Hello Gentle Souls,
I wanted to do a post on a subject I’ve been studying for the past couple weeks: something I came across while searching for answers regarding the long-term / chronic version of all that’s mentioned in the title of this post, (including chronic fatigue, chronic gastric problems, and chronic am-I-going-crazy.) Now before I get started I must assure everyone that I am a personally certified, self-educated, wanna-be-physician that graduated from the school of DIY and Youtube Univiserity just yesterday. I think that acknowledgment eliminates the need for a disclaimer.
Getting straight to the point, apparently studies conducted within the past 20-30 years have revealed that about 1 in every 5 people, (20% of the population) have a genetic trait which causes them to experience life in a very acute way. (Note: this is not just introversion.) Emotions are stronger, empathy is higher, pain is more intense, sights and sounds are processed more deeply, criticism is taken more seriously, life in general is more overwhelming. This trait is the parent of a highly sensitive nervous system which, being more quickly overwhelmed/over-stimulated, has a tendency to cause stress and exhaustion more quickly, (ultimately leading to depression, anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems, etc.). The trait has advantages as well; it is a physical difference in the brain, and is not a disorder
, syndrome, or inbalance. Those who possess the trait are called “highly sensitive persons,” aka “HSP’s”, and are generally known for being some or all of the following:
Highly intuitive regarding new people or situations
Highly aware of subtleties within surroundings
Detail oriented/ perfectionistic
More sensitive to loud noises, strong smells, bright lights or course fabrics
More stressed over time-sensitive projects
More keenly affected by violent films and bad news
More dependent on sleep
More sensitive to criticism
More sensitive to hunger and pain along with medication, caffeine, and alcohol
Often reputed as shy, sensitive, solitary, over-reacting or over-emotional
Creative, artistic, poetic or studious
Other behaviors that point to this trait may include:
A need to withdraw or “recover” after a busy day, after a party, or after changes made in one’s routine.
An inability to successfully perform a task or take a test while competing or being observed.
A tendency to absorb other people’s emotions
A tendency to cry more than others
To summarize, an HSP’s brain is highly sensitive to both interior and exterior stimulation. That stimulation is: 1. Noticed by the brain in greater detail and intensity; 2. Processed more deeply; 3. Processed for a longer period of time; 4. Responded to with greater energy / emotion.
By now you have a general idea of what traits this…trait…involves. It has been identified in both introverted and extroverted persons, and remains un-acknowledged by the majority of physicians. This trait is not something a person learns or “picks-up”; it literally involves the physical components of a person’s brain. While it affects 3 different genes in the brain, it is not a disorder; it is considered a “neutral, normal trait.” That said, it is believed that, though the persons who possess the trait make-up the minority
of the population, they tend to make-up the majority
of patients seen by therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. Why? Because compared to the other 80% of the world, they’re often looked upon as “abnormal”, “over-emotional”, and “hyper-sensitive”. They’re told to “toughen up”, “grow a spine”, and that, “it’s all in your head”. No wonder they’re stressed, depressed, anxious, and exhausted. Also, since it is literally harder for them to go through painful or upsetting ordeals, they often need more help than others in trying to cope.
To conclude, I hope this is meaningful for some of you. if you’ve found this post interesting, you can learn more at https://hsperson.com/
. Meanwhile, if you’re really fascinated, take the test at http://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/
Everyone has their personal ups and downs from time to time, everyone feels emotional and overwhelmed at some point in their life, but a few of us seem to have a knack for being stressed, depressed, and utterly exhausted. If this has helped even one person, it was absolutely worth posting.