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March 15, 2017

Tactile hypersensitivity

Dear readers, today we are going to speak about tactile hypersensitivity, sensory processing disorder which affects how our brain process touch, press, pain, heat, cold and tickling.

Let’s introduce main symptoms of this disorder to make the all concept clearer.

The first and most important symptom is simply that that we are over sensitive to touch. As we showed in one of the previous articles called Senses, touch is in fact complex term for press, pain, touch, heat, cold and tickling. We can be over sensitive to one of these or to all of them. It’s also possible to be hypersensitive to i.e. touch and under sensitive to pain. Any combination can be found in humans.

There are concrete signs we may exhibit if we are oversensitive to some of the components of the touch. We often don’t like when other people touch us. We can become fearful, aggressive or anxious while touched, especially like kids. The most unpleasant for us are usually unexpected touches. We may avoid crowds and staying in the line because of an uncomfortable feeling which we have when we are surrounded by other people and because of the fear of above mentioned unexpected touch. We refuse to wear certain clothes, especially stiff, tight or scratchy pieces because they cause us unpleasant feelings or even pain. We also don’t touch certain textures and materials from the same reason. Wind blowing, water in the shower or raining can cause us significant distress and even pain. We may want to wear long sleeves and long pants all year to avoid our skin being exposed to environmental influences or, on the other hand, we can prefer short sleeves all the time because clothes make us feeling uncomfortable. We may refuse to walk barefoot or put naked legs without socks into shoes. Sometimes it happens we tiptoe to avoid unpleasant stimuli from the ground. We may hate water or cream on our skin, especially on our face. We usually don’t like hair cutting or brushing, nail cutting and tooth brushing. It can cause us distress, especially when we are kids. We can be also very picky eaters because we are unable to stand certain textures of the food in our mouth.

It’s also possible we over react to pain, for example when we fall or bump into something but also when something in our body hurts because of an illness. We may experience the pain from headache or toothache much stronger than most people do. We can be also extremely ticklish. It's also possible we are too sensitive to heat so we always wear short sleeves or to cold. Then we in contrary wear long leaves and sweaters all the time.

So, these are symptoms of tactile hypersensitivity. Because touch is so complex term, there are very much signs and we can’t even mention all of them. However, if you have found yourself in many symptoms, it’s quite possible that you suffer from this condition. Living with our disorder can be very distressing. There are some types how to reduce our problems. Always wear comfortable soft clothes and shoes. Have as much clothes on you us you need and don’t think about the season at all. Use painkiller when you can’t already stand painful stimuli too. Buy soft toothbrush and make such hairstyle that you don’t have to cut your hairs very often. Simply use everything which makes you comfortable whenever you need.

I myself live with tactile hypersensitivity. I’m over sensitive to pain, pressure and touch. I often tiptoe and wear long sleeves to block out the environment. I also always wear socks and I can’t stand certain food. That’s basically the main reason why I’m vegetarian. I don’t like at all when other people touch me or when I have to stay in a crowd. It sometimes cause me very uncomfortable feelings, however, I take just like a part of me.

Do you suspect you might have this condition? What are your symptoms? Do you want to share your story or ask some question? Write us in the comment section bellow. Don’t forget, we are here for you!

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