Benefits Of Being An Hsp?

I know very well that being an HSP has both advantages and disadvantages.  But in this world we're leaving which gets even harder every day I really wonder.  Most HSPs I have met (including myself) have got either anxiety or depression or both (as in my case).  And according to Elaine Aron's book this happens because when HSPs had a difficult childhood they take in much more than Non-HSPs so that's why they tend to have more Anxiety and Depression than Non-HSPs.  So, I wonder, I mean who had a wonderful and happy childhood?  I suppose only very few exceptions.  So I think that's unfair.  Don't you think?  I mean, let's take for instance my (Non-HSP) brother and I.  We were brought up in the same house by the same parents.  He's fine (when I say fine of course everyone has its struggles, I mean no mental illness etc) and I struggle with anxiety and depression since I was a child.  I had some extra difficulties as a kid because not only the situation at home was far from ideal but I was also bullied in school.  But even that had to do mainly with the fact that I was a Highly Sensitive Child, my brother who wasn't, of course was not bullied in school. 

I don't know if you get me?  Today I'm feeling a bit depressed (again) and maybe I'm being negative, I don't know.  I just wonder that's all.  Don't you think it's unfair too that we take in so much more and we are prone to depression and anxiety?

I'd love to hear your comments.
julie295 julie295
31-35, F
1 Response May 11, 2012

I do understand what you mean. I had a horrible childhood, and then I see friends who are seemingly so together and happy, who had great childhoods and I feel seriously cheated. I also get really tired of people saying..your too sensitive, you shouldn't let things get to you (politics and social issues that most friends don't care about). Well, It would be great if I could do that but I could not be any other way.<br />
I have learned at my age to accept who I am. I do get depressed, and allow myself to feel down. When this happens I know it will pass, I make something great to eat and watch a fun movie or force myself to walk the dog when I don't want to...or just do anything that lets me escape for a while.<br />
I agree it is unfair, and often think what kind of life I would have had if I had been different, but then I realize that the world needs me to be who I am. Sensitive, caring people are in short supply and we are the ones who provide the balance - can you imagine a world without any sensitive people? I try to see it as a gift...even at times as a purpose. I try to focus on what I can see is good, I stay away from stressors when I'm going down..like watching the news (which I love) and I stay away from negative people.<br />
I hope you find some help here - don't despair, your not alone!

Thanks so much for your comment. I especially liked what you said about accepting yourself. I try so hard to do that. But it's still a long road ahead. I've started therapy a while ago.

I had great success with therapy to let go of some childhood nightmare issues that would come to the surface when ever someone hurt me. However, just as those issues clung to me like glue, so do new ones and so it is an ongoing process. I do most whole heartedly believe that it is crucial to infuse as much positive into your life as possible...happy people, don't watch negative movies, or dwell on the news of the day... I've read that it's important to consciously acknowledge good moments as they happen, start the day by telling yourself it will be a good day and why...what do you EXPECT to happen that will be good. Self talk is very powerful and we can often flood our mind with negative thoughts - which can induce other negative health issues.
I used to think it was just me, but reading all the stories on here, I realize we are not alone...but as I started writing about my negative feelings, I also started feeling more negative... I think as I respond with positive thoughts to others, this is actually helping me more...it brings out reminders of how to help myself as well... Wishing you well.

Thanks so much for your comment and the suggestions that you've given me.
Slowly-slowly I'm coming to realize that it's not the trait in itself that troubles me, it's the depression and anxiety. Being sensitive is indeed a good thing not a bad thing. I feel great compassion and empathy for other people and I'm aware of all the subtleties in life, both good and bad. I just need to fight all my demons so that I can move on.

It takes so much work and very good therapy to let go of the past - those events that have improperly shaped our thoughts and self identity. But being sensitive, we tend to face new demons all the time as well. It's exhausting and no wonder we get depressed!
I have just begun to understand some of the cycles I get into; people that get to me, bad habits that make me disorganized, procrastinating. Being emotional, we spend a lot of time "thinking". For me, I have to consciously put this "analyzing everything" aside and work on keeping my life in order. I once heard a quote by Julia Roberts (of all people) about dealing with stress: "Just wash the dish". What she meant was, be involved with what your doing, not always thinking about issues; when your washing dishes...just wash the dish!
I try to remember this like when I'm out walking my dogs - I stop my analyzing and worrying, and start looking around, smelling the air, enjoying seeing how happy my dog is and talk to her instead of to myself in my head.
I think we have to try to create new happy moments or successful moments every day. It's like alcoholics in counseling...they focus on one day at a time, working on a list to get things done - every day. Doing good things for yourself; eating good food (and drinking plenty of water), getting sleep and exercise - these are the basics of good mental and physical health. When you feel healthy; it makes you feel more healthy emotionally. And when you've accomplished the things on your list, you feel good at the end of the day.
Not a cure all, but a great place to start.
For me, it's a matter of progress over stagnation. I try to create enough positive experiences to outdo the negatives...it's a constant battle but I know each day that I do the important things for me, like forcing myself to walk the dog...I feel good. Even if I didn't get everything done, I praise myself for what I did do, and expect that the next day I'll get to those other things. And I limit my negative thoughts. I give them say 10 min. then I pick myself up...say to myself "that's enough" and move on.
I can only share what works for me, I hope some of it is helpful for you.

Thanks again for your practical suggestions. I can see that we deal with similar issues since we are both Highly Sensitive. At least this makes me feel that I'm not alone, I keep repeating to myself that 20 percent of the population are HSPs and all of us deal with practically the same things. Especially HSPs who have to deal with anxiety and depression as well.
I don't know about you but I think that the most painful thing about growing up was that I felt that I was not accepted and approved by nobody. The other day I was mad at my daughter who is a HSC because she refused to get into the swimming pool, all the other kids went in and enjoyed themselves, and I secretly hoped that she was for one day only a "normal" and "regular" kid. But then I stopped being angry and I said to myself "Julie, what was it that you wanted so desperately as a kid and never got? Wasn't it approval and acceptance for who you are?" Well, you have the opportunity to give this acceptance and approval to your daughter and thus break the cycle". And I did. And I will continue to do so. Because she's a wonderful kid. She's got so many wonderful qualities. And I'm sure that I also had some wonderful qualities as a child even if nobody, not even my parents, and especially my dad, realized it or cared enough. I had low self esteem since I can remember myself. Which is very sad. But I try so much to undo the damage, it's very hard but I do try, every day.

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