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Clothes sensitivity?

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by Marco, May 13, 2010.

  1. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

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    pluto
    I had nothing like this as a child either, my brother had loads of allerigies, and excema.

    I have an odd thing where I have to keep my hands in my pockets and look away, when someone stands in front of me wearing clothes of certain materials, the desire to see what it feels like is almost overwhelming.

    on the shorts/pants in bed thing, OMG I have 2 holey, thread bear, favourite pairs of shorts that I love. The waist band is in bits, but they are so comfy, and nothing else comes close. They're my sleep like a baby shorts.

    I would be mortified if they ever had to appear in public though! :ashamed:

    Or perhaps we should start a pants thread, to go along with the sock thread, we all send photo's of our favourite most comfy pants. :eek:

    If that don't start a wave of concern nothing will, :D and its probably weird and unsightly enough to get publicity. :rolleyes:
     
  2. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

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    I have clothing sensitivity. I just never talk about it. But I've had it for years. I can't stand the feel of a bra on me. It's the first thing to go when I get home from going somewhere. I tend to wear long nightshirts around the house with nothing else cause I can't stand the feel of anything on me. I even slept naked for years because of it, but now that I'm in an apartment building, it's safer to have something on. But I can definitely relate. I dress for comfort. I bought up a bunch of Jostar outfits for hot spring and summer days. They are light weight stretch. Anything that isn't restricting or hitting tender points on me.
     
  3. jewel

    jewel Senior Member

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    It's interesting to see that for most, it seems that the sensitivity to textures began to be noticed alongside the other cfs issues, while for a few, it (or other sensory issues) may have predated the illness (from our very small, nonscientific sample). J
     
  4. Sunday

    Sunday Senior Member

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    I'm fascinated with the info and thoughts this thread is turning up, but all that is overwhelmed by the visual of underpants on the tip of an iceberg. I will return when my brain is in better order.
     
  5. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I'm grateful you brought this up! I have the same problem. It's worsened in the past three or four years. Now I am at the point of needing soft--not scratchy--cottons and loose-fitting garments only. I live in a cold climate and got scared when first I could no longer wear any wool, then fleece, then nubbly cotton, cable stitch or cotton-synthetic blends. No bras or tight, elasticized long johns. No jewelry. I also have trouble carrying a purse or bag or camera or binoculars for any length of time too. What happens when I do wear or carry these things: I experience an increasing sense of pain. This spreads and deepens to the point it dominates my mind. As soon as I take off the offending items, I feel relief. But I still have to stretch, do self massage and take some more time to get over it. My body hasn't just sent pain signals, it has contracted, knotted up, in response to the offense.

    Sing
     
  6. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    i adore fashion, & therefore am very sorry to say i fit into this category. i showed my girlfriends the threadbare bra i wear around the house & they all begged me to throw it out, so now i don't wear one. comfy only around the house, loose cotton - but when i go out i still try to look fashionable. well, at least i do my best. i know someday i wont' be able to do as well as i can now probably, but for now i hold on for dear life to what little amount of fasionability i have! bras are the worst for me. i really can hardly tolerate one at all. i wear those teeny bralettes that are meant for teens or A cups even tho i'm a generous C myself. i'm sorry to say, heels are a thing of the past. i nearly cry writing this. if you dont' care about fashion you are lucky, for me it's giving up the thing i love the most. i also have trouble holding a bag for long. & my only problem with jewelry is heavy necklaces. i know it could be worse, & i feel for those who have it worse - but oh, it's horribly painful for a fashionista. whatever it is you love the most think of giving it up (non living i mean, of course people & pets come first) & then you'll know how i feel. i know a lot of you have had to give up what you love most so no offense intended - i just have to whine about it a bit.
     
  7. bluebell

    bluebell Guest

    My son has been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder. One of the first things they ask you when your child is being evaluated for this is whether they complain about tight clothes, tags, etc. Two of my boys and I cannot bear tight or scratchy clothes. Most people shop by color, style - we, literally, run our hands over the racks to see which shirt is the softest;-). I think I should die if I had to wear a tight wool suit! Anyway, I just think it is interesting that there has been this burst of sensory integration disorder diagnoses while CFS/ME has been on the rise. The outline of the big answer just gets clearer and clearer, at least to me. I am so excited that there might be hope for my sons!
     
  8. willow

    willow Senior Member

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    It's funny but this thread helped me see that the clothes i wear are more important to me than I realised. I'm not a fashionista but I realise I like to dress in a style that reflects something of myself. In so many ways my ability to express who I am is limited by my very limited choices, my verbal communication is very limited and feeling I'm communicating a little bit of who I am through clothes is affirming and uplifting.

    I had clothes sensitivity as a child, awful reactions to pharma, I hated petrol fumes, air fresheners, and various other volatiles. Also gradual onset ME as a child, difficult to know when exactly it started.
     
  9. maria

    maria

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    The first thing i do when i get home is rip those awful outdoor clothes off. (there is usually a trail of clothes in descending order leading to the bedroom). The only thing I wear unless i have to go out is indoor specified loose cotton shirts and loose pajama pants....and of course, squishy socks :) I wear hoodies a lot too because i am always freezing cold, but my hair is too long right now and its getting too irritating. Ugh i'm starting to go zap just thinking about it.
    All the tags have to come out of my clothes or i literally end up having a meltdown. I can't count the times I have tried to get out the door wearing something icky telling myself just ignore it just get over it it will be fine...the furthest i get is twisting the doorknob before doing a roundabout and ripping the horrid offender off. I wear the same pair of jeans (tug tug...peek to see if anyones watching...tug... yank!..) and the same bra (..peek to see if anyones looking...pry...tug....breathh..pry..)with a choice of about four cotton tshirts whenever i have to go out. When the jeans get holes in unrepairable places, i find another pair. But I can't go back and forth between two pairs that fit. Something about changing between the feel of two different pairs of jeans drives me berserk so I only ever have one pair in active use. Belts are out of the question.
    Sheets have to be cotton of course, the higher the threadcount, the better. I also have some organic cotton sheets that I absolutely love. No jewelery, no watches, nothing around the neck except that cotton tshirt that better be sitting even with no tag remnants. The sensory overload does make the pain worse, and quickly...I can feel my body seize up as soon as i put that shit on.
    The funny thing is the sensitivity issues started way before i got sick. I remember being not more than four years old and absolutely being nauseated by Mr. Rodgers. I couldn't watch the show because it turned my stomach every time Mr. Rodgers put his tight sweater on over top of his long sleeve shirt and didn't hold his sleeves down. ughhhh still makes me sick to thing about it. All I could think about was his shirt being all crumpled under his tight sweater and that feeling bothered me so bad when i had a sweater shirt problem, that even seeing it on someone else made me nauseaus in a very metallic sort of way. I also hated grocery shopping (and i know this sounds crazy...believe me i've been assured that i'm just imagining it more than once...) but i could smell the ink from the barcodes on all the shelves and products. The combination of the white black dizzy lines and the smell from the ink was so sickening...and this goes back as far as i can remember.
     
  10. jewel

    jewel Senior Member

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    Maria-- I totally believe you that you could smell that (nauseating) ink! And, I understand about the shirt under the sweater conundrum, too... Life can be so tricky for kids with these types of sensory reactions; I'm glad they are being recognized now as legitimate, rather than as capricious behavior. Take care, J.
     
  11. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

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    I get VERY uncomfortable when I notice people tie their tennis shoes tightly. In fact if I even notice that they're wearing tennis shoes. I can't stand having anything snug across the top of my foot makes wearing shoes difficult. But even seeing someone else wearing them . . .

    What's even worse are those toe socks. I cannot look at them. I can't imagine how someone could wear them. I had a friend try to put them on in front of me while she told me how wonderful they are and I could not look. I'm getting all squirmy just writing this.
     
  12. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    I find myself acutely interested in this thread, sharing a lot of these reactions....The one raggedy bra which is endurable particularly hit home. I had such a bra for several years and now it is gone! I don't know what happened to it--an irreplaceable loss! Since it disappeared, I have given up wearing any bras. It seems as though I lost my last symbol of belonging to the feminine world of attire...

    My clothes at home are mostly rags, soft cotton rags. Anyone would laugh to see them. But they are what I can wear without pain. What is up with this?

    Sing
     
  13. serenity

    serenity Senior Member

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    i dunno Sing, it is sad. of all i have to endure for me the clothes issues is one of the worst.
    i have to wear only shoes that cover my feet fully now, like ballet flats or loafers.
    can't wear sandals, can't handle them flipping & flopping everywhere.
    cant' wear boots, too stiff. seems everything messed with my balance if it's not just the right shoe.
    i have one good pair i wear over & over now.
    like others here i can't "layer" because the feeling of one material under another is too icky.
    no watches for me either. & no tags, those get cut out as soon as i buy something.
    i'm not a huge fan of jeans & wear one pair until they give out then buy another.
    Willow, i absolutely express who i am thru clothes & it's depressing as hell to have my options being so limited these days.
     
  14. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    I am wondering if those of you who have this clothes problem worse than me, and especially those who remember having it right from childhood, can help me with my little boy, who is 4. He has CFS, and was originally diagnosed as autistic but I changed his diet and the autistic behaviours went away.

    He has major clothing issues. He refuses to wear anything that isn't stretchy - fine, I can buy him sportswear. I also prefer stretchy trousers and tops. He says the labels hurt him so I cut them out - also fine, I need to cut my own labels out.

    The thing I don't understand is that he cannot stick anything freshly cleaned, not matter what it is. I use hippy organic unperfumed washing powder and do two extra rinses to get out all traces of the product because we're all allergic to everything round here, so I don't think it's a washing powder issue.
    He only ever wants to wear whatever he wore yesterday, whatever is encrusted with food and grime. When I really put my foot down, he is capable of crying in his room for a full hour rather than just accept a different, stretchy, soft, label-less garment.
    Also, he seems to have no concept of temerature whatsoever. He insisted on wearing thick, polyester tracksuit trousers and a jumper with a vest underneath yesterday and it was 30 degrees centigrade. My husband forcibly dressed him ina t-short and shorts and he just pulled it all off and cried piteously till he managed to dress himself in this stuff out of the laundry basket.

    Is he just being irrational and bonkers, or can anyone think of any explanation for this?
     
  15. willow

    willow Senior Member

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    Athene, could the stretchy thing be about him feeling hugged, held in or safe with the clothing? Sometimes gentle pressure can alleviate some of my odd neuro sensations. say you have a sore wrist and squeze it to reduce the pain. I've one nephew who to me seems borderline OCD, older now so he might be hiding it, but as a very young child he didn't want any clothes by 7-10 he'd only wear things high waisted like an old man and all tops had to be tucked in and tightly. Not suggesting your son is just showing variations.

    Laundry. A couple of ideas: 1.Dirty clothes smell more familiar, safer or comforting. They smell of him.. 2. If he's laundry product sensitive he might smell it or have an unpleasnt reaction to it even if you don't. Even hippy stuff. Recently my wholefood delivery changed brand, the new one markets itself as natural, eco, gentle etc but after drying clothes outside all day, and ironing I still don't want to be in the same room as the laundry let alone wear it or sleep on it. The manufacturers weren't that interested in my complaint but my health food guy said at least 3 others weren't happy with it.

    Forgot to say that sometimes worn clothes feel softer or more flexible than freshly laundered ones.

    As for temperture I remember working inside with broken air con, it was 35C outside with windows that were non-opening and i was wearing a dress, a cardi and a jacket. Still I was cold. Maybe adrenals or thyroid or hypothalamus or ?
     
  16. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Dear Athene,

    Poor little guy! I expect there are good reasons for his behavior, that he is not just bonkers.
    I remember reading in one of Temple Grandin's (outstanding) books--she is the autistic woman who became such a great scientist and helper of animals--maybe it was in her book, Animals In Translation--anyway, she said that she made herself a machine that would hug her tightly, and this was the best treatment she discovered for her symptoms from being overwhelmed by stimuli.

    Worn clothes have fibers which are laid down and maybe covered with a little layer of "grime" or perspiration. Just washed things have sort of brushed up fibers. Probably if you looked at the two types of clothing under a microscope, you'd see the difference. I notice I am more comfortable too in worn clothes, but being more experienced in the world, I put on fresh ones instead, if necessary.

    I can be unusually cold too.

    Sing
     
  17. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Thank you so much for these ideas, Willow.
    I'll start experimenting a bit with washing detergents, and also try asking a few questions to see how he reacts. I think you could be onto something with the stiffness of newly laundered clothes too.

    Now I need to convince the doc to check his adrenal function, thyroid etc. I definitely think this is worth investigating, because he sleeps 16 hours out of 24 lately. That is very far from normal for a four year old.
     
  18. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    OMG Athene, poor kid. I have exactly the same you describe for him, have to cut labels out, even the supposedly perfect organic washing powders cause irritation. I've had all that for 15 years; also my sense of temperature is a bit peculiar and sometimes erratic (like sweating for no reason). To have all that as a kid is horrible.

    I only use washing balls, I experiment with clothes, and work hard at pursuing the ones that are bearable; it's an expense. The important thing is to listen to him. Don't imagine (no matter what you are told) that 'putting up with it' will help him 'get used to it' and be good in the long term. The only way I've ever tackled or reduced the sensitivity over the years is through prolonged avoidance of triggers. It often doesn't make sense, it's maddening to try to figure out where the latest problem is coming from, but it's real and doesn't go away on its own, and it's totally disabling because when the irritation is constantly there, you can't do anything (and also my other symptoms begin to worsen while that's the case).

    I'd say, trust and believe what he's saying, lots of patience required, and search for solutions that work. And no washing powders or detergents are OK for me: I use a 'power ball' only and I find that the latest ones are actually very effective.

    Feel for you both in this situation.
     
  19. jewel

    jewel Senior Member

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    I may be just stating the obvious, and if so, my apologies. People have different backgrounds and experiences, so it is hard to know when something may be helpful. I am putting this here, rather than a PM, in case anyone else has a little one struggling with sensory issues...

    Another possibility, Athene, if you have access to this type of specialist, would be to consult with an occupational therapist with a sensory integration background. This, of course, is secondary to getting any medical evaluations for adrenal, thyroid, etc. The aim is to take a careful look at the sensory profile of the child and devise a set of exercises and activities (sensory diet) that help the child feel less out of kilter with the world, whether due to sensory avoiding or sensory seeking or a mixture of both. There is a look at all the sensory systems (visual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, etc), and the typical way the child approaches and takes in information from each "channel" I hesitate to call this a treatment, in the sense that it is more likely needed longer term rather than for a few weeks or months, but it can be simple things that fit fairly easily into the child and parent's day.

    For instance, for some children, the wearing of tight, spandexy type garments or weighted vests seems to help (as mentioned above). Many benefit from joint compressions (easy to learn) or "heavy work" such as pushing a full cart at the grocery store, or gymnastics class. Many also benefit from skin brushing with a surgical brush (very, very soft). But, there is a specific way to do these so ideally best done via consult with specialist.

    The techniques seem to help kids with self-regulation, though good experimental research on this type of technique is sorely lacking... So, if you ask me, "Show me the proof!" I can't. In general, it wouldn't take a child who is so sensitive to textures and turn him into someone who craves scratchy woolens and tolerates tags. But it should help a child get to the point where he will comfortably wear clean stretchy clothes rather than dirty ones! The other thing that eventually does help is maturity, since bright children eventually will wear the clean clothes due to social understanding (even if they are uncomfortable).

    http://www.out-of-sync-child.com/ A thorough, parent-friendly book on the topic.

    And, if there is an OT, reading this, my apologies also for over simplifying a complicated concept. Take care, J.
     
  20. Athene

    Athene Never give up

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    Thank you so much EVERYONE for this advice, all of you.
    My son has so many quirky things that I can figure out, because I have a milder form myself, but this one really had me flummoxed.

    Jewel, do you know of any decent books that could educate me on this sensory integration issue?
    They probably do have good therapists round here, but they would certainly be private and we are so strapped for cash nowadays that I just couldn't afford it. So I'd like to try and find out what I can do to help myself, at least to begin with. He's very funny about food, and so I do think he has a range of sensory issues beyond the clothing one which is so obvious.... so I definitely need to start learning about this.

    While we're on the subject of food actually, can I just mention - He will only eat vegetables if they are pureed, he will only eat meat if it is chopped into pieces of a specific size, he will only eat just about any food if it is on its own (you cannot mix two different types of beans together in the same bowl, for example). If we have pasta, he will eat the pasta alone and then the sauce afterwards. When people mix them up he cries till I "wash the pasta clean" for him! Also he cannot stand anyone talking to him while he eats, he wants to be alone. I am beginning to wonder if this is some type of sensory problem too.
     

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