I finished reading The Highly Sensitive Person. I maintain that I did not like this book. It is filled with contradictions, offensive suggestions and stereotypes. Putting on a persona (mask) and trying to be someone else for a while or acting like others is not acceptable, does not make symptoms go away, and it does not allow one to be true to themselves. The author goes on and on about thinking over your past, your symptoms, how you react – as one with SPD (and Asperger’s), I think a lot, I overthink and then think again. How is thinking more going to help? I’ve already thought myself crazy over the years trying to figure out why this was happening to me. Thinking about it more or examining how I feel about it doesn’t help me in the least. I want factual medical info, useful suggestions of things to ease symptoms. Other than explaining that shy is not an acceptable term and is very negative (in which I highly agree - I am not timid or shy, have never felt shy) and reframing SPD as a trait, I did not find this book useful or containing anything helpful and do not recommend it.
I have also finished reading The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, by a different author; Ted Zeff, but meant to accompany the above mentioned book. Again I find the title/HSP term offensive and don’t understand why they don’t use proper terminology. This book I enjoyed and highly recommend. The author describes having SPD from when he was in the 5th grade and seems to know what he is talking about. Right from page 20 and then through the entire book there are suggestions of things to try, things I have tried that have helped to some degree; meditation, visualization, exercise, breathing, diet tips.
One thing I found interesting is the author is a follower of Ammachi, aka Amma, and talks a little about her healing touch. She is a spiritual leader from India, known as the hugging saint a/o Mother and has hugged millions of people across the world. A few years ago my husband, mother, and I went to see her when she was touring the US and was going to be South of Chicago. It was an intriguing experience I’ll share in my next post.