I never knew this was a thing
I'm 25, almost 26, and I'm just finding out about SPD. I've been seeing a therapist for social anxiety and depression for a while now, and in our session yesterday, I happened to mention how disturbed and averse I am to certain noises. He asked if I was like that with any of my other senses. Lights always seem too bright. Sounds always seem too loud, sharp, and grating. Most textiles and fabrics are abrasive. Perfumes and artificial smells make me sick. I actively avoid crowds and other people and will have meltdowns and panic attacks if people start getting too close to me.
We had talked about a few of these things separately, and they'd always been attributed to Social Anxiety Disorder. But when I listed everything together, he said I might have SPD and should look into it and possibly get tested and diagnosed.
I've been looking over the different checklists of signs and symptoms and so many things make sense now! I thought that maybe this was a new development, but there are a lot of things on these lists that have bothered me my entire life. Quirks that I've always had. When I was little, my parents always just people that I was shy and picky and forced me to tolerate things I hated so that I wasn't rude.
I grew up thinking that these were things
that everyone went through. I thought that everyone was this anxious and nervous and particular about things. I just thought that everyone else was better at handling it and dealing with it than I was. Everyone always told me that I was too sensitive and that I shouldn't let things bother me so much. I thought something was wrong with me. And because I felt so inferior to everyone around me, I didn't think I was as good, and it lead to years of deep depression where everyone continued to tell me that I was just being overly sensitive and needed to just "get over it."
After finding out about SPD and seeing so many familiar things on these lists, for the first time in my life, I don't feel like I'm defective. I actually feel this weird sense of vindication. All those years that I told people that "minor things" bothered me in extreme ways, I wasn't lying or exaggerating or making it up or looking for attention. I was telling the truth and I wasn't crazy. This is quite literally life changing for me.
I have no idea if I'll be able to find someone to get an actual diagnosis, but I'm definitely going to talk to my family doctor about it. I might be overly sensitive to some things, but now I know that it's likely with good reason.