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Out Of Touch

sans label
Don’t label me

It is not untrue that most of the symptoms of ADHD are, for the most part, normal conditions associated with everyday life. They are the annoying things that happen, more often in the mind, that make one feel incapable, incompetent, or possibly foolish every now and then.

The problem for ADHD is that these symptoms occur with such frequency and are often such spectacular examples that they have an ongoing and definitively negative effect on ones life.

But there are other subtle commonalities that many of us share that are not considered symptoms because they are neither indicative, nor do they occur frequently enough.

Hey, half a minute …

These semi-symptoms include being left handed or being mixed dominant when it comes to which hand you use more frequently or naturally to do certain things.

Another semi-symptom might be being accident prone, though there is every indication that that might be greatly augmented by risky or adventurous behaviour. A thing I like to call the “Hey, watch this!” syndrome.

Can’t touch this …

Another one is Hyperesthesia, an abnormal increase in sensitivity to stimuli, or what I like to call “label sensitivity.” The reason I call it this is because, for me, it manifests itself most spectacularly as my intolerance of labels in my clothing.

For years before I knew I had ADHD, and even after that but before I knew about Hyperesthesia, I didn’t understand what was happening. I’d have shirts I just refused to wear.

What they can’t see won’t hurt me … maybe?

I wore my underwear inside out because I’d scratch my lower back all day long, often causing damage.

The reason I didn’t really equate this with a problem was firstly, that not every label bothered me, some of them are quite soft and tolerable, and secondly … they’re labels, you can’t have a medical issue with labels.

Well, yeah, you can.

It wasn’t until I heard people talking about Autism’s uniquenesses that I realized this was a thing.

ADHD and Autism are like cousins, we share some issues that make some of us suspicious that there might well be a real connection. This might not be enough of one to justify that suspicion, but it’s another stick on the fire.

So what do I do now?

I still scratch when I forget to check for labels. I often take the labels out of t-shirts and other clothing that I wear next to my skin. And I have been known to decline shirts and shorts that have sewn-in labels, preferring the ones that have transfer printed labelling right on the material.

And I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m a mixed dominant, accident prone and very sensitive guy.

Out Of Touch

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2016). Out Of Touch. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 14, 2019, from


Last updated: 21 Sep 2016
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