Tactile Defensiveness

I have had varying degrees of tactile defensiveness since my teen years. It is caused by the crippling anxiety that has accompanied my disease. I was afraid to hug a guy for years and afraid to get intimate with a woman forever… Now I have some company. One of my nieces appears to have the same problem. She once told my Mom that she only could stand to touch an animal. When she was becoming pretty I was afraid of what she would do to herself to avoid the human touch. So far it’s only been a matter of dressing in dark clothes, not wearing dresses (although it may be uncomfortable to her) and refusing to wear makeup and earrings. I’ll be sad if her hair gets cut short later but I wouldn’t be surprised. She is a gifted student so I’m not as afraid she’ll inherit my schizophrenia as I was before and she is active in music and loves to read. She is vehemently against the idea of ever marrying and it makes sense to me as I look back at my own past. I hope she continues to be a success and would think her living in an apartment with a good job and a lot of pets would be a good way for her to go. But I have heard that tactile defensiveness can be helped with therapy and I hope someday that happens for her or maybe she can find a way to do it on her own. I know that society doesn’t understand those who do not like to be touched or don’t seek companions, Fortunately she does have friends who admire her abilities and achievements and her success in school may keep them around.

Pretty likely these (some of which are exposure therapies, some of which are not):

Standard CBT – Psychotherapy | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness & scroll down
DBT – What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)? – Behavioral Tech
MBSR – http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php
MBCT - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22340145
SEPT – Somatic experiencing - Wikipedia
SMPT – Sensorimotor psychotherapy - Wikipedia
10 StEP – Pair A Docks: The 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing