Are your own feelings easily bruised and do you worry endlessly about hurting other people’s? Do you well up when watching charity adverts for illness or animal cruelty, dislike scary films or feel bothered by loud or irritating noises (think music coming from somebody’s earphones) in a way that those around you don’t? Then you could be a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP, a condition that’s common but until now rarely understood.
However, this is all set to change. Awareness of HSPs has been gathering pace in the US for a while and a new documentary called Sensitive The Movie recently premiered in San Francisco. It explores the issue of HSP and features Dr Elaine Aron, a scientist and author of The Highly Sensitive Person (it’s sold over a million copies). It also includes new research that shows how the region of the brain that deals with empathy and sensory information is different in people who score highly on the sensitivity scale.