Day of Overstimulation


Press release June 22 2017

Brain injury-explanation launches the International Day of Overstimulation.


On Friday june 23th 2017, Brain Injury Explanation will for the first time launch the international Day of Overstimulation. In doing so, the foundation behind the website seeks to raise awareness and knowledge about Overstimulation caused by brain injury.


A brain injury often causes permanent damage to the brain. Brain injury can be a consequence of external trauma, for example by an accident, or a disorder within the body. Many people with brain injury are affected by sensory overstimulation. Sensory overstimulation means that almost every sensory stimulus causes an excessive response in the nervous system.


“Healthy people are perfectly able to regulate a continuous flow of stimuli.” Ariana van Schaaijk of brain injury explanation explains “but many people with brain injury and other brain-related conditions are extremely sensitive to light, visual patterns, fragrance, motion and noise, especially for background noise. These people see the brain injury change their lives dramatically. They cannot or can hardly participate in public life. They see a strong decline in their social life and participation in work is no longer possible or no longer in the same function.

Sensory overstimulation is exhaustive. There are even people who cannot have a treatment in hospital because of their stimulus sensitivity and therefore have to choose not to have life-saving interventions. As an approved patient organization we advocate awareness of the serious consequences of sensory overstimulation through this Day of Overstimulation.”


Here is a video about the problem of overstimulation.



Some facts about overstimulation:


  • It is estimated that in the Netherlands annually 160,000 people get some form of brain damage caused by an accident, a brain hemorrhage, stroke, brain tumor, brain inflammation and so on.
  • After this, a large part of this group suffers sensory overstimulation complaints caused by the brain injury.
  • Many people end up in social isolation because they can no longer fully participate in family, work and social life by this overwhelming disorder.
  • People who have problems with communication by their brain injury, for example by aphasia, cannot indicate that they cannot stand noise, light or crowds.


In the media and in the waiting room


“The effects of overstimulation on daily life, both short and long term, are often very difficult to understand for others.” Ariana van Schaaijk continues “But it is crucial that attention is paid to this in a wider circle. For over three years, we have surveyed over 1500 people with sensory overstimulation and we want to make their complaints and symptoms known to the general public. After all, if someone is less able to communicate due to the brain injury, who will give that person a voice? That voice we want to give them by this day. "


The foundation hopes to receive nationwide support through social media and television and calls on hospitals, rehabilitation centers, individual therapists and brain organizations to do the following:



  • Attach the poster to the wall of your waiting rooms and treatment rooms;
  • Turn off the music for one day on June 23th, out of solidarity;
  • If possible, dim the light a little, a pleasant symbolic gesture;
  • If your patients ask questions about this day, please refer them to the websites below.


"These are small gestures of solidarity which have great significance for the people living with overstimulation after brain injury," states Ariana Schaaijk.


For more information about our patient organization and about overstimulation after brain injury please visit and 


For more information about the Day of Overstimulation, mail to: Please put the text "June 23" in the subject of your mail.


About our project and Braininjury Explanation


Project Overstimulation is a project of Braininjury Explanation which is accommodated in Foundation FBIE: Foundation for Brain Injury Explanation. The foundation received an ANBI-status.


Braininjury Explanation arose from cooperation between the three sides of brain injury:

  • people with brain injury,
  • care givers,
  • professionals.

Together we volunteer to spread profound knowledge about brain injury. Our aim is to give people with brain injury and their environment more understanding about life with a brain injury. We are a non-profit organization.


P.S. We are not in favor of "treatment programs" against overstimulation without prior scientific research.