Hypersensitivity to light, sound, touch, scent, taste

marlene58 Community Member April 20, 2007
  • Sometimes I wonder if I was a little more hypersensitive in all my senses that I would be classified autistic. I get overwelmed with too much sound and must go to a quiet room.  I have asthma and it is reactive to many scents. Sometimes I have to take my watch off and try not to touch anything restrictive or itchy. Colors can overwelm me.  I have to wear earth colors and decorate my house with them. My office and home are very spartan. Too much clutter drives me crazy. My taste sensativity is just very good and I prefer mild flavors.

    Does anyone else relate?

30 Comments
  • Anonymous
    marie
    Apr. 06, 2011

    Like the rest of you I am very glad to see that this extreme hypersensivity is prevelent among bipolars.  I have been a diagnosed bipolar for about 13 years now and I have found that throughout this duration the hypersensivity issue has increased.  The last few days have been particularily bad for this although I have been conviently forgetting to...

    RHMLucky777

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    Like the rest of you I am very glad to see that this extreme hypersensivity is prevelent among bipolars.  I have been a diagnosed bipolar for about 13 years now and I have found that throughout this duration the hypersensivity issue has increased.  The last few days have been particularily bad for this although I have been conviently forgetting to take my lithium and half of my epival.  Yesterday I stuffed pieces of papertowels into my ears to muffle the sound of my boys playing and I have been almost unable to bear anything that my grandmother says.  I become instantly annoyed and feel as if it is a personal attack. I am also unable to handle the kisses and hugs that my four year old loves to give.  Everytime he kisses or touches me I cringe, it feels as if my hearing shuts off for a moment and I become very angry just wanting him to go away.  This is of course followed by guilt. My husband also loves to clap is hands loudly to try to startle the boys for fun but this gives me about the same reaction as the kisses.  I also loose it when my husband places his cold hands on my back after coming in from the outdoors.  It feels like 100 knives going through my body all at once, all I can do is scream and try to get away which just increases the intensity of my husbands game.  I am also like the guy who mentioned his sensivity to temperature.  I have always described myself as being like a lizard or a snake, I absorb what ever temp. I am in.  Lately I too have been walking around at night with three layers of clothing on.  I have even gone as far as wearing my heavy winter coat in the house in the evening even though the thermostat claims that it is 70 degrees. 

    To all of you out there like me......I feel your pain!

  • Jana
    Jan. 04, 2011

    I am bipolar and have always been hypersensitive to noise. Lamotrigine exacerbated my hypersensitivity to noise (and added visual hypersensitivity) so badly that I needed to take antipsychotics, which dampened down the overstimulation.

  • Anonymous
    ooogabooga
    Nov. 09, 2009

    i do and nobody understands. i spend a lot of time alone because of it.

    • bp momma
      Feb. 27, 2010

      i think it has something to do with chemical hypersnsitivity, maybe this is the cause of bipolar in the first place.Sealed

       

  • Anonymous
    Veronica 48
    Aug. 23, 2009

    Hi, yes I have read your article and realise I too am sensitive to noise when I am in a quiet mood.  Also, I rarely wear a watch as it restricts me or I feel it does.  I too cannot tolerate mess and it has to be clean and tidy before I can do my next chore.  The place only becomes untidy when my friend is here who is quite the opposite! ...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi, yes I have read your article and realise I too am sensitive to noise when I am in a quiet mood.  Also, I rarely wear a watch as it restricts me or I feel it does.  I too cannot tolerate mess and it has to be clean and tidy before I can do my next chore.  The place only becomes untidy when my friend is here who is quite the opposite! 

     

    As for Champix, I started taking it 9 weeks ago and thought I was doing fine, until my moods this week turned from being very high and overly chatty, talking to anyone I met in town, to singing all night thinking I was wonderful and then the very next day crying all day, lying around feeling hopeless.  I feel Champix could well bring on our symptoms that we are trying to avoid with bi-polar and yesterday I started to smoke again.  I still do not get pleasure from smoking, however Champix is in my system for a few more days.  Champix also makes one feel very sick for about an hour after taking it.  I think I was kidding myself that I had given up and incidentally I had given up for 3 months, 3 weeks prior to this on NRT.  I have to resign myself to believing I need nicotine just as much as I need Lithium.  Champix also effected Levothyroxine and it needed to be increased as I had no energy at all.  As Pearl said I will probably live longer smoking than on Champix or not being able to smoke as just the thought makes one irritable.  However, whilst on Champix I have been irritable, hostile and broke friends with 6 of my family members which was very hurtful at the time (we are now all friends again).  I have a placid nature but became a horrible person to my partner too, he got the brunt of it all and it was 'all his fault'!  Luckily he is very easy going.

