A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a term for those who are thought to have increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli
Are you a highly sensitive person? or Do you know someone in your personal or professional life who are highly sensitive?
Well, High sensitivity can be defined as acute mental, physical, and emotional responses to external (social, environmental) or internal (intra-personal) stimuli. A highly sensitive person can be an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between.
A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a term for those who are thought to have increased or deeper central nervous system sensitivity to physical, emotional, or social stimuli. Some refer to this as having sensory processing sensitivity or SPS as a short form.
Though there are many positive aspects of being a sensitive person like a greater ability to listen and having a greater empathy or intuitiveness and better understanding of others but high sensitivity also adversely affects one’s health, happiness, and success, and often complicates relationships.
According to Dr. Sonal Anand who is a Psychiatrist in Wockhardt Hospital at Mira Road, Mumbai, Being highly sensitive can be a combination of your genetics and the environmental factors that play a big role. Like if you have a parent who is quite sensitive, the chances of you getting sensitive increases. It also depends on the kind of person that you have become like the experiences that you get or how you are brought up and the values you have learned can determine the sensitivity in you. By the age of 17 to 18, 95% of your personality is developed.
“Well, being sensitive for few things is fine, like regarding your partner or spouse or relationship and family member as it can make your relationship better but sometimes being overly sensitive can lead to anxiety disorders and depression. This is the most common cause of depression, most of my patients who are in depression often say that they are very sensitive or little things upsets them a lot,” she said.
“If feel that you can’t handle a situation or you are having anxiety or you are into depression, then you must visit your therapist for help. However, self-care and building your confidence matters a lot, while taking therapies can help you too. Moreover, self-help can be great for you, like you can identify which things make you more disturbed and you can work on it,” she added.
While many people may experience some of these signs from time to time, a highly sensitive person will likely “feel too much” and “feel too deep.” Some individuals may be highly sensitive to just one or two stimuli, while others may be strongly affected by more on the list.
Highly sensitive people are most of the times are described as being “too sensitive” and it is considered as a personality trait in people.
These terms were first coined by psychologists Elaine Aron and Arthur Aron in the mid-1990s and interest in the concept has continued to grow tremendously since then.
Anyone could be an HSP, whether a man or woman, adult or child. A high sensitive person has a more sensitive central nervous system, making them highly attuned to physical, emotional, or social stimuli than others.
How Do You Know?
High sensitivity is a personality trait that involves increased responsiveness to both positive and negative influence.
But it is important to remember that being an HSP does not mean that you have a diagnosable condition. This applies to a few different categories
There are several traits or characteristics common to HSPs, according to the researchers who identified this personality trait:
- You might be deeply moved by beauty, either expressed in art, nature, or the human spirit or sometimes even by a good commercial
- Avoiding violent movies or TV shows because they feel too intense and leave you feeling unsettled can be a sign
- Feeling for a need of me time, especially when you have hectic days you might need to retreat yourself to a dark, quiet room
- Being overwhelmed by sensory stimuli like bright lights, uncomfortable clothing, or noisy crowd
However, HSPs experience higher levels of stress than others, and research has found they are also more prone to burnouts because they get easily overwhelmed. While, the lack of awareness of the trait can make dealing with hypersensitivity challenging for a lot of HSPs.