In a harsh world it's difficult for sensitive people to no only gain any sympathy, but really have our feelings taken into consideration or valued. More often than not we are just supposed to "suck it up" and move on with our lives.
I am going to list some examples of how my sensitivity personally affects me and perhaps readers can learn the many hidden facets of high sensitivity. Maybe you will learn something about yourself or understand your sensitive child or friend a little more. Remember there is a physiological basis for high sensitivity.
1. I have to get at least 8 hours of sleep or physically I am miserable. (Which is why I had to end up quitting my night shift job after month. Ugh. What a nightmare).
2. It has to be completely dark or I have a very difficult time falling asleep. There also cannot be any noise and trust me, I can hear EVERYthing. I have class from 8-5 every other Saturday now and I have to start going to bed early on Wed. and getting up earlier so I can adjust by the time Saturday comes. I have vomited before from lack of sleep.
3. If something emotional happens I notice it takes longer for it to wear off than others. Real or fake. Seeing a highly emotional movie has the same effect so I usually try to avoid them. Also means the effects of seeing a scary movie stay with me long after everyone else is asleep. Same thing for sad events and occurrences that happen in the world.
4. I have a VERY DIFFICULT time not sleeping in my own bed. Heck, I even have a hard time sleeping in my own bed if conditions aren't "just" right.
5. I am HIGHLY sensitive to hot or cold. Especially hot. I overheat easily so I have to schedule my life around that. I always make sure I have Tylenol with me in case the heat can't be avoided.
6. Medication affects me way more than the average person. My dentist even decreased the amount of Novocain he gave me compared to his other patients. I am allergic to everything. If I take a Beynadryl I am jittery and up for hours. That's one pill. I can take Nyquil and sleep for 12 hours. On a positive note, I don't have to take much of anything for it to work. The downside, normal doses are given to me and I can't take it because when I tell medical people I am sensitive they think I am being whiny and don't pay attention.
7. Food. I have to eat something every two hours. If not, headache. Tylenol doesn't usually help with a "not eating" headache and it usually last a really long time. I also have to watch what I eat because I experience high's and low's that really suck. And no, I am not diabetic.
8. Noise. Hate it. I like to have one noise source and if there is more than one I can get highly aroused. And not in a good way.
9. Caffeine. What an ugly monster to a sensitive person. Magnify the effects it has on a normal person. Add a little more anxiety, a little more nervousness and a little more anger. Fun times for all!
10. Hormones. Where to begin with this one...horrible, painful periods and moods to go with. Thank God for flaxseed!!
Maybe you can relate to some of these things because you have seen them in yourself. Maybe you've noticed them in your child or mate. If so you may want to research it a bit and instead of trying to change us, give us a break.
It's usually the overbearing Type A, non-sensitive parent that doesn't like the fact their child is sensitive and considers him or her wimpy or whiny. I am here to tell you that trying to change it will not work. Children who are highly sensitive are usually extremely sensitive to the energies of other people and even places and many times sensitive children are misdiagnosed with having ADHD. We are highly sensitive to noise as well and can become overstimulated from noise or want to run away and hide. This poses another problem because people that aren't extroverted are often looked at as strange, weird and are outcasted from their peers.
Many times the stress of having to remain "tough" is internalized which in turn creates many physical symptoms for children and adults. Stomach pain, headaches, nausea, diarrhea, and unexplained illness can be signs of a body under duress and highly sensitive people are more prone to experience these symptoms if they haven't yet found or been allowed an outlet. At worst, suicide.
Be aware. Be compassionate. Be encouraging. Be kind.