11 Sep 2019 in persoonlijk

Being overstrung and hyposensitivity

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Storming Apparently I was overwhelmed the last few days. I felt “off”, not good in my skin and grumpy. Apparently that was the reason for some of my own behaviors and feelings that played out. It may be a bit strange to read, but I don’t really notice getting overstrung very well. What is the reason for this? Being sensitive to many things, including my own feelings and emotions.

Not noticing getting overstrung

If you read about overstimulation on the internet, you will always come across the same stories. People who, for example, have a headache due to sound or light. People soon notice that they are over-stimulated, usually within a few minutes to hours. I only notice this much later. And then I talk about days or sometimes even weeks later. And then I often have to be pointed out by others. I usually do not realize this myself. And why? Because I’m hyposensitive to stimuli. I previously wrote a blog post about this. Here I mainly describe my own experience with being hyposensitive. Because incentives and impressions come to me less than with most people, I also notice much later that I am over-stimulated. Only after other people point out certain behavior to me, do I find out why I react or act that way. And through a recent conversation with my guidance, I have come to the conclusion that I have become over-stimulated.

Getting to know I’m getting overstrung

For me to realize that I am overwhelmed is something that I am exploring. It is not a simple way for me to say “Oh, all those sounds give me such a headache!” or the like. But because of conversations with other people, such as guidance, I am getting to know signals.

Those signals are personal of course. Indifference is a signal that comes to my mind. Indifferent to the world around me. The heavier my over-stimulation, the more indifferent I become. Also not being able to stick to structure is a clear signal to me. I do not have an internal structure of my own, it must be imposed on me from outside. When I get overwhelmed, I become more indifferent and my structure is lost.

It is an challenge for me to recognize these signals on time. Because I am hyposensitive to signals from my environment and from myself, recognition of these signals also comes in late. But I am increasingly successful in recognizing these things in myself.

Being overstrung doesn’t happen to me in one go

What is important to mention here is that over-stimulation does not come to me in one go. It is (often) a sum of various factors that ultimately cause over-stimulation. Because of my own sensitivity to incentives, I only realize the effect of an event later. And then other things have already happened of course. Even if I check whether I can cope with something about over-stimulation, the answer is often yes. This is because I do not yet realize that everything together can cause over-stimulation.

Fortunately, I now have a better understanding of this and am busy finding ways to prevent this. Finally, acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving the problem.

Managing being overstrung

Once I realize that I am overwhelmed, I now know better what to do. Recharging myself is a big part of that. I do this by doing things that give me energy instead of costs. For my environment, this usually means that I withdraw from social obligations. That I take time for myself and don’t feel like talking. I then listen to music, play games on the PC, watch TV series or sit and read.

Now I know better how to get out of the overstimulation of myself. This is different for every person. What works for me does not always work for others.

Thanks for reading
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Tags: overprikkeling autisme ondergevoeligheid 
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David Westerink
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I am David, born in 1984 and I'm autistic. I write blog posts and advocate for autism acceptance. I'm willing to talk to anyone about anything.

I have my own podcast (in Dutch) about autism and neurodiversity! Checkout the AutCast!

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