Avatar universal

I feel, but that's the problem

Hey there,

I know that I'm an extremely sensitive person. Today, I suddenly got the interest to look some more information up about it and I ended up on the site of Dr. Elaine Aron (name might sound familiar to some doctors?) who wrote books about highly sensitive persons. I did the test on her site, just to confirm that I'm highly sensitive and I scored two times higher than te score at which you can call yourself highly sensitive. She gave examples about what highly sensitive person "go through", but those seem quite normal for me. So I basically want to know if I'm extreme exception and if anything can be done for that. I can provide the following information:

What she says: 'tend to be very sensitive to pain"
Me: That's very true, I can't stant a lot, but it's not just that. Here are some extreme examples of pains I have:

-I never shower because I can't stand the temperature: it's either always too cold or always too warm, I never seem to find a proper temperature and I really feel unable to wash myself in the shower.
-I have trouble with washing the soles of my feet: whenever I do this, I get an intense burning feeling in my testicles (I know this sounds odd)
-I have trouble with washing my scrotum because it feels very uncomfortable and it actually hurts.
-When it's fall, spring or even summer, a very calm wind is enough to make my hands turns purple. And winter is a complete disaster
-I seem to be extremely sensitive to cold temperatures. First of all, my hand/fingers turn purple very fast. The same happens with parts in face and lips. A small example: When I was 12, I went ice skating with my school and the teachers forced me to stop earlier because I had blue lips and a look in my face as if I was freezing to death (it also felt that way).
-I was circumcised a year ago, when I was 17 and I had to survive 3 weeks long on pain killers. The head of my penis remained extremely sensitive for 4 weeks and I had to walk around without trousers or anything, because a single touch would make me scream from pain.

What she says: I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
Me: All of that is true, I don't understand how people can just stare right in front of them, even when the sun isn't shining that much. I mostly also am the ones that smells things first and that mostly is a disadvantage. I also can't stand loud noises at all. My class mates sometimes put the music very hard and my ear really starts to hurt then. Also, there is this sound on mobile phones (have to download that) that produces a very high sound that teachers can't hear because of their age. My class mates used this sound quite some times as well and it made me very uncomfortable and after a while it just started to hurt.

I just realised there are so many other things, but if I discussed them all, this topic would have the size of a book. I'll just mention some other examples now.

-I can't stand blood, horror movies. I get a very unpleasant feeling when I undergo a blood test at the doctor. While the doctor is taking my blood, I start to breathe louder, I start to feel dizzy and it feels like I'm almost going to faint. After that, my arm actually hurts for 2-3 days and I'm unable to function normally with that arm.

-Re-experience painful moments. Whenever I think of a painful moment, it suddenly feels like I feel the pain again. for example, when I wrote this above about the blood test, I started to feel exactly the same (breathe louder,...). This is the only major thing I re-experience though. However, what follows next may be directly related to this...

-I experience feelings/pains SOMEONE ELSE is undergoing. This may sound odd, but it happens to every senstive person, example of a normal situation would be if you started to cry during a romantic movie. Well, for me, it's not just that, it gets worse: I never watch horror movies, because when for example someone cuts the victim's right leg off with a  chainsaw, I get a weird feeling in my right leg. When I watch doctor programmes, exactly the same happens when surgeries are shown: injections, amputations, cutting through the body of someone as part of the surgery,... I feel it all when I see it. I don't feel the pain (thank God), but I just get a weird unpleasant feeling in the particular body part.

-For the psychological part: I feel I understand other persons faster and much easier. Just by looking at the body language, I'm perfectly able to make decisions or I just know what they think. When freinds meet each other again, they mosltly ask "How are you?", I don't need to ask that, I just see/feel it. People that know me in real life, know me as a very nice, honest and generally good person. But that just is because I know when to talk or when it is better "to shut up". All my teachers liked me, but that was just because I analysed their body language before saying whatever I was going to say. And that's just body language then, when they actually start speaking my initial thought about how they feel/think mostly are confirmed and it gets even easier for me to react appropriately (should I become a Psychologist?).

-Phobias: I do have quite some: I'm afraid of insects. When I was younger, I use to try to catch flies, now I'm suddenly trying to avoid them. I also suddenly am afraid of the dark, I don't like being alone at night and it just scares me. Psychologists also told me I have Social Anxiety Disorder, which is phobia for social situations. I'm afraid of new things too (I constantly start to worry in a negative way when it I heard something new will happen and I'll be part of it).

Well, I think I can say so much more, but at the same time I don't know  what else to say at moment. My initial question was that I wanted to know whether I'm an extremely rare situation of Highly Sensitive persons and if there's anything I can do to help it.

Any help would be very nice and sorry for my spelling/grammar.


5 Responses
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144586 tn?1284666164
I'll see if I still have it. I believe it was in an issue of "Brain", one of the periodicals published. It dealt with the fact that individuals process input differently, depending on genetics. It discussed the phenomena of "phantom limbs". Incidentally, Red_Stars suggestion of Raynauds is another possibility.
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1756321 tn?1547095325
Uh yeah i need sleep...and a edit button :) "to help with how to help" *face palm*  
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1756321 tn?1547095325
It would depend on what is the problem to help with how to help. A few conditions come to mind with your symptoms. You may have Sensory Processing Disorder which is a neurological disorder causing difficulties with taking in, processing and responding to sensory information about the environment and from within the own body (visual, auditory, tactile, olfaction, gustatory, vestibular and proprioception).

Also a possibility is Raynaud's phenomenon. Raynaud's phenomenon is a disorder that affects the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, ears, and nose. During "vasospastic" attacks of Raynaud's phenomenon, the blood vessels in the affected area constrict. Attacks are often triggered by exposure to cold or by emotional stress. The resulting decreased blood supply caused by the vasospasm can cause skin discolouration and intense pain.

Medical conditions that cause allodynia (pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke pain) include:

Neuropathies (damage to nerves). Most often, it is peripheral neuropathy, which occurs when the nerves of the peripheral nervous system get damaged.  See wikipedia for an extensive list of causes.  
Complex regional pain syndrome  
Postherpetic Neuralgia
Deficiencies of vitamin B1, B2, B6, B7
Tactile defensiveness

I'll send you a few links to check out. :)

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Oh, I'm not from the USA and never heard of Scientific American magazine. I went to their site and tried to search their articles about it, but I couldn't find it. Could you perhaps give me the name(s) of the article(s)?
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144586 tn?1284666164
Scientific American magazine did a series of articles on individuals with unusualy sensory mechanisms, which mentioned several specialists studying these abilities.
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