Poll Are you a "highly sensitive person"?

Discussion in 'Symptoms' started by TJ_in_UT, Nov 19, 2017.


Which statement describes you best?

  1. I am a HSP with ME/CFS.

    14 vote(s)
  2. I am a HSP with fibromyalgia.

    0 vote(s)
  3. I am a HSP with another condition.

    0 vote(s)
  4. I have ME/CFS, but I am not a HSP.

    4 vote(s)
  5. I have fibromyalgia, but I am not a HSP.

    0 vote(s)
  6. I have another condition, but I am not a HSP.

    0 vote(s)
  1. TJ_in_UT

    TJ_in_UT Well-Known Member

    Several years ago, I became aware of the book "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine Aron, and other similar works. I definitely fit the model described, but there is, admittedly, a significant overlap between being a highly sensitive person (HSP) and many possible ME/CFS or fibromyalgia symptoms.

    I'm curious to know how many of you are also HSP's alongside of your other condition(s) that brings you here. I'm also curious to know if you think being a HSP is a distinct condition from your other condition(s), or if it's simply a cluster of symptoms caused by your other condition(s).

    I have noticed that my sensitivities worsen when my other ME/CFS symptoms are worse, but I'm still inclined to believe that it's a separate condition because of the extensive research that's been done on the subject.

    You can read about being a HSP here: http://hsperson.com/
    lisaadele, Ruth Kelly, Merida and 4 others like this.
  2. Michelle S.

    Michelle S. Member

    I have always been sensitive to pretty much everything from noise to other people's emotions. In fact, I guess I am what many refer to as a "Sensitive". When CFS set in all of this has become much worse.
    Merida and Lissa like this.
  3. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    I'd have to say yes to that. I'm also a TCK, third culture kid. Another fascinating insight into how people can all look like they're conforming, when they're not.
    Merida likes this.
  4. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think this high sensitivity is a very interesting aspect of this disorder. How many of us were highly sensitive before getting disabling symptoms? I was.
    I ran a large support group in L.A. For 13 years and many of us began to share more personal aspects. Many people related psychic and precognition experiences. It was if we were the "watchers" and "protectors" of the "tribe." Often, we just "knew" but couldn't explain how.
    Please appreciate from my many posts that I have one leg in the hard science of this disorder. However, I have expanded my thinking and searching to other areas in the past 5 years. I heard a lecture from Kathleen Marden. She has had much experience in the realm of Contactees - people who report extra-terrestrial contact. She did a survey and found that 40 per cent of Contactees had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    i have more strange tales in my thread Chronic Fatigue X Files. But I was not the first to notice these more esoteric aspects of us. Dr. Devin Starlanyl has a short chapter related to this in her book, The Fibromyalgia Advocate - " Fibromyalgia X Files."
    lisaadele and TJ_in_UT like this.
  5. Seven

    Seven Well-Known Member

    I am the opposite to be honest!
    Merida likes this.
  6. TJ_in_UT

    TJ_in_UT Well-Known Member

    I certainly was an HSP before. Not a psychic, but bookish, introvert, daydreamer, creative, emotionally sensitive. I know that abuse and trauma are not enough to explain what we have, but HSP are more deeply affected by abuse and trauma, and that may set the stage for other bad things to go wrong later. Traumatic experiences do leave a mark on the ANS, so that could be where the mental/emotional becomes biological.
    Merida likes this.
  7. Ruth Kelly

    Ruth Kelly Member

    I read Aron's book a long time ago and found that I fit the model, too, very thoroughly. It blew me away, and was helpful in my work of self-acceptance. I make a point to see what new information is out there about HSPs as I can and I love Elaine Aron's work in general. Glad to see another who has appreciated her brilliance.

    I can't say that all the layers of sensitivity are heightened when my ME/CFS worsens, but there is definitely, in some ways, an increase in sensitivity along some lines. I feel this is going to be true for any HSP whether they have ME/CFS/Fibro or are someone of normal health who is just not feeling well. I don't handle some sounds as well when things are particularly difficult with ME/CFS. And neither do I handle most sensory input without feeling assaulted if it's a rough stretch. That expands into any empathic experience or relationship tension.

    I'm inclined to believe that being an HSP and having CFS are just coincidental realities. However, not a fun combo at times.
    lisaadele and TJ_in_UT like this.