I have HSP on the same page as anxiety and depression but this does NOT mean that
HSP is in any way a disorder!
Did you know that 15 to 20 percent of the population are highly sensitive persons
(HSPs)? What does this mean for you? To be highly sensitive means that we
experience physical, sensory, emotional and intellectual stimuli more deeply and more
intensely than those who are not HSPs. In practice this can be a mixed blessing with
many HSPs (and parents of HSP children) believing that there is something wrong.
When I personally discovered about the HSP trait it was as if a huge weight had been
lifted and all of a sudden it was OK for me to be sensitive. What I have also
experienced is that there is more societal judgement and/or expectations round being a
man who is highly sensitive.
Finding a therapist is a difficult enough task for most people. Trying to find that
sympathetic person who will accept me for who I am and can understand the difficulties
and challenges that I encounter in day to day life no matter what they may be.
Someone who I can trust and who I feel just "gets me ".
As a highly sensitive person we can face issues in day to day life that others might
find difficult to understand. The most obvious might be issues surrounding sensory
processing sensitivity. A non HSP therapist might not appreciate just exactly
how sensitive an HSP might be to things like noise or bright light for example.
However, the highly sensitive nervous system is sensitive in more subtle ways too.
HSPs appreciate subtle nuances in art and music and nature and can feel intense
joyful emotions at times. On the flip side of this they can also experience
intensely painful emotions too. The highs are higher and the lows are lower so
to speak. Here again having a highly sensitive therapist can be helpful not only
because they will have a greater ability to empathise with you (because of
their sensitivity) but also because they can help to normalise what you are experiencing.
Often psychological suffering can be caused or made worse by excessive thinking
or rumination about things in our lives. Thinking in depth about things is
something that HSPs excel at but unfortunately this trait can sometimes backfire
on us in that we can see bad outcomes potentially lurking behind every corner
and behind every action. Additionally it’s easy to get mired in "analysis
paralysis " because we are easily overwhelmed by all the many trains of
thought which we can construct and interlink in our minds. Having a therapist
who can follow your thought processes can be helpful as they may be better
able to help you to escape from your self constructed mental torture chamber
or the viscous treacle of "analysis paralysis ".
Research has shown that the way we relate to others as adults and how
we deal with emotion is profoundly affected by the relationships we had
as very young infants. I believe that as HSPs we are more susceptible
to being adversely affected by disturbances in this early stage in our
lives. Coupled with our propensity for more deeply felt emotions and
depth thinking this can be a recipe for psychological suffering. As a
highly sensitive therapist I can help to disentangle this complex web of
factors and help you to relate in a kinder way to yourself.
You can find out more information at hsperson.com