Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat
I'm sure there's some kind of psychoanalysis to be done here. Not enough hugs from your mom when you were a baby, wrong kind of hugs from your uncle... A lot of these types of conditions stem from some kind of childhood trauma. If any that resonates with you, perhaps addressing those issues head on could provide some relief for your situation?
I cant really think of anything that would trigger this type of thinking. My mom and I aren't (and have never been) terribly close and touch wasn't a big part of life growing up, but it certainly wasn't abusive and she did try very hard to be a good parent. And if it was related to that, why would it only develop in my mid-teens? Why wouldn't it be something I recognized earlier?
Originally Posted by BoringGuy
The interfering with a person's ability to function normally is usually what makes a "condition" cross the line from non-pathological to pathological. I recommend that you upgrade your help-seeking from "self/peer/community/internet" to "professional".
Please remember (OP and everyone else) that I am not "judging" or "labeling" you. I'm simply responding to something YOU wrote about yourself.
No offense taken whatsoever and I completely agree, however I'm concerned about the professional route for two reasons.
First, what exactly do I tell them? "I really REALLY need to be touched" isnt terribly helpful and actually communicating the problem is difficult enough to begin with but I cant find anything in the literature that describes something even remotely close to this kind of problem.
If you cant name it, you cant really do anything at that point but throw medication at the problem and medications treat the symptoms but they dont treat the underlying problem in this case. That and a lot of the anti-depressants on the market were not designed for life-long use, they're supposed to get you to a stable enough place to work out what you need to work out so you dont need the anti-depressants anymore.
Second, I'm a little wary about dealing with mental health professionals in the first place. My job depends on employees being mentally and emotionally sound, if it comes down from somewhere that I'm seeking help for this vague problem that is effecting my mental health, I may find myself out of a job and that would be true disaster at this point.
Originally Posted by opalescent
I'm going into woo-woo land here. I can prove scientifically nothing I am about to write. If you are depressed, then you should absolutely keep seeking help, including western medications, for that. Depression does cause physical aching pain. There may also be emotional or mental causes for what you describe.
My theory, which I have absolutely no way of confirming, is that you are unusually sensitive to personal energy fields. And you may be a bit vampiric in a sense in that you need to interact via touch with other's fields. (Sounds creepy but is not meant in that way. I don't believe you are actually draining or hurting anyone.) You may also be putting out energy to others. Done in an uncontrolled, unconscious manner, this can drain you and possibly cause the muscle pains described. If you are empathetic, you may be sensing other's skin hunger or pain and drawing it into your own body. The empaths I know have to consciously shield themselves or they risk drawing in other folk's emotions - and emotions are often expressed in the body via pain or other sensations.
This can be managed. You can learn to shield yourself. (Wiccans in particular have several techniques for this. Buddhists have developed mediation techniques for various things to a very high level. You do not have to ascribe to the belief system for these things to work. They are tools, not ideologies.) You can learn to manage energy interactions with others. That is why I suggested to talk to energy workers, shamans, spirtual healers about this. Not all of them will get it or have any ideas for you. But I suspect some will.
Of course, keep common sense. If someone seems to be a total quack, well, then they are. Move away quickly if they seem grasping or pushy. Otherwise learn what you can from them and keep looking for teachers. If it works for you, then it works and that is what matters.
I have talked to a couple of people who did this kind of work and while it was interesting to learn about, I cant say the techniques really helped. The meditation did slow my thinking down a little bit and slowed the process of deterioration over a period of days but it was not an appreciable difference. I still do practice some of the techniques though. Shielding and grounding did basically jack.
Originally Posted by CandLinPC
I have this same need to be touched, and many of the things you describe in your post ring true for me too, to one degree or another. I have found out, through much soul-searching and psychotherapy that what I want is not specifically touch, it's a feeling of acceptance. I have always had bad self-image and esteem, and the only way my brain can accept that I am attractive or socially accepted is if people touch me, or allow me to touch them. I have not taken the love languages test, but I already know where I would score on it. High on touch, and low on everything else.
Have you thought of your issue from the angle that touch might only be the pathway to a deeper need? That's what it is for me.
I cant say I have bad self-esteem. I'm not strutting by any measure but my self esteem isn't markedly below I guess "normal."
I have considered that but after thinking about it, I cant figure out what that deeper need might be. Touch itself is a pretty basic need to begin with. I had considered that maybe it was a need for affection, someone to relate to, or someone to have a connection with but I'm not really lacking in any of that. I'm not really lacking in anything I could logically tie to an intense need to be touched.
Thank you everyone for your help so far. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm shooting everyone down but please understand, I've been dealing with this for probably ten years or more by this point. I've tried A LOT of things and I feel like I've exhausted all the options and the only options remaining are bad ones.