My Weird Brain

My Weird Brain

Reviewing google search terms that led to my website, I was impressed with how many people actually looked up the term “excitable,” but my favorite search so far was, “i can be spacey but im actually very smart and do notice things others don’t”

Well that pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

I got on a tangent today after reading an online “IQ” post and then getting it in my head to look for the test I took in college and the nonverbal one I gave myself before I knew the answers.

I was unsuccessful in finding the distinct pink file folder that I know it is in, but in the meantime, I found one labeled “ADHD” full of articles I never read and two checklists from when I was 20 and tried to get diagnosed but never followed through and lost all my school records. Funny how little has changed in 20 years! I commented at the top of one of the checklists: “I don’t like this test too much, some of the questions are vague and some of the answers depend on specific details.”

Before I learned about ADHD, I had been tested in college for a learning disability, but I scored high enough on the academics that the tester asked me why I bothered to take the test. He said I got into that school so clearly I was doing OK. Clearly I was not because I dropped out of that school after sophomore year.

I used to be called a gifted underachiever, now I feel more like a scattered overachiever – at least when it comes to the things I’m interested in.

I went into school psychology to help others understand their own brains, but the rigid system of state mandated tests and criterion scores often makes the testing feel less meaningful than it could be if there is no significant pattern of strengths and weakness.

It wasn’t until my son went to school and I discovered the word “excitability” in a search for behavior problems in gifted kids, that it all kind of made sense to me.

Excitability in short means responding more intensely to things. Intellectual excitable are often identified as gifted. There are four other types of excitability as well, and each one comes with it’s own gifts as well as pains. As for my excitabilities:

  • Intellectual is cool and all, but when my brain won’t shut the heck up, it can be super annoying and keep me from falling asleep or focusing on the task at hand.

  • Sensory has felt like the plague of my life – with chronic pain and fatigue since my teens, but I have found as I’ve connected and listened more to my body that I can also experience things as intensely pleasurable when I don’t tune myself out.

  • Psychomotor can provide dynamic energy, but push me to the brink in a constant state of wired but tired.

  • Emotional felt like a big roller coaster – especially as a kid. Now I’m working on reconnecting where I used to try to tone myself down.

  • Imaginational can give me great ideas, but I cycle through things I’d love to do and rarely finish any of them without an external deadline or commitment.

So yeah, I’m smart AND spacey but I’m starting to get a hang of this whole harnessing my own power thing!

My weird brain
Hoagies' Blog Hop

This has been a part of the June Hoagies’ Gifted Education Blog Hop.

Comments (3)

  1. Wenda

    Thank you for sharing your journey as part of the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop. I enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better.

  2. Thank you for sharing your own experience as an adult with overexcitabilities! I’m working on a website and blog about Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration, and as part of it, I have memoir clips of my own experiences with OEs, but I’d love to add other people’s, because I obviously am just one person and each person’s experience will be different. There’s so much out there on OEs in kids (which is great!) but much less on the experience in adults. May I link this post as an example on my site? It would be linked from

    • Aurora Holtzman

      Hi Jessie, Definitely! I got a few moments to explore your website and look forward to exploring it more soon! Definitely sounds like we have similar missions. I agree that there’s much more out there on OEs in kids and not nearly as much on adults! Glad ot see more of us filling that void!

Comments are closed.