The “Don’t Touch Me” Syndrome #sensorydefensive
February 5, 2014
I have many clients who say their partners no longer have any interest in sexuality or intimacy. This may be the reason. If you go through times when you feel even a light touch hurts, bright light bothers you, a strong smell will give you a headache, you may be on the outer scale of Adult Autism called Sensory Defensive. I can speak from years of battling those feelings, this is a common disease that not many doctors even know much about. If you have talked to an occupational therapist, almost all of them have heard of, especially in children. I have had some young clients who won’t eat many foods because of the texture or feel in the their mouths. They tend to sequester themselves from people and be the readers in the family. They enjoy being by themselves because it is near no one they feel safest from touch, smell, and even taste.
Most people don’t even consider the possibility that what they feel on this spectrum is worth checking into. They simply chalk up their feelings to getting older, losing interest, or simply sensitivity. However, all of the above can be dealt with and you can actually return to a life of intimacy and closeness with the ones you love.
Sensory Defensiveness is a rather simple disorder. Your neural pathways are just firing too quickly, which increases your sensitivity sometimes about 75% more than most. I recently noticed my sister’s two children’s behavior during a vacation to her home. One is quiet, likes to read, and has a great intolerance for most food. The other child will eat just about anything and he would tackle you night and day if you would let him. The two children are close in age, came from the same mother and father, and actually have had the same stimuli in their lives. Yet, each are completely opposite in disposition. I believe this is as a result of Sensory Defensiveness.
In adults the patterns start to worsen, especially when smells turn to migraines and a repulsion for certain foods could keep you from eating around specific people. You would think it’s just me—I’m peculiar like that. But, honestly, you are not. You simply need a little more attention than most, especially from yourself. You should begin therapy by understanding more about your disease. Read the book by Sharon Heller, “Too Loud, Too Bright…” and see if you fall with the adult autistic spectrum. I was shocked that I did. I finally began to understand why something as simple as a day out shopping or antiquing could level me by midday. I could be out at a bar enjoying myself with friends, and suddenly, I would feel as if the energy drained right out of my feet. I would want to go to sleep immediately. Food would often have to be returned to the kitchen at restaurants. And the most important aspect to understand is protecting yourself from smells and bright lights that could give you five migraines a week.
Where I noticed the most difference is in the intimacy department. Now that I understand my limitations and when I’m feelings particularly sensitive, I actually can be completely honest with the people around me. If I can’t be touched, that is okay for that evening. Typically, this kind of problem happens less and less as your body becomes more secure and less anxious about your surroundings. The more you share with your loved ones your problem, the better you feel about keeping yourself safe, which adds up to being less anxious. Sensory Defensiveness is a real disorder. Discovering you have it and dealing with it can change your life completely.
For more information, you can book a session with me and we can discuss ways of dealing with your severe sensitivity to almost anything.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.
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