Highly Sensitive Persons
I like the diagnosis “Highly Sensitive Person” and part of the reason is that I am a contrarion and do not feel obligated to subject everyone I meet…and myself…into neat, DSM-4 approved categories. I think there are many “HSP’s” out there who labor under high-falutin, shame-based, medication-demanding diagnoses when they could be assisted greatly be merely seeing themselves as a “highly sensitive person.” All that means is that they really feel things intensely, they don’t filter things as well as others, and yes, one could say, they are “thin-skinned.”
Someone who can suddenly understand that this label describes them can then take a break when they are feeling beset by day-to-day woes. No, the woes will not immediately go away but a pause will be introduced and out of that pause can come…with practice…tremendous relief.
HSP’s feel too much. Most people endure the daily dose of “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to” (Shakespeare) and brush them off, go their way, and retire at the end of the day to a steady diet of re-runs of Law and Order and several PBRs. And it is nice that they have those compensations. Well, kind of nice. Others are not so lucky.
If you think you might be an HSP, I strongly suggest you google the topic. And then buy the book, The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine Aron and let her give you some direction.