People who are emotionally highly sensitive

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Redwillow, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Someone recently posted about being an Highly Sensitive Person on another FM site. I went to the internet site just type in Highly Sensitive Person in google and it was like they were talking about me.

    Emotionally, physically, socially.... It is easier to be alone than deal with the bright lights, sounds, smells and most important for me other people's emotions.

    I am very empathetic and it is difficult being around people. People who are upset seem to seek me out and to tell me their troubles. I guess it is because I am a good listener but their emotions drain me!

    Being around people who are angry or who's emotions are all over the map are like an assault to my nerves! Trying to work when you are like this is extremely exhausting. It is like I interalize everyone emotions and I can't turn it off.

    Now that my FM is so bad everything is heightened. I have become almost a hermit. My social life is my computer.

    Does anyone else here feel like they are like this? I know there are lots of people here who have sensitive skin and food sensitivities but I am wondering if anyone else feels this way emotionally.

    According to HSP 20% of the population is Highly Sensitive but since we spend so much time alone we rarely meet up with each other.

    hugs Redwillow
  2. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    I truly believe empathy is what does me in somedays (okay most).

    I feel for others, I can relate to so many others. I am concerned too much that now I try to avoid it as much as possible.

    I seems all my life people have told me their problems..I listen...nod my head alot..give them what they want to hear. Then when they are gone...I say to myself..what about me..noboby seems to want to hear about me! So I avoid it and bury it which totally isolates me and I want it that way.

    Like you this board is gotten to be almost my best friend. You are so right, it is like I am too sensitive to everything around me and it aggrevates my FM. (I am also sensitive to sound)

    You take care Redwillow and thank you for this post,
    Have a Great Thanksgiving,
    Blessed Be,
  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Hermit??? That's me!

    I know how you feel....I can't stand the noise around the house a lot of the time and have to retreat to my bedroom. I cooked bacon and eggs the other day and was so nauseated by the odor left behind throughout the house after I cooked. The TV drives me insane at times and the lights have to be dimmed a lot.

    Everything seems to be an assault on my senses at times....I get so filled with anxiety...loud sounds "hurt" me. Thank goodness for Ativan!
  4. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    That's me! I can walk in a room and immediately my mood changes, and I look around to see who did it to me. It's a strength and a weakness. It makes us great friends but is hard on us. I need to be alone a lot to recoup.

    Also, the sensory overload problem effects me. Sometimes even voices seem almost painful--jarring maybe is the best term for it. So, I love people, but definitely need to control how much and when I associate with others.

    I've been trying to train my husband to answer yes or no to my yes or no questions. He likes to explain how he got to the answer, and by the time he gets there, my mind is long gone. Or if I want to learn a procedure on the computer, he'll start with "easy, just do this,..or you could also.." (Learn 2 or more ways at once? Yeah, right)

    The more I learn about this illness, the more I can see how it has changed my personality. Or, accentuated my introverted side.
  5. jana15

    jana15 New Member


    This describes me to a T. I used to be far more outgoing before I became ill bt have never been able to tolerate bright lights,even overhead lights are a problem for me. Loud music and strong smells. Cigarette smoke (others of course) leaves me gagging and unfortunately now I'm not even a very good lister. My mind just wanders off and I can't concentrate long enough to listen. I love my 'solo' time. My peace chair and bed, my little lamps and very gentle music (if any) I love the sound of quiet or the distant chirp of the birds in the trees outside. Their my healing sounds and I listen out for them every opportunity I get.

    It's funn you know. I don't have very many memories of my paternal grandfather but I do distinctly remember he had a dreadful aversion to noise and bright lights. Your posting has got me wondering if he might of had a few more symptoms of this DD.

    Cheers Jana
  6. wish_to_be_healthy

    wish_to_be_healthy New Member

    That's me...Makes it hard to be out there with people.

    It's been overload at home...and folks who don't have it say you are over sensitive...just Lighten Up!

    Makes me want to crawl further into myself...I used to be introverted because of sensory overload.

  7. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I do not like anything that makes me hyper. No matter what it is I will avoid it.

