A therapist I went to not long ago was very helpful to me. I had seen something about HSPs before, but thought it probably didn't apply to me. However, in talking to her about it, I saw that it really rang true. The term Highly Sensitive Person has been used by Elaine Aron and other experts to describe the fifteen or twenty percent of the population who are more sensitive to things in both physical and mental ways. This term is not meant to make these people sound more special than the rest of the population, but to describe a group of people whose sensitivity is a valuable trait to themselves and others.
This was such an eye opener to me, because it helped me see so many things about myself and my history in a whole different way. It made so much sense! It enabled me to let go of lingering negative feelings I had about the ways in which I had handled various situations in my life. Instead of seeing myself as a weak person who was just faking it in life, I saw myself as having strengths that were a there, because of my sensitivity. I realized that I was just a different kind of person, not a defective person. The culture I am from (US) does not value sensitivity in people very much, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valuable trait. Anyway, knowing myself better has helped me see myself as a person of worth, so I'm sure this helps keep me emotionally healthy. This understanding has opened up a new world of things that I hadn't allowed myself to explore very much, because these things, like me, are less valued in this culture. For anyone who has this quality, it is important for them to see that it is just different, not bad, and that it has some real advantages. HSPs should know how to take care of themselves in a culture that isn't geared towards their needs. If I can figure out the blog I opened, I will write more there. I need time to think out how to explain how transforming this realization can be.