Tornado Watch, Meanwhile I think I may be a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ (HSP) (Tuesday, August 4th, 2020)

I suppose the headline conversation along the East Coast is Tropical Storm Isaias. It’s the top homepage story on NJ.com. The headline reads: “Tropical Storm Isaias to blast N.J. with up to 75 mph wind gusts, heavy rain. Latest update on timing, track.”

https://www.nj.com/weather/2020/08/tropical-storm-isaias-to-blast-nj-with-up-to-75-mph-wind-gusts-heavy-rain-latest-update-on-timing-track.html

Of specific concern is the tornado watch

https://www.nj.com/weather/2020/08/tornado-watch-issued-for-parts-of-nj-as-tropical-storm-isaias-nears.html

The U.S. National Weather Service says

“Tornado Watch is in effect – Situation is somewhat favorable for tornadoes

– THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY THAT INCLUDES TYPICAL FORECAST UNCERTAINTY IN TRACK, SIZE AND INTENSITY: Potential for a few tornadoes – The tornado threat has remained nearly steady from the previous assessment. – PLAN: Emergency plans should continue to include possible tornadoes. – PREPARE: Stay within your shelter keeping informed of the latest tornado situation. – ACT: Move quickly to the safest place within your shelter if a tornado warning is issued.” [The caps for emphasis are from the National Weather Service, not me]

(I’ve only been in the midst of one tornado. That was in…was it 2003? I remember I was in high school and we didn’t see the actual tornado, just this quick blast of wind and…was it rain? Smack against the classroom windows. The wind wasn’t strong enough to damage the windows. I don’t recall processing or experience much personal feeling when it occurred. I only remember being in school…in the same classroom all day… but some people were able to go home…I think.)

I downloaded an app called Tornado Tracker to keep an eye beyond my window. The app is called “Tornado Watcher.” I’m also looking at a website called Tornado HQ

https://www.tornadohq.com/live

Reading an article by Lifewire about best Tornado Tracker apps.

https://www.lifewire.com/best-tornado-alert-apps-4771792

The “Tornado: American Red Cross” app seems highly recommended as it is on the top of the Lifewire list. I downloaded it and like it because I can monitor my wife’s and mother’s locations as well as mine.  

Our power company PSEG sent out an email saying:

“As PSE&G continues to monitor Isaias, our latest projections show that this storm has been escalating in strength and has the potential to cause a significant number of power outages. We now anticipate that this storm may be one of the strongest to reach New Jersey in years and some outages could last for an extended period.”

Does the prospect of a tornado hitting here, where my wife works, or where my mother lives (et cetera) make me anxious? A little bit. Especially the uncertainty. Having never witnessed the sort of tornado that does severe damage the prospect of such an event occurring here is very abstract. Thus, it’s a bit harder for me to concentrate on other topics I wanted to write about this morning.

Tornado HQ says “AT 1014 AM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED OVER BRIGANTINE, OR NEAR ATLANTIC CITY, MOVING NORTH AT 65 MPH.”

The devil’s in the details as they say

Regarding anxiety: I was most troubled and bothered yesterday by the degree of paranoia I felt. I was so out of sorts in its midst that I failed to mention the SPECIFIC DETAILS of the paranoia… which included, most of all, a fear and sense of increasing conviction that everything I was reading online was an effort to brainwash me. I was reading up on what’s been written in the past about CBD oil and paranoia. Because virtually every article and source I encountered said experiences like paranoia have not been reported I started thinking they were all being paid to say positive things/write positive articles about CBD oil. I also worried that my wife might try and kill me or poison me. All the while, she was actually the source of greatest comfort. Just her existence and her being there, close to me.

I discovered I’m not the only person who had this sort of experience. A Youtuber named Kaycie uploaded a video sharing her experience of CBD oil paranoia.

Another Youtuber—WheezyNews—shared a similar adverse reaction,  

though he described it more as anxiety as opposed to paranoia.

