New Awareness - Questioning the Possibility of SPD Inheritance

by Tara
(Edmonton, AB, Canada)

I had no idea...I spent my entire life with various issues; some I learned to cope with others cropped up or got worse. I’m 39 & just finding out that everything that has been an issue in my life may be captured with 1 Disorder.

Through my life I was diagnosed with Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tendinitis ( Knees), Plantars Fasciitis, Dyslexia, Depression, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, OCD & had many issues never addressed. When I decided to Google all of my symptoms SPD came up as a likely culprit. I still have yet to discuss this with a professional, in order to initiate better options for help, but once I found this, I discussed it with my kids dad, & my mom, & they agreed that it might explain it, as my sisters have it, their son/daughters have it, my mom & her mom may have it, & my youngest son has the most glaring proof of it, & my oldest maybe slightly. Apologies in advance, as I may duplicate things as I am just adding them as I think over my past.

Family Memories:

My grandmother had difficulties tolerating hugs; she was highly focused on painting & gardening.
My mom used to be unable to tolerate carbonation in her beverages, & prefers to sleep with a weighted blanket.

My oldest son talks of OCD issues, a need for soft materials, smiling is uncomfortable for him, spends hours/ days on organizing collector cards, & is antisocial unless forced out.
My youngest from birth was different, he would gag when introducing new foods (breast milk/ formula /baby food /solids), he would search out lint to suck his thumb with & rub against his upper lip (potentially swallowing some along the way), he will throw himself @ you full speed /hug to “break” you, he had issues with bathing, toilet trained @ 5(to go to school), randomly gets car sick, still has picky eater habits, focuses for hours on building train track plans/organizing lego, has some hyper activity issues, has problems @ school, has a constant need for attention.

As for my conditions/symptoms...I find myself with the following issues:

- Picky eater - texture, taste, smell any of these may set me off on new foods. My diet has only craved crunchy foods, cream pastas, chocolate, anything potato & poultry, people in my life complain @ my pickiness & how bland my foods are

- OCD - Specific brands are required when buying certain items, dishwasher must be loaded a specific way, dishes & laundry must be put in specific places, create massive lists of books, movies, & tv shows. Inability to handle any changes in my life, structure & control is needed @ all times.

- Generalized Anxiety Disorder - It was hard to explain to people what I was feeling here, crowds were always a big issue & have gotten exponentially worse over the yrs, because of noise & close proximity (being touched by others "strangers", or smelling them made my skin crawl & give me a burning prickly sensation) & I can now only barely tolerate them with music in my ears or direct distraction from someone close to me; I've never been able to tolerate public speaking, avoidance for both has been my primary method of coping. I feel misogynistic except when with people I know & trust, I don't want anything to do with them, the thought makes my skin itch & burn with a prickly heat. Elevators with more than 4 people are too crowded for me. Guests would cause me to hide out in my room if possible, regular chatter grates on my nerves. People call me shy or unapproachable until they get to know me. Cats, music (directly in my ears & in my control), arts & crafts, gaming, & watching shows calm my nerves. Nearly all of the things I enjoy doing are solitary, or limited numbers of participants as it helps with avoiding crowds or noise volumes that agitate my nerves.

- Dyslexia - Gr 7 I was tested & diagnosed with this as I was having difficulty in both English & Math. I have learned coping strategies over the yrs for both, & now am tolerable, except when reading online, something about it is hurting my eyes, & I have only found that reading on a Kindle Paperwhite or Kobo Aura(similar screen type) do not cause eye strain style issues; which is problematic since it is a major part of my job. So I am still looking for coping options for this one.

- Depression - I was diagnosed with depression 14 yrs ago, however I have gone without meds for it now for 4 yrs because Dr's no longer wish to treat me for reasons I'll mention below under other issues. I have what can only be described as situational depression, possibly that's how they diagnosed me with BPD, because I would go to suicidal extremes thinking that it was a reasonable option as it ends the suffering, after some therapy & much research I have moved away from thoughts like this, but I also feel numb like nothing like what used to trigger me (major life changes) matters anymore. Maybe it's still depression, but suicide ideology & weekly tears are gone.

