Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ah, the smell issue redux

After reading a recent article on PsychCentral, I was reminded of having gone through the very situation described. Rather than recap, take a moment to re-read by clicking here.

When the PsychCentral newsletter showed up in my mailbox with this headline: Do You Think You Smell? Olfactory Reference Syndrome, I was eager to read that someone had finally, definitively described the relationship between endocrinology, medications, and a heightened sense of smell.

Unfortunately, that's not what the article concluded. In fact, it seemed no one had actually considered that particular link. The researchers (working with a bumper crop of 20 subjects), instead, concentrated on proving it was a mental disorder along the lines of, "I don't smell a thing--you must be nuts." Why not step back from looking for the origin or existence of the odor, and instead consider why there's a heightened olfactory perception in the person experiencing the distressing odors?

Is it really that much easier to look for one more proof of mental illness?

Here is the link to the PsychCentral article. My comments should show up within 24 hours, unless they are moderated into oblivion. I discuss my theory on the connection between medications, endocrinology, and the sense of smell, and I give the example of a college roommate with multiple hormone problems who experienced this situation. Except, nobody ever accused her of "just having OCD."

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