     

    Also looking back, my alcohol consumption has increased immensely since using NRT and then Champix over the past 5 months, which has added 2 stone to my weight, which again makes one feel down and sluggish.  I am looking forward for the Champix to leave my body and the nicotine to return, hence calming.  I have read all the books on nicotine and quit believe them at the time, however, when faced with the truth of giving up smoking whilst having a bi-polar condition, I can safely say I do not think it is a good idea and I could well have killed myself or at least had suicidal thoughts.  I now believe if one has been smoking as long as they have had the mental illness, it is very difficult to let nicotine go without having some damaging effects.

     

    Hope this information is useful to you and any comments or suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

  • Anonymous
    stephie
    Dec. 02, 2008

    Hi. I'm a 27 year old female.  I was diagnosed with bipolar about 4 1/2 years ago but have probably shown misdiagnosed signs for 13 years..since i was 14.  I did a google search for sensitivity to sound and bipolar and got this site.  I like my radio in my car loud, etc. but MUST have control of the remote at home-- it sets off a nerve in my...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi. I'm a 27 year old female.  I was diagnosed with bipolar about 4 1/2 years ago but have probably shown misdiagnosed signs for 13 years..since i was 14.  I did a google search for sensitivity to sound and bipolar and got this site.  I like my radio in my car loud, etc. but MUST have control of the remote at home-- it sets off a nerve in my body when tv gets too loud or when my live-in boyfriend plays the stereo too loud.  Some my symptoms of bipolar have seemed to be getting worse lately (even though I'm medicated) and this auditory sense seems to be getting more and more too so I felt it may be related but have never actually heard this about bipolar til just now.  Thanks everyone for the confirmation but it also makes me a liitle sad that there's even more symptoms. 

     

     

    • Anonymous
      K
      Feb. 06, 2009

      Thank you ALL of you!  I am so relieved!  My husband asked if I had written those comments, because they all fit!  Thanks for reminding me it's a BLESSING!  Overwhelming at times, especially since I too started a new job and have been crying from all the EMOTION and ENERGY there.  ONE DAY AT A TIME!  Or minute.  I will try...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thank you ALL of you!  I am so relieved!  My husband asked if I had written those comments, because they all fit!  Thanks for reminding me it's a BLESSING!  Overwhelming at times, especially since I too started a new job and have been crying from all the EMOTION and ENERGY there.  ONE DAY AT A TIME!  Or minute.  I will try the white noise and walks.  My life makes a lot more sense now.  

      K

  • Anonymous
    betsy
    Apr. 21, 2008

    I totally relate to what you're saying! I joke that I have Edgar Allen Poe's Usher's disease. Fictional, but the Usher family in the story had to live in dim lighting, eat mild foods and speak in whispers. I get easily overwhelmed by noises and clutter too. I ALSO wondered if I'm borderline autistic. Pretty cool to know that other bipolar patients feel this...

    RHMLucky777

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    I totally relate to what you're saying! I joke that I have Edgar Allen Poe's Usher's disease. Fictional, but the Usher family in the story had to live in dim lighting, eat mild foods and speak in whispers. I get easily overwhelmed by noises and clutter too. I ALSO wondered if I'm borderline autistic. Pretty cool to know that other bipolar patients feel this way. I think this hypersensitivity is a gift. We're able to tune in better to unseen energies -- moods in people, etc.

     

     

    • Touch me not
      Jun. 18, 2010

      I appreciate your sunny side up attitude.

      I'm 47 and have been a geek for a lifetime - Smart and socially tilted. (Geek's rule)

      I have suffered from depression on and off for years and was diagnosed as Hypo- manic (manic mental processing) about a year ago. The medication help the racing thoughts, depression and anxiety. I'm going through a meds change and...

      RHMLucky777

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      I appreciate your sunny side up attitude.

      I'm 47 and have been a geek for a lifetime - Smart and socially tilted. (Geek's rule)

      I have suffered from depression on and off for years and was diagnosed as Hypo- manic (manic mental processing) about a year ago. The medication help the racing thoughts, depression and anxiety. I'm going through a meds change and I am So touch and sound sensitive,

      I am seperating myself even at home. My husband tried to be a comfort, and we all know how that ends.

