The latest Psychology Today has an article by Elaine Aron, PhD, who argues for a new temperament type - not a disorder - called Highly Sensitive Person.  I score 22-24 on test of 27.  (14 gives you the diagnosis).  I am one of 20% or so who are extroverts, but it is quite different than the usual extrovert.  After a couple of hours, I have to be by myself.  A true extrovert likes people around much more.  We are characterized by a sensitivity to our environment (sounds, smells, lighting, sudden noises, heat, cold,etc), to internal stimuli (pain, hunger, fantasies, etc.), have an over-active immune system(hence, allergies, add-type symptoms, things like fibromyalgia).  We enjoy things that we do enjoy more than most people (DD, food, music, movies, etc.), but become quickly more anxious when overwhelmed, which we are easily. We need alot of alone time . A rich internal life is common, possibly as a way of keeping us at a happy medium between not being too bored or too excited.  It was nice to find both these sites recently; I now know I am a Highly Sensitive extrovert with MD.  I'm curious if anyone else feels this fits.  You can take a self-test at Elaine Aron/ self test for Highly Sensitive Person.

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I got 17

Wow! This is really interesting. I scored 21. I'm an introvert - an INFJ to be precise, which makes me a prime-candidate to be highly sensitive. More about my Meyers-Briggs type here. Does anyone else know their MB type? And do they know how much this plays into MD?

 

I think this is helpful to me in some ways, though. I am very in-tune to the feelings of those around me (I kind of suck them up like a sponge). Right now I'm studying to be a hospital chaplain. I think that my sensitivity to others, while it makes my life difficult at times, will be an asset in that field.

 

There's another thread that talks about the Meyers-Briggs at length.  To me these are all just for fun.  They're not definitive answers, and most of us already knew the information they show us anyway.  I mean I've been telling people for years how highly sensitive I am.  Taking a test about it and getting a high score doesn't change anything.  These can be fun, though.
Dr. Elaine Aron, who proposed that there is a distinct personality type (NOT a disorder) called Highly Sensitive Person, is trying to get psychology to recognize and value us, as this culture tends to value the non-thinking, bold doer.  She argues that we are equally important to a society, and represent around 10-20% (I think) of the population.  She also teaches how to walk the fine line between getting too bored (which we easily do without enough stimulation), and getting too anxious (too much stimulation).   She has a workbook on how to survive in this world, which I haven't read, but would like to.   I just got newsletter from her saying that HSP's as a rule do better with at least 8 hours sleep, preferably more, and another 2 hours a day of being alone.  She also is part of a new study, helping employers/institutions use us to our best ability (British study).  You can sign on to her site & then sign up to answer questionnaire if you  have a supervisor who would be willing to answer one also.  Carl Jung was the first one of note to propose this distinction, and in fact broke with Freud over this.  I think this is separate from MD, but am not surprised that most MD'ers seem so far to have this personality type.  (7 of 8 here.)
I just read a newsletter from Dr. Aron.  She said that she wishes she had named this syndrome Highly Reactive as opposed  to Highly Sensitive, as this would be more precise.
I do have her book and was blown away by how closely it described me.  Between finding her & this site, I now know I am a Sensitive extrovert with M.D.   It answers so many questions for me and allows me to see myself much more positively.  I just got her workbook.  It works a lot with finding that balance between being stimulated/ entertained enough & too much/ stressed.  Most people have similar issues, but not to the degree we do.  If we aren't right in the middle, we can be very bored, or very stressed, and react accordingly.  On the other hand, if we are too afraid of stress, we can stay in too much (and get bored.)  And then when we do venture out, we are really freaked, so we need to push ourselves out there a little.  On the other hand, if we are too much "in the world", we can get totally frazzled. and so need to pull back.  She suggests - if at all possible - at least 8 hours sleep, preferably 10, and another 2 hours of down time.  I haven't gotten to her daily minimums that she suggests to be out in the world &/or interacting, but gives tips on all that.
Scored a 21. I am a sensitive person.

Emilia, take this test, please.

I consider myself to be highly sensitive. I overthink what others say to me and rewind it in my mind.
I probably letbit have too much affect onmyself sometimes when they probably meant nothing
Towards me in a negative way.

I do this a lot too. I can recall events where I was embarrassed and other bad situations and replay them. I always think if I had done something different, it might not have happened. I can feel what I felt then, now. I try to not do this as much as I can and when I do I think "How is this helping you? You can't change it, just learn to let it go. Everyone makes mistakes and is embarrassed. Just try to think more in the future". It helps me sometimes... I have this little inner dialogue lol. And the thing is, most don't remember it just yourself. But I do get very sensitive and in some ways I'm more sensitive in certain situations than when I was younger. When my mom gets angry at me and we have an argument, I cry. Its like I'm so angry I cry and I HATE that, it makes me feel weak. But I didn't do that at all when I was younger so I wonder if it has to do with hormones?? But I feel for others and hate when others are yelled or berated (unless they deserve it in my mind).

Kendra said:

I consider myself to be highly sensitive. I overthink what others say to me and rewind it in my mind.
I probably letbit have too much affect onmyself sometimes when they probably meant nothing
Towards me in a negative way.

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