Over excitabilities

Learn More about giftedness




“Overexcitabilities feed, enrich, empower and amplify talent”.
Michael Piechowski (1999, pp 325-6)*

Over excitabilities and sensitivity are part of the gifted ‘package’. They are not something to be ‘fixed’, rather to be understood in the context of the child. Stress tends to exacerbate sensitivities and when they are evident in children, they are probably also found to some degree in parents, which can make for intense households!

While it is tempting to consider over excitabilities something that just ‘are’, it is important to remember that if they are causing problems in life, further help may be need to be sought as, in their extreme form, what is considered an over excitability may be a diagnosable condition.

There are a number of sites where you will find information about over excitabilities relating to giftedness. Here are a few you may like to start with. You will find further information in The Beginner’s Guide to Life on the Bright Side and also in Gifted Children: Resources for Parents and Teachers in WA.

Some books and sites you may find useful include:

Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels an Michael Piechowski

Mellow Out! They Say, If I Only Could‘ by Michael Piechowski

Emotional Intensity in GIfted Students by Christine Fonseca
Some sites with good information to help you understand over excitabilities, intensity and sensitivities include:

Dabrowski’s Over excitabilities and the Theory of Positive Disintegration on the Hoagies site  or on Metagifted

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities or Supersensitivities in Gifted Children

Dabrowskis Theory and Existential Depression in Gifted Children and Adults by James Webb

Moral sensitivity of gifted children and the evolution of society by Linda Silverman

Gifted Children: Emotionally immature or emotionally intense? by Lesley Sword

* Piechowski, M. (1999), Overexcitabilities in Encyclopedia of Creativity Volume 2, M.A. Runco & S.R. Pritzker (eds), Academic Press, pp 325-334