      The touch sensitivity made it difficult at first, but it ended very well.

      There are sometimes when being intense can be a good thing!!

       

      See I told you geeks rule!

       

    • tiger
      Sep. 30, 2010

      for me it is sound. I love music and chatting (almost too much) but if it wasn't for these things I would happily be deaf sometimes. I have been like this since birth as well as being over mentally active at night but now as an adult I am more sensitive and disgusted by sounds than ever. I am happiest in dark isolation and silence but this gives me enery and...

      RHMLucky777

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      for me it is sound. I love music and chatting (almost too much) but if it wasn't for these things I would happily be deaf sometimes. I have been like this since birth as well as being over mentally active at night but now as an adult I am more sensitive and disgusted by sounds than ever. I am happiest in dark isolation and silence but this gives me enery and i end up blasting my mp3 player all night and dancing round my bed with rapid and detailed over creative thoughts.  I am reclusive  but not to then point that anyone can notice it, but there is nobody who can really monitor me but i go through phases of it. i take ear plugs to the cinema which was a great discovery and i couldnt live without my mp3 player. (or at least if i had too, lots of other people might have to die, lol joke.)

    • Anonymous
      son0fhobs
      Oct. 07, 2010

      Lol, that's awesome!

       

      We have our own built in hearing aids, and night vision!  If only we could monetize it!

       

      Mine, I think anyway, relates to my migraines, and overall central sensitivity syndrome.  After reading lots and lots for years and years, my thought is that it's not terribly well understood, and hypersensitivity and be plausibly...

      RHMLucky777

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      Lol, that's awesome!

       

      We have our own built in hearing aids, and night vision!  If only we could monetize it!

       

      Mine, I think anyway, relates to my migraines, and overall central sensitivity syndrome.  After reading lots and lots for years and years, my thought is that it's not terribly well understood, and hypersensitivity and be plausibly correlated to a lot of other conditions.  Some people are only hypersensitive with one of their five senses.

       

      Multiple Chemical Sensitivity peaks my interest, but because it's not widely believed/respected, and the prognosis isn't great, I've never pursued it. 

       

      Good luck all!

       

      Anyone else with a lot of Chronic pain issues as well as hypersensitivity, this is a thorough documentation of probably the most severe case (that I've heard of anyway).  It has helped me identifiy a lot of my more subtle symptoms: http://css.dewarlorx.com/senses.html

       

      Blessings.

  • Anonymous
    aberdeen, marylans
    Nov. 27, 2007
    yes I relate to the sounds and amount of people around me.  I often have to leave the area and  go to a quiet place in or outside to releave the pressure that I feel biulding up in my head.  This happens even with family.
  • Anonymous
    kezzareece
    Nov. 08, 2007

    Is it possible that there is a link between Bipolar and High Functioning Autism?

     

    My son is 10 years old. He has a hypersensitivity in all his senses. He was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder 2 years ago. Lately his mood swings have been extreme. I don't know aything about bipolar...except that Stephen fry has it!

    I do know that there is higher...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Is it possible that there is a link between Bipolar and High Functioning Autism?

     

    My son is 10 years old. He has a hypersensitivity in all his senses. He was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder 2 years ago. Lately his mood swings have been extreme. I don't know aything about bipolar...except that Stephen fry has it!

    I do know that there is higher than average risk of depression if you have an ASD. 

  • Heidi
    Aug. 18, 2007
    I am this way also.  I can't be in large crowds or around a high amount of stimuli at one time.  It's too much for me for some reason.  Too much of a strong scent gives me a headache.  Light does the same thing.  I can't help but to relate this one more time to a book that specifically talks about it called Gifted Grownups:...
    RHMLucky777
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    I am this way also.  I can't be in large crowds or around a high amount of stimuli at one time.  It's too much for me for some reason.  Too much of a strong scent gives me a headache.  Light does the same thing.  I can't help but to relate this one more time to a book that specifically talks about it called Gifted Grownups: The mixed blessings of extraordinary potential.  The book talks about how being gifted affects every aspect of your life.  They say there is a link between this and bi-polar.  A stronger correlation than the general population.  I can't help but to believe it's true the more I read about seemingly unrelated to bi-polar, but still widespread, incidents like these. 
    • Anonymous
      Nike
      Aug. 18, 2009

      I am so glad that others feel this way. I have been more sensitive to touch lately and I wondered why it was getting worse. I am bipolar- not on any meds at the moment because it has taken me so long to accept that anything is wrong with me. Anyway, I have always been sensitive to heat/the sun and to touch. I hate having to hug my kids or having someone tap...

