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Random Smells, Paranoia, Social Anxiety
An_243661 posted:
I really think I am going crazy. I've become a hypochrondriac.

I used to have ulcerative colitis, but then I had a colectomy and now a J pouch and thought my life would be turned around. For the most part, it has been. I am not sick with bowel disease anymore. Now my brain is taking over being the needy organ and it's definitely not as easy to nail down as the bowel disease was.

Lately I smell random smells. Like a weird musty, bleachy, fishy smell. It's hard to say which of those three it really is, but it's some combination of the three where sometimes it is more bleach or more fish or more must. I randomly catch a wiff of it during the day and for a long time I thought it was vaginal. I got tested for everything...all negative. I started washing obsessively. I started wiping front to back because with my J pouch I go to the bathroom a lot and need to stay clean. Cleaning and changing my wiping habits helped a little. However, I still catch a wiff of it and sometimes I"ll even go in the bathroom and wipe myself in various places and then smell the paper just to see where it's coming from and the paper doesn't have the smell on it. I know this is disgusting but I'll do anything to get rid of this bceause it's making me super paranoid about social situations. I'm worried other people can smell it and they now hate me and will never tell me. I asked my boyfriend if he smells it and sometimes he said he does. So, it can't all be in my head, although sometimes when I do my wipe test, I wonder if it is that I smelled it for real a few times and now I imagine it is there more than it really is.

This is one of the many things wrong with me right now but Ill stick to this for now to keep it "simple."

Any doctors or nurses or people out there who've experienced this smell phenomenon and gotten a diagnosis of any kind?
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
I'm sorry, but I'm not an M.D., and I cannot help you with this difficulty. I do know that some people who have had certain types of disorders have developed changes in their sense of smell and this may be what has happened to you. But, since you indicated that your boyfriend also has become aware of this on some occasions, it would seem that it is not entirely psychological. It may just be that you are more sensitive to things than others.

I hope that someone with similar circumstances might respond to your post or that another medical professional on the board might offer an opinion on this.

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