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You've articulated exactly what my life is like. I've said before that I have adult SID and it is so hard to live with sometimes that I do think I'm losing it. I have to tell you though, when my kids were little I didn't mind them touching me at all either. But now that they're grown up and huge (at least my son), it drives me BONKERS when he leans in for a hug. It's like I'm being enveloped by some creepy guy. It doesn't FEEL like my kid and I can't seem to get by that.

I have the same sleep issues and I do the same thing about working very late at night when the house is silent and I can think. Otherwise, I get nothing done. The noise of my daily life is enough to make me want to run screaming off to the desert.

One more thing. I can't STAND my Ipod. The ear buds drive me bananas. The noise is too concentrated. I just hate the damn thing. Isn't that depressing?

Margalit - I can't stand an ipod either. Can't handle the combination of touch and noise right in my ear. Sad huh, cos I would really love to have one.

Weird...I mean...so weird. Not you. It's just odd how I can see in my life where I do have behaviors that might fall under this. I can't STAND seams in socks. They drive me crazy. A little innocuous seam feels like a giant...I don't know, something. It just cuts into my toes. Also true for shirt tags. Also, I hated it when my mother brushed my hair as a child and I am still not very comfortable having it done when I am getting a haircut. My sons like my hair, they like to feel it when they are tired. Unfortunately I HATE when they do it. When the little one does it especially it feels like he is pulling every individual hair in my head. It makes me sad that I have to deny them that bit of comfort but it really drives me crazy, and I'd rather tell them no straight away than get bothered and yell at them. And I have had that sensory overload kind of feeling, like when everyone is talking and it feels like I just can't hear another sound, or that I can feel every little thing that my body is touching - it is worse when I am scared, or stressed, or feel vulnerable.

But I never felt like it impacted my life or was a problem. It never occured to me that those things were really THAT bad. I suspect I may have some of these kinds of tendencies but not to an extent where I actually have SID/SPD. My husband's touch has never bothered me, and I guess other people touch me so infrequently I don't really have any idea how it would feel. I've never been a hugger, but I've never really avoided it either. Still, this has made me realize two things:
1. It's funny what parts of your life could actually possibly Mean Something.
2. If people with SID/SPD feel like this all the time or worse than I have felt, I really sympathize.

Hm...I am afraid of flying insects and birds. The sound of buzzing or (with birds) wings rubbing bothers me. I realized I was afraid of birds flying near me only a couple of years ago when my mother's pet bird was flying around my head and I freaked out. I had this impulse to protect my ears, which is one of the same reactions I have when there is a bee or a beetle near me. I wonder what kind of crazy that is?

Mare - Me too on the birds / bees thing! I go crazy if anything buzzes near my head! I always thought it was because I was scared of the bugs flying into my ear (???) or the bird getting stuck in my hair, but perhaps it is a bit of a sensory thing?

My family tease me cos i can "feel" the electricity in a room" i cant stand a computer in a bedroom and most times i will switch off the tv or radio from the wall to stop the "electricity" it actually sometimes makes me want to throw up and they all think its hilarious!!!
i think my son suffers from it too but im not sure

This was a truly impressive post! Tertia, thank you for making me understand something and putting myself into someone else's shoes. It's so difficult to understand somebody else's issues when you don't have them. I feel like a hardened, insensitive bulk of rock because I'm not bothered by all this stuff that bothers you. Okay, I don't like to be touched by strangers but all the rest couldn't bother me less.

(I'm just the opposite, I can concentrate while my children watch TV, fight, the pasta is boiling and the laundry needs to be folded. Sometimes it angers my poor husband that once I concentrate on something, nothing will disturb me. I will talk to him like a zombie, giving all the right answers without ever remembering what I said because my mind is totally elsewhere.)

And you managed by magic, by your impressive and graphic descriptions, to make me understand what, don't be insulted!, I could not understand before.

I think you just did a great service to all your fellow "sufferers" who can simply print out your post and shove it into the faces of their empathy-less surroundings.