      RHMLucky777

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      I am so glad that others feel this way. I have been more sensitive to touch lately and I wondered why it was getting worse. I am bipolar- not on any meds at the moment because it has taken me so long to accept that anything is wrong with me. Anyway, I have always been sensitive to heat/the sun and to touch. I hate having to hug my kids or having someone tap me on the shoulder or rub my back. Its like it sets off all the nerve endings in that area and over loads my brain. My husband could never understand it. I am also very sensitive to noise especially noise from the TV or radio or a faucet running full force. Bizarre I know. Its good to know that others share some of the same things.....I just wish I could turn it off. It is getting worse.

  • Anonymous
    lana
    Aug. 11, 2007
    Yup, too much conversation, especially later at night, leads to head clatter, poor sleep and all that can start a downward spiral.
  • su1
    su1
    Jun. 04, 2007

    Yes, I can relate. I have been off work for 15 months, and my recent return to work was especially difficult due to the higher stimulation that I was no longer used to. The way my pdoc put it, is "This is not the time to go to Vegas - maybe some day, but not now!"


    I use a little fan at work to provide 'white noise' to override the noise in...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Yes, I can relate. I have been off work for 15 months, and my recent return to work was especially difficult due to the higher stimulation that I was no longer used to. The way my pdoc put it, is "This is not the time to go to Vegas - maybe some day, but not now!"


    I use a little fan at work to provide 'white noise' to override the noise in my office, and use noise-reducing headphones with my MP3 player for my commute. I keep to myself (except for chatting to a select few friends at work) & go for quiet walks on my breaks. Just trying to survive my gradual return to work.


    I have always been considered 'oversensitive' emotionally, too; and 'overreactive'.

    • arwen1945
      Apr. 19, 2008

      I have found that when I am manic I get physically cold and cannot get warm.  I have worn out two electric blankets and walk around with 3 layers of clothing.  Of course, everyone thinks I crazy.  Good to know others have sensitivity.  I don't feel so strange.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    May. 30, 2007
    I found myself looking up hypersensitivity to light on the internet and found a complete and totally accurate description of myself, to the T. I'm 39 years old and after being diagnosed with depression for several years, my diagnosis changed to bi-polar, I have always had the light sensitivity as well as all the other but just thought it was me, interesting...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I found myself looking up hypersensitivity to light on the internet and found a complete and totally accurate description of myself, to the T. I'm 39 years old and after being diagnosed with depression for several years, my diagnosis changed to bi-polar, I have always had the light sensitivity as well as all the other but just thought it was me, interesting to find I am not alone in these symptoms
    • Anonymous
      patty
      Jun. 23, 2007

      I too have been depressive throughout my life at different levels. One year ago it was recommended that I take Cymbalta. I am not necessarily anti-drug, but I hated Cymbalta from the start. Finally my physician agreed to help me go off. I have been Cymbalta-free for 2 weeks.


      The first thing that returned was my fascination with my surroundings. Most of the time...

      RHMLucky777

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      I too have been depressive throughout my life at different levels. One year ago it was recommended that I take Cymbalta. I am not necessarily anti-drug, but I hated Cymbalta from the start. Finally my physician agreed to help me go off. I have been Cymbalta-free for 2 weeks.


      The first thing that returned was my fascination with my surroundings. Most of the time I embrace the input, but as has been mentioned at times it is overwhelming and ill-timed. I was interested in the comments regarding bi-polar and autistism. Bottomline I will endure these bouts with hypersensitivity in order to experience life fully.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Jan. 04, 2010

      Some people 'think' they are able to endure bouts of hypersensitivity...come to find out, for many hypersensitive people, they ALWAYS are enduring and this endurance only becomes apparent when it becomes unbearable or we experience sensory overload... also seen as a manic episod for BPs.

       

      I'm not sold on hypersenstive BPs...

       

      And don't rely too...

