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4cats1dog
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06 Sep 2022, 4:21 pm

Hi, I was just diagnosed with autism at 38 (I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child). I'm exhausted all the time and the simplest tasks make me want to cry and give up. I read about autistic burnout and was shocked that I finally found something that made sense for me. I've felt this way for so many years, I don't know how to get better. I work full time in the helping field and am able to make myself perform everyday but it's getting harder and harder. It would be detrimental to my career to take time off of work.

Does anyone have advice? I have anxiety over everything and am constantly assessing and reassessing my behavior and trying to seem normal which sort of works (I think I'm just considered odd or weird). My whole life I have been told I just have character flaws that I can fix and need to try harder, feel differently and just overall change everything about how I perceive the world. I've had episodes in the past where I stopped being able to function but it's been many years. Is it possible for me to ever not feel this way?



DanielW
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06 Sep 2022, 4:29 pm

Now that you have an official diagnosis, you can request accommodations at work. Are there things that could be done to make your job less stressful? The way to get through burnout is to take things a bit easier in order to de-stress and recharge.

If its bad enough you can take medical leave, without losing your income or your job.



IsabellaLinton
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06 Sep 2022, 4:31 pm

Hi and welcome.

I agree with Daniel.

Also, does your report give recommendations about the types of support you should seek?
If you have trouble with task completion or executive function, they may have referred you to an OT.



Pteranomom
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06 Sep 2022, 6:44 pm

*hugs* I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.

First, and I know this is probably aomething you've done already, but try to make sure your physical health is in order. For example, I'm prone to anemia, so sometimes I need extra iron. Do you get enough vitamin D, are your thyroid levels good, etc.

If all of those are in order (and even if they're not) you may want to consider a lateral career switch. Maybe a different employer or different sub-field can give you more of what you need to be healthy (and effective!)

As for normalcy... I'm not normal and I know i will never be normal, but I am a *good* person and I bring a lot of happiness into the world. It sounds like you are also a good person who works hard to make other people's lives better, and you deserve to feel good about yourself.



4cats1dog
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07 Sep 2022, 4:44 pm

Thanks so much for your response. I tend to neglect my physical health and push myself too far. I think it's going to be a journey for me to unlearn my feeling that I always just need to suck it up and try harder.



SharonB
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07 Sep 2022, 9:24 pm

I took an intensive anxiety workshop and learned that I was "white knuckling" most of life (in chronic burnout). Before my DX I did not know I was anxious... it was my way of life. Now, like what you are saying, I am learning to have grace for myself, articulate and pursue my needs, deescalate sooner and it's getting better.

BTW - If your instinct is that it's not good for your career to take a break, ok. If it's b/c other people are telling you that, forget them. Against everyone's advice, I quit my professional job without a job -as a year of underemployment passed (I was busy with "gig" jobs thanks to ADHD), even my therapist was super nervous about my career. But as is my way apparently, when I was refreshed, it all came together (not without bumps, but still): I got a new job in my field with a 40% pay raise, so taking time to recover from burnout boosted my career. Not for everyone and certainly a risk, but possible.

Wishing you wellness as you find your way and learn to thrive rather than survive. :heart: