MCS Thursday Ramblings

The people who know me and my story know that I suffer from severe multiple chemical sensitivity these days as a result of limbic system damage due to the drug Wellbutrin which started about 3 years ago. I wish It were not so,  especially on days like today. Early this morning after having a really beautiful dream about getting a check for three hundred million dollars, I was woken up  by a sense of suffocation. I couldn’t breathe in my own bedroom. Why did this happen? I went outside to check the air, and sure enough probably somewhere New Jersey there is a manufacturing kind of release of chemical that most people are not aware of. I couldn’t breathe the air outside either. Luckly, my house is like a shiip, with airlocks. So, if the air in one room is bad, a door is closed there and it cannot contaminate the entire house. I currently have an IQ Air GCMultigas Air Purifier which new was over $1,300 including shipping and handline running on high to try to clean up my bedroom air. Hopefully cleaning up the air will not take too long.

This is the third time this has happened to me in two years. The first time I was in a local cafe and I could not leave the cafe because of the air outside. A friend at the time told me he smelled a faint smell of chemicals,  later.  I was trapped in the cafe for about 4 hours until the checmicals in the air outside cleared up- Until about 1am. The second time this happened for a period of about a month when they were working on the George Washington Bridge. I had to wear a carbon respirator around the bridge when I came within five blocks of it, forget about getting right next to it. I would have suffocated. Even low levels of chemicals in the air make me choke. and tonight was the third time this has happened to me in New York City. Unfortunate this has happened only three times in two or three years. I’m so happy I do not live in China, I do not think I could live one day there because of all the chemicals and dust and air pollution. I see many people around the city who are Asian walking around with white masks, white medical masks, and I think I understand why. I believe they are also similarly affected by chemicals and dust and dirt in the air  as I am. Chemical sensitivity is a horrible disease. What makes it worse is that there are no government programs for housing or any kind of Rights afforded to people with multiple chemical sensitivities that would us live our very difficult lives. Actually if one ever goes to a psych ward, dollars to donuts they will treat your chemical sensitivity as a psychological or psychiatric disorder. It is not a psychological or disorder. It’s not  psychosomatic. The American Medical Association does not believe it is a real disorder. They are very wrong. Psychiatric disorders generally affect the upper levels of the brain in the cerebrum. Depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, eating disorders all occur in the Cerebrum. However multiple chemical sensitivity actually resides in the limbic system and in my case at least, a deeper part of the brain. What does that mean? That means that it is similar to a disorder of heart rate, respiration, temperature control of the body, excetera excetera. That is definitely nothing psychological. It’s a very physical reaction of the body to an over-sensitivity of the brain, sometimes described as similar to epileptic “kindling” in the brain. Yes a lot of people with depression  especially develop chemical sensitivity. I go to a psychosocial clubhouse called Fountain House, and I have met at least four people there with various degrees of chemical sensitivities. I believe this might be because of the medication a lot of times. I’ve heard of people getting chemical sensitivities due to exposure to crop fertilizes. Other ways people I have heard gotten chemical sensitivity are with sick building syndrome. What that is is when a building is very new it’s a lot of chemicals. The chemicals come from rugs, walls, paint,  and many more new construction  items. The chemicals are very noticeable and smell bad. A lot of these people are just totally disabled by their chemical sensitivities.  

It turns it out  that I created a Meetup for multiple chemical sensitivity in New York City because I wanted support. It’s called MCS in NYC,  and currently they have about 25 members. I’m no longer very active in the group, but it was good to see that there are more people in New York City area surviving with multiple chemical sensitivities. We shared stories, and  we shared experiences. We had some good people in the group. However, my MCS has gotten much better due to a external vagal nerve stimulator that I am using. What is that you ask? It is called the auri-stim 1000. Now  the lady I have in my life right now sometimes wears perfumes and I do not choke. She smells great. That in itself is a huge feat. I wrote a book called the medical Librarian’s Guide to Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. Basically everything that’s in the book is on my blog except for a few resources. If you have multiple chemical sensitivities I urge you so either read my blog or click tag MCS or buy the book if you want information in an  easily digestible format.

I hope someday that people with multiple chemical sensitivities will be protected by the government of the United States and multiple chemical sensitivity will be recognized as a legitimate physical disorder.  Until then, we  who have it will suffer and sometimes die.

The last thing I want to say about multiple chemical sensitivity is that I believe the page on Wikipedia is being controlled by somebody or some group that doesn’t want people to know severe chemical sensitivities even exist as a rare disorder. Why do I say this? Because I and other professionals who have studied  this order have tried to edit the page, and we were denied sharing our knowledge. For example there over 300 articles about chemical sensitivities on Medline, that is a quantifiable fact. That fact was not allowed on Wikipedia page about MCS. I know also of people who are doing doctorates and postdoctoral work on environmental sensitivities who tried to edit the article on Wikipedia who were denied the right. The chemical industry is a huge multibillion-dollar industry. That being said that does not give them the right to do this. Maybe it is not they. However I don’t know who else will be doing this and why. It’s a very strange world we live in sometimes.

Thanks for sharing this Thursday morning stream of thought with me, my friends.

William Jiang, MLS is the Author of 63 books, including the bestselling books Guide to Natural Mental Health , 3rd ed and his critically-acclaimed autobiography A Schizophrenic Will: A Story of Madness, A Story of Hope. You can see a selection of his books about mental and physical health nicely laid out on his blog at or check out his Facebook at Mental Health Books.NET