    In another post I finally admitted I have been diagnosed with panic disorder and use Klonopin to get me through it.

    Yet: if I feel a 'bad' feeling I make a fast exit.

    I know it is strange, but my nervous system rules before the brain does.!

  8. marsupialmama

    marsupialmama New Member

    There's a whole book about it, the author is called Elaine Aron. That book really resonated with me.

    I hate the loud noise, crowds, smoke, etc etc too. Husband liked to wear colognes but some of them give me instant headache. So he brought samples from where he works and asked me to pick the ones that don;t make me want to barf. I was pretty darn queasy after that...

    The emotional side is there too. I can;t do much more than skim news headlines most days, or else I get too caught up with the world's pain. Just read a kid's book about a famous horse that my daughter brought home from school and the bits about his sickness and recovery had me in tears!


    I have had the label "SENSITIVE" or "TOO SENSITIVE" all my life.
  9. yodasmom

    yodasmom New Member

    I am starting biofeedback nextweek..Has anyone done this for sensitivity? Results?
  10. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Funny thing, I was just thinking about a friend I had before I got sick. Our friendship ended about a year after I was diagnosed. I began to think about her and why we didn't remain friends. When I read this post it all became really clear for me. She was a good person, but she was very loud, bossy and needy. When I started getting symptoms she was supportive the first 2 or 3 times we spoke. After that she would say "are you still sick" or "you need to get out more and not think about it" and then she would get into her problems and judgements about other people. She just drained me.

    I am also a good listener and seem to be a magnet for "needy" people. My I have very few friends and I spend a lot of time alone (with God) in my quiet, peaceful, wonderful home. It's what I need and it's what feeds my spirit.

  11. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    IowaMorningGlory thanks for your quick response to my post. I wasn't sure how this question would be recieved but it seems like I am not the only one who struggles with overload.

    Wish_to_be_healthy I know how you feel about crawling further into yourself. How can we make people understand how our body feels like it is under assault when we can't explain it ourselves.

    Nyrofan it is hard not to feel like we need to protect ourselves. When you suffer from anxiety it is so disabilitating that it is hard to put yourself in that position. It is easier to run away than to deal with it.

    Marsupialmama I would really like to read that book by Elaine Aron. My plan was to ask my librarian to order it for me but so far I feel too sick to visit our library. GRRR! Colognes also make me feel really sick, we have unscented everything in this house!

    Yodasmom I am not familiar with biofeedback. Will you write and tell us more about it and fill us in on how you are doing?

    Daisys thank you for your comment about being able to pick up others emotions. I do that too and it is so hard on me. It is very hard to turn it off. Family gatherings exhaust me. I love it but afterwards I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

    Daisys my daughter is the one who chatters on forever about a topic. She is a walking movie, tv encyclopedia and I love her enthusiasum but my brain just can't follow for very long. The more she talks the more the pain builds in my head until I can't focus!

    Hayleycole I would be interested in reading your article on 'interpersonal sensitivity'. Mental illnesses are also invisible illnesses and have huge stigmas attached to them.

    Since we all know what it feels like to be accused of faking being ill or acting hysterical I think most of us would be interested in reading about other neurological disorders. At least I would.

    Jana thanks for your comments about peace and nature. I live in the woods and enjoy the trees, water, the birds, my flowers. I am sure most people find the amount of time that I am alone strange but it is the only way I can exist. My only companions during the day are my 2 labs.

    Lolalee and Hayley those needy people just suck the energy right out of the people around them! I had a few people in my life that I had to cut out completely. They were toxic to me. I know that sounds awful but the amount of distress they cause me by their demands was just making me sicker.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments. It is amazing to have this place to talk about what bothers us and to be understood.

    hugs Redwillow
  12. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Just thought I'd say hello.

    I'm about ready to retreat to my bedroom because of the noise around here with the kids home and the TV blasting. I even have a dog next to me snoring away!! LOL

  13. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Hi Hermit

    Sorry to hear you are suffering from kid bedlam! I am almost past that stage thank goodness. My son is at home right now from college but working on a project in his room!

