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Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities (OEs)

Heard of ’em? This site will give you a brief overview. In short, people possessing one or more of the “overexcitabilities” react to their environments more intensely (and for a longer period) than the average person. For example, someone with high sensual overexcitability reacts dramatically to sensory stimuli: sound, light, touch, etc. are heightened experiences as contrasted with regular people’s reactions. (All the poorly-translated language includes non-words like “overexcitability” and faux amis like “sensual.” A more apt term would be “heightened sensory sensitivity,” but Dabrowski’s initial translators have already made their odd mark.)

I’m quite intrigued with the connection between the OEs and Migraine disease. Though I’ve not read any literature directly linking the OEs to Migraine patterns, an implicit connection most definitely exists: this claim is made manifest with even the most preliminary Google search for “Migraine.” As someone whose scores are sky-high on all facets of the OE scale and whose Migraine headaches are out of control, I have a vested interest in teasing out the possibility of a correlated (if not causal) relationship between heightened sensitivity and Migraine.

Let me know what you think out there–do you have Migraine disease or another chronic pain disorder? Do you have illness(es) related to heightened sensory input?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • meowlikeacat
    12 years ago

    I have OE; I get migraines from smells.

  • themigrainegirl
    13 years ago

    I’m quite tardy in responding to hopeseekr of xmule’s comment, as well as what raymond tan had to say in response to said comment. But here goes anyway…

    I have heard that OEs are oft found in gifted populations, but I’d not heard the claim that they’re mainly in developed countries. This finding is not surprising to me, however, and that’s not because I believe in the myth raymond tan refers to (that those in undeveloped countries are “dumb savages”). Isn’t it more likely that the only places where scientists, psychologists, and researchers (who often fulfill more than one role at a time) are only able to conduct their studies in developed countries? That developed nations are the only ones with structures intact where it’s feasible to do a project on Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities?

    My well-educated guess is that OEs are widespread across cultures, nations, and socioeconomic levels. This doesn’t refute the finding that gifted people tend to rank higher on the OE scale. What it may do is encourage us to look at undeveloped countries and realize that, in study after study, observation after observation, there has been no finding that human beings in developed countries are any more gifted than those in undeveloped countries. Following this logic, we can perhaps see that OEs are perhaps just as prevalent in these regions; it’s just that they are unchartered waters, so to speak–as yet, not enough reliable research has been gathered to support hopeseekr of xmule’s statement as fact.

    Thanks for reading, and for getting me to really think about these issues!

  • Raymond Tan
    13 years ago

    This is a comment on the first comment.

    “Perhaps you are not aware that OEs occur almost exclusively in developed countries”

    More of the same colonial-era drivel about dumb savages.

  • HopeSeekr of xMule
    14 years ago

    I match a good 42 out of 46 characteristics for OE; fully every single category except “psychomotor” one (e.g. I’m not very hyper, am not compulsive, etc.)

    Perhaps you are not aware that OEs occur almost exclusively in developed countries and among the gifted. It is almost certainly hereditary, and siblings of gifted OEs may not be gifted or may have only a mishmash of symptoms.

    Clearly genetic, heightened sensitives with higher highs and lower lows, coupled with an intense intellect marks the singular clearest example of the concurrent evolution of the human species.

    We are ostraciszed by our age peers in a literal manifestation of natural selection. We need/crave human contact, physical and spiritual intimacy that others literally find repuslive, and because there is such a lack of knowledge of our existence as a unique subspecies that those of us who happen to be antipathetic and have no moral code (due to absolutely abysmal parenting) turn out to be serial killers.

    Thus, we are a group that has a lot of selection pressure on ethical, intelligent, sensual, and empathetic humans in close, loving relationships. A novel mix and a near-utopian one to be sure.

    That said, of my relatively very few lovers, a full 100% of those who have not utterly used me for money have been OEs; my last one says she matches a good 40 out of the 46 defined characteristics.

    Hope this helps you. Now I just need an OE dating service, as we are very rare.

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