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Old 02-11-11, 07:04 PM
auroramyst auroramyst is offline
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Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting
In my travels around the internet, I have done random searches on things that I do, or that my son does just to see if all of those 'symptoms' will miraculously fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and reveal a diagnosis. What I have found is that a lot of things that I would not have thought were symptoms of ADD/ADHD probably are.

I have read on many site about different symptoms that I would not have fit together under one diagnosis, but looking over many people's entries in many different areas, they all have the same range of symptoms and that range seems to include the main ADD/ADHD symptoms of lack of focus, follow through, blah, blah, blah.

I am going to list some of these 'oddball' symptoms that I am now starting to associate with ADD/ADHD, and I am hoping you will let me know if any of you have the same type of symptoms (or whatever you want to call them - habits etc). I would think that its helpful to know if these are habits that can be used by researchers as clues to what part of the body/brain ADD/ADHD is affecting.

My son and I share most of the symptoms. We both have the usual ADD/ADHD symptoms which I am guessing most of us on the forum share.

But we also have sensitivity to textures. He has always rubbed a silky type label between his thumb and forefinger to put himslef to sleep. He rubs my hair and anyone else's hair he can get away with rubbing including his own. We both like soft clothes and any sort of seam on socks or pants can get very uncomfortable if they aren't turned just right. Any wrinkles in the bedsheets can be very annoying as well as wrinkles in the clothes I wear to bed. I have to use the same pillow every night or I cannot sleep well at all.

We are sensitive to light. We love bright light and cannot stand dim lights. In fact, dim light actually make me very annoyed and depressed. We also like light that is closer to sunlight than other colors.

We are sensitive to loud sounds and sudden sounds and we startle easily and get very annoyed when someone does it on purpose. I get easily annoyed by certain sounds, like chewing sounds, the dog drinking water, someone tapping on something or making clicking noises with their teeth etc. My sister and I used to make all types of little noises at each other in the back seat of the car just to annoy each other. For some reason, we each always wanted to be the last one to make whatever annoying noise we were doing and so it would go on and on.

My son make small noises constantly and seems to always have to be making some sort of noise. When he goes into the bathroom for any length of time, he sings to himself. When he flushes the toilet or washes his hands in the bathroom, he holds one hand over the ear that is closer to the noise. I have to wear earplugs at night because any noise, no matter how small, keeps me awake unless it is a constant, unchanging sound. I seem to have to have no noise at all, or have lots of things on at once like the TV, the computer, my iphone video games. Its like more noises all at once are easier to handle than just one main noise. My son and I are both extremely moved by certain musical sounds and can easily get emotional from them. Our moods can drastically change from the right peice of music or even a certain chord. Sometimes, I have to stop listening to certain music because it is almost overwhelming and I need a break.

We are also both extremely sensitive and intuitive. We get our feelings hurt very easily and often take things personally when we probably shouldn't.

We feel like its our responsibility to take care of everything that can't defend itself. My son does the same thing now that I did when I was little; he has about 50 stuffed animals on his little bed and he has to make sure they are all safe and covered up before he goes to sleep each night.

We both have a difficult time not given human emotions to inanimate objects. My mom told me a story once when I tried to explain this stuff to her (mom has ADD too but they did not know about it back then). My mom told me that when she was a teenager, she threw away a little napkin that she had been eating a peice of cake on. That napkin was lying on the edge of the trash can and she felt so awful for the poor napkin and wanted to go and pick it up and put it into her pocket so that it would not be left all alone on the trash can. Mom snuck back over and picked up the napkin and smoothed it out and put it into her pocket. Anyway, that sort of sums up the stress my son and I go through everyday. I know its easier for me now because I can try and rationalize myself out of it. But it is a bit exhausting sometimes.

Well, this all sounds so silly as I am writing it out, but its reality for me and my son and I guess my mom too :-) Oh yeah, my other big thing is I hate hair in the bathtub or shower. If I have to clean out the drain and there is hair in it, I am lucky of I don't throw up. Not sure why, but I thought I'd share ;-)

Anyone else have any of these types of habits or is my family just odd?

Last edited by Bluerose; 02-12-11 at 11:54 AM.. Reason: Inserting member’s edited post
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Old 02-11-11, 07:06 PM
auroramyst auroramyst is offline
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Lord!! You can tell by my posts that I have ADD. Well, at least I stayed focused enough to actually write it all out in one fell swoop! Sorry its so long!
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Old 02-11-11, 08:19 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by auroramyst View Post
Lord!! You can tell by my posts that I have ADD. Well, at least I stayed focused enough to actually write it all out in one fell swoop! Sorry its so long!
I can't possibly read that large block of text. Is it too late for you to use the edit button to break it into smaller paragraphs? If so, you could always quote yourself and edit it inside the quote. That would be helpful.
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Old 02-11-11, 08:25 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Hello & welcome to the forums.I can relate to your need for bright light especially sunlight.I seem to crave the sunlight & tend to get very irritable when lights are dim inside.I am also very sensitive to textures.I love soft,cushiony things.I never really thought of these things as related to ADD but I suppose anything is possible.

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Old 02-11-11, 08:42 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by auroramyst View Post
I am just trying to figure out how to edit it. Sorry its rambling...
Rambling is fine with me - as long as there are paragraphs that aren't more than 4 or 5 sentences long. It's the big blocks of text (we call them "wall-o-text" around here) that make my eyes go wonky and my brain stop dead.