 (Tornado HQ just issued another alert: AT 1059 AM EDT, A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS LOCATED OVER BARNEGAT, OR 17 MILES SOUTH OF TOMS RIVER, MOVING NORTH AT 55 MPH; caps theirs)

 Also, a Reddit user: u/diamondeyes2112

(1 year ago, Reddit says… *[1]a website by the way that I dislike for its practice of excluding people from conversations if their Reddit “karma” doesn’t grow. ) said

“When I stopped taking the CBD my anxiety went away, either gone or it’s barely anything. Is it possible weed and even cbd just isn’t for me? Is it possible that the thought of me taking CBD at all is making me freak out because of my first experience? If cbd worked wouldn’t it blunt my anxiety anyway? I’m upset because I genuinely wanted to enjoy the benefits of marijuana but it seems everytime I take it I get that awful anxiety/dizziness/loud or fast heart rate. Also I just want to note i’ve always been squeamish and sensitive about my body and body sensations so that could be it too.”    

I thought the point about the being “squeamish and sensitive about [the] body and body sensations” was also interesting because I relate. I remember one of the most anxiety inducing feelings from my old pot-smoking days was how dramatically different my mind and body felt and it caused somewhat of a shock, I would say.

So I spent a fair amount of time yesterday researching how/why cannabis could create paranoia. An article from Healthline explained some of it pretty well

https://www.healthline.com/health/marijuana-paranoia

I understand that apparently THC can over-stimulate the amygdala which can then result in “amygdala hijack” (which another Healthline article explained for me)

https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/amygdala-hijack

–by doing exactly as the term suggests, overpowering one’s prefrontal cortex operations and thus one’s ability to reason one’s way out of overly intense emotions.

From contemplating my amygdala to wondering if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

This caused me to wonder if I might possibly have some sort of highly or overly sensitive amygdala. (There is such little THC in CBD oil… in theory… so what if my adverse reaction was simply a genuine sensitivity).

As I was Googling I came across the term “Highly Sensitive Person” which is abbreviated (HSP) Actually, I found more articles about HSP’s than highly sensitive amygdalas. My initial reaction was skeptical…it made me think of the “millennial snowflake” concept. (Not to say I discounted how sensitive some people are, but I wondered if this was a term invented by sensitive people to make them feel better about themselves and their sensitivity by making an identity out of it.)

But as I continued researching I found that sites like the Wall Street Journal

https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-you-cry-easily-you-may-be-a-highly-sensitive-person-1431971154 [2]I just want to put it out there that I am merely substantiating my claim, not endorsing the WSJ or suggesting anyone pay to read this article. Since the paper’s horrifying embraces of President … Continue reading

 and Forbes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2020/04/13/why-highly-sensitive-people-make-the-best-leaders-according-to-a-psychologist/#3ed120a05db9

–wrote about this “personality type” or “trait” and I grew more curious.

So I learned that psychologist Elaine Aron (see her personal website here if you are interested)  coined this term “Highly Sensitive Person” and researched the concept and wrote a book

https://hsperson.com/books/the-highly-sensitive-person/

–about it.

The more I read the more I found myself relating…most especially to my sensitivity to overstimulation and also my tendency at times to succumb to emotion over reasoning. I decided to buy the ebook version (and as it turns out, a new 2020 edition of this book with up to date research).

I want to think more on my sensitivity to overstimulation…

Would I identify myself as an HSP? It seems possible. I took the HSP test

https://hsperson.com/test/highly-sensitive-test/

and scored a 19. According to Dr. Aron’s website test “If you answered more than fourteen of the questions as true of yourself, you are probably highly sensitive.”

Might this have a direct connection with my anxiety?

References

1 a website by the way that I dislike for its practice of excluding people from conversations if their Reddit “karma” doesn’t grow.
2 I just want to put it out there that I am merely substantiating my claim, not endorsing the WSJ or suggesting anyone pay to read this article. Since the paper’s horrifying embraces of President Trump in the midst of his strange kissing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin I’ve been boycotting them

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