Group of people sharing a mealLights and sounds tend to bother you more than the average person. One cup of coffee seems to have the ability to caffeinate you for a week while your friends drink multiple cups each day.

Crowds and large gatherings are overwhelming for you. And even though you enjoy spending time with your friends, family, and loved ones, you feel exhausted afterward.

You know that no two people in the world are exactly the same, but you’re curious as to what it is that’s making you feel so different or so sensitive compared to your loved ones.

After some research, you narrowed it down to being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or having Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) hypersensitivity.

Is an HSP the same as someone with ADHD hypersensitivity?

What is an HSP?

An HSP is a Highly Sensitive Person. A Highly Sensitive Person is someone who has an increased sensitivity to emotional, physical, or social stimuli.

HSPs can process things on a deeper level and observe things in their environment more carefully. Being an HSP doesn’t mean that you have an official disorder, but it can make it easier to struggle with other mental disorders down the road.

What is ADHD Hypersensitivity?

Woman drinking coffeeADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Unlike being an HSP, ADHD is considered a disorder. Individuals with ADHD can show a variety of different symptoms.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of ADHD include impulsiveness, disorganization, and difficulty with focusing or paying attention.

Hypersensitivity is a common sign in individuals with ADHD. This is one of the traits that makes it most difficult to diagnose between having ADHD or being an HSP.

So, Are They the Same?

Similarities Between HSPs and ADHD

There are many similarities between HSPs and ADHD. This can lead to confusion in diagnosis. HSPs and individuals with ADHD share similar traits like mood swings, trouble handling stress, and poor planning or time management skills.

Both HSPs and those with ADHD tend to be very intuitive and creative. Emotional and sensory overload can be very common traits in both as well.

Differences Between HSPs and ADHD

That being said, there are some differences between the two. Although many signs of HSPs can appear in people with ADHD, this isn’t the case the other way around.

Impulsivity is one of the main differences between HSPs and those with ADHD. HSPs tend to think before they act, while people with ADHD tend to be a little more impulsive and can act before thinking things through.

Woman on fall trail with dog in armsIn calm environments, HSPs can be well-focused. Those with ADHD can have trouble focusing and may even appear bored in calm environments. In general, HSPs have a better ability to tune out any distractions, whereas individuals with ADHD may struggle to do so.

Hypersensitivity can be one of the signs or symptoms shown in individuals with ADHD. But having ADHD doesn’t guarantee that you will struggle with hypersensitivity to any certain degree. You might experience it mildly or you might experience it more severely.

Next Steps

Experiencing ADHD hypersensitivity or being a Highly Sensitive Person doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. It just means that you may need to incorporate some strategies to help you cope in your day-to-day life.

If you’re struggling to find ways to cope that work for you, you may need to reach out for additional support, and that’s okay! A trained and licensed therapist can help you work through your thoughts and emotions and help you find ways to help you cope that will work best for you moving forward.

If you’re interested in speaking to a therapist about it, reach out to me today to set up a consultation.

Click here to learn more about HSP therapy services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA.