Saturday, January 17, 2015

On Being A "Highly Sensitive Person"

Over the last two years, I have figured a lot out about myself and it seems like every time I look into a seemingly small thing, I'm bound to find 3 more issues behind it. Sometimes it seems like it's never ending. My mom has been saying to me for years now "Maybe someday soon we'll finally figure out all your issues!" shortly to find out I have more issues.

When my therapist first told me a year ago I was a "highly sensitive person", I was kind of annoyed. Mentally, I don't think I'm sensitive. Working in the fashion industry has given me a pretty thick skin and I think I tend forgive people pretty easily if I can psychologically understand where they're coming from or just completely forget it. This is where I thought she was coming from. After it was mentioned to me and researching a little more, I realized this is not what she was referring to. My body is sensitive. It turns all the stressful things that should be just mental and churns it into physical pain in my body. I am princess-and-the-pea kind of sensitive. My dad jokingly calls me "delicate princess". I don't know if it's the combination of having lived in NYC + chronic pain, but this seems to be the aftermath.

But, I think that because I have been living at my parents' home in the middle of nowhere and am by myself most days, my sensitivities have increased. In one of my CMPS/FMS support groups, someone posted a quiz and I took it. These things are slowly getting better, the better I feel. I couldn't even listen to stressful music (i.e. rap, rock, etc.) for a while and now I'm starting to feel like my normal self again. Things become easily stressful for me and the best way for me to calm down is just to try in relax in a dark room with soothing music.

Here are some of the statements below:

-I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
-I seem to be aware of subtleties in my environment.
-Other people’s moods affect me.
I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
-I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
-I have a rich,complex inner life.
-I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
-I am deeply moved by the arts or music.
-My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
-I am conscientious.
-I startle easily.
-I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
-When people are uncomfortable in a physical environment I tend to know what needs to be done to make it more comfortable (like changing the lighting or the seating).
-I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
-I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
-I notice and enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, works of art.
-Being very hungry creates a strong reaction in me,disrupting my concentration or mood.
-I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
-I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.

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