“It’s like a reflective time we’ve all had in our lives, whether to kill ourselves, whether to be miserable or move on. You go through spells where you feel that maybe you’re too sensitive for this world. I certainly felt that.”
“There was a time when I was 19 when I really, really, really thought I was going crazy,” she has said about her own brief stay at a psychiatric clinic.
“I was exhausted and going through a terrible depression. I had had panic attacks from the age of 12 – probably from the pressure of working and then going through adolescence onscreen.”
She left to get a year of intensive therapy, and recalls, “I was wallowing and I eventually got sick of it – I got sick of being sick.
“I was coming out of my own serious depression and I didn’t know what to label it, just as Susanna doesn’t know what to label hers.
“There was nothing really wrong with Susanna. They called her a ‘borderline personality’ because they couldn’t diagnose her.”
Highly sensitive children – holding back
Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. has said she has seen “too many” highly sensitive children and adults “whose depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem prevent them from expressing whatever talents they have.”
[From her newsletter article The Highly Sensitive Child (and Adults, Too): Is Sensitivity the Same as Being Gifted?]
Aron considers being an HSP “means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed.”
She says there is a common tendency to call high sensitivity “fearfulness” and cites a New York Times Magazine describing “animals that hold back” as “shy and fearful” rather than “sensitive and observant.”
[From her newsletter article Reflections on Research]
Labeling and mislabeling
Diagnosis by others [particularly professionals], or simply how we explain our reactions and moods to ourselves, can have a profound effect on how those experiences impact our lives, for better or worse.
A common label many of us have put on our complex emotional experiences is “crazy” – as Winona Ryder commented above, and in another interview: “It’s just a feeling of ‘Am I crazy? Am I too sensitive to be in this world?’ A feeling that the world is just too complicated for me right now, and I don’t feel like I belong here.”
But, she added, “it passes, and fortunately today I feel blessed for all the good things in my life.” [From Autumn in New York : Interview With Winona Ryder]
Taking care of yourself
Ryder was interviewed in the Oct. 2009 issue of Interview magazine (summarized by The Week magazine), which noted that after her widely publicized 2001 arrest for shoplifting, Ryder stopped taking major film roles.
“It wasn’t like a breakdown, but I had to just stop and take care of myself. I was struggling,” she says.
“I never went out. I was just terrified and exhausted. I approached work very seriously, and it just got to be too much for me. I just felt like I really wanted to hold on to who I was and try to have as much a normal life as I could.”
The Week adds, “Today Ryder, 38, focuses on smaller, more independent films, writes almost daily, and avoids places where the paparazzi gather.” ["Why Winona Ryder dropped out," The Week theweek.com October 15, 2009]
In their article: Misdiagnosis of the Gifted, Lynne Azpeitia, M.A. and Mary Rocamora note, “Since the gifted function with relatively high levels of intensity and sensitivity, when they seek therapy they are frequently misdiagnosed because therapists receive no specialized training in the identification and treatment of persons who have advanced and complex patterns of development.”
The Highly Sensitive Person, by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults by J. Webb et al.
Related Talent Development Resources sites:
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Originally posted 2012-12-21 21:24:00.