This day is an opportunity to revalue hypersensitivity. Launched by Saverio Tomasella, it allows to better inform the leaders on the characteristics and modalities of hypersensitivity.
They represent a quarter of the population and are estimated to number nearly 10 million in France. It is therefore necessary to take into account the specific problems of hypersensitive people and their place in society.
1. Being hypersensitive in this world
One of the greatest difficulties encountered by hypersensitive people is the judgmental look given to them.
Soft, weak, sensitive, whiny… The vocabulary used around this word shows the cold view that society can have towards emotional expression.
Since 2019, the term hypersensitive has been the talk of the town; implying a de-culpification and awareness of the emotional values that people can carry about themselves and/or their surroundings.
“Who am I? Why am I like this? Am I normal?”…
All these questions imply that it is essential to realize that these interrogations are not born from the character trait in question, but from the image that society in general sends back. Basically, beyond the difficulty of living with this emotional overflow, it is the judgment of others and therefore the judgment on oneself that weighs heavily.
Protecting oneself from the gaze of others, learning to get rid of the imposed social image is one of the first steps towards self-acceptance and therefore, towards a better living of one’s hypersensitivity.
2. It is not a pathology
You read that correctly. Hypersensitivity is not specified in the DSM because it is not a disease, it is not pathological: it is indeed a character trait.
Helen Aaron talks about “temperament” but many other psychologists are beginning to disagree and therefore to deconstruct her ideas which seem to be rather shaky and contradictory.
Moreover, Helen Aaron would have created a self-questionnaire which would not measure hypersensitivity, even if the title indicates this idea, it remains more on a sensitivity basis.
Let’s not forget that this questionnaire is a self-questionnaire, which implies that the Barnum effect will undoubtedly be present.
The Barnum effect is a cognitive bias (as well as a manipulation technique) that leads an individual to consider a general and vague description of personality traits as applying precisely to his or her own personality.
The inevitable consequence of this well-known questionnaire is that people suffering from various pathologies, difficulties or disorders are not taken care of, or diagnosed. Such as phobias, anxiety, depression, borderline personality, bipolarity, ADHD, etc. or will leave out patterns that need to be worked on such as fear of abandonment or even a hidden emotional dependency. At the organic level, some people may experience symptoms similar to hypersensitivity for people with sleep disorders, thyroid disorders, menstrual disorders that will affect emotions.
It is therefore important to consult a professional and to establish a real diagnosis beforehand.
3. Hypersensitive: it’s not a question of gender
It is commonly said that women are more sensitive than men.
However, feeling is a human trait, regardless of gender; and the same goes for emotional excesses. Unfortunately, sensitivity is associated with a feminine trait, and not always for the better.
We can assure you that men are also affected by this salient character trait. Because of this society that imposes a “masculine virility”, the hypersensitive character of the man can be censored on their own in an attempt to blend in.
What is important here is to deconstruct the stereotypes because feeling is at the heart of human functioning.
4. A brain in overdrive?
In hypersensitive people, sensations and emotions are increased tenfold. However, contrary to what one might suppose, the sense organs do not have superior faculties. Your five senses are particularly reactive and sensitive: it is more particularly a defect of inhibition (latent) of the external stimuli. You perceive stimuli that escape most people, and it is even frequent that sensory manifestations from the environment become invasive. You have neither the visual acuity of a lynx nor the fine sense of smell of a dog!
The uniqueness of hypersensitives results from a more efficient, multiple information processing and a more important brain activation during sensory stimulations. You can have fun trying to see if you have this super power with this questionnaire.
5. In conclusion: be yourself, and be kind to yourself
Hypersensitive or not, this does not have to be a label that guides a person’s life.
Hypersensitive or not, it is always possible to work on one’s self-confidence, on assertiveness, on assertive communication, on self-determination.
Hypersensitivity should not be an end in itself, it should not be a hindrance in your life, but a strength.
“I am anxious because I am hypersensitive”.
It is always possible to change one’s beliefs in order to detach oneself from fears, from patterns that poison our lives.
A follow-up with a psychologist can lead you to a healthier daily life and to inculcate a mantra, a self-motivation that can last as long as YOU want.
Whether it’s through relaxation, hypnosis, mindfulness meditation, EMDR or cognitive behavioral therapy, there are many ways to do this, but it’s important that you find an alternative therapy that works for you.
VRT (Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy), helps expose the person gradually – and safely – to different types of environments. This will allow you to work on your difficulties in virtuo, before the exposure in reality.
A therapy that is beneficial and respectful of the evolution of each person.