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It turns out years of research, stemming from Dr. Elaine Aron and others dating back to 1991, has found that there is actually a personality type to explain this pattern. Aron coined the trait, “Highly Sensitive Person” to describe a set of traits. These traits include being highly sensitive to physical environments, emotional or sensory stimuli.
Signs that you may be a highly sensitive person (hsp) include:
People who are highly sensitive have been found to have higher rates of anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as allergies, asthma and eczema.
Highly sensitive people tend to experience emotions intensely and become overwhelmed by them.
Being over-stimulated to sensory environments can add to the social isolation and the feeling of being misunderstood.
It’s important to note that not all HSP’s are introverted, but their sensitivities may cause them to tend to find solace in their alone time. HSP’s can be male or female but due to social constructs, males with HSP tend to have lower score on the HSP scale.
HSP is not a disorder but a personality type, which means it cannot be “cured” but therapy can be effective in helping people learn to cope with the impacts of being highly sensitive. Also, being an HSP is not a result of childhood trauma, although, HSP may be more impacted by a troubled childhood due to feeling more deeply.
There are many positive qualities that can be part of having a highly sensitive personality.
Being highly intuitive and perceptive can be very useful in social situations and allow you to be highly adaptive. Due to feeling emotions more deeply, including positive emotions, HSP’s often move into feeling positive emotions more quickly than others. They therefore, tend to progress more rapidly in therapy, finding healing in a shorter amount of time.
HSP’s have a deep love and appreciation for nature, animals, art, and music because they experience them more vividly. They also tend to be creative and imaginative, which can allow them to express themselves in health outlets and may have a positive impact on their career.
Highly Sensitive Persons are conscientious and thoughtful, empathetic, and caring, making them great partner, co-workers, and friends and are capable of having rich relationships.
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