Skip to comments.Scientists Find Genetic Difference In Highly-Sensitive People
Posted on 05/15/2012 7:19:51 AM PDT by BenLurkin
LOS ANGELES (CBS) Do people say you are highly sensitive whether it be physically or emotionally? While it can feel like a burden, it can also mean a greater capacity for work, love and compassion.
I knew that I was more sensitive, that I took things deeper and harder, Ane Axford said.
I felt things and they were heavy, added Sandra Clifton.
Both women are so sensitive, they say that it has affected every aspect of their lives.
Its a whole different way of being in the world, Axford said.
Now scientists say that they know why some people feel so much more. New research has indicated that hypersensitive people are genetically different than those who feel a normal degree of sensitivity.
Weve done brain activation studies, said Dr. Elaine Aron.
Sensitive people show more activation, both in the secondary intentional areas, Dr. Arthur Aron added.
Clinical Psychologists Elaine and Arthur Aron conducted the studies and ultimately found that a large portion of the population 20 percent is made up of highly-sensitive people (HSPs), as the Arons have categorized them.
Theyre a bit more emotionally reactive. They process things more deeply, Elaine said.
Do you think that you may be one of them? You can take the Arons self-test, that is comprised of 27 questions, to find out.
Some of questions in the test include:
Are you easily overwhelmed by bright lights and noise? Do you startle easily? Do other peoples moods influence you? Does caffeine have a great effect on you? If you answer yes to a quarter of these questions or more, the Arons say that you may be an HSP.
The Arons research also shows that highly-sensitive people, who had a difficult childhood, may struggle with shyness, anxiety, and even depression. In those cases, therapy or even medication may help.
I felt like there was something wrong with me, Axford said.
She says that just getting the label HSP helped her; knowing she was not alone.
Still, Clifton says her HSP can be such a burden that even the characters from books and television provoke overwhelming feelings of emotion.
Sometimes I have to say, These are fictional characters. This is a character in a book, Clifton explained.
Both women say that being highly sensitive is unlike anything else, so in tune they want to tune out of life. Everything sound, every voice, every mood is amplified by a million.
The volume is turned up on everything, Axford said.
There are times when I say, Just one day, I want to be free from this, Clifton said.
Although some HSPs do benefit from medical help or therapy, the Arons say that most just live normal lives and tend to be the best workers, highly creative and extremely compassionate
That just rubs me the wrong way.
Okay, I did not say this, but someone whispered this in my ear.
Maybe their is a gay gene.
Explains a lot.
...sounds like they watch too many reruns of “Monk”
PMS, ask my husband.
Oh Ane, Ane, Ane...what's that Billy Joel lyric? "Fool them all but baby I can tell, you're no stranger to the street."
It is better to be two sensitive than an unfeeling cold narcissist like Obama.
Small differences in genes can have a profound influence on behavior and attitudes.
The dopamine receptor has variability. Dopamine is your brains “you are having lots of fun” signal.
People with a large number of repeats in the dopamine receptor are less sensitive to dopamine and tend to be “thrill seekers” always “pushing the envelope”. If they got a thrill taking that corner at 60 mph - next time they have to hit it at 70 mph to get the same thrill.
Another victim class in the making....
Some folks don't think they can do that...and hence have a harder time with various issues.
My daughter says...how do you survive?? I tell her....pretend my dear...pretend and smile.
All the training your brain in the world is not going to change the number of repeats in your dopamine receptor gene.
I suppose you could train yourself to be less of a thrill seeker and less ‘addicted’ to dopamine - but one is either sensitive to dopamine or insensitive to dopamine based upon molecular inheritance - not training your brain.
I recommend providing unlimited quantities of free valium to these folks. It would be much cheaper than continuing to placate them in the manner that they have come to expect.
That waving schmoo freaks me out.
Sounds like some “therapists” need a new cash cow.
This was a big problem when I was a child. I had an older sibling who was not--who was, in fact, highly sadistic. My parents also did not understand me.
However when I became a man, it became obvious that this was a highly advantageous quality, especially once I began to understand it. Women love it. They came to me like a magnet. Until I understood this, I wondered by girls were always so crazy about me. Children and men also like this quality. It was a big advantage everywhere, including the business world.
It took me a long time to understand all this. I consulted a clinical psychologist when I was a teenager and got a job after school to pay him. My mother had a fit; she was embarrassed, afraid her friend would find out. I was smart enough to ignore her.
Later, after I had finished college and medical school, I consulted another clinical psychologist--an ex-marine--who was an enormous help in sorting everything out. He liked me so much that he wanted me to become a psychiatrist and go into practice with him. He and his wife became good friends of my wife and me. They visited us in our home. We had dinner together many times.
I'm sure that being highly sensitive has its disadvantages, but the advantages by far outweigh them. At least, they did for me. It helps if you're smart.
My biggest problems with it were having a highly sadistic sibling and parents who didn't have the slightest idea what was going on. I knew I was smarter than they were and proved it by finding my way out from under their confusion and disfunction. The first psychologist gave me the Standford-Binet IQ test, and I scored over 200. This was my salvation.
Being highly sensitive is like everything else. If you're smart, it works for you. If you're not, it works against you, and unscrupulous people will take advantage of it.
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
I love being a HSP. I have to take extra special care of myself but at the same time I am twice as dialed in in every way. Just have to make sure to bit the right sort of partner and friends. The wrong choices can sink us like the Titanic if we are not careful.
Thats been standard operating procedure since at least the 1950s-60s. Valium was called mommys little helper, especially when mixed with a glass of wine or two. Xanax is even stronger and prescribed like candy today.
Today, anti-depressants are getting more popular. They dont give a noticeable high or impairment when you take more, so abuse isnt really a problem. Just a nice semi-permanent numbing of all your bad emotions and the ability to work while doing so.
Instead of actually solving peoples problems, we give them drugs to cover it up. This is because many of the problems and injustices people experience in this super-corrupt society arent resolvable. Talking about it only makes the rot and hopelessness more obvious so drugs are the only solution.
Former heroin junkies are also highly sensitive.
The brain secretes chemicals, called endorphines, that are the bodies natural painkillers. But even more so, they block the vast amount of nerve input to our brains, so we do not get overwhelmed by sensation.
But with addiction to heroin and other opiates, it dampens the natural production of endorphines, often to the point where they will never full again be in full production.
This is why withdrawal is so physically painful, because the brain is flooded with some much sensation that it can’t block out, that the body is overwhelmed. This is called “climbing up the walls”, and is a unique kind of pain.
Even after withdrawal is over, and the brain is again producing some endorphines, former junkies still get more than the normal amount of sensory input. This makes them a combination of photosensitive (to light), audio sensitive, tactile sensitive, odor and taste sensitive.
This is why they tend to be somewhat “jumpy”, like that other group of notoriously sensitive people, paranoids.
Don’t try to sneak up on a paranoid. They can often be very situationally aware.
Amen I think it’s why they made gun safes.
True dat. It doesn't stop the bleeding hearts from demanding a government program to resolve the unresolvable, though.
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