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People with autism, sensory processing disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder and more describe what sensory overload feels like.


People Describe How Sensory Overload Feels

What Does Sensory Overload Feel Like?


“It just feels like you need everything around you to pause, like a bunch of things are occurring while a bunch of other things are approaching.”

“Every sound can feel like someone took a microphone to it and set it on full blast.”

“My skin is crawling and noises feel like they are crawling in and out of my ears.”


“Imagine walking into a room filled with TVs that are all playing different movies.”


“It feels as though I’m trapped and restricted in a glass case that I can’t escape.”

“It’s like when your computer freezes and your brain hits ‘Ctrl-Alt-Del’ automatically.”

“It feels like my head is a cup of hot water. My whole body starts to overheat.”


“Imagine opening a door, but when you take that first step you are falling down from an airplane with no parachute.”

“It’s like taking a bite of cake, but your brain decides that it needs to identify every single ingredient/texture/flavor of the cake all at exactly the same moment.”

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