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Reply To: Irrational Fear Taking Over My Life…Please Help

Reply To: Irrational Fear Taking Over My Life…Please Help2013-10-01T09:52:54+00:00

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Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

@Sarahlinb13, the short answer is:

Remember the old joke, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” / “So, don’t do that.”?

Listen to your body. If some things make you feel that bad, it helps to think of them as “emotional allergies”. At the first sign of the “allergen”, do something to limit your exposure to it, even if it means leaving the situation.


The long answer is:

It sounds like you might be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). According to Elaine Aron (who’s written some excellent books on the subject), there’s a much higher rate of HSPs in ADDers than in the rest of the population.

It means that our senses are so finely-tuned that something most people wouldn’t even notice, can push us into a meltdown.

An example: the tags in clothing. We have to cut them out, or else we’ll be so acutely aware of them on our skin that they’ll drive us crazy!

Another example: movie theatres. The sound and lights and rapid-cutting in today’s movies are so overwhelming, that I just can’t handle them. And the intensely disturbing storylines & scenes that you describe as freaking you out, freak me out too! So, I watch a lot of old movies on TCM. I prefer their “steak” to the empty “sizzle” of today’s movies.

I’m even sensitive to strong flavours and textures, so it’s no wonder I’ve always been a very picky eater. Unfortunately, my pickiness does NOT extend to cheesecake…or chocolate…or Haagen-Dazs.


When you’re an HSP, you’re the canary in a coal mine. If something upsets us, it’s a warning that it’s going to upset other people too…if not at the time, then later on. We also have fantastic intuition, and we notice things that most people don’t. These traits are so uncanny, that we often seem to be psychic!

The trouble is, we’ve spent most of our lives being told, “Stop being so sensitive!”, so we try to suppress this, and to ignore what our body is telling us—which only makes things worse for us.

But there’s a real evolutionary reason for HSPs.

Throughout human history, there have been two kinds of people:  warriors/kings and advisors. Warrior/kings run on aggression and “I want it, so I’ll go out and take it, even if it means going into battle”. Advisors run on pausing to carefully assess the potential scenarios and then choosing the one with the potential for greatest gain at least cost.

There are far more warrior/king types than advisors, because warrior/kings tend to get slaughtered a lot easier than advisors do.

In the past, the smart warrior/kings noticed this, and recognized the value of having good advisors to help keep them from being slaughtered. Advisors were so highly esteemed back then, that you couldn’t just *decide* to become one; you had to come from a family of advisors, inheriting the “advisor” talents and learning how to use them from the time you were a baby!

Today, the world has changed a lot, but, even in the corporate world, you have warrior/kings and advisors.

There aren’t as many SMART warrior/kings who recognize the value of having good advisors, but if you catch one of the others in the right moment (such as, when they’ve just realized that something you’d warned them about much earlier, which they’d dismissed as being “ridiculous”, has just happened), they’ll be more open to recognizing the value of listening to an HSP.

Pretty cool, eh?