Highly sensitive person, HSP, is not a syndrome or disorder, but rather a trait coined back in 1996.
People who are HSPs are considered to have a nervous system that is more sensitive to stimuli, whether it be physical ones like light, noise, or social and emotional stimuli ones. They are said also to have SPS or sensory processing sensitivity.
Being an HSP is not without its challenges. Naturally, when you are so sensitive to your environment and so dependent on it, you are also more vulnerable.
Therefore, HSPs are more likely to suffer from mental health problems that then require help from a psychiatrist.
Signs of HSP
More attuned to the emotions of the room
HSPs are sensitive to their environment. They soak up on the tension in the room. Any conflict in the room, even if not relevant to them, directly affects them and their wellbeing. If anyone around them is distressed, they take it personally.
Disturbed by television
It is not just their immediate environment that they are affected by, but things on television also then affect them. Any sad scene, depiction of violence, grotesque scene gets to them.
Appreciative of beauty
Not only do they take the sad and the bad personally, but they are also more appreciative of beauty. They are more moved by art; being sensitive souls, they recognize the art in its true essence.
Reactive to stimuli
They are more sensitive to noise, bright light, and crowds. This is because their nervous system is more receptive to these stimuli.
Imagination and thoughts
HSPs tend to live in their own world, whereby they have a dialogue with their own selves, have deep thoughts, and are also prone to dreaming big.
HSPs also tend to feel things more deeply. Their feelings are also stronger due to their increased sensitivity. They feel beauty more deeply as do they stress.
HSPs get overwhelmed easily, which then makes them want to have a downtime. They need breathing space and time to gather their thoughts, alone, in a quiet, dark place, so that their sensory system is not overloaded.
Uncomfortable in certain situations
Highly sensitive persons become uncomfortable in situations that stimulate their system too much. Not only do crowds, light, and noise make them uncomfortable, they are also not comfortable in situations of conflict, fight, aggression, etc.
HSPs are more emotionally vested in people. They like human connection, but they do not fare well in a big crowd.
Due to their ability to feel emotions more deeply, HSPs are more empathic people.
Effect of high sensitivity on your life
Being an HSP has many pros and cons. While it improves some aspects of your life, it may make it harder for you to function in other aspects. Some of the effects include:
Avoid certain situation
While the world is an oyster for most people, for HSPs, certain situations are completely off the table. Since they are more deeply affected by violence, tension, and conflict, they cannot be in such situations.
For example, they cannot work jobs that require damage control like a PR agency or service industry. They cannot go to some places like hospitals because they feel people’s pain more deeply.
HSPs are more emotional, which is a good and a bad thing. They are more appreciative of art and beauty around them. This makes them better artist.
However, being too emotional also then makes them too vulnerable as well. They take things personally.
Cannot take criticism
It is important for everyone to take constructive criticism for growth. However, HSPs do not respond well to criticism. They take things personally and react strongly to criticism.
Mental health challenges
People who are HSPs are more prone to mental health problems like depression and anxiety, which require treatment from the Psychiatrist in Islamabad then.