Overexcitabilites or Intensities are exceptionally high levels of activity in the areas of psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational and emotional experiences, and are considered by many writers and educators to be particularly relevant for gifted and talented people.
They are “often presented as personality traits and behaviors to be managed in terms of interactions at home and at school” notes a page about a SENG webinar presentation “Understanding Overexcitabilities – The Joys and the Challenges” by Susan Daniels, PhD – read more in the post Excitabilities and Gifted People.
Here are two examples of well-known performers who have some of these Intensities:
The late “Brokeback Mountain” star Heath Ledger could often “get twitchy” he admitted:
“Sometimes I find it hard sitting still, usually when I’m in the spotlight or even in rehearsal.
“My nervous energy comes streaking out of my fingerprints. My hands go all over the place.”
[Los Angeles Times, March 5 2006]
Nicole Kidman has commented:
“You live with a lot of complicated emotions as an actor, and they whirl around you and create havoc at times.
“And yet, as an actor you’re consciously and unconsciously allowing that to happen… It’s my choice, and I would rather do it this way than live to be 100…
“Or rather than choosing not to exist within life’s extremities. I’m willing to fly close to the flame.”
[Interview, Oct 2003]
Psychomotor and emotional excitability are forms of “a higher than average capacity for experiencing internal and external stimuli, based on a higher than average responsiveness of the nervous system” according to a description of the personality development theory of Kazimierz Dabrowski, MD, PhD.
See more on the page Dabrowski / advanced development.
Also see more articles including Misdiagnosis of gifted adults: Development on the edge.