“Sensory overload happens when you’re getting more input from your five senses than your brain can sort through and process. Multiple conversations going on in one room, flashing overhead lights, or a loud party can all produce the symptoms of sensory overload.” That’s how Healtine defines sensory overload (over stimulation) and I think it is a very good definition, honestly the entire article was very well written and to my surprise did not just focus on sensory overload in children as it tends to be. No, they actually had helpful tips for adults. I really recommend that you check them out.
For me, sensory overload often happens when I have had an especially stressful week, one filled with human interaction that I haven’t had enough time to recover from. The chance is lessened if I know about it in advance, but it works in reverse too. If I do not get enough time to mentally prepare for events happening, then I will freeze and if possible refuse. If that is not possible, then I will just seem like an asshole instead because my brain will not work and I will be upset. Preparation is the key
With that said, the symptoms of a sensory overload are many, diffuse and different from person to person. So I thought that I would walk you through (Some of Mine) mine.
- A milde sense of nausea, you would not believe how many times I thought I randomly was gonna throw up before I realised the connection. The key to telling the difference, is that overload nausea is at the base of my throat while regular nausea is more all over the place. Also, it’s more of a pushing sensation.
- An increased desire to stim by shaking my hands and arms, preferably my right arm.
- An increased sensitivity to touch. Resulting in clothing being really annoying and difficult to wear. An intense hate of my hair and annoyance with my nails. Also, do not touch me under any circumstances. When experiencing a sensory overload, you should limit the sensory stimulations, not increase it with another’s touch.
- The feeling of wanting to do something but not actually having the ability to do anything at all, because I can’t focus and I can’t stand things.
- The need to organise and clean my room. I want my room to be clean because an organised space is good both for my mind and for my sensory input. There is less to look at, and the things to see are familiare and in the right place, meaning that the input is lessened.
- Light sensitivity. I turn off all the lights.
- A big desire to be left alone. If I don’t have energy to be with my own body, then I really don’t need another one close to me. Also, I don’t have the concentration to listen to someone, resulting in my replies being very monosyllabic.
- Everything is too warm.
- The, hard to describe, feeling of wanting to stop existing but not really, it is more not wanting to touch anything, like I want to be in a sensory depression tank. Only I know that it would be way too boring and I would not feel good anyway. Even when the world is too much, nothing is too little.
- Wanting to listen to music only that all music is WrONg. Or just not good enough, sensory overload me is really picky
- Stops talking
- Feels like crying, but like quietly, prettily, just one tear at a time running down my cheek. Cinematographic crying.
- Wants to shower, never clean enough
- Tense as fuck
All of this passes relatively quickly. Generally it happens in the evening/early night and I can just sleep it off. Nowadays it is more of an annoyance than a real problem.
I have included my original list, written while experiencing sensory overload. You can see how it gets worse as the writing progresses because the writing gets worse and worse. Good luck trying to read it!
- A milde sense of nausea, you would not belive how many times I thought I randomly was gonna trow up before I realised the conection. The cle to telling the diffrens is that overload nausea is at the base of my troat while regular nausea is more all over the place. Also, it’s more of a puching sensation.
- An incread desier to stim by shaking my hands and arms, or the rest of my body.
- An increasd semsitivety to tuche. Resulting in clothing being really annojing and difficult to ware. A intest hate of hair and much problem with nails. Also, do not tuch me under any sirmunstases.
- The feeling of wanting do do something but not actually havning the ability to do something resulting in a lot of time spent on the internet frustrated scroling around
- The need to organise and clean my room.
- Light sensitivety.
- Leav me the fuck alone,or a geting reallt tierd by social interatvtions.
- Everything is to warm.
- The hard to describe feeling of wanting to stop existing but not reallt it is more not wanting tp tuch anything like I wnat to be in a sensort deprsio tank onlt I knpw that it woould be way tp boring and i would not feel gppd anyy way
- Wanting tp lstne tp music onlt that all music is WrONg. Or just not good enpugh, sensort overload me is rallt piky
- Stops talking
- Feels like crying
- Wants tp sower, never clean enough
- Reallt really want tp clean te floor, just no enegty at all. Krävs för mycket aktoverogs emergi
- Teanss as fuxk
- Unfocused in body and hyper focused