Sensory Overload: What Is It?

Photo by David Cassolato on

Have you ever sat in a room and felt like there was way too much going on? For me, there have been too many of these moments to count.

Sometimes, I will be doing something simple. Like sitting on the couch. Then, all of sudden, the television is too loud. My kids are being too rambunctious. There seems to be too many lights on. All of my senses are overloaded with information.

It’s overwhelming. I typically end up with a headache. Sometimes, I even feel nauseated. I mentioned these feelings to a close friend of mine. He told me that I was experiencing sensory overload.

This prompted me to do some research. I needed to know what sensory overload was and what that meant for me.

Here’s What It Is

Sensory overload is the result of a person becoming overloaded by sensations. The exact definition of sensory overload is, ‘When at least one of the five senses receives more input than it can process.’

There are many sensory overload symptoms. These symptoms include the following.

-Increased Stress Levels

-Feeling of Anxiety

-Increased Irritability

-Feelings of Restlessnesses

-Increased Sensitivity to Touch, Sights, Sounds, and Smells

Why Are Some People More Affected by Sensory Overload

The unfortunate thing is that some people do seem to be more susceptible to sensory overload. Children especially, seem to overload their senses more frequently than adults. In adults, sensory overload has been linked to certain conditions.

Conditions like autism, PTSD, ADHD, emotional processing disorders, anxiety, fibromyalgia, MS, and tourettes all seem to be associated with sensory overload.

What Does This Mean

Now, after all this research, I still have no idea why I experience sensory overload so frequently. The over-thinker in me is questioning whether I have one of these linked conditions.

If you are experiencing sensory overload talk to someone about it. You never have to suffer alone. Do you want to know my secret to dealing with this influx of sensation?

I find a quiet room, sit down, and close my eyes. Sometimes I shut off all of the lights and count my breaths. Once I escape from all of the noise, movement, and chaos, I am able to calm myself down.

Published by alswartz

I am an aspiring novelist working on my first book. I have an interest in mental health and each of my works is related to mental health in some way.

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