Oversensitivity, or the intense experience of stimuli from the environment, food, clothing, light, sounds, and people, has become a hot topic in recent years, with many people trying to find the causes of their malaise. There is even more talk about the hypersensitivity of today’s children and the resulting sensory integration disorders.
Oversensitivity is a sensitive subject that can inflame many a debate, empty wallets, or push us into indiscriminate denial and extreme asceticism, which, at least for healthy children, is often not the answer. However, whichever branch of the oversensitivity you sit on, it is crucial that you do not have a saw in the wrong hand and do not deprive yourself of the joy in life and the opportunities in the future by not knowing the natural causes of your oversensitivity.
Chunks in food hurt
For oversensitive people, stimuli can be too intense, almost painful, whether it’s sounds, light, smells, rough fabrics… or the deeper sensations evoked by other people or places. For example, children may fear getting their hands dirty or walking barefoot in the grass because of ‘too many sensations.’
Most have problems with food. ‘Are there chunks in a jam? If there are, then I won’t eat it”, is usually the conversation with children who are extremely sensitive to food consistency. Our lifestyles, which are full of intense stimuli, are partly responsible for the growing sensitivities, ranging from sensory integration disorders to allergies and even chronic diseases. These are difficult for adults to integrate, let alone children. It is, therefore, worth getting to know them better.
In ancient times in India, a mother and her newborn baby spent the postnatal period in her mother’s house. Visits and anything that would disturb the baby too much were forbidden. The mother rested in peace, and the child slowly adjusted its senses to the world in silence. Of course, this custom is no longer practiced in India or anywhere else in the world.
Nowadays, babies are exposed to loud noises, strong colors, and intense smells from the moment they are born. Toys that glow and spin, digital screens that glitter, loud noises everywhere. A child’s delicate nervous system and sensory integration system may therefore react opposite to what parents expect. As a result, children become oversensitive, irritable, and distrustful, which can eventually develop into attention disorders, absent-mindedness, and confusion.
Therefore, exposing a child to the ‘adult’ world is not the most appropriate thing to do.
Oversensitivity in gifted young people
Oversensitivity is also widespread in gifted children and adults. The gifted’s nervous system responds more strongly to stimuli, and parts of the brain are more active in processing them. Therefore, the therapeutic approach almost always involves identifying and developing giftedness and helping them manage perceived and experienced internal and external stimuli.
Most oversensitive people experience stronger perceptions through the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, internal feelings, and mood. However, in the gifted, sensory processing is even more intense, often overloaded, and not only the physical senses are involved in receiving information, but also energetic “receivers” who receive information from different energy fields, as Nikola Tesla experienced.
Failure to recognize problems leads to a lack of understanding of one’s surroundings.
Oversensitivity combined with giftedness in childhood and adolescence can lead to problems such as depression, anxiety, emotional sensitivity and intensity, issues with authority, rules and social norms, boredom, underachievement or lack of motivation, perfectionism and harsh inner criticism, feelings of otherness and loneliness, social and peer problems, and so on.
Many oversensitive gifted people who have been able to use their inner senses correctly in life and attract all the nuances of their giftedness into their mission have become visionaries, inventors, creators, innovators, scientists, artists, healers, people who bring a different perspective to society, humanity and the future. People who are already paving a better future for humanity.
Failure to recognize this remarkable combination results in not being understood by others:
1- intense energy is labeled as overactivity,
2- insistence is seen as stubbornness and nagging,
3- imagination is seen as a distraction, and daydreaming,
4- strong emotions and sensitivity are diluted as immaturity, and their creativity is seen as maladjustment, opposition, and otherness.
The intensity of perception, the volume of information, the speed of processing, the capacity for an infinite number of connections and solutions, and the lack of self-understanding and acceptance of their difference put children in a situation where they can’t cope without additional help. There are too many impulses that they cannot channel in a healthy way.
They try to fit in as much as possible and become equal to others because they will feel accepted and loved. Still, by suppressing their talents, they only suppress themselves and thus direct all their life potential towards pleasing others. Therefore, they become hardworking and obedient.
Gifted and hypersensitive adults
Gifted adults have mostly repressed their oversensitivity. As a result, they have problems expressing themselves, for example:
1- feeling that they are ‘too much’ for everyone,
2- difficulties in interpersonal relationships,
4-frustration at the incompetence of others,
6- low self-esteem,
7- difficulty concentrating because of too many interests,
8- difficulty setting personal boundaries,
9- difficulty expressing emotions, needs, and desires, and the list continues.
But it is not all a dead end.
When oversensitivity meets with giftedness, you can experience life almost as an otherworldly, profound, and multidimensional experience. Many oversensitive gifted people who have been able to use their inner senses correctly in their lives and attract all the nuances of their giftedness into their mission have become visionaries, inventors, creators, innovators, scientists, artists, healers, and people who bring a different perspective to society, humanity and the future. People who are already paving a better future for humanity.
Making friends with your unique combination of intensity and hypersensitivity allows you to act with greater confidence and a kind of “transcendence” in this often cruel and harsh world.
Understanding your perception of the world can open doors previously closed to you. And in doing so, you can transform your hypersensitivity into a power that is unique to you.