Skip to content

To the Highly Sensitive, Intense, Neurodivergent, Gifted Adults

Have you been told that you ‘see too much’, ‘hear too much’, ‘think too much’, ‘feel too much’? 

Hello, and welcome.

This website is dedicated to highly sensitive, emotionally and intellectually intense, neurodivergent, and gifted adults, and those who have always felt atypical and distinct from the norm throughout their lives.

Intense curiosity, intellectual excitability, emotional sensitivity, and being neuro-atypical are blessings. They may not feel like a gift at times, but with skills and awareness, you can learn to harness your strengths.

We live in a culture that does not fully understand or embrace this unique trait; intense and passionate individuals are told that they are ‘too much’, ‘too sensitive’, ‘too overbearing’, ‘too dramatic’, or ‘too emotional’. Many find themselves being misunderstood, plagued by shame or self-judgment, and unable to reach their full potential.

My goal is to help you answer these questions:

Is there something wrong with me?

How does being intense and being different affect my life narrative? How do I change my story?

How do I fulfill my potential?

Highly sensitive, emotionally and intense, neurodivergent, and gifted adults are at the heart of this journey towards thriving in a neurodiverse world. This space is created with your unique experiences, sensitivities, and exceptional qualities in mind. Together, we will explore the beauty and challenges that come with your traits,  and how to flourish in a world that is still learning to understand and appreciate you for who you are. 

 

gifted adults

“They said you were too much, but they never knew that you were just enough to light up the world.”

Highly Sensitive, Intense, and Gifted Adults and Emotional Intensity

Emotional Intensity can be expressed and experienced in different ways; for a full description, see here.

You feel a constant stream of both positive and negative feelings — pain, despair, fear, excitement, love, and happiness.

Sometimes, feelings can become so powerful and compelling that you feel out of control, although you may not be able to name them (we call that Alexithymia).

On the flip side, you can be flooded by joy, be deeply moved by art and beauty, and have bursts of creative insights.

You are naturally excitable and passionate— even if you don’t show it on the outside.

In a social situation, you feel you ‘absorb’ other people’s emotions and can be overwhelmed by stimuli, noises, or information you perceive.

Your psychological distress is sometimes expressed in the body —migraine headaches, allergies, asthma, and panic attacks.

You form strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things, or find separation difficult from a young age.

You are sensitive to unspoken social nuances and relational dynamics. Even this overwhelms you, you cannot ‘un-see’ things, and you intensely dislike dishonesty, inauthentic people, and situations.

Being acutely aware of the suffering, hypocrisies, and complexities of life, you may constantly feel older than others around you, like an ‘old soul’ that has somehow lost his/her roots.

You are highly driven and can be ‘perfectionistic’, which can be expressed as chronic anxiety and restlessness.

You have incessant internal dialogues and thoughts; it feels impossible to stop your mind from running. 

You live with existential angst, a sense of urgency, an impulse to move forward, and a constant need to learn and explore.

You experience existential depression over the meaninglessness of life, death, and loneliness.

You have been diagnosed/ misdiagnosed with mental illnesses such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or ADHD.

You were identified as a gifted child or gifted adult; but you do not understand why you suffer so much. 

You may realize one day that you are indeed neuro-atypical.

Are You an Emotionally Intense Person?

 

Common Criticisms Faced by Highly Sensitive, Intense, Neurodivergent, and Gifted Adults

“You are just difficult.”

“Stop thinking too much.”

“You’re too perfectionistic.”

“You overthink everything.”

“Why can’t you just be like everyone else?”

“You’re too sensitive and need to toughen up.”

“You’re too critical of yourself and others.”

“Why do you have to question everything?”

“You need to learn to fit in.”

“Why can’t you just be satisfied with what you have?”

“Why can’t you just let it go?”

“You worry about everything.”

“You take everything too seriously.”

“You need to learn to tone it down.”

“You overreact to everything.”

“You’re always so dramatic.”

“You’re too high maintenance.”

“Why can’t you just go with the flow?”

“You’re too much for me.”

“You expect too much from yourself and others.”