Do you know anything about Sensory Processing Disorder? Some have sensitivity to loud noise, some to strong smells, some to certain tastes or textures in food, some to the feel of being touched or of tags in clothing or different fabrics, some to bright or flashing light. And some, like me, seem very sensitive to all sensory input. This is the first time I've heard someone mention dim light rather than bright light.
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Old 02-11-11, 09:25 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

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Old 02-11-11, 10:35 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Thought I'd throw these out there:

Hyperacusis

Misophonia


Misophonia Activation Scale

And yeah, I have some sensory sensitivities:

I am sensitive to bright lights - I don't go outside or even into most businesses without sunglasses on. Fluorescent lights are just painful as compared to incandescent, as well.

I can't stand noises. Like someone talking at a normal volume near me is not just distracting but also occasionally painful. This is actually variable from day to day, too.

I also have a lot of trouble with soft sounds like chewing and slurping and other noises people make with their mouths and noses. It drives me nuts to hear people coughing or sniffling or whatever. To deal with my noise issues in general, I run fans in my bedroom to generate a kind of white noise-ish effect that drowns out many things (except the loudest noises).

Perfume, cologne, and cigarette smoke practically shut down my breathing. I choke on these things and look for fresh air asap. I tend to get frustrated and lose my composure when this happens, too. I also can't stand the cleaning aisle in grocery stores. The smell is like a wall.

Clothing tags actually bite me, or so it feels like. I've been grateful that my new clothes lately don't actually have tags (although I'd just cut them out, so it doesn't matter). Soft touches are really annoying, and if I've been getting a lot of sensory problems from other senses, it can get so that they're actually painful (this doesn't happen often, thankfully).

Actually, all my senses become more sensitive if I've been overstimulated - sometimes it's enough that even the dim lamp in my bedroom hurts my eyes.

I also have issues with people moving around near me, such that it drives up my stress and frustration level. And I also find that pressure helps ease some of my anxiety/stress from sensory problems.

I don't know, that may be a bit much for someone's welcome thread. . I've known I had sensory problems for a long time (I especially remember cigarette smoke being a significant problem when I was very young) and I never really thought of them as exceptionally bad until I finally talked to my therapist, and she suggested they might actually be severe. Apparently, most people don't get severely stressed by sound, light, and other people while trying to shop, sometimes to the point of simply leaving the store in utter frustration and anger without buying anything. Who knew?

But yeah, I have sensory issues too. I think it's pretty common with ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders.
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Old 02-11-11, 10:48 PM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

Also, I've experienced and heard others describe misophonia-like reactions to other sensory input (like vision or smell). Like someone twitching their foot right out of the corner of my eye is about as frustrating and annoying as someone chewing nearby.
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Old 02-12-11, 11:56 AM
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Re: Sensitivity to texture, noise, dim lighting

auroramyst thank you for editing your post and reposting it. This is a topic I'm very interested in.

Ah yes, the wrinkled bedsheets - I can't sleep when my sheets are wrinkled either. Or if something sticks to the bottom of my foot and falls off at the bottom of the sheets. Used to drive my ex crazy because I'd have to get up, pull off the blanket and top sheet and brush off the bottom sheet and pull it smooth, then put the top sheet and blanket back before I could have a chance of getting to sleep (only to be wakened several times by hubby's snoring as I believe he had sleep apnea).

I've driven my whole family crazy by complaining of noises all my life, or if I don't complain then I get so wound up that I explode. Most recent examples would be having one granddaughter turn on the tv in the living room to my left, sit on the sofa with the laptop on (using earphones) and sing along with some video, meanwhile the other granddaughter is on the computer in mom's bedroom to my right listening to something else and singing along or playing one of those games that repeats the same nasty little tune endlessly ~ until I just want to scream at all the different sounds that are bombarding me from all directions.

But it takes time for that annoyance to build up. What sets me off instantly is when someone drives past our house with the bass on their stereo turned up going boom boom boom boom boom - or when they have a loud muffler and I can hear them revving as they back out into the street, then stop at each corner and rev the engine again pulling onto the next street - each damn corner, stop sign and stop light for a mile I can hear it. Arrrgghhhhh!!! Those make me want to pick up something and pound on something else to release the tension that these sounds cause instantly inside my body and brain.

I can't stand to be around anyone who chews ice - gum is a close second. Especially spearmint gum which falls into the scents category as well. I've had to ask my granddaughter not to chew any gum in the house as it makes me feel very sick. Even if she's chewing in her room with the door closed the smell hits me like a brick when I walk past her room to go to the bathroom or my bedroom.

I have some nice cloth masks that block some scents which I have to wear if I'm going to most offices these days as they all tend to have scented candles burning or those electric air fresheners plugged in. The doctor's office that my grandchildren goes to has those going all the time and it's like walking into a wall of smell physically for me. The only way I can take my grandkids to the doctor so their mother can go to work is if we call them and ask them not to plug in the air freshener and we arrive as soon as they open. Even then I wear the mask and hold a cup of coffee in front of me to filter the smells (as long as it's not french vanilla - vanilla also makes me sick).

Back to the noise - I can run a vacumn cleaner myself, but if someone else turns one on I run out of the room/building. I wear soft silicone earplugs when I go to the store, and I very rarely go to the really big stores where the lights and noise are just completely overwhelming to me. And all the people moving in completely unpredictable directions, sheer torture.

With clothing, some tags I can stand, some I cannot. I only wear cotton, generally jeans and t-shirt type tops. I can't stand the feel of polyester, or sweaters or shirts with sparkle threads or beads sewn on, it has to be plain and smooth. Can't stand high necklines, I feel like I'm literally choking. I love wearing moccasins and crocs, narrow shoes with pointy toes do not ever go on my feet. For years I thought that was because of the shape of my foot, but now I know that only part of it, the rest is Sensory Processing Disorder.


So yeah, you've found some people here who understand what you and your son are experiencing. Do a web search for Sensory Processing Disorder or Sensory Integration Disorder.
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