A problem of touch
I'm posting this from a new account because I'd rather keep this problem somewhat isolated from my other "identity" (for lack of a better term). I've come to trust the community here and value the input of its members. For reference, I am male and in my mid 20's. If this is in the wrong area, please relocate it to a suitable one.
This is something I've been dealing with for quite some time and I feel I've reached the limits of my ability to deal with it. For as long as I can remember, I've had what felt like a special need for physical contact that went above and beyond what the average person needed to feel happy and content. This isn't necessarily sexual (though sex is an avenue which I've pursued this, albeit safely) in nature, often just the simple act of holding hands or running my hand across someone's arm or back gives me this charge that I cant really compare to anything else with any degree of justice. If I am without this kind of contact for long periods of time, I notice changes in my mental and then my physical self.
After a few days, I feel a little down. Nothing major, I just drag a little bit and am not as perky as I usually am. Once I hit a week, I start feeling actively depressed. Once two weeks passes, the physical pain begins. I start feeling an undefinable ache, almost like an itch you cant scratch no matter how hard you try or where you scratch, that starts at my shoulders and works its way across my entire body. After that, joint pain and a twitch in my left arm begin. Its an actual, palpable pain that doesn't respond to painkillers. At first I chalked this up to depression but I noticed even when I was engaged in something that made me happy and alleviated the symptoms of depression for a few days, the pain remained. I next attributed the pain to muscle pain caused by my muscles contracting due to the stress of the depression. Muscle relaxants (prescription strength and Tylenol) did nothing to help, using a massage machine did nothing, and a massage (I was wearing a shirt for the process) did nothing. Once I am able to have that contact again, I feel this profound sense of calm come over me and I feel so "at home" that its like I could almost just melt.
This craving surpasses virtually any other desire if let grow long enough. After three or four weeks, I find myself having to remind myself to move around and eat. Its almost like my body just stops caring. Even sex just starts seeming meaningless because I cant get past the fact that I'll be TOUCHING someone. A lot of the time, I donít even care if the sex happens or not. As long as we can just make contact, I'm happy. I think if I had less self-awareness, I'd probably be a sex addict though.
Actual touch itself is...difficult to describe without straying into the corn(y)fields. Itís a charge that races through your entire body and makes every hair stand on end, like a lighting bolt that shoots through every nerve and muscle. It feels almost like a miniature orgasm drawn out over several minutes and all you want is MORE; to be drawn in closer, more contact, more touch, and never have it end. The closest feeling I could equate it to that would have any coherent meaning for other people is when you're driving and you've got the windows down, music blasting, and you start gunning it up as the music crescendos; that rush is...similar in a limited way. It isn't necessarily sexual in nature, either. While it does enhance sexual encounters, the ecstatic feelings are clearly independent of sexual arousal. I've also noted that certain areas of the skin are more sensitive to this kind of touch than others; my back and hands especially are susceptible. Areas of skin that can generate this kind of charge when touched also become desensitized after a few minutes of contact but regain the sensitivity after given a few minutes to "recharge."
Certain people also have markedly different touches, no two people are alike in that respect. I've met people that set my blood on fire just by touching my cheek and I've met others where I felt absolutely nothing when they touched me, some have a sense of warmth that spreads from where they touch, others its almost a vibration. This can also change depending on that person's mood and the mood of the moment. I even build up a tolerance to the touch of a specific person if I'm exposed to it for long periods of time; it stops having the effect of satiating the hunger and the intervals between NEEDING contact become shorter and shorter even if the amount of physical contact between that person and myself remains the same.
I realize this must seem a little...eccentric, to be mild, but this IS something very real that I experience. I have spent hours trying to approach this from a scientific point of view but aside from a new found knowledge of neurotransmitters, nothing has come of it. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitters produced when someone is physically touched (among myriad other circumstances) and while I have considered jamming a hypo of synthetic Oxytocin into a vein, I've stopped short of this (for obvious reasons, and the fact that synthetic Oxytocin is not available without prescription.) I have read several articles on the concept of "skin hunger" (essentially the human desire to be touched) but it deals with this in a MUCH more subdued way and there is virtually no clinical information out there on the subject, its barely recognized as a "thing" to begin with. I've dealt with this as long as I have memory and while it creates some amazing experiences with people, the crash and the constant hunger (for lack of a better term) is wearing me down.
I have considered antidepressants but I can find no valid clinical reason for asking for them; how I feel is there regardless if I am depressed or not. This kind of thinking intrudes even when I am at peace and happy with the rest of my life. I also have spoken with several counselors about the subject but I cant seem to find anyone that really understands A. what the problem is or B. why itís a problem. I feel I've sort of run out of options; everything I chase down is a dead-end with no help to be offered.
If you have anything to offer, anything at all, I would be glad to hear it.
After re-reading this upon completion, it strikes me that this looks frighteningly like a suicide note XD I assure you this was not my intention at all, I have no plans on self-destruction whatsoever. I find my circumstances highly frustrating but not nearly to the degree that warrants self-destructive behavior and I do consider myself, on the whole, mentally healthy.