not alone in this. I did react with anger for years, and still do at times. Though I think dexidrine does help with that a lot. It is easier to get angry when I take any anti-depressants, I am currently on wellbutrin, as I feel I need it, but it defiantly makes it harder not to get angry in these situations than if I was just on dexidrine.

Over the years, I've broken many expensive things (pretty much all my own things) when I have been hurt.

In one of my businesses, I provided technical support for people, they would sometimes get very frustrated when a problem was complex and at times would say something very rude and slam the phone down on me. On impulse out of anger, I smashed a number of expensive office phones when people did that to me. I've smashed a number of cell phone, thrown them out the window off a bridge, etc, because of things people said to me over the phone.

When it got that bad, I knew I could not handle the working situation I was in any longer and had to make changes or I was going to be throwing myself off the bridge.

Most of that was 5+ years ago and the anger issues are much better today. But I lead a much different life, where I am very insulated / isolated from most situations that could upset me to that extent. Not a great was to cope, but it is better than the alternative.

J
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