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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 10:18 am

Hello,
So a few months ago I was diagnosed with ASD and severe anxiety. It's been a big struggle figuring out what to do with this diagnosis because I want to work and used to enjoy my job. I still do but it's becoming overwhelming and I have difficulty with explaining things to the people at my place of employment. Battling the urge to meltdown at work is a daily and hourly struggle. Focusing is incredibly difficult and honestly feels like it manifests itself physically. When I see my psychologist or psychiatrist they see that i am visibly stressed but i have difficulty explaining it. I sometimes feel that maybe it is a pride thing? I do put a lot of effort into coming off as an NT.

I guess what I am asking is if any of you have been through this can you offer any input or suggestions? The one lady I work with and feel comfortable around has PTSD (vet) and severe anxiety as well. She told me I need to go down to the SS office in my state and request my disability on record. I'm afraid to do that because I want to continue to work. Changing my routine of not working is too scary for me and I was told if I do that I could be told I can't work. Is this true? Also, how would or how have you gone about telling people at work that need to know? I told my sups I was diagnosed with ASD but I still am required to work two inpatient sites while everyone else works 1. This causes so much stress to the point where I have to battle with getting over this stress before I can even work each day. My productivity is starting to be affected by this. Also, last weekend I had a sensory overload issue for a few days. It seems to come and go. Everything from the lights to the static noise machines, to keyboard strokes were overwhelming. How do I tell people about that? I am afraid it will just be weird and I don't even know if there is anything they could do. If anyone has a step by step guide I would appreciate it. For some reason things like that help me a great deal.


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Sethno
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27 Jan 2014, 10:33 am

Someone who's receiving diability benefits in the States most certainly CAN work. I have a friend in that situation. You're just limited on how much you can earn on your job, because when you reach a certain amount of money, you have to start giving some back to Social Security.

As far as continuing to work, with or without receiving SS benefits...

Your symptoms are beginning to affect your ability to work.

You speak of an "inpatient" situation. You seem to be in the medical field.

Tell your employer they're going to have to accomodate your needs as a disabled person, and that the current situation is overwhelming you. You might mention how the law requires accomodating a disabled employee.

You MIGHT (big MIGHT, here) even mention to your superiors that if their ignoring your needs as a disabled person affects how you're doing your job & results in a patient getting harmed or neglected in some way (because you got overwhelmed), it'd leave THEM open to finger pointing by the authorities...

...and the courts.

(Be very careful how you word this, since you don't want them thinking you're threatening to harm a patient.)

You need an advocate, and you likely should contact some agency that helps the disabled with work-related problems or with situations where their rights are being violated. A labor board might also be a good place to contact. They'd likely sit up and take notice if a disabled person's needs are being ignored and possible harm to the employee or customers/patients could result.


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 10:47 am

Sethno wrote:
Someone who's receiving diability benefits in the States most certainly CAN work. I have a friend in that situation. You're just limited on how much you can earn on your job, because when you reach a certain amount of money, you have to start giving some back to Social Security.

As far as continuing to work, with or without receiving SS benefits...

Your symptoms are beginning to affect your ability to work.

You speak of an "inpatient" situation. You seem to be in the medical field.

Tell your employer they're going to have to accomodate your needs as a disabled person, and that the current situation is overwhelming you. You might mention how the law requires accomodating a disabled employee.

You MIGHT (big MIGHT, here) even mention to your superiors that if their ignoring your needs as a disabled person affects how you're doing your job & results in a patient getting harmed or neglected in some way (because you got overwhelmed), it'd leave THEM open to finger pointing by the authorities...

...and the courts.

(Be very careful how you word this, since you don't want them thinking you're threatening to harm a patient.)

You need an advocate, and you likely should contact some agency that helps the disabled with work-related problems or with situations where their rights are being violated. A labor board might also be a good place to contact. They'd likely sit up and take notice if a disabled person's needs are being ignored and possible harm to the employee or customers/patients could result.


Yes, I work on the non medical side of a hospital. I am a medical biller for VA hospitals within the government. Thank you for the information. I don't think I need to threaten them but I think I am starting to understand my issue because of what you posted. You told me to tell them I need to be accommodated. I did go to HR and explained to them how working from home is better (i work from home every other week) and that my psychologist even notated it in my diagnosis. I take things very literal and as this is the truth as in opinions or guesses don't register as opinions ore guesses for me. When I told HR about this stuff they gave me a reasonable accommodations paperwork but said they don't really make accommodations like I would need at the VA. I realize that this could possibly just be an opinion or ignorant statement on HR's part but I struggle with that because it's like my mind doesn't understand how that isn't the truth. Because of that I have been kind of frozen and unable to put in the request because if it is rejected I'd can't come up with a solution to not melt down. Because of not being able to prevent a melt down that I predict in relation to what HR said I can't proceed any further. I don't know if what I just said makes any real sense. I should probably do need an advocate just because communication is so hard for me. I can keep a basic conversation going easily because I follow as script that I made when i was younger but when it comes to something as detailed as navigating a conversation which is required in this scenario I kind of just give in or give up to get it over with.


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corvuscorax
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27 Jan 2014, 10:53 am

Do yourself a favour and if your job is in customer service, keep it under wraps, because they will typically view you as a "weaker candidate". This happened in both of my last jobs. You can't trust them. They will cut where they can cut.

If you work in something that is a little more "white collar" I would talk to your supervisor about the work you're dealing with if you feel comfortable with him or her. Don't bring up the disability itself but talk about how you're stressed out with stuff. Make sure that you bring up an issue though and don't hold things to the last minute or else you will be seen as irresponsible.

Try to calm down about having ASD, when I got diagnosed it completely screwed me up for a month or two, and took me another good 3 months to fully rebound. I know it sounds like shoddy advice but the sooner you realize "I'm not rainman, I'm still me" is the moment that you'll be able to pull yourself together again. Of course, it's not gonna be perfect, nothing in life is, but overcoming the stigma associated with the diagnosis is literally the hardest thing as an adult to get over, especially if you're diagnosed as an adult. (Then you get to get angry at people who help perpetuate such stigmas! Yay!). Overcoming that emotional hurdle WILL help a lot. Nowadays I don't even think about it much unless I'm talking with someone else who has it, and usually it's then like PEOPLE, HOW THE HELL DO THEY WORK.

Thinking about things that makes you happy helps. In that time, it probably wasn't the best thing to do, but I bought a ton of plush animals because they make me happy. That helped me a bit. I also made friends with some very supportive people. If you have that in your life that will help a lot (even if you're like me where people stress you out!)

I mean I'm just basing it off of my own experiences, results may vary. Tread carefully around the lion's den.

EDIT: You ninja'd my post! lol still my advice is applicable but disregard the "employment-specific" stuff :p


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 10:59 am

corvuscorax wrote:
Do yourself a favour and if your job is in customer service, keep it under wraps, because they will typically view you as a "weaker candidate". This happened in both of my last jobs. You can't trust them. They will cut where they can cut.

If you work in something that is a little more "white collar" I would talk to your supervisor about the work you're dealing with if you feel comfortable with him or her. Don't bring up the disability itself but talk about how you're stressed out with stuff. Make sure that you bring up an issue though and don't hold things to the last minute or else you will be seen as irresponsible.

Try to calm down about having ASD, when I got diagnosed it completely screwed me up for a month or two, and took me another good 3 months to fully rebound. I know it sounds like shoddy advice but the sooner you realize "I'm not rainman, I'm still me" is the moment that you'll be able to pull yourself together again. Of course, it's not gonna be perfect, nothing in life is, but overcoming the stigma associated with the diagnosis is literally the hardest thing as an adult to get over, especially if you're diagