NEWS: Samaritans are testing out their new text service SO if you need them, text: 07725 909 090. However, if you feel suicidal and need to talk urgently, call 116 123
Have you ever been told that you’re just too sensitive? Maybe you feel emotions much more deeply and for longer than others.
Some people are highly sensitive (HSP). This is a normal and genetic character trait that 15-20% of people have.
The sense of overwhelm that many HSPs feel can lead to depression, anxiety and physical symptoms. Knowing that you are an HSP can be a huge relief as many people have felt that they just don’t fit in with ‘normal’ society. Learning how to support yourself as an HSP can be hugely empowering.
The HSP trait is characterised by four things:
1. Depth of processing – you think about things deeply, things like the meaning of life and your purpose. Others may tell you you overthink situations.
2. Easily overstimulated and overwhelmed – you may be more easily stressed by noise, by lights, chaotic situations, deadlines, or too many people.
3. Strength of emotions and empathy – you feel emotions deeper and for longer than most people. If something upsets you it can stay with you for days. You have considerable empathy for others and often know intuitively what other people need before they know themselves.
4. Sensory sensitivity – you’ll notice subtle changes in the environment like the texture and colour of objects in someones home or a perfume. You might be very sensitive to noise, smell, lighting etc.
The HSP trait has been validated by major research studies. If you think this sounds like you, take the short test on Dr Elaine Aron’s website at http://www.hsperson.com/test
I have been working with a lot of clients who are exploring hidden resentment, a deep sense of sadness, anger, difficulty in relationships (often needy because their needs were not met appropriately) and needing to know why. If boarding school was a place you ever felt alone and had nowhere to show your feelings, perhaps you have been suppressing feelings for many years. Being told it is a privilege to go to boarding school is leaving many people feeling guilty. ‘I must please my parents, I must be grateful and I must get good grades’. However, the deepest need of unconditional love, normally offered by parents is absent. For many it seems tradition means children are sent to what seems a better place for a good education but evidence suggests children need their loved parents until, at least the age of 14 years unless home life is really bad.
Signs of difficulty are usually shown in being overweight but not really know why, drinking excessively or being needy in relationships – simply filling an unconscious void. If you want to explore this, perhaps reading the books below can help.
Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘privileged’ Child. Joy Schaverien (2016)
Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege: A Guide to Therapeutic Work with Boarding School Survivors. by Nick Duffell and Thurstine Basset
Beat <https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/> , the UK’s eating disorder charity, has teamed up with NHS Lothian to deliver both online peer support and a new online resource for parents/carers, thanks to funding from the Technology Enabled Care Grant from the Scottish Government.
One-to-One Email Support
Want to talk to someone who understands your experiences? We’ll pair you with a Beat-trained volunteer befriender who has recovered from their own eating disorder or supported someone through recovery.
What to expect from your befriender:
- 1—3 emails per week.
- A listening ear.
- Signposting to other services that might be helpful during your journey.
Introducing the befrienders:
- Trained by Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.
- Individuals aged 18—35 who have recovered from an eating disorder.
- Parents or carers who have supported a young person aged 12—25 with an eating disorder.
Am I eligible?
- I provide support to a young person in Scotland with an eating disorder who is aged between 12—25 years old OR
- I am a young person with an eating disorder in Scotland and I am 14—25 years old.
How to access the support:
Online Resource for Parents/Carers
CARED is aimed at parents and carers whose loved ones have recently began treatment for an eating disorders. It is hoped that this resource can improve confidence and reduce isolation.
What to expect from your CARED:
- Skills-based video tutorials
- Links to appropriate resources
- Tutorials compatible with evidence-based treatment
- Hints and tips from recovered young people, professionals and other parents and carers
How to access the support:
I want to wish all my past, current and future clients and readers a Happy New Year. I am also aware it is not all happy for everyone so if you are keen to make change this year and need to talk in a safe place to aid this process, get in touch.
We ended 2017 with the abusive power of American Film Producer, Henry Weinstein and the beginning of 2018 with the taxi driver John Worboys who raped and also sexually assaulted more woman than have had the courage to report. This brings to mind many clients who can now share their secret and shame. So hear my call and know It’s important to come forward and talk. Please do not feel you have to report your case because the first stage may be just sharing your story and talking therapy can aid the healing process.