By Melissa McGlensey in The Mighty.
Sensory overload happens when too much sensory stimulus is occurring at once — it can be triggered by a crowded room, a TV turned up too loud, strong aromas, fluorescent lighting — or a hundred other things. It’s often associated with certain diagnoses like autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder and more, although anyone can experience it.
Sensory overload can be overwhelming, scary and exhausting, and may require a person to separate him or herself from a situation, perform a calming ritual or in some cases, melt down. It’s a hard experience to understand unless you’ve felt it. So, we asked our readers who’ve experienced sensory overload to describe what it’s like.
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