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Highly sensitive people: Too highly sensitive?

You are aware of sensory stimuli and emotions much more strongly than other. This makes the everyday life more difficult for highly sensitive people and she lets get easy to outsiders

A clattering voice announces the next train over loudspeakers. Muffled bass blows rumble from the headphone of the young man at the waiting bank. Glistening sunlight falls through the glass roof. The smell of one increases half doner kebab eaten up from the garbage can. A child cries. in short some place: a quite ordinary afternoon on the Berlin central station which the major part of the travelers finds a little exhausting but nevertheless bears without problems. But for highly sensitive people such can be absolutely unbearable for situations.

High sensibility is a personal characteristic

"Your perception includes a considerably wider spectrum", says Birgit Trappmann-Korr, social psychologist from Rheinberg in North Rhine-Westphalia. Highly sensitive persons take more information " and this moreover in a deeper quality " from the environment. And computer is exactly valid as in the case of one: The more greatly the amount of data to be processed is, the more service must be rendered. Therefore the condition of the overload enters highly sensitive ones earlier than with other people, if Trappmann-Korr. She has written a book to the topic and founded an organization to the support of persons affected.

Sapper in the field is the U.S. psychologist Elaine N. Aron. She has for the first time described the phenomenon 1996 together with her husband in a scientific article. Even then Aron emphasized that it an illness is not an emotional disturbance or cooked but rather around a bequeathed personal characteristic. Twin studies which have a significant family accumulation of the high sensibility recognized serve as a piece of evidence. Chinese researchers then followed the genetic backgrounds more exactly in 2011. In an analysis of the ancestral estate of 480 students they could prove several genes which shall stand with the oversensitivity in connection.

Perception filter works differently

There is first knowledge also over the neurobiological backgrounds meanwhile. "Show examinations with the functional magnetic resonance tomography that areas which process sensory information are more active in the brain of highly sensitive ones than normal", reports Birgit Trappmann-Korr. Quite generally, only a small portion reaches the light of our consciousness of the data high tide which permanently streams in on the thinking organ about the sensory systems. The large rest is classified as irrelevant and therefore sifted out because the gigantic input could not be handled at all differently. Sensory information actually insists " this filter in the brain controlled, how many in the perception. He works at highly sensitive ones ", differently the psychologist explains.

Your American colleague Elaine Aron developed a special scale, with which a "Sensory Processing Sensitivity" be stated can - this is the scientific expression for the phenomenon. The psychologist also used this test to determine the number of the persons affected. She came up to 15 to 20 per cent of the population. Trappmann-Korr regards this as quite realistic. However, you refers at once, " that many are in the edge area of this therefore at the border between normally sensitive and hypersensitive ". Exactly like the extent the area the hypersensibility extends on also can be different from case to case. Smells primarily take truly, other primarily visual impressions and again others away some noises intensively and multifacetedly from persons affected particularly.

Unusual empathy

Furthermore hypersensitive persons also are aware of feelings more strongly, the own just like that one of the neighbours. "You absorb the emotions of others like a sponge", says Birgit Trappmann-Korr. "And, if these emotions are negative, her own atmosphere down ache can do this fast." Your empathy fortune is strongly distinctive. Therefore highly sensitive often cannot distinguish, whether they have her own feelings so intensively, or that one of another person straight away. "Her day therefore is like an emotional eight rail journey."

"I always had the impression to be somehow different not to fit in the scheme" - Trappmann-Korr frequently hears such statements of the highly sensitive persons whom she advises in her institute. It "is an essential characteristic of the high sensibility that the persons affected already remark early that they are different than other" as said by the psychologist. Many years often pass, though, until the diagnosis is made provided that this happens at all ".

Instead of pressure: Understanding and consideration

Already means in the nursery school or in elementary school early. Highly sensitive children seem shy, introverted and less open-minded for new one as her contemporaries to the outside. Instead of frolicking around wildly they prefer rather smooth games, employ themselves with pleasure alone or only observe what the others drive there so. Educators, teachers and not seldom also the worried parents often react to it with enlivenments according to the motto "go along with that now". However, this still puts the little boys in addition under pressure. "It is quite important to give the children rooms for the retreat and to convey the feeling to them that it is ok what they are like", emphasizes Birgit Trappmann-Korr.

Also as adults highly sensitive ones often only meet with little understanding. It becomes with sentences that too many attractions put her under stress and they need her peace in the meaning of a word as gives "is not sensitive" anyway so or "pull yourself together" now a receipt. Anything but a strengthening of her self-confidence. This usually is not minted anyway particularly by the uncertain feeling to be somehow wrong not to be included. So her life swings to and fro between retreat and strained attempts to adapt to the world with stress and self-doubts as frequent companions.

Diagnosis as a liberation

As a rule, if they then learn one day what is wrong with them, are highly sensitive persons extremely relieved, Trappmann-Korr reports. "It is to know finally like a release that they are not aliens that there are many other people who are just like her herself." Move under people like her preferentially from there for a while is well advised, however, is not aim leading absolutely for duration: You must be able to manage " also in the normal world. " and this one is fast, complex and full at attractions now once, the psychologist says.

Till now, a recognized therapy for the high sensibility does not exist. Glasses with color and light filters and ear muffs can at least partly dam the high tide to sensory information. One his attention draws, one which attractions allows and in addition, which ones one removes lets exercise himself " where ", Trappmann-Korr reports. With meditation exercises and diversion techniques highly sensitive ones could regulate both the sensory input and her own emotions. Moreover, important is to accept the special personality quality and to take into account at the life design - in which the persons affected approximately include the necessary breaks in their plans also in the weekday. Fluoxetine, Quetiapine or Sertraline comes remedy make which however strict medical supervision requires, (with:) a medicinal treatment could to further psychological deteriorations.

A fine perception also can be useful

Birgit Trappmann-Korr likes to describe high sensibility as "perception talent" the others remain secret because the persons affected have such fine antennae that they notice things. Approximately the feelings of her neighbors what can be very helpful in social and therapeutical professions. The same applies to an extremely sensitive nose in the perfume industry or very fine ears for the job as a sound technician. "If one knows over his gift, she can be used in the profession and private life", says the expert. High sensibility has definitely also positive sides."