Highly sensitive? Am I or aren't I?

High sensitivity is a very recent psychological phenomenon, which was first influenced by the work of US psychologist Elaine Aron in 1997. As a result, many adults are only now discovering that they are highly sensitive. The number of highly sensitive people in the population is estimated at at least 20%.

As the characteristics of being highly sensitive have so many different facets, tests can only evaluate tendencies and therefore your own feeling still remains decisive for a diagnosis.
As a starting point, here are 10 statements which point towards being highly sensitive. Maybe one or two of these seem familiar...

  • I feel slightly overwhelmed by intensive outside stimuli (bright light, strong smells, rough materials against the skin etc.).
  • I seem to be particularly sensitive to pain.
  • I have the feeling that I react particularly sensitively to eating food or taking medicine.
  • I notice and enjoy subtle smells, tastes, sounds or artwork.
  • I am easily shocked.
  • I seem to notice more details in my surroundings than others.
  • I get confused if I have to do a lot of different things in a short space of time.
  • Changes in my life leave me feeling mixed up.
  • When I enter a room, I can sense the mood immediately.
  • I am a good listener; people come to me with their problems.