It’s Sensory Sunday! This week’s sensory question is:
What physical or mental symptoms do you get
as a result of being overstimulated?
My own physical and mental symptoms depend in part on what kind of overstimulation we are talking about. Let me address one here.
Type: sensory overwhelm
When I visit stores, the amount of visual information I process often becomes too much for me to handle, and the details of objects become piercing. Yesterday, Natalie and I stepped into a warehouse, and after half a minute I said, “I am already not feeling well. I will wait outside.” What happens is that I see so much detail that I am quite literally getting sick. I experience a headache, and when it really gets too much, I become nauseous and start sweating.
There isn’t so much going on mentally in terms of panic or other negative states, except for a great desire to go outside, or to seclude myself in a dark room. Outside, there is more distance between me and other things, more openness, and a lot less piercing detail. A dark room can also be calming to my senses, because when there isn’t as much light coming into my eyes, there aren’t many visuals to process, so my brain won’t get overwhelmed. And in the dark, we see less detail, so that helps as well.
In the post below, I cover two more types of overstimulation.
What are your bodily sensations and emotions
when you experience overwhelm of any sort?
To explore the whole Sensory Sunday series,
have a look at the Sensory Sunday index: