Are you hypersensitive?

&Are you hypersensitive? 

Hypersensitivity is manifested by a greater than average reaction in certain situations.

It was unknown a few years ago and it is now on everyone's lips. No, we are not talking about negroni sbagliato, but about hypersensitivity, also called “high sensitivity” or “high sensitivity”, a dimension of the personality that manifests itself in reactions that are a little more intense than those of the average person. people and which concerns between 15% and 30% of the population.

“When we say that hypersensitivity affects 30% of the population, we encompass its three forms: sensory, emotional and relational,” explains neuropsychologist Laetitia Quessada to Metro. It specifies that hypersensitivity can present in only one form in individuals, just as the same person can display all three at the same time.  

Sensory hypersensitivity 

Also sometimes called “environmental hypersensitivity”, it is already well known to people with a neurodevelopmental condition such as autism or ADHD attention with or without hyperactivity).

That said, this form of hypersensitivity can also be found in people who do not have such a condition, in the same way that people with a neurodevelopmental condition can present with emotional or relational hypersensitivity.  

It is characterized by a strong reaction to environmental stimuli. Let us cite, for example, great fatigue after prolonged exposure to neon light or even irritability when hearing mouth noises. A person with highly developed senses, such as individuals with perfect pitch, may also have sensory hypersensitivity.  

Emotional hypersensitivity 

“When we have emotional hypersensitivity, it is about empathy or the intensity of emotions in the face of different environments, whether it is in front of a person or not”, sums up Laetitia Quessada.  

This form of hypersensitivity is therefore manifested, in particular, by a great capacity to feel the emotions of others, but also to be overwhelmed by an emotion caused by the environment. If you tend to get motton when seeing a beautiful sunset or watery eyes when listening to a song, it could be a question of emotional hypersensitivity.  

Relational hypersensitivity 

“Relational hypersensitivity is going to be a sensitivity to separation, to encounters, to everything that affects the bond or relationship. 'attachment with other people,' says the neurologist.  

People who show this form of hypersensitivity will therefore tend to react strongly to breakups or remarks made by other individuals, for example.  

Laetitia Quessada adds that “people who present anxiety or depression as a personality trait are more likely to be relationally or emotionally hypersensitive”. It should be noted that we are talking here about personality traits, in the same way as hypersensitivity itself, and not a mental disorder, such as severe depression or an anxiety disorder.

In shrinks 

To find out if you are hypersensitive, you need a psychological consultation. In addition, there is the CASS assessment questionnaire, available free online (as is its rating procedure). However, as there is always a risk to self-diagnosis, it is suggested to complete it during a meeting with a psychologist.  

Being neither a disorder nor a disease, hypersensitivity cannot be cured, but we can learn to live better with it. “In therapy, we will try to tame hypersensitivities, explains Laetitia Quessada. We are not going to remove them, but we aim for the person to be able to live better with them, to understand them better and not to feel guilty for feeling what must be felt.   

And what about giftedness? 

Early studies on giftedness incorrectly mentioned hypersensitivity as a characteristic of giftedness. Sensory hypersensitivity may be more present in gifted people, but this is not the case for the other two forms, contrary to what many believe.

“The biggest false belief about hypersensitivity that we see in the office is people who ask for an assessment for giftedness with hypersensitivity as the gateway rather than cognitive functioning singular”, concludes the neuropsychologist.

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