Alone and Irritated Adult

by Jean
(Chicago, IL)

Good Evening,


I'm a 30 year old female and I was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago. However, ADHD doesn't explain my extremely sensitive hearing or sensitivity to touch. I sleep (and spend much of the day) with earplugs but still hear every single noise. I've tried almost every brand of earplugs but in the middle of the night my ears always start to hurt and I have to take them out. I lay awake until the ear pain stops and I can reinsert the plugs. Yes, I'm chronically sleep deprived.

On the topic of sleep, it's a major issue for me. No matter how hot the room is I have to use a quilt and I sleep with an eye mask because light keeps me awake.

I haven't been officially diagnosed with SPD because of insurance issues. I'm freelance writer and a new diagnosis could cause my insurance premiums to sky rocket or they might cancel my plan all together. Therefore, seeing a physician or an OT is not an option and right now I can't afford to pay out of pocket. Do you know of any free or discounted services in the Chicago area?

Your website has been very informative and helpful but it also incredibly irritating. Much of the site is focused on children, which I understand, but there are a lot of adults SUFFERING and very little attention is paid to us. I read your "tips for adults" and it made me feel much more alone and worthless than I already do. So many of your suggestions involved playing with your kids or seeking support from your spouse/family. I am ALONE in a new city with my friends and parents hundreds of miles away! What am I supposed to do?

As an adult with ADHD and possibly SPD who the heck will want to marry (let alone have kids) a freak like me? After spending the last 2 hours on your site I feel depressed and hopeless. If you could please be a little more sensitive to the needs of single adults with SPD I (and I'm sure some of your other readers) would really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Jean

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Dec 05, 2008
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38 yrs ADD and SPD definite for me.
by: stacey

hi, I just wanted to let you know that after I found this site, I asked my psychiatrist about it. I consider him to be very knowledgeable, he has been a great help to me over the past 2 years.

I too am diagnosed with ADD, and am a dead ringer for the SPD, I found it searching for why I am so sensitive to noises, smells, and touches. I then checked out the checklists. Whoa. Anyway, my doc said that SPD is a term that identifies a list of associated dysfunctions that are common with ADHD and Autism.

I really couldn't argue with him. He knows neurology and is a well informed doctor for the most part. I have wondered lately if the addition of stimulants to my life, and the fact that I metabolize them rapidly, so I inevitably end up with rebound effects, those being, ultra sensitivity, make that super ultra sensitivity, but when I take the stimulant, I return to normal like, and can take more than a lot of "normal people". I don't get high on these either, just normal.

But I believe ADD/ADHD and SPD are very comorbid. It makes perfect sense to me. What to do though???

Nov 17, 2008
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Invasive Noises
by: Anonymous

Your story just brought me a great deal of comfort. I can't usually hear when people talk to me because my ears are so focused on background noise...for the longest time I thought I simply did not possess the mental capacity to comprehend them; and I didn't want to admit it to them because it's embarrassing and I was afraid they would think the same thing I did.

And as for your fears of marriage, I have the same ones. I'm afraid that once a serious boyfriend finds out about my "listening problem" he, too, will think I'm stupid.

Well, thank you so much for leaving your story. It was very helpful!

Oct 27, 2008
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support
by: Anonymous

I am 31 and also ADHD, married with three children. Like you I cannot sleep without ear plugs that are painful and a heavy blanket. Lately my job has forced me to drive from 20min a day to about 2hrs. Since then I have experienced extreme sensitivity all over my body so that all clothes hurt. I understand your frustration as I am frustrated as well. I have found that more than ear plugs listening to my Ipod helps because it filters out the sounds that are bothersome. Trying different things rather sounds or music may help. Hang in there you're not alone and there is someone out there who will love you as you are.

Sep 08, 2008
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Suggestion
by: Terra

Jean,
I am an OT working in Arkansas. The majority of my experience is is pediatrics but I have had a lot of success with the children I work with. Many of the children i work with have severe auditory sensitivity and I have begun a new program called Therapeutic Listening. It involves listening to specialty modified music under the supervision of an OT. The music can assist in a variety of SPD issues but there are specific CD's that address sensitivity to specific frequencies of sound. You can find out more information by going to WWW.vitallinks.com
Hope this helps,
Terra

Sep 04, 2008
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not alone
by: Anonymous

Don't think someone wouldn't want to marry you! My husband is a doctor and completely supportive of my "quirks." I wear earplugs a lot and sometimes wish I had worse hearing. He knows he can't crack his neck/knuckles, chew gum, chew ice, belch, snore, breath heavy, etc. etc. And he loves me! He says it is a small price to pay to be with me. So be confident in yourself and you will find someone.

Jul 09, 2008
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Glad I could help
by: Dan Travis

I'm glad I could help you out Jean.

Yes, this is very frustrating and it is very good to communicate with one and other. I'm glad you're taking a proactive approach toward helping yourself Jean. I look forward to chatting with you on Adult SHARE.

Good luck and best wishes.
-Dan

Jul 09, 2008
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Alone and Irritated Adult
by: Anonymous

Hi Dan,

Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions. This is a frustrating problem to have but it helps to know that I'm not alone. I purchased the book you suggested and I'm going to go to the chat room.

Take care,

Jean

Jun 28, 2008
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Been There...
by: Dan Travis

Hi Jean. (hope you read this)

This is Dan. I am also a pretty isolated single adult living with SPD, and I have to tell you that I TOTALLY understand what you are going through and that I've pretty much been there myself (and it was just a few months ago). Let me see if I can offer some advice to you.

1. First of all, you may be completely isolated (I'm not too much better off myself), but when it comes to the internet you are definitely not alone. There is an online support group for adults like us with SPD, SPD Adult SHARE. This won't work like a link, but you can copy and paste it into the URL tray to reach it:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/spdadultshare/

You just need to set up a Yahoo user account and you can join. I joined it a few months ago and have found it to be quite invaluable for talking with other adult SPD'ers and getting ideas.

2. Another good resource is the only book that has been written specifically for adults with SPD, "Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight" (Sharon Heller). Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Loud-Bright-Fast-Tight-Overstimulating/dp/0060932929

3. I also know what it's like to read through this site the first time. When I first found this site in January, it nearly saved my life, finding all the answers to all of my bizarre issues and quirks. However, while reading all of this was so helpful to me, it also came with added frustration of not finding anything for adults, and the grief of reading about children who's lives are being helped tremendously through OT, while we adults have suffered through years of misunderstanding and chronic problems that still exist. I can only tell you that you are not alone on this one either, and suggest once again that you try joining Adult SHARE, where there are almost 300 of us (and many of us are also alone/single).

4. I know why you called yourself a freak. I know the feeling and reasoning in that, because I've called myself that and so much worse. All I can say is what you probably would expect me to say, you are NOT a freak. You do the best you can, and you are the best person you can possibly be at the moment. Now that you have an answer, you can stop beating yourself up over this stuff. Please, for your own good.

Jean, I hope you are able to find the help you need. Feel free to comment again on anything I've written. Good luck and best wishes.
-Dan
(Michigan)

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