My first response: I totally agree with the doctor opposed to the new label, who said "Why should we have to label everyone who doesn't fit like clones into the mainstream?" I bristle at calling it an "emotional disorder" in all cases. It's always a fine line dividing what we consider normal and disordered, and the line is always moving anyway. This is just a fancy term for a real, *normal* personality type. [I am now dismounting my soapbox.]
My second response: That being said, I definitely must be a highly sensitive person. (I took the quiz, and I think there were maybe five things I answered "false" to. Not exaggerating.)*
*In general, I do not recommend using women's magazines to diagnose one's self. This includes when they tell you which swimsuit will heal your butt-size issues because let me tell you, boy shorts are NOT the answer.
Subsequent responses (the ones relevant to this blog): I started to wonder how many other writers and book-lovers fall somewhere in the HSP spectrum. This quote sparked my interest:
An HSP doesn't just cry while watching a film like The Notebook — she experiences actual grief symptoms.
I have been known to actually go into mourning when I finish reading a book and take days (once in a blue moon, weeks) to "get over" what's happened in the story. I'm kind of relieved that other people do that, too, and it doesn't mean that I'm particularly cray-cray.
And this is a bright spot in an article that otherwise takes the argument that being a HSP is problematic:
It's not surprising that HSPs tend to be creatively gifted, and that a large percentage have become famous because of their particular talents (many HSPs consider creative types as diverse as Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, and Winona Ryder to be one of their kind). And given how beautifully they describe the pain that comes with feeling so intensely, both Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf were almost certainly HSPs.
Interesting. So, let's do a completely non-scientific assessment. How many of you book-lovers and writers out there see yourself as a HSP, based on this article? And do you think it affects your reading or response to literature?