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Mike123
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19 Jun 2013, 12:44 pm

Hey guys! I have been really struggling with being very sensitive to smells for a while now, to the point where it's really ruining my life. I am mostly worried about perfumes, shampoos, carbon from fires and sulfides from foods. Everytime I smell one of these things I feel as if it is going to harm me in some horrible way. I am having trouble going to school because of the scents that others wear. I don't have problems with touch, taste, or sight, but sometimes a little bit with sounds. Does anyone else have a similar problem? Can anyone help? I really don't know how to handle this.



dancingwater
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19 Jun 2013, 1:26 pm

I also have sensitivity to smells - Big time. It really hinders my life I hate soap powder on clothes , shampoo on hair, coffee or mint on peoples breath.
I try to keep my house free of smells using Ecover products to wash my clothes, fragrance free soaps and bicarbonate of soda to clean everything else in my house, this helps reduce sensitivity and keeps me happy in my house.
When you are in others company it is more difficult, i try to avoid situations where I will be in close contact with people, don't like this anyway.
The only other tip I can offer is to breath shallowly, don't take deep breaths, try to distract yourself, keep a window open.



Mike123
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19 Jun 2013, 1:36 pm

Yeah. I have my windows open as much as I can. Even when I know thing aren't dangerous, I am still prone to avoid them. It's pretty scary. I have a very hard time in school (that luckily just ended) because kids wear a lot of fragrances and we are all in the same room. Yesterday I has the worst panic attack because my mom was spraying paint right near thew house and the smell traveled throughout. Sometimes I nearly pass-out from attempting to hold my breath. My parents want to send me to the mental hospital. Any advice on how to deal with the problem when it is inevitable that you will smell the smell? Thanks. Glad that I am not the only one in this situation!



dancingwater
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19 Jun 2013, 1:47 pm

There is no control over the fact that you will smell the smell, things smell, people smell. I am lucky I have my own house where I can control all the smells, Maybe you need to express to your parents how much it upsets you. Alternatively make plans to get your own place. I suppose I have just learned to ' put up with it' in certain situations, but I keep these to a minimum.
I hope this helps you



zer0netgain
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19 Jun 2013, 1:55 pm

I'm not quite that bad, but yes, I am sensitive to many scents. I can't stand the orange antibacterial soaps...they make me nauseous.

Other peoples BO and breath also make me want to be ill. I know if you are around something long enough, you get more used to it, but ICK! :x



Mike123
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19 Jun 2013, 2:24 pm

I have thought so much about moving out, but there is now way I could do it. I am too young to move out right now.



the_grand_autismo
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19 Jun 2013, 2:27 pm

It sounds like you are very anxious about smelling certain things. What are you afraid will happen if you smell a bad scent?

I don't think you need to go to the mental hospital about this, but you might need to talk to a therapist to help you be ok with smelling things in the world and not be so anxious you have a panic attack or hold your breath until you pass out! It sounds like you might have a phobia of certain smells rather than just a sensitivity towards them.

Smells are probably my #1 sensory sensitivity so I understand where you are coming from, but I am not really scared of them, I just don't like how they affect me at all.



Tuttle
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19 Jun 2013, 2:29 pm

Masks.

Take the hit in how you look and just wear a mask. There are various levels of protection, but they help drastically.

Carry things that are STRONG pleasant smelling with you, and use that to help counteract it. Use taste as well, because taste is strongly connected to smell.

Avoid. avoid. avoid. Determine what you NEED to avoid with smell, what you can handle, and completely avoid what you need to. Put large amounts of effort into handling your other senses, and do not expect yourself to handle everything.

Connected to those other senses, get good input in other senses as well.

That's the list I can immediately think of for going out in public and just walking around.

Beyond that:

Maybe talk to school about having an accommodation of having a HEPA filter if you have a severe enough reaction to scents? HEPA filters are amazingly useful.



Mike123
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19 Jun 2013, 3:05 pm

I feel as if I will have a permanent problem. Some sort of problem with my body or my mind. This is kind of ironic considering that, if I were to have a permanent problem, this would be it. When I am in the moment, I feel like I would do anything to get out. I have even hurt myself over this because I feel as if there is no end in sight.



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19 Jun 2013, 4:03 pm

I can help with this. Yes, even smells. I'm good at this.
Send me a PM or checkout StabilizingAutism/unsolicited-advice
It's free if you're broke.


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McCool
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19 Jun 2013, 8:38 pm

I'm sensitive to smells. I have a long list of smells that make me feel dizzy and/or nauseous.



alwaystomorrow
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20 Jun 2013, 2:27 am

I'm nowhere near as sensitive to smells as you are, but still fairly sensitive compared to the general population -- it's mainly 'bad' smells for me (BO, garbage, exhaust fumes, etc), but also some kitchen smells, pot, a variety of perfumes...

So I carry a small container of Mentholatum ointment around with me wherever I go and apply a bit right under my nose when necessary. I like this particular smell, it's meant to be used on the sensitive skin around your nose, and it blocks out pretty much everything else for a while. :)



Joe90
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20 Jun 2013, 4:15 am

I'm the opposite, I'm undersensitive to smells. Last week at work one of the rooms smelt of urine, and everyone could smell it except for me. I went in there and tried sniffing around, and someone else stood at the door and said, ''can't you smell it?'' Then somebody walked past the room, stopped, and said, ''ohh, it smells like urine here!'' I stood there and could not smell it at all.

I have a very weak sense to smell. But don't worry, I suffer the same problem with sounds as you do with smells. It destroys my life. :(


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ECJ
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20 Jun 2013, 4:29 pm

I'm really sensitive to smells. Strong coffee smell can make me have migraine and become nauseous. So can perfumes and aftershaves. Strong coffee smell is the worst though because my dad likes using a coffee percolator :-(



drewski56
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21 Jun 2013, 3:11 am

Its the worst when a girl with strong perfume comes through the shop where I work; I will have difficulty focusing for at least twenty minutes after they leave. And then I can still smell their trail all through the store for another half an hour. I can't stand more than a few seconds in the cleaner aisle at the grocery store, and I have to use all fragrance free products.

I can't say I have ever felt fearful at all, just overwhelmed by the sensory input.

On the flip side, there are many smells I very much enjoy. I love the smell of coffee, campfires, lots of things really. I love riding my scooter because I can smell so many things that you don't normally experience. I suppose its really just artificial fragrances that really bother me...



Mike123
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22 Jun 2013, 4:23 pm

The artificial smells bother me the most as well. I can't imagine not being bothered by them considering they are so potent to me. I haven't talked to my sister for 2 weeks now because I refuse to go near her and I am angry at her.