ever felt that your ASD has gotten worse in adulthood?

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Roo95
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12 Sep 2017, 7:34 am

Hello, this isn't a post of me moaning about how crap my life is, as its quite the opposite, but has anyone else ever felt this way?

Basically im 22 next month, diagnosed with aspergers at age 5, also more than likely I have ADHD, OCD and bad social anxiety. I appeared to be classically autistic up until the age of 10 when I calmed down, sensory issues mostly gone, able to appear almost normal. From then onwards I was as I say, able to appear quite normal, had my small group of friends, a short term girlfriend, able to socialise decently, enjoyed seeing my friends after school.
But I noticed the older I got from then onwards, the harder life seemed to get, especially now since getting a job, moving into my rented apartment with my friends and going into the adult life. I find that I need routines to cope now much more than I did before. I can still socialise with other people if they start first but I find socialising in the adult world extremely difficult compared to school, Im now much now more introverted, don't really talk to anyone but my house mates. i seem more awkward than before, get called weird a lot. People can always tell I have aspergers when before not many people said anything to me about it. Ocd has gotten worse, finding it hard to cope with adult responsibilities as it gets confusing.



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12 Sep 2017, 8:21 am

I feel like it is worse for me as I get older, but in my case I attribute that to extra stress I'm feeling in my life circumstances at the moment. I feel like stress makes my symptoms, problematic traits and sensory issues worse, and when I'm less stressed all of these feel slightly milder and/or I cope with them better. I think just stress alone probably makes everything worse.



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12 Sep 2017, 8:33 am

I'm not entirely sure if mine is actually worse, or if it's just more problematic due to life changes, but I've definitely been struggling more as I get older. I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was about nine, but had no idea what that meant until five years later when I finally decided to look it up. I also have severe social anxiety, general anxiety, on-and-off depression, sensory processing disorder, and possibly ADD/ADHD. I'm pretty sure it's always been obvious to anyone trying to interact with me for five minutes that something's up with me, but in elementary school, I did all right, and had a few friends. Middle school was another story, but that was mostly due to depression, not Asperger's. But from then on, my social anxiety has seemed to get worse and worse (until a month or so ago, it was so bad I couldn't even bring myself to actually post anything on here - I'd just read what everyone else posted). For the past few years, I get very little in-person social interaction outside of immediate family, and I haven't had a real friend since eighth grade or so. Trying to find a halfway decent job, or even more than one crappy part-time job, so I can actually support myself has been a nightmare - I keep applying to places, and have only ever heard anything back from two (one of which gave me a preliminary interview, which I promptly failed because I have a tremor that makes me look more nervous than I actually am, and the other didn't have an interview and gave me a part-time cleaning position that I had for a little over a year before the company was sold). Like BirdInFlight, I suspect stress is making things worse.


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12 Sep 2017, 8:44 am

It definitely seems like it to me, too, and I've narrowed it down to a few possible factors -
1. I am developmentally delayed, so I didn't even catch on to anything different between me and others until much older than I should have. I had no awareness of norms, no awareness of other people, etc. Like a dog. Not much self-referential consciousness. So, I wasn't really capable of understanding that autism was a thing and that that thing was making life more or less difficult for me until later. Mature adult self-reflective consciousness can really point this stuff out to you rather starkly
2. Life is much, much simpler as a child. If you can play in the dirt with proximity to other children then you skate. As we age, life becomes more demanding, more complex, etc. That can appear to make autism seem worse just due to the contrast in expectancy. Suddenly you're meant to take care of yourself, live independently, work, have relationships with functional adults, etc. None of this was required as a child, ergo it seems autism is worse in adulthood
3. I was just having a rant about how autistics are conditioned from infancy to hide anything autistic abut them, and praised for anything neurotypical they can fake. If you end up having to throw out that idea because you're too autistic to make it work, aka you're becoming more accepting of the fact you're not neurotypical and acting like one is just a thin lie, then that embracing of yourself can, I think, bring out more of your autistic nature that you'd been suppressing, sometimes for years, trying to be as "normal" as you can and had always been conditioned to think was superior. That can make it seem as though it's getting worse when it's been there all the time - you were just working too hard to pretend to be something you're not.
4. I believe successive burnouts, or breakdown as happened with me (and not the colloquial meaning of "breakdown," here. I don't mean you feel a bit down for a while or develop a bit of depression. I mean severe autistic breakdown that had me bedbound, nonverbal and almost catatonic for almost a year) can break something that never fixes, and that can exacerbate the autism.

Probably a lot more I can't think of off the proverbial top of my head.


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BirdInFlight
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12 Sep 2017, 8:47 am

Great summary, C2V -- these are all my thoughts too!



