Feel so depressed and paranoid - I think people think that I smell

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I'm in my mid-twenties and am female. I have suffered with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager, tried CBT and Fluoextine and Citalopram. Came off Citalopram at the beginning of the year, and have been anti-d free since.

Everything has been going great, I started a new job, have been exercising lots and eating healthily, and my mental attitude has been much better and I have been feeling positive about myself and life.

At my last job, where I'd been for many years, there was often a weird musty smell around a space about 12 foot square, and my colleagues always joked it was an elderly coworker. People sitting immediately around me were forever sneezing, sniffing and complaining of a bad smell. No one ever told me it was me or hinted or anything, and I am a clean person so thought it couldn't be me. An outspoken girl said it smelt "unpleasant" and like "sweaty salmon" on a few occasions. One time she sprayed deodorant into the air. She sat about 8 foot from me.

I started my new job and over the past few weeks I have noticed a weird smell near where I sit but only when I walk away and come back a few minutes later. To me it smells like an onion-y smell. People walking past my desk constantly sniff literally as they walk past my desk.

Yesterday a colleague said it smelt like gone off food, and today she looked at me, called another colleague over and whispered but I heard the words "smells"and "pi55" and she asked the other girl if she could smell it too and she agreed.

About a week ago, the other girl was talking about someone using the communal toilets and leaving urine all over the seat and she said how "that person must be getting lots of it on themselves too". Again, I didn't twig as I never leave urine on the seat and always make sure I clean myself thoroughly.

I use public transport to commute in to work and people on the train around me constantly sniff. Last week an elderly man sat behind me and sniffed literally every five seconds for the whole journey. I thought it must be because I smell and I was getting so paranoid and hurt, I wanted to turn around and punch him (I would never do anything like that).

Last week my manager asked me how I found the "hygiene" in the office which I thought was strange and then elaborated that he meant my commute. That made no sense but at the time it didn't click.

I shower every morning, wash my hair daily and use antipersperant and deodorant. I apply Perspirex nightly and use body spray and perfume. I clean sweaty areas regularly and carry change of underwear and wipes etc with me, I am so paranoid about my personal hygiene. I also started taking Chlorophyll supplements and reducing caffeine.

I do have greasy sebhorreic dermatitis but I'm treating it.

I think I do tend to be quite a sweaty person and my crotch does get sweaty but only usually when I work out, in which case everywhere else gets sweaty too.

Am I being paranoid?! No one has outright said that I smell, ever. This is making me so depressed, I feel humiliated, but I am a clean person. I feel suicidal. Please help me, I am really at the end of my tether, I am so unhappy. I don't feel like my family want to help, and I don't really have any close friends to talk to. This post is 100% serious.

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  • Posted

    As long as u know the truth, that's all that matters. My sister introduced a deodorant to me, it's dove underarm cost about a fiver it's in a box, and my god it's good. Try and get some strong perfume that last Alday. Britney Spears midnight, Gucci. There's loads of solutions. If Rhodes girls think it's you, then your obivously shown them your weaker side and they know it. Laugh it off with them, they using that to get to you. Being sniff on the train all the time just one of them things or they might just have colds. Think your being abit paranoid there. Your be fine. Your not alone. Feeling down about things we all in the same boat.

    Chin up, tomorrow's a brand new day! X

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  • Posted

    this is litterly me.

    i'm in middle school and i am 13 years old.

    idk if i smell bad or something but people alwayssssssssssss sniff around me. like i use body spash every passing period, idk if i use too much or if i just smell bad. this has been going on ever since 6th grade. i just always feel horrible about it and i've been depressed about it for a long time. i feel like everyones talking about how bad i smell. ive been to the doctor about this issue and he said that i dont smell. my parents also said that I didn't. and I don't know what to do. i ask all my close friends and they say no i dont smell.... im so confused i dont know what to do.

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    • Posted

      Ya that's me too

      My mom says I don't smell bad and my sister says I don't smell bad but in school everyone closes there nose from me and they hint to me that I smell bad and it's depressing me so much I can't even focus on school I can barely make any friends I tried alot of deodorants I take showers everyday I don't know what else to do and whenever I tell my mom that ismell she says it's normal and I tell her it's bad she says it's In my imagination and I want to visit a doctor and solve this factor that's been controlling my life but I don't know how to tell my mom and what to do please HELP ME

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    • Posted

      Hey,

      I was going through the same thing in school and if I had a chance to go back in time I would have done homeschool or alternative schooling, while I figured out what was the problem, which I still haven't found but I eat healthy and exercise which I would say has lessen to a degree, To be blunt it's not going to be easy unless you figure out whats causing the bo. So be in control of your life rather than it being in control of you.

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    • Posted

      Omg Natasha you sound just like me....I'm in middle school and i'm 13 now. I'm just so sad cause of this body odor issue. I practice good hygiene all the time but people still hint I smell bad. I still made a lot of friends but its hard keeping them. Some of the friends I had at the beginning of this school year no longer sit close to me or talk to me as much. Its so depressing. If i ask any of my close friends they say I smell fine. Everyone constantly sniff around me. My family says that I smell fine and I'm being paranoid. My doc. also said its ok. I'm pretty sure I either have candida or its my diet (I'm Indian and eat a lot of curry so that might be it, also I've gotten symptoms of candida.) I just wish for a normal life, I try to focus on school. My grades have gotten down since 7th grade and I no longer get straight A's. I feel so sad, even Indian people sniff around me so I think candida might be my reason. my cousin came over and just wouldn't stop sniffing....I'm just so depressed and feel suicidal sometimes. I just break down sometimes when I'm alone. I'm also really scared since high school its next year and all my good friends are going to different high schools. =(
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    • Posted

      I feel your pain. Sometimes people around me hint that i smell like fish and yesterday my friend was talking about me smelling like fish to my other friend.But my family thinks I smell good and I think I smell fine too.Nowadays I feel like killing myself and just want to drown in an tub. But seeing I'm not the only one dealing with the smell issue I can feel a tiny bit better.
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    • Posted

      LITERALLY ME!

      I'm in England, in Secondary school and I've just turned 15.

      It started almost a year ago where I noticed someone covering their nose and looking in my direction as if trying to show someone I smelt. From then on, it's a been a pretty horrible journey. Initially, I thought it was my school uniform blazer as that had a long history, and I was pretty sure it stank. However, after getting a new one, nothing got better. I had this perceived mindset that every body could smell me and that really messed w// my brain. I was positive it was a B.O smell and I tried EVERYTHING for it to stop. Nothing worked. Bare in mind, this problem was in school and I'd received all kinds of nasty words from people saying I needed deodorant and that I stank etc. Outside of school all was well wearing my own clothes. Until one day, when I was on a bus in my own clothes (aka hell on earth) and almost everybody around me moved away from me. (It sounds irrational to say that but I'm sure people with similar problems as me will understand) at this point I was devastated, as this kind of embarrassing stuff only happened to me when wearing school uniform, and I just HAD to tell my mum and see a doctor. The doctor prescribed me really strong anti perspiration roll on, but it did not work and things very progressively got worse. The sniffing soon started and I swear I'll gain ptsd from that noise. It's constant when I'm around strangers, it's HORRENDOUS! My family can't smell a thing, nor could the doctor. Neither can teachers and neither can my councillor who has been assigned to me because of this state I'm in. I now have serous social anxiety and have had panic attacks. I'm also paranoid and every day (particularly at school and on the bus) is living hell. The key is to have a positive mindset. I found the more relaxed I am the less I smelt (less sniffing, coffing, people staring at me in disgust) try and seek a phycologist as they really help. Anti perspiration stuff did not work for me. Try and gain supportive friends. It seems those closest to us can't smell a thing. I'm just hoping for the day I find out what Is really wrong, so I can feel peaceful with life. And btw, to block out the sniffing be sure to wear headphones or earphones when In public.

      Any further help or advice would be so greatly appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Hey there, Ive posted on this discussion about a year ago, so long story short I know what you going through it took me 10 years to realize it's all in my head thanks to the help of a special lady, I would suggest you read up ORS and seek out professional help, it's a mental problem that can fixed, all you need are positive affirmations, In my opinion the best cure for this is to gather the courage to ask those people that sniff, rub their noses and give you those signs that you smell why they do it and exactly what you smell like to them. Trust me I did it and from that day onwards I was cured. Nb ask more than 6 people from different groups for example group 1 can be the people on the subway

      2 group people at school

      Group

      3 people from the grocery store etc

      This will give you unbiased opinions

      All the best

      Be strong enough to ask dont waste anymore time ors can be beaten

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    • Posted

      hello there! i have been going the exact same situation as all of you guys and one thing that my mom told was to confront them in order to really understand this problem a little better, and i guess you have a point, though it takes a lot of courage to do so, i think this is the only option left
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    • Posted

      Hi, i am really sorry to hear what you are going through. In all honesty i feel sorry for myself and everyone else who is going through this considering our cruel society. You are really young and i am sure kids could be mean but stay strong. i'm 18 and i just started having this issue a few months ago but i feel i've been suffering for my whole life! it has gotten the best of me. It is truly hurtful to see how people could treat you for something so "small" or at least thats what my counselor says. Although i thank gods that i didnt have to go through this during my school years, it is still awful to see how "adults" at my uni or people on the train still react in a cruel manner, almost making me feel disgusted about myself and as if its all my fault. long story short, although we're going through this rough time which may seem like we are the only ones, we couldnt be anymore wrong because we are not alone and lets try our best not to give up and keep searching. i have been examined for many things and i am planning on doing an extensive resrach during this summer break so i'll keep you guys posted. 

      lastly, for now i would say get tested for TMAU or candida? 

      goodluck and be hopeful smile

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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm also from England and I've been suffering with this problem ever since after my AS level exams. I think my stress about my results that I could of gotten triggered it becsuse after 2 weeks being on hoilday a broad the problem went away it only started again when I came back to school to do my A2 levels. The problem effected me so much I never turned up to school and I'm even struggling with it now. However at first I googled about what I might have thoughto it could of been TMAU but it wasn't. I asked my counsellor teacher, family, friends and strangers if I smelt and everyone said no I only smelt of perfume that's when my sister and wellbeing teacher told me I might have Olfactory Reference Syndrome (which a lot of people have but they don't know) which can be cured easily by just seeing a therapistol so right now due to exams I can't see one but during the summer hoilday I'll be sorting it all out hopefully and obviously it takes time for the problem to go away but first you'll need to remember when the problem started and what triggered it. It's and in your head you think people are sniffing, opening windows, holding noses etc when they actually aren't it's just all in side our head.

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    • Posted

      It sounds as if you could have Trimethylaminuria other wise known as fishy smell syndrome.

      It would be good for you to speak to a health proffessional about it and find out what help is available. You are not alone , how you are feeling matters most so don't live in paranoia- be assertive.

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    • Posted

      Hey there,

      I posted on here about 6 months ago absolutely relieved to see people were in the same boat as me. The post is here not far up/down so check it out to understand what life was like. I am so much better now in many ways- I’m less anxious, and I have (slightly) better social confidence. The sniffing has stopped in many many many situations and people seemingly hold their noses less! How did I get to this point? Well, VITALY I began seeing a councillor at my school who, with everyone else, said I definitely didn’t smell. Though her diagnoses about why I assumed I smelt was total nonsense, it helped getting my pain out and knowing 100% that week in week out I didn’t smell to someone I trusted. Also, and most crucially, I discovered that this perceived smell focused around my anxiety and stress. When on a bus I was so nervous etc and people sniffed etc, however when I was one on one with someone I didn’t- and I could physically feel it. The key is to speak to someone to gain your confidence and make you hope that it is all imagined- even if it isn’t (trust me, from me to you, I think there is a smell) and then walk around confidentially and GENUINELY hear less sniffing. I also kept to a particular deodorant; whilst in my worst of times I wore it, i tell you it helps to keep with one thing for as long as possible and feel comfortable every morning putting it on rather than having false hope trying something new- I really feel for cases like ours, no deodorant will help. I also felt particulary confident in certain clothing or certain amounts and I’m sure you all do too. Keep with that. Lastly, I walked into my fear and asked people if I smelt and much of the time it was a genuine no. Don’t be afraid to ask strangers who you suspect- you’ll never see them again and their response could change your life. 

      So 

      1) I had a councillor who was honest and made me deal with anxiety (though I still have it big time and still dislike busses) 

      2) more sniffing and bad situations occurred when I was more self conscious and anxious. After the summer holidays I came back to school so much more positive and less scared in situations. There was FAR FAR FAR less sniffing and the idea of smell dissapeared in some areas like School where before I was adomant people could smell.

      3) I kept to a deodorant through bad times to good, and now I’m confident putting it on.

      I still am anxious, I still hate buses, I still am paranoid but ultimately the reason to be so has decreased. Less sniffing, less looks, more people close to me etc. To be honest I disagree that you and I have ORS as people HAVE sniffed and people HAVE said (at least directly to me) that I smelt. I’ve made it through the worst and it will slowly die away I think, as I hope it will with you. It helps looking things up as well, like ORS and try to find what is up. 

      For now you have this and everything else. Being from the EXACT same situation I hope this information is valid. It is so hard and when I’m older I want there to be more awareness on this awful situation. Feel free to ask ANYTHING. I’ve probably been through what you’ve never imagined anyone has.

      Chin up. It WILL get better.

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    • Posted

      What answers did you get from people ? I have the same problem ,it’s been a couple years now and it has turned my life depressing ,don’t wanna go out anymore recently got fired from work ,I think it was cuz of that, my gf and mom tell me I don’t smell that it’s just in my head the doctor said the same thing  I mean do I gotta go all sweaty to the doctor so he can smell it ?!  
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    • Posted

      I have this same exact problem too! It makes me want to die or just isolate myself from the world. Everytime I go near people i'm miserable. All they do is hold their noses. Exactly like you said, when i'm just one on one with someone I trust, I don't smell! It's so annoying because I can't just get rid of this smell! It's impacted my academics and my social life. My peers around me in class whisper about me and say things like "she doesn't know what deodorant is!" or "she smells soo bad" or "it smells like assh0le in here". I feel like everyone hates me no matter what I do. I used to enjoy school, now I hate it. The work itself isn't stressing me out, the social part is the thing that's stressing me out. 

      I hope there is a cure for whatever this is in the future. By that I mean as soon as possible. All these people are suffering from these horrible smelling bad issues, when really we don't deserve it. All of us shower, and we're all just normal. No one treats us that way though, everyone just thinks i'm a stinky girl. I feel like everyone talks about how bad I smell, and i've even heard some people a few times.

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