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  1. What is this condition called?

    Since childhood I've had an issue where I experience extreme discomfort when wearing any clothing apparel with buttons and collars, or of a certain fabrics.

    The pain caused is equivalent of nail scratching on blackboards at perhaps a quarter of the pain intensity.

    I think it's to deep seated for therapy - I have also not noticed any diminishing effect via systematic desensitization.

    How do you call the disorder when a normal stimulus is associated with irrationally extreme discomfort (not fear/phobia)? How can I cure it?

    I can't seek professional help because there is a high chance that I will have to go through security clearance background check soon.

  2. #2

  3. Re: What is this condition called

    Hypersensitivity is a good suggestion. I thought about it, but I have somewhat dismissed it on the following grounds:

    When it comes to experience raw pain, I believe it causes me less distress than the average person for the same pain threshold level.

    When it comes to experiencing extremely graphic images, I can take much more than the average person.

    When it comes to sensory overload of stimulating factors in the environment, I can take slightly more than the average person.

    When it comes to things like the physical contact with the eye, taking blood from the veins I become sensitive in terms of anxiety with specific things like that. I have no problem with injections however, it's the drawing blood from the veins that causes distress.

    The previous sentence refers to fear/anxiety/phobia but the distress of buttons, collars, and certain fabrics does not cause fear - it causes very high exaggerated discomfort and it cannot be controlled by the conscious mind (I tried) - it is deep rooted in the subconscious mind.

    The question is: Is it some kind of complex/connection of discomfort explain in repressed memories (a childhood experience where i had dress clothes on and something bad happens) or is it just my hypersensitivty (if I even have it at all) due to my overprotective upbringing? And if i do have hypersensitivty, how can I make it not impact my career goals?

  4. #4

    Re: What is this condition called

    How is it impacting your career goals now?

    I have no idea about the origins of your sensitivity and that's not something you can reasonably expect to determine on your own or on a support forum like Psychlinks. But the more important issue is to identify how it's creating obstacles to your goals at the moment and how you can compensate or work around that.

  5. Re: What is this condition called

    I have a business job right now (somewhat laid back) so the code is at least polo. But polo also causes the distress - especially in hot environments (in which I am often) - there is an interaction effect at cold and hot temperatures where it exacerbates the discomfort (a negative synergy, so to speak). I was thinking about going back to uni to get a computer science degree but the opportunity cost is high (>100k$). A big chunk of CS jobs allow you to come in in a tshirt.

  6. #6

    Re: What is this condition called

    Unless you are required top wear a specific uniform, it seems to me that experimenting with different fabrics might be the solution.

  7. Re: What is this condition called

    That's a good idea. Unfortunately, the range of fabrics offered by polo shirts is very short: They are all thick and most of them have the same texture. Moreover, they all have buttons and a collar.

    I know this sounds ridiculous but there is nothing I can do about it (consciously), as it is deep rooted in the subconsciousness.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ottawa, Canada

    Re: What is this condition called

    Only because this kind of fabric discomfort is reported by some people with Tourette Syndrome, a disorder for which I provide some support, the recommendation to those who experience this is to remove all labels from the inside of the garment and to choose loose fitting shirts.

    Also the way a shirt is tailored can sometimes cause discomfort, espcially if the seams are bulky and tend to rub on the shoulders or around the upper arms. Loose or open collars also might help. If you need to wear a tie, then get a shirt one size larger than you need so the collar is loose.

    I am not suggesting in any way Tourette might be involved in your case, but rather that I am familiar with the complaint and these are some of the suggestions that seem to help sometimes.

    Dum spiro spero....While I breathe, I hope

  9. Re: What is this condition called

    I don't think it has anything to do with the notion of amplification of "uncomfortable" (from a objective/normal standpoint) clothing . In fact, there are plenty of clothes that normal people would find very comfortable and which causes high distress for me and there probably also are clothes which many people find uncomfortable and I find comfortable (can't think of any right now but there probably are some of the latter type).

    I'm not saying that there is not a positive correlation between what normal people consider uncomfortable and what I consider uncomfortable. All I'm saying is that there is a big set of apparel, which cause to me a lot of distress and are normal to the general population.

  10. #10

    Re: What is this condition called

    Hi Salpeter,

    I am familiar with some children who are hypersensitive to clothing. Below are links that may point you in a helpful direction. There is a treatment that occupational therapists use called sensory integration. Read more about this at the first link and then details about different kinds of sensory overload in the second link.

    Vancouver Occupational Therapy For Kids - Sensory Integration

    Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist

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