Magpie_01
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12 Sep 2017, 8:50 am

I don't necessarily think that my ASD has gotten worse. For me, it's rather that social responsibilities have increased ever since I turned 18 and became an 'adult'. Certain behaviors were tolerated or excused with me being labelled a "shy" kid and a "socially awkward" teenager but now it's expected that I find and keep a job, get married, buy a house etc. I think I'm just as autistic as I was when I little, it's just that it's less excepted; people expect me to grow out of my autism. :roll:


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12 Sep 2017, 8:59 am

In most ways, I think I am much better than I was when I was younger, certainly much better than I was just five years ago. At that time, due to poor or non-existent sleep, I suffered a major "brain dump" where I couldn't do anything. Luckily, I think my brain has healed from that to a large extent. For the last couple of weeks, however, it has been murderously hot and humid and my sleep has been awful. I hope it cools down soon.



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12 Sep 2017, 2:36 pm

Actually my Asperger's has gotten better as I got older, and my ADHD has got more noticeable compared to when I was a child, which is odd.


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12 Sep 2017, 3:15 pm

Roo95 wrote:
...finding it hard to cope with adult responsibilities as it gets confusing.

I think that's it, right there, in a nutshell. Moving into your apartment, having a job, paying bills, all the adult responsibilities, etc. causes alot of stress----and, when we have alot of stress, we don't have alot of what I call "brain space" for other things; so you're coping with meeting new people / socializing, is suffering. You're get-along, fine, with your housemates, cuz you've already built a relationship with them----the work is over----but, with NEW people, it takes WORK, for which you don't have the brain space. Before, when you were living at home (I assume), you didn't have to contend with anything (cuz everything was being done for you), except getting to know people, if you wanted to.

IMO, your needing routines has to do with your being a bit overwhelmed, with all the added responsibilities----and, IMO, it's like a defense mechanism, that not only helps you remember obligations, for instance, but it also allows you to have some things that you don't have to put alot of thought into, because you're doing the same thing, all-the-time.

For ME, my dealing with Autism, has gotten BETTER, for the most part, as I've gotten older, because the "game" has gotten more routine / "natural"----BUT, it's still difficult, when I've got alot of worries (stress), on my mind.

IMO, stress can make ALOT of things more difficult----meaning, not only our Autism, but our co-morbidities, as well; including OCD, ADHD, Tourette's----practically EVERYTHING. I'm thinking it doesn't have anything to do with your age----that it only has to do with your added responsibilities----so, that means it's temporary, and that it'll ease with time, as you get more used to your new life / way of doing things, etc.





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12 Sep 2017, 5:10 pm

In many respects my life has gotten worse since being diagnosed with autism (two years ago) and inattentive ADHD (two weeks ago). It's only reinforced my view that I am significantly different to everybody else, which has consequently heightened my anxiety levels, lowered my self-esteem and diminished my mood. I have been depressed for so long now. :(

Even though I am repeatedly told to stop obsessing over the disorders, I cannot seem to stop. Consequently I cannot seem to enjoy anything anymore and often contemplate ending my life.


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12 Sep 2017, 11:02 pm

When I was younger, I could control it better, now that I'm 47, my Asperger is hard to control. I think too much stress made it worse, my sister can REALLY STRESS me out, we had a BIG fight, she stopped talking to me over 3 weeks ago, I feel sooooo much better without talking to her. No more daily anxiety, I feel more calm & relax. But sooner or later, I have to talk to her, she in charge of my trust fund, my rent & my bills, left a BAD taste in my mouth. I don't know when I'm going to talk to her, I have colitis & if I get more stress, I may end up going to the ER, I been to 5 times, I think.


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13 Sep 2017, 8:57 am

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drwho222
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13 Sep 2017, 4:26 pm

Roo95 wrote:
Hello, this isn't a post of me moaning about how crap my life is, as its quite the opposite, but has anyone else ever felt this way?

Basically im 22 next month, diagnosed with aspergers at age 5, also more than likely I have ADHD, OCD and bad social anxiety. I appeared to be classically autistic up until the age of 10 when I calmed down, sensory issues mostly gone, able to appear almost normal. From then onwards I was as I say, able to appear quite normal, had my small group of friends, a short term girlfriend, able to socialise decently, enjoyed seeing my friends after school.
But I noticed the older I got from then onwards, the harder life seemed to get, especially now since getting a job, moving into my rented apartment with my friends and going into the adult life. I find that I need routines to cope now much more than I did before. I can still socialise with other people if they start first but I find socialising in the adult world extremely difficult compared to school, Im now much now more introverted, don't really talk to anyone but my house mates. i seem more awkward than before, get called weird a lot. People can always tell I have aspergers when before not many people said anything to me about it. Ocd has gotten worse, finding it hard to cope with adult responsibilities as it gets confusing.


Not exactly. It hasnt gotten worse, but its less appropriate for situations I'm now in.



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13 Sep 2017, 4:27 pm

Perhaps, I am not sure, perhaps I am not the best person to ask


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13 Sep 2017, 8:14 pm

I don't think it's gotten worse, I just can't be bothered masking it the way I used to when I was younger. I reached a point where I decided if eye contact wasn't my thing, which it isn't, then why should I make myself anxious and unhappy engaging in it. If other people don't like it that's their problem not mine. There's other things I don't beat myself up about anymore too. I'm much more comfortable being the real me than faking being someone I'm not.


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