High Sensitivity and Addiction

Many highly sensitive people use drugs and alcohol to ease the pain of their sensitivity, or to enhance creativity. Sometimes they risk addiction.

Source: High Sensitivity and Addiction


Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Psychologist Susan Meindl writes: Highly sensitive people…have nervous systems and minds which permit more stimulation to enter without automatically and unconsciously shutting it out, and further, that they then cognitively process the stimulation that they receive in more detail than others do. Stimulation comes in on all sensory channels: sights, sounds, smells, vibrations, touch. HSP’s […]

Source: Highly Sensitive People and Depression

Neuroscience and Sensitivity – our superior colliculus and amygdala

Neuroscience and Sensitivity – posted on Highly Sensitive and Creative Nov. 7th, 2015

A news item by ScienceDaily reported on research that may explain more about the neuroscience that underlies high sensitivity. “Researchers have discovered that a primitive region of the brain responsible for sensorimotor control also has an important role in regulating emotional responses to threatening situations.

“This region appears to work in concert with another structure called the amygdala to regulate social and emotional behavior.”

The story continues, “Georgetown University Medical Center researchers have recently discovered that activation of a primitive brain region, the deep layers of superior colliculus (DLSC), elicits defensive behaviors such as an exaggerated startle, hypervigilance, cowering, and escape…. in addition to triggering defensive behaviors, the activation of DLSC leads to a decrease in affiliative social interactions.”

Like mainstream media – and probably psychiatry in general – this news story was framed in terms of dysfunction: “Researchers say it is possible that a prolonged activation of this defense system may lead to emotional disorders” including post traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders.

[From Two Brain Structures Key To Emotional Balance Especially In Threatening Situations, ScienceDaily Oct. 23, 2009.]

As we know who have one, a highly sensitive nervous system is not a “disorder.”

But that does not mean there can be very real medical and mental health issues that may be increased with high sensitivity, such as anxiety, and PTSD – which can include very disruptive or disabling behaviors, emotions, and another kind of over-activation of the nervous system: hypervigilance.

That is something actor Ashley Judd experienced.

She had a “very unsafe” and disruptive childhood, and became what she calls a “hypervigilant child.”

Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Hear this audio interview with Jacquelyn Strickland – a Licensed Professional Counselor, Coach and workshop leader. She says, “The idea of acting versus reacting is so important for highly sensitive people, because we do take in so much from our environment. I like to use the idea of mindfulness… “Be aware of ways in which […]

Source: Jacquelyn Strickland on empowering yourself as an HSP

Mensa and Introversion

Introverted Advantage – Mensa Education and Research Foundation

“While the general population is made up of approximately 75 percent extroverts and 25 percent introverts, the membership of Mensa is the nearly the reverse: approximately 65 percent introverts and 35 percent extroverts. This Conversation will help listeners both within and outside Mensa understand and appreciate the wonderful gifts that introverts have to offer and will help to to make sense of the frequently confusing and uneasy feelings that introverts experience.”

Your Brain on Nature

Eva M. Selhub, MD, is a Clinical Associate of the Benson Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Alan Logan, ND, is a naturopathic doctor, scientist, and an independent researcher focusing on nutritional medicine. Together they combined authorship of the book, “Your Brain on Nature” to provide a unique and comprehensive perspective of the healing power of nature.

They open their book by saying:

” Less contact with nature, particularly in one’s younger years, appears to remove a layer of protection against psychological stress and opportunity for cognitive rejuvenation. Japanese research suggests also that nature deprivation may have wide-ranging effects on the immune system.” pg 3

“We present research showing that exposure to nature-based environments is associated with lower blood pressure and reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol (and other objective markers of stress).” pg 3