Hochsensibilität Allgemaines - Afectivo Psychotherapie & Coaching

Highly sensitive people are real, we exist. And we´ve proven it. That alone is something to celebrate.

(Elaine Aron)

What is high sensitivity?

Do these phrases sound familiar?

  • "Don't be like that!"
  • "I didn't mean that!"
  • "But you're also exhausting..."
  • "You always have to exaggerate so much!"
  • "It's always so complicated with you!"
  • "You're imagining things again..."
  • "You're really overreacting!"
  • "Oh come on, join in, everyone is joining in!"

If you've heard all of this before, or have been told it more often, then you are most likely highly sensitive. Highly sensitive people are often told by their environment that something is wrong with them. But there are not so few people who were born with this gift: about every 4th-5th person is highly sensitive and certainly knows many of these phrases, which is about 20% of all people (men and women in equal proportions). But most of them do not even know this. Many feel "somehow different", think there is something wrong with them. Often these or similar sentences like above come from the environment. It often takes many years, if not decades, until the realization of one's own high sensitivity is achieved. This path is usually associated with much suffering and stress. Because of the difference, many people with a pronounced high sensitivity had to experience rejection and injustice again and again.

There is no "one scientific definition" of high sensitivity. The term "neurosensitivity" is also increasingly used in this context. However, it is important to mention in advance that it is not a disease or psychological disorder, but a special personality trait, based on a more sensitive perception, which is hereditary. Highly sensitive people (HSM) are therefore not in need of therapy and high sensitivity is not a diagnosis according to the ICD. However, professional coaching can make everyday life easier, increase the acceptance of one's own high sensitivity and, above all, understand the strengths as an opportunity. An accompaniment in the self-knowledge of one's own high sensitivity is very advisable, especially also preventively or before other illnesses occur.

The psychology professor and therapist from the USA, Elaine Aron, is an icon in the field and has been dealing with the term since the 1990s and has gained many valuable insights through her own research. The term "highly sensitive person" (HSP) comes from her...however, I use the abbreviation HSM for "highly sensitive MENSCH (people)".

Elaine A. has found out that highly sensitive people have an increased receptivity to internal and external stimuli and that the neurological perception filter is less pronounced. This means that the stimulus threshold is exceeded more quickly and highly sensitive people are therefore confronted with more stimuli than "normal sensitive people". They have a nervous system that is more easily aroused, and a high level of arousal is reached more quickly. This leads to more intensive perception, more intensive information processing and a higher emotional reactivity. The danger of overload goes hand in hand with this: everything quickly becomes too much and the limits of resilience are often exceeded. This can be seen in all areas of life (profession, partnership, friendships/acquaintances, health...with children). Due to the higher ability to perceive, significantly higher intake of stimuli as well as the more intensive processing of them, stress symptoms occur more quickly.

Even if high sensitivity is not a disease in itself, which is important to me to emphasize again and again, there is a danger that psychological and physical illnesses can arise from this due to the highly excitable nervous system, up to a total breakdown, depression, anxiety or even psychosomatic and somatoform disorders. These show themselves physically - partly organically detectable, but partly also not detectable. The high sensitivity itself was then often not recognized and "other diagnoses" are made... this unfortunately happens more often than it should, especially with children.

For most highly sensitive people it is an absolute relief when they become aware of their own high sensitivity and many things suddenly make sense or can be explained. Due to the high striving for harmony and the desire to be "accepted as you are", they are strongly concerned to meet other people and often forget themselves and their own needs. That is why it is especially important to learn how to separate oneself. The moods and expectations of other people often absorb highly sensitive people like a sponge.

In principle, no statement can be made about social or cognitive intelligence, although many highly gifted people are also highly sensitive. Most highly sensitive people are introverted (70%) and only a smaller percentage are extroverted (30%). This mainly refers to where the energy is mainly drawn from. All people have a mixed form, but the proportion differs.

Accordingly, as possible definitions, high sensitivity represents "a temperament trait of higher sensory processing sensitivity". According to Elaine A., high sensitivity "means both a high sensitivity to subtle stimuli and a slight overexcitability.

It represents a concept for explaining how psychological and neurophysiological processing of stimuli varies between individuals." Thus, stimulus reception and processing is a defining characteristic.

I understand high sensitivity as a gift, as a great gift. It is about time that people recognize this and make it usable for themselves and also for other people. This holds great potential and it is exactly this potential that we uncover together in my exclusive coaching.