I recently took the Highly Sensitive Person self-test, and was interested to see how much my answers would have differed before I was ill -- though I see no discussion of physical illness on the site. The following questions -- some of which are true for me, and some not -- seemed to me particularly likely to be influenced by illness:
- I am easily overwhelmed by strong sensory input.
- I tend to be very sensitive to pain.
- I find myself needing to withdraw during busy days,into bed or into a darkened room or any place where I can have some privacy and relief from stimulation.
- I am particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
- I am easily overwhelmed by things like bright lights, strong smells,coarse fabrics,or sirens close by.
- I am made uncomfortable by loud noises.
- My nervous system sometimes feels so frazzled that I just have to go off by myself.
- I get rattled when I have a lot to do in a short amount of time.
- I am annoyed when people try to get me to do too many things at once.
- I try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things.
- I become unpleasantly aroused when a lot is going on around me.
- I find it unpleasant to have a lot going on at once.
- I make it a high priority to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
- I am bothered by intense stimuli, like loud noises or chaotic scenes.
Several of these were absolutely not true of me before; especially those to do with a lot going on and many things at once. It didn't used to be necessary to try hard to avoid making mistakes or forgetting things, or to arrange my life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations.
In fact, I was not a sensitive person (I'm still not -- didn't quite make the cut); I was a high-performing multi-tasker, who liked carnivals and street fairs. I did have a pain oddity -- I had a very low tolerance for mild pain, and a too-high tolerance for serious pain.
Anyone else like that -- a surgery or two that might have been avoided, or at least not reached such a serious level had you been less tolerant? How are your answers different now, than they would have been before you were ill?