    I had to take a Migraine pill this morning. It has helped but I still feel really fragile like I get when the migraine is around. My pain levels are a lot higher and my problems with light sensitivity and noise intensify!

    I was supposed to volunteer at the library today but phoned and cancelled. I think I am going to have to give that up after only a few tries as the noise and light is too much for me. You would think a library would be a pretty safe place for someone like us but I am coming to the conclusion that I need to be solitary!

    I hope you find some peace and quiet Hermit.
    hugs Redwillow
  14. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    But while I crave quiet, I miss people. Whadda dilemma.

    Redwillow, have you checked to see if you can reserve books from you library online? Oops, I forgot that you volunteer at your library.

    I'm hoping I can stick with a few short hours a week at the Animal Shelter. Animals are very peaceful to me.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/24/2006]
  15. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    I am very much like that. Empathy is my 'default setting', it is so easy for me to listen to people and look after them emotionally in so doing. At the age of 36 I am just now realising how important it is for me to learn to be assertive: to expect people to listen to, support and accomodate *me* sometimes. It's hard though, and it feels like a bit of a battle sometimes, especially with certain people who I seem to have 'trained' to talk on and on about themselves endlessly...
  16. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Hi Hayley

    Thanks for the article you posted for me.

    After reading this little quote I think I need to understand more about bipolar disorder to understand what this is all about.

    It seems to me that there must be an awful lot of people who are walking around with neurological disorders that haven't been diagnosed.

    hugs Redwillow

  17. lavender14

    lavender14 New Member

    I can totally relate. Last week for my daughters 19th birthday we went to applebees for lunch. It was so loud in there, it wasn't enjoyable, my daughter understands and we left right after we ate.

    perfumes, smoke, noise, light- even the vacuum cleaner.

  18. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    There are about three or four people in my life that I have definitely tagged as people who take my listening for granted. In a couple of instances, I really must practice good boundary skills, because these people are clients, and I am paid to deal with them.

    In another circumstance, it is a long-term friend that I don't see very often...maybe once a year for a day or two. I try to gear myself up for it, and I just grit it out, because I truly do want to catch up with her. She will also call occasionally, and as you can imagine -- she doesn't ever take a breath!

    The other is an older neighbor who I can only take in small doses. The good news is that she's only a neighbor part of the year, but batten down the hatches when she's in town! If I don't come to the door, she goes through our gate and onto our back deck and peers in the windows. My husband caught her doing this last week when he pulled up in the driveway after work (I had been taking a shower -- thankfully far from the windows!).

    My worst day is having one of the clients for a few hours, coming home to a phone call from the friend, then having the neighbor come peering through my front door at 10 p.m. because she "saw lights on in the back"!

    The funny part is that my long-time friend, when I told her that, on top of the EBV, etc. we already knew about I'd also been diagnosed with Lyme, she offered to come down and take care of me for a week until I got better. Yes, the offer was sweet, but I think my husband would have moved out, first! And it's so cute that she thought I'd be better in a week! I've tried to explain the word *chronic* to her, but it's like a salmon swimming upstream -- communication doesn't seem to go in that direction, it's one-way (from her mouth to my ear) only!
  19. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    People seek me out. Strangers tell me their life stories. When I feel myself reaching the "saturation point", I deliberately excuse myself.

    I get out alot. My biggest problem is fluorscent lights. I get spacey from them. I like to go shopping where there is plenty of sky lights and natural daylight flooding in from the windows.

  20. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    I looked into the Highly Sensitive Person questionarie. It seem to mix in with or copy many traits in "Sensory Integration Disorder". This is very confusing to me. SID can be diagnosed on it's own, or be a "sign" of or be in combination with Autism spectrum disorders. That would include Asperger's, ADD and ADHD to mention some.

    Anyone who can enlighten me what the difference is, is welcome to reply. Thanks for a great post, by the way!
    It is of personal interest since I just realised my son has SID and possibly ADD, and I found SID is what I suffered greatly as a child. The Highly Sensisitve Person varsion is another form I never read much about.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/27/2006]

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