      RHMLucky777

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      Some people 'think' they are able to endure bouts of hypersensitivity...come to find out, for many hypersensitive people, they ALWAYS are enduring and this endurance only becomes apparent when it becomes unbearable or we experience sensory overload... also seen as a manic episod for BPs.

       

      I'm not sold on hypersenstive BPs...

       

      And don't rely too heavily on the medical descriptions of Aspergers or High functioning Autism as the description is for Neurotypicals and many times doesn't make sense to Aspies. I'd suggest doing an online search of people's experiences (video and message boards).

       

      There are some critical questions that many professionals fail to ask and get the BP ball rolling the next professional just picks up on the lable. Any error checking has to be done on your own. It's not popular for professionals to retrace their steps.

  • Mighty1
    Apr. 30, 2007
    I am sensitive to sound, especially people's voices.  I often have to put on headphones and listen to music at work since our cube farm can get very loud. 
  • westwind96
    Apr. 20, 2007

    I am also hypersensitive to stimuli (all five senses in one way or another) and have discussed this with a psychiatrist and therapist.  It is worse during high anxiety periods, mania and with some combinations of medications. 

     

    But I'm just classified as bipolar, not autistic (I wondered about that for myself for a while, but...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am also hypersensitive to stimuli (all five senses in one way or another) and have discussed this with a psychiatrist and therapist.  It is worse during high anxiety periods, mania and with some combinations of medications. 

     

    But I'm just classified as bipolar, not autistic (I wondered about that for myself for a while, but now am convinced that I am not.)

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Jan. 04, 2010

      I might go back to the table and formally rule out Aspergers...

    • yasamine
      Mar. 10, 2010

      I was dx'ed with early onset bipolar at age 6, this has since "evolved" in to bipolar type 1 for dx purposes.  My son, who is 10, also was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome about 22 months ago...We are both very sensitive to certain stimuli, including sound and touch primarily. 

       

      I listen to an mp3 player at work and my son rubs a worry stone...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I was dx'ed with early onset bipolar at age 6, this has since "evolved" in to bipolar type 1 for dx purposes.  My son, who is 10, also was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome about 22 months ago...We are both very sensitive to certain stimuli, including sound and touch primarily. 

       

      I listen to an mp3 player at work and my son rubs a worry stone while in class since he can't do the same thing.  I notice I become especially more sensitive just prior to a mood swing, especially with auditory stimuli. 

       

      Just throwing my .02 cents in.

    • westwind96
      May. 17, 2010

      What do you mean by "go back to the table"???

       

      Asperger's has never been suggested as a diagnosis for me.  In fact, on a few occasions, I was told I was clearly NOT Asperger's.  I have been told and am aware I am a bit hypersensitive.

       

      Do you always post comments anonymously on posts almost three years old, suggesting alternative...

      RHMLucky777

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      What do you mean by "go back to the table"???

       

      Asperger's has never been suggested as a diagnosis for me.  In fact, on a few occasions, I was told I was clearly NOT Asperger's.  I have been told and am aware I am a bit hypersensitive.

       

      Do you always post comments anonymously on posts almost three years old, suggesting alternative diagnoses for people you (presumably) don't know?

    • Anonymous
      Chanel
      May. 07, 2012

      I'm Bipolar 1 and very hypersensitive to sound and touch, especially during mania. I have a friend whose child is autistic and shares that trait, so I began researching it and found that they say bipolar disorder and autism share some similar symptoms, specifically hypersensitivity, but that doesn't mean the bipolar person is autistic, it's just a coincdence....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I'm Bipolar 1 and very hypersensitive to sound and touch, especially during mania. I have a friend whose child is autistic and shares that trait, so I began researching it and found that they say bipolar disorder and autism share some similar symptoms, specifically hypersensitivity, but that doesn't mean the bipolar person is autistic, it's just a coincdence. I'm sorry all of you have that sensitivity also, but it deos make me feel better to know it isn't just me. Tha none of it is just me.

      Chanel

    • westwind96
      May. 07, 2012

      As I said in my original comment, I am both Bipolar and hypersensitive to certain stimuli.

    • westwind96
      May. 07, 2012

      For the first few hours after getting up, visually it is a strain doing things like watching television. As for smell and taste, I can be hypersensitive no matter what happens, which sometimes drives me crazy. Perhaps the two situations are related.

    • westwind96
      May. 07, 2012

      As I said above, I've never been diagnosed with anything on the autistic spectrum.