A highly sensitive person is someone who has felt different from other people since childhood. HSPs rarely feel "normal." They are often highly sensitive to intense stimuli such as loud music, strange odors, delicate scents or tastes, or crowded situations. HSPs are also sensitive to intense emotions. HSPs are deeply moved by art or music.
HSPs display signs of having highly sensitive nervous systems. In studies in animals, approximately 20% are more easily aroused by stimuli. The same findings are seen in humans. About 20 percent of humans possess nervous systems that are more excitable than the norm. These are the HSPs, and so it is easy to understand why they avoid or withdraw from intense stimulation. Because of these tendencies, HSPs are thought to be quiet, withdrawn, timid, or shy.
The HSP personality type can be classified as dominant or non-dominant. A dominant HSP personality displays all of the traits typical of this category. A non-dominant HSP personality displays many of the traits of an HSP, yet possesses other, more dominant traits from other sides of his/her personality.
Many HSPs grow up with self-esteem issues. Young HSPs are all-to-aware of their weaknesses yet not fully aware of their strengths. Anxiety or depressive disorders are common among HSPs.
These disorders are very treatable if the doctor understands the HSP personality. Few doctors do. Psychotherapy can be very useful in helping a person find comfort and strength in being a HSP. Medication therapy is sometimes useful, but because of the HSP's sensitivity, treatment has to be initiated cautiously.
Dr. Cohen is a non-dominant HSP. "Growing up in the 1950s-1960s," He says, "being 'sensitive' was like having a birth defect." As he grew older, he realized that his HSP tendencies were among his finest qualities.
Dr. Cohen specializes in helping HSPs. If you are interested in seeing Dr. Cohen at his office or consulting with him by telephone, please call 858-345-1760.
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