New clothes

Here is a new development. I have a hard time finding things that bring me much pleasure with this horrible condition, certainly not most foods, coffee or alcohol. But one thing that I really do enjoy is fashion. Now just recently, I am having extreme reactions to any new clothing item that I purchase. Its so bad that i am unable to even try it on for a few seconds without triggering a days long VM attack.i assume its the chemicals,dyes, etc that go into manufacturing clothing but it has never bothered me before now even with this condition. I also love to find used clothing but have issues with that as well as people love to use the most scented laundry products available on their clothing before they donate or sell it. I feel like my world just gets smaller and smaller with each passing day and my family, friends and coworkers either dont believe, understand or care. Very sad and frustrated these days…

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Have you tried some menthol (Vick’s vapor rub) under the nose to mask the smells? Or does menthol trigger an attack too? Just an idea to keep you doing the things you love.

Be very careful this is not confirmation bias. Symptoms will in any case fluctuate for sometimes apparently no rhyme nor reason. You could be just going through a bad patch and it has absolutely nothing to do with the clothes.

It’s very important for your mental health that you continue to pursue activities that you enjoy, so give it some time and see if this settles down.

The absolute worst thing you can do is give up everything you love doing and stay miserable indoors.

That said at one point I could not use computers and this really limited me. I needed to take medication to help me and indeed Amitriptyline allowed me once again to watch TV and use computers. Being deprived of that medium was tough and really cuts you off. Thank goodness the medication helped. Perhaps you have yet to optimise medication?


Thanks to you both. I actually been guilty of this before where I decide a new symptom or reaction to something is permanent only to find later that it was only a temporary setback. This has led to very strict diet and other restrictions in my life. I tend to go to the extreme. I will try to keep an open mind on this and hopefully it will be a passing issue.

It might be related but it might equally only last a few weeks.

Yes be careful not to go to extremes. We humans have a natural tendency to want to rush to find solutions to problems and unfortunately vestibular trouble is highly complex and constantly morphs making the solution sometimes very hard to find so we go to some crazy lengths.

Nowadays restricting caffeine is all I need to do to stay healthy (meds, who needs meds?! :wink: ). I would have never imagined that even a year ago.

I think one of the best things my therapist said to me was “don’t worry, things never stay the same”.

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Blame it on the way I was brought up. Emotion was very much frowned upon in my childhood home so I find I always take the ‘logical’ approach, initially at least. There must be a logical reason for your problem. I’d say it’s the smell. Migraine causes all sorts of hypersensitivity, extreme sensitivity yo light, sound, certain foods, meds. And smells. Chocolate is one of my triggers. I can smell it rooms away. I’ve had glasses I couldn’t wear because of a ‘plasticy’ smell - so strong to me, but nobody else could smell it at all. I’ve a better nose for smells than our dog and she’s a German Shepherd Dog. Just like all the other sensitivities the migraine preventatives will reduce this sense once you’ve optimised the dosage, and given it some time. Helen

It may be time to talk with my neuro about my meds dosage. Im on 2 meds- Verapamil and Nortriptyline for 4 years now and if i avoid all of my triggers (of which there are alot) then I manage pretty well. The thing is that it seems new triggers appear all the time, further restricting my already very limited life. New clothes and their accompanying scents werent a problem for me until about a week ago. Im hopeful that its temporary. Maybe I have gone over my migraine threshhold from other factors and thats why this problem has come up all of the sudden.

You are most probably right about thresholds. This last week my light sensitivity has returned. It had bern virtually gone for months. Hard to know why. Dont think I’ve done anything different from usual. Cannot think of any extra visual stimulation above usual. I’m probably a fine one to talk because I do it myself alot but try not to let restrictions you’ve imposed because you had to become the permanent law in your life. You can probably do more than you’d imagine with pushing boundaries. I was extremely light sensitive for several years, had to totally avoid bright sun, even with hat and dark glasses I’d be instantly so dizzy but, once medicated, gradually I’ve pushed the boundaries back and back successfully. I’m still working on supermarkets. Like meds, it’s low and slow but if you aren’t moving forwards, you are regressing. Just tiny steps willget you there. Helen

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Another thought to throw in the mix, could it be the movement of trying on the clothes, ie taking clothes off, putting on new ones etc? I ask because I could not get dressed in one go without becoming very nauseous and dizzy, could not raise my arms up to brush my hair etc. So maybe the act of changing clothes more than normal is a trigger for you too.

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Thanks for your thoughts. Its actually a reaction only after putting on brand new items. Its really severe and i have to take them off as soon as possible. It feel it just has to be chemically related. Im really sensitive to most scents and even some items that dont really have a distinct scent. Its something in the clothing itself. Im hoping its temporary because its only appeared in the past week or so. Very frustrating how this morphs and changes. I love turnitarounds quote from his therapist about things never staying the same. Its so true!

Well, Nothing can Improve Without Change,. Most profound that. I take no credit, it’s an Alexander Technique principle. Ah… when I think of where the MAV path has led me! Helen

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