Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Some days.... Musings on the HSP trait

I sometimes wish it were as simple as saying "Some days are worse than others." But it really isn't. I have up and down periods, and they follow no particular pattern. So I'm often caught off guard by the bad ones, and since I have no advance warning, I can't plan "Big Doings" around the good ones.

I continue to struggle with the way I view this whole concept of being a "Highly Sensitive Person." I mean, I know that I have always been one, and I have had the concept-- sensitivity-- in my mind for several years. My trouble has to do with trying to separate "pathology" from "genetic trait." According to Dr. Aron, being an HSP is not a "condition," not a "personality disorder." Yet....

...so many traits that are identified with High Sensitivity, are also identified with a whole range of Psychological Pathologies. People who are NOT sensitive and NOT introverted (as most HSPs are) say "Oh, come on, this is just psychological bullshit created to make a group of social misfits feel better about themselves." And well they might-- since form their perspective, so many of the outward reflections of High Sensitivity overlap with well-documented psych issues. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Social Anxiety Disorder. Depression. ADHD. Avoidant Personality Disorder. I, too, find myself wondering if Dr. Aron is right. Her saving grace (for lack of a better expression) I suppose is that she considers "dysfunctionality" to be "dysfunctionality." Don't blame your depression on being HSP. Use your knowledge of being an HSP to make your life better, but don't use it as "the reason" why you can't cope with life. HSPs cope just as well with life as the rest of the world-- they just need a different set of coping skills.

But it's mighty easy to fall back on the "blame game."

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