And you know something? You don't sound crazy at all, just the opposite. You sound like a very sane person knowing exactly what stresses her out.

So if you want to impress us with real crazy stuff, try harder ;-) because you sound completely sane. You wrote this one SO well!!!!

Lila said what I was going to say - only better. I do not suffer from any of the things you do and am much like Lila, so well done for making me more aware. :-)


Oo - looking forward to coping with midlife crisis... did you get my email update bff?

While I agree that it can be affirming to have an official explanation for things like this, why do we need it to be a "disorder" to justify that it stresses us out? Why can't we just accept and RESPECT our own and other peoples "quirks" as part of being human?

I still stay away from labels in my world, though I've definitely realized I cope better with a certain amount of chemical assistance.

The way I am shares some similarities with what you're describing, though it's much less physical and more mental. I can get emotionally overloaded, and it doesn't take too much. That ends up churning into a state of heightened anxiety, where anything will become something to chew on/obsess over for hours. And if for some reason I have nothing currently making me anxious, I'll find something from the past to chew on and relive and berate myself for.

It got to be very bad for a while, until I was so anxious about everything, had chewed over everything to such a degree that, like old and wadded gum, there was no flavour left to life. Just nerves.

Thankfully, I took the steps I needed to cope. And now, I'm in a much better place.

Anyway, shorter version of this - while I don't *get* what you're describing, I just don't know that many people who don't live with some brand of crazy. And frankly, the ones that have no issues are generally boring. And suspect, to be honest.

Wow. I have so many similarities that I never collected together before. Hmm - thanks for this post. Very interesting and thought provoking. Guess I'll have to do a little research on this topic. ;)

I don't know about you, but I still feel like my kids (2.5 and 1) are part of my body, so their touches don't annoy me the way strangers touches do.

You're very brave.

Hi Tertia,

Definitely don't apologize for taking 1/2 a sleeping pill. Just your description of how you feel at night screams "Better living thru chemistry!" Seriously, does anything pill-wise help you out? Because I got stressed out reading your post about how things make you feel.

I think my son has a few of these issues. Esp re: scratchy clothing tags or loud noises. He hates really loud kids' b-day parties, bowling alleys, etc. We avoid them or leave early. He will put his hands over his ears (he's 8 now) and has done this all of his life.

It's great that you have some understanding about these things now.

I personally think we could all be diagnosed with some type of disorder. As we get older we learn to compensate in order to cope and function. I don't think it's beneficial to always put a label on every little quirk, we all have them. If they affect your day to day functioning that's another story......


In all my US pediatric books (endoresed by the national acad of ped, etc), sensory disorders are not even mentioned. Not even a hint. Dr Spock's book, which discusses every single type of rash even seen on a baby does not mention anything. I read about SID/SPD first on other mothers' websites, and then realized there may be a reason why I have to cut all the labels off my daughter's clothes, etc...Why is this? Is this something not recognized by doctors?

the only time i suffer from sensory overload, is in very crowded places. i cannot handle busy malls, large events, etc. and i hate being bumped/jostled by strangers. but most of the time i don't mind al the sensory stimulation. i do however HATE labels in my clothes, seams, buttons, jewellery around my neck, textured fabric and my hair touching me, especially when it's hot. but i just have a very sensitive skin. so, some of your commenters' children may just have this, and not the whole syndrome you have.

I few weeks ago I reached a stage of stress/anxiety/wound-up-ness where I felt similar in some ways to what you describe. Not so much the skin sensory issues but certainly the nerve stuff. I was just ragged and barely able to move forward with the anxiety of it. Felt like plodding through thick snow. Can't really describe it all and may not even be similar but it was certainly something I felt in my body more than in my mind.

The reason I mention it here is because of what helped me. I went to see a kinesiologist. I didn't tell her what I was feeling as I had almost come to accept it as part of my life for now. She was scanning me and doing her checks and things and she picked up on it and described it to me to a "t"! I was so amazed. She then made some "adjustments" and suggested some things I need to do to help lower my state of hyper-sensitivity.