‘Haters Gonna Hate’- Rising Above Attacks as an Intense, Gifted, Highly Sensitive Person

“My feelings are too loud for words and too shy for the world.”
Dejan Stojanovic

 

Challenges for Emotionally Intense, Highly Sensitive, Highly Empathic and Gifted People

  • Extreme and unpredictable mood swings, feeling like you are always on the verge of losing control.
  • Shame, sensitivity to criticism and rejection, and overreacting in some situations.
  • Perfectionism, burn-out or ‘bore-out’ at work, chronically restless, unable to relax or take pleasure.
  • Impulsive and self-sabotaging behaviors that are not aligned with who you want to be.
  • Feeling oppressed by the dominant values, unable to have a voice or a place in the world.
  • Not fitting into mainstream society or culture, being or feeling isolated and alienated.
  • Taking on other people’s emotions; Becoming overly responsible for things that happen between you.
  • Feeling under-stimulated or over-stressed in relationships and friendships.
  • Being drawn to the same type of partner/ relationship over and over, even when your needs are unmet.
  • The fear of ‘coming out’ with your intensity, with the fear of being annihilated if you ‘stick your head out.’
  • Feel numb and empty most of the time, except when the emotions erupt suddenly and uncontrollably.
  • Existential guilt and despair, feeling hopeless and powerless in the face of uncertainties in life.
  • Losing touch with your intuition and disconnecting from spirituality.
  • Writer/ Artist’s block; Feeling stuck and unable to reach your full potential.

In summary, being a highly sensitive and intuitive gifted adult comes with a unique set of challenges stemming from your intensity, strong drive, and the complexity of your mind and emotional life. These challenges may manifest as feeling ‘too much’ for others, battling inner critics, seeking solace in self-soothing behaviors, and struggling with an over-active mind. The weight of high internal standards, the constant quest for stimulation, and the difficulty in expressing your thoughts and humor to others can weigh you down.  Embracing and navigating these challenges is an integral part of your journey as a highly sensitive, empathic, and gifted adult.

Homepage

‘ Your Preferred Love Language is whatever you did not get in childhood. Sounds so simple, yet so evocative.’ 

 

The Wounds of Being  ‘Too Much’ – The Shattered Light of the Gifted Adults

Toxic Family Dynamics and Complex Trauma

Would you Like to Work Together? 

Hi! My name is Imi, the author of this site. 

I now practice as a consultant and coach, specializing in working with highly sensitive, emotionally and inellectually intense, neurodivergent, and gifted adults. My approach is rooted in both my personal journey and my extensive experience as a psychotherapist and mental health practitioner.

As a highly sensitive and emotionally intense child, I grappled with fitting in and understanding human relationships, ultimately leading me to hide my true self. With many years of help from my amazing therapist, a lot of reading, and reflections, I found my journey back to love by shedding protective layers, embracing vulnerability, and rediscovering how to ‘play’ and enjoy life as it is. Today, I strive for authentic and mutually expressive relationships with others, especially those who find themselves feeling ‘different’ all their lives. 

For those who have faced similar challenges, I want to emphasize that you too can find your way back to authenticity and meaningful connections. It’s about actively reassuring the fearful part of yourself, unconditionally supporting your journey, and trusting that life is on your side.

My personal and professional journeys have inspired me to establish Eggshell Therapy and Coaching in 2013. Over the years, I’ve worked in various mental health roles, but I did not agree with many conventional perspectives on personality disorders. Frustrated with the mental health system, I was drawn to a holistic, creative, and non-pathologizing approach, influenced by philosophies such as Buddhism, Stoicism, Jungian Psychology, and Symbolism. I obtained a Master’s in Buddhist Studies and additional training in these philosophical modalities alongside my original mental health training. In my practice now, I prioritize authenticity and directness, aiming to guide you on a journey of clarity, confidence, and purpose.

You can find more about my background, publications, and interviews here, and my personal journey here. 

Reviews, Testimonials and Kind Words

 

eggshelltherapy.com

“The existential loneliness is the price we pay for being conscious of ourselves.”
– Rollo May

  

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
― Kafka on the Shore

Consultant and Author at Eggshell Therapy and Coaching | Website

Imi Lo is a consultant and published author with extensive experience in mental health and psychotherapy across diverse international settings. She specializes in working with highly sensitive, intense and gifted adults. Her books, 'Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity' and 'The Gift of Intensity,' are internationally acclaimed and available in multiple languages. She integrates psychological understanding with both Eastern and Western philosophies, such as Buddhism and Stoicism.