The high sensitivity personality – Dr. Pat Allen: “I’ve always known I was different.”

Pat Allen
On growing up

On the excellent Highly Sensitive People dvd by Jim Hallowes, psychologist Pat Allen, PhD, MFT recalls her mother using the phrase “Still waters run deep” to refer to her – something many of us could relate to. I think my own mother used the phrase, as a subtle form of affirmation of my shyness.

“In school, I had to sit at the back of the room,” Allen notes, about being too sensitive to be too close to others. “While other kids were reading ‘Dick and Jane,’ I was reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica…”


She talks about the issue of self-medication [which I address in my article Gifted, Talented, Addicted]: “I took up drinking at five. I drank my father’s leftovers. I was sedated from five to thirty five; that was my street medicine. But at thirty five, it was destroying me.

“Coming out of alcohol, I had to go on medication, and I was unable to sleep more than two hours a night on and on and on. But in those hours of staying up and staying up, like I was on cocaine, I was being driven mad. My blood pressure was 250 over 148 for much of my adult life.

Just an old HSP

“Now it’s 110 over 70, and I’m much healthier than I ever was when I was young, and it’s because I know, I have always known, that I was different, that I was gifted, that I was brilliant, that I didn’t fit…”

Now, she notes how this high sensitivity serves her career in helping others: “The ability to be sensitive to another person’s vibrations is how I make a living. They say I’m psychic. I’m not psychic; I’m just an old HSP.”

Highly Sensitive People dvd by Jim Hallowes

Her site:

~ ~
Related Talent Development Resources pages:
Intensity / sensitivity
introversion / shyness
Alcohol and talent: teen / young adult
psychic ability

Technorati tags:

Originally posted 2006-12-23 16:29:00.

1 comment

What do you think of this topic?