My sensitivity to clothing, food, and temperature rules, and is ruining, my life

by Michael
(USA)

I am a male in his early 40's. After searching for information for years, it seems that I may have finally found the medical definition for what I have always just thought of as my "quirkiness". Now that It has a name, will that help me to overcome it?


As far back as I can remember, I have always been extremely sensitive to certain types of clothing. I remember going to grade school and sitting down in the lunchroom and feeling like I was going to crawl out of my skin because of the way my clothes felt against my skin. I remember constantly tugging and pulling on my collar and my shirt. I remember running home and tossing off my "school clothes" and finally being able to feel some relief by putting on a t-shirt and sweat pants/shorts.

As I grew older, the problem persisted. I HATE wearing what any normal person would consider "presentable" clothes. Anything with a collar, buttons, god forbid the few occasions I've been forced to wear a tie. If I get too cold or too hot, I am absolutely miserable unless I have JUST the right type of soft, comfortable clothing.

Food is a whole other issue. If I wear my "comfy" clothes and I'm in a mild environment temperature-wise, I'm fine. If I have to wear "normal" clothes, eating is a nightmare. I cannot stand eating (or even being near) anything the least bit hot, spicy, fried, greasy, or the like. And if someone touches me while I'm eating, even accidentally, I nearly jump out of my chair, literally.

I don't know if it has gotten worse as I've grown older, or if it's just that there are more times where I am expected to wear "normal" clothing, such as my job. This has begun to affect my career, as I have turned down more than a few jobs and promotions that would require me to wear a suit or just a shirt & tie. I simply cannot bear the thought of doing so for 8+ hours/day, no matter the financial or career rewards.

I also have some issues with food textures or odors, but those are very mild and easily avoided. My main problem is the inability to function normally while wearing "normal" clothing. I don't want this to keep being a roadblock in my life, as I am otherwise perfectly healthy, mentally and physically. I have a beautiful wife & children, a great marriage, good friends, and a potentially lucrative career. I just need to get past this issue in order to advance.

In the past I have considered asking a doctor about my problems, but it seemed so vague and petty that I wouldn't even know how to describe it or what type of doctor to speak with. Any advice on where to start would be very much appreciated. So thankful to have found this page; at the very least, I have something to use as a starting point now and I don't feel totally alone.

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