- Borderline Personality Disorder - I couldn't handle any changes, like with the OCD. This diagnosis what opted for when I was having an inability to function, I had 3 mental health medical leaves

in 3 yrs, when homeless (in a shelter) for 6 months, had suffered 3 emotionally & financially abusive relationships, had had a therapist tell me to "just give him what he wants" when referencing oral servicing of my significant other. I spent 3 days in psych-eval for an attempted suicide.
Lastly - Other issues I have noticed over the yrs include the following:
- showers make me itchy (yet public pools not as much unless I don't rinse after)
- teeth are sensitive to brushing even with sensitive tooth paste & no cavities
- I can’t wear constricting clothing; these includes scarves, turtle necks, jeans, bras, socks, or get irritated by lace, wool, & crisp textured clothing
- prefer heavy blankets, to be fully cozy & secure
- body temp regulation has been an issue since I was young, prior to turning 18 I couldn't sweat @ all, after that I started having issues both with cold, heat & humidity. Touching me when I am hot or you are hot causes me to wig out. Touching me when I am cold is desperately needed, sometimes causing depression if I am single @ the time.
- I was two/three, & my mother found me outside smacking my brother's head into the sidewalk, when asked what I was doing, I stated I was hungry
- I get frequent headaches, arthritis type pains in my hands, knees, foot pain, & muscle aches - to the point that I buy the extra big bottles of pain killers & muscle relaxants.
- Since I was 18 I complained of feeling like I was 400 yrs old because I was always tired & in pain
- I can feel the gas, & pain of things moving through my GI, sex can sometimes be painful like friction burns (not a moisture issue), swallowing pills is difficult (there's some fun when medicating for the pains & discomforts that occur on a daily basis for me)
- My energy levels are quite low, just enough to get the mandatory things done & then chill out for the rest of the time. I have a lot of incomplete projects due to lost the energy.
- I am not ticklish, many have tried & failed. I talk to myself to help my thinking processes
- I regularly have bruises I have no idea what I bumped into (confirmed they are not cancer related)
- When stationary (sitting or standing) I rock back & forth or side to side, partially for pain relief & partially to keep my nerve calm
- In the last 5 yrs I picked up a habit of picking @ my arms & legs til they bled & scarred, I've had to wear long sleeves & pants ever since because if I tan they are easily visible
- I can no longer wear skirts unless wearing shorts underneath because my legs chafe together when walking, I must also sleep with a sheet between my legs to keep the chafing feeling @ bay
- I cut all tags off immediately after purchase, I can't wear lace or wool ever, I've only recently forced myself to wear winter gear on my hands, but I am itching the entire time.
- I can't process two streams of conversation, for example my bf & I will watch a show, & then he will want to say something, but I literally can't hear him other that to sense something changed.
- I have difficulty processing audio instructions. I have difficulty telling time with an analogue clock
- On uneven surfaces I tend to trip, twist my ankle or stub my toe when walking
- Gauging distances when passing something across the table is difficult, causing tipped over objects
- It took me 10 yrs to learn to touch type reasonably
- I have been called stubborn quite frequently in my personal life.
- Making decisions is very hard for me, I usually have friends & family make most of them, or just let what happens happen.
- I am slightly impatient, & very impulsive...I have been trying to work on this as it makes for budgetary stresses & poor relationship choices
-I have had several instances as an adult that I can remember in which the crowded or noisy situation has caused me to cower in a corner with my ears covered...when that started happening I started to avoid those issues where possible
- In multi-floor commercial buildings when standing still I get nauseous because I can feel the floor moving from others movements
- I've become a bit of a pack rat, I try to periodically purge when in high energies
- Eye contact makes me nervous, as does dealing with figures of authority (even if they are plenty friendly)
- I have had tons of traumas in my life, & so some PTSD is an issue, including in regards to getting medical help, as due to an incident when I was 19 allowing dr's to give me a physical is untenable & it was difficult before because it was painful.
So if after reading all of this:
- anyone here agrees that it seems I may have SPD(not to confirm the diagnosis as an official diagnosis, but I am not certain what severity is required to classify), &
- might have ideas on how to cope or mitigate, or
- even might offer support, please feel free to reach out
If you disagree let me know that too!

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