Is your Child with Chronic Pain Highly Sensitive?
A highly sensitive person is someone who often experiences things more intensely than others do. Sounds, lights, music, emotions, stress, pain...
Perhaps your child was a highly sensitive person before they had pain. Or maybe not. This high sensitivity often has to do with a nervous system that easily flips into fight or flight syndrome. Our children with chronic pain can often be on high alert. And easily overwhelmed. When our pain flares, even Candy Crush can get too overwhelming when the chocolate starts multiplying!
I think I have become a highly sensitive person. And I think Greta has too. We don't like to watch anything too intense, play intense games on our phones, be in loud rooms, or have too much on our to-do list. Our chronic pain has made us feel the need to protect ourselves more.
Highly sensitive people often love the comfort of predicting what will happen, don't do well with last minute changes, don't like anything too extreme, have a hard time multi-tasking, and are overwhelmed by people with big energy.
Your child with chronic pain is likely also highly sensitive. If they are already in pain, have homework, and then you ask them to do a chore out of the blue...a complete meltdown can ensue. They were barely holding on by a thread and now one more thing is being asked of them.
It is worth planning a time to talk to a highly sensitive child about chores, upcoming events, or major schedule changes (like a once a week meeting, or once a day if you need it more often). By planning a time to talk, they can prepare themselves mentally for handling a change.
Since we're trying to ease our children's nervous systems, it is good to be aware of what is too much for them. We want to increase their capacity to handle things but not push them over the edge. This is a great article with practical tips for navigating life as a highly sensitive person...
The general contents of this website are provided solely for educational and informational purposes and are not meant to provide professional medical or psychiatric advice, counselling or therapeutic services.