How do I know if I’m hypersensitive?

2023-04-20 14:16:08

L’emotional hypersensitivity – or High Emotional Potential (HPE) – concerns 20% of the world’s population.

What is hypersensitivity?

Is impersensitivity a disease? Emotional hypersensitivity is neither a “symptom” nor a “disease”, today it is considered more of a character trait. In summary, we consider as hypersensitive, a person who feels out of step with others, to the point of having the impression of being abnormal or of being afraid of falling into madness.

Today, there are two main forms of hypersensitivity:

  • ‘classic’ hypersensitivity

She is characterized by a great sensitivity to the emotions of others until she finds herself uncomfortable. People with this type of hypersensitivity tend to avoid contact and withdraw into themselves.

  • empathic hypersensitivity

Also called hyperempathic hypersensitivity, people who suffer from it tend to put themselves in the shoes of the other to the point of having difficulty discerning their own emotions from those of the other. They are quite sociable.

The hypersensitive must be distinguished from people with high intellectual potential (HPI), whose characteristics of the relationship to emotions are close to those of hypersensitive people but who, in addition, add other characteristics unrelated to emotions (reasoning ability, speed of learning, excellent memory, etc.)

What are the symptoms of hypersensitivity?

If hypersensitivity is still difficult to define, the psychoanalyst and writer Saverio Tomasella1 listed some of peculiarities of the hypersensitive :

  • they feel out of step with others
  • they feel emotions very intensely, which is why hypersensitive people are often considered to be on edge, on edge, on edge…
  • they are prone to unpredictable behavioral changes
  • they are worried, anxious and flee anxiety-provoking climates
  • great sensitivity to others
  • because of this relationship to the other complex, they sometimes want to return to their shell or even hide in solitude to recharge their batteries
  • great empathy

According to the psychoanalyst, the hypersensitive would also be particularly prone to excesses (drugs, sex, alcohol, compulsive behavior), in which they take refuge to escape their overflow of emotions.

Although hypersensitivity is not a disease and can be quite well lived with, this emotional sensitivity can be embarrassing on a daily basis. There are several ways to diagnose hypersensitivity :

  • a psychiatrist
  • an emotional and personality assessment can be carried out for this purpose

Hypersensitivity: who is affected?

According to American psychologist Elaine Aron2, 1 in 5 people are hypersensitive. Hypersensitivity can be innate as well as appear following a traumatic shock. It happens that certain situations promote hypersensitivity, this is particularly the case of pregnancy during which the significant production of hormones will influence the moods and heighten the emotions of the future mother.

The right reflexes to live well with your hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity is neither a weakness nor an anxiety disorder… very often this character trait can even turn into a real asset or strength. This vulnerability allows you to develop a whole host of qualities such as empathy, intuition, observation… Nevertheless, when you tend to absorb the emotions of others, it is not always easy to live with. .. To live well with, on a daily basis:

  • we learn to breathe well to limit the impact of what surrounds us on us
  • we reconnect with our body and our feelings
  • we create a reassuring environment; it can fit in a cocooning space as much as in a ‘doudou’ object
  • we develop our creativity to evacuate our overflow of emotions
  • we do our introspection to get to know each other better.

1.Author of “Hypersensitive. Too sensitive to be happy?” (ed. Eyrolles).

2. Author of a reference work, “The Highly Sansitive Person”.


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