According to Dr. Elaine Aron’s research: Yes and No; it depends.
To super-simplify: If an HSP grew up in a non-supportive environment, they are more likely to be depressed. If an HSP grew up in a supportive environment, it’s less likely they will be depressed.
To go further….
HSPs can be more prone to depression if:
- The HSP grew up with chaos, trauma, and dysfunction in their family.
- If the HSP is unaware of the trait and does not have a self-care plan. Without knowledge about the trait, an HSP can find themselves in a chronic state of overstimulation which would then lead to too much cortisol in the system, which can then lead to depression and/or anxiety.
- The HSP is in an unhealthy environment. (source)
It is NOT more likely, if
- The HSP grew up in a supportive and “secure” family.
- The HSP has accepted the trait as a positive and has adequate self-care.
IT DEPENDS, if:
- There is a history of depression in one’s family (genetically caused).
If a Highly Sensitive Person doesn’t know that they are highly sensitive, they may be self-critical and wonder “why can’t I be like everyone else?”
Here are 7 ways to cope with the challenges of being a Highly Sensitive Person.
If an HSP is aware of their sensitivity, they can plan their life in the best way to avoid overstimulation and scenarios that make them feel drained and unsettled. It is essential for HSPs to learn about the trait so they can find their own stasis of peace.
Depression is a dense topic that deserves more than a single blog post. This is just a basic, simplified overview of the accepted research on whether high sensitivity is related to depression.
Looking to break the cycle of chronic unhappiness? I recommend the book The Mindful Way through Depression by Mark Williams.
In regards to suicide: sensitive people feel things very deeply, so it makes sense that deep, painful thoughts could lead to depression, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. They may be incredibly self-critical and think the world or other people are better off without them. Being a perfectionist, and feeling like a failure, could also plan a part. It may seem easier to just quit living than have to deal with more pain. HOWEVER….HSPs are thoughtful and thorough, and may realize with empathy the reality of how much their suicide would their loved ones.
If you are depressed, please speak to a therapist. Even just one visit can make a difference and help you see things from another perspective. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-8255 (in the U.S.)
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