My point being - maybe you could look into kinesiology as a way of helping your "condition."

Wow, that was really helpful, Tertia, to hear someone verbalize all the stuff my son doesn't know how to tell me. He just got expanders put in at the orthodontist on Monday and has been a big hot mess ever since. And even though I KNOW it's his sensory issues putting him into the "raw nerve" state, I'm losing patience and needed a reminder that it's infinitely worse to be him than to be me, dealing with it. So thank you.

(Did you ever find a good solution for soothing after your braces? Or was it just time to get used to them? Because I am open to any tips or tricks you could pass along that I might be able to use to help my son -- right now he is still basically refusing to eat and acting like a complete lunatic.)

Somehow putting a label on people's quirks makes them more acceptable -- indeed, makes them believable. When you complained that the application of braces put you into shock, people scoffed at you and scolded you for being a big baby because they didn't BELIEVE in your suffering, since they didn't experience the same thing. (I think I mocked you for your distress in having braces put on recently, for the same reason: the installation of that hardware in my mouth was merely a minor inconvenience and I thought you were exaggerating your discomfort.)

I think this is why marriage counselors tend to try to make their clients label their partner's differences, so as to get them to (1) believe in the reality of their partner's experience and (2) tolerate it.

So, instead of saying, "your partner is conflict averse, while you thrive on confrontation," they might say, "remember, he's a rabbit, while you're a leaopard" (or whatever label they choose).

Those labels help us all, enormously. I might expect my husband to "come out and fight" when I really need to hash things out with him. I might feel that I'm entitled to have him participate in a confrontation.

But I don't expect a rabbit to behave like anything but a rabbit. If I put the label on him, I'm more likely to accept that he is simply being true to his nature. It is not for ME to dictate his behavior; instead, he really has no choice but to be true to his nature.

Very interesting post. Thanks for explaining your particular quirks. It's always useful to be reminded how different we all are.

Tertia, your post really hit home with me. I'm fifth of seven children all born within a short period and I think it has a lot to do with SID.
I cannot stand when my socks become twisted or the tongue on a tie shoe is not laying perfectly flat. Tags inside my clothes? . My husband makes references to the Princess and the Pea as he cuts them out for me. Lace on the edge of an outfit? NO!! I cannot bear to wear turtlenecks. Don't like necklaces, but can wear small earrings. My engagement ring drives me crazy when I'm trying to work with my hands. Makeup feels like a thick layer of mud on my face.

Ever since I can remember, I've hated loud TVs or radios.I hate talking on the telephone--trying to concentrate on the conversation with the phone pressing on my ear is almost too much. It's even worse when there is a conversation or other activity going on around me when I'm on the phone.

I always have my face to a room from the back row. In a restaurant, I also face front. I loathe shopping malls and do everything possible to ignore them.

I'm glad I'm not alone!

Tertia, why don't you and Marco just get separate beds? Then you'd sleep even better! If you hate sharing, then don't do it! (Unless of course he loves sharing...then you've got a problem!)

Thank you so much. I used your coping skills tonight and they helped so much. I did something that most do daily but this "thing" makes me freak out and it takes a long time to do and I just told myself that the anxiety was not really as strong as it felt and did it. I am glad that I did. Again, Thank you for putting yourself out there. I know my life has already improved with it. Sometimes when a diagnosis is thrown at you they forget to throw the self help book in too.

I have a problem with noises at my work... mainly it's the fans and conversations that come up... My problem is that fans bother me... I don't think it's that Im am simply just hard at hearing I think that the sound of fans just drive me insane... I feel very hot at nights aswell and need a fan blowing on me with the air conditioner right next to my bed but then I cannot hear the tv... I don't have a problem with listening to music and concentrating at the same time... but talking and listening to music is where I lack very badly at... I don't know if I am just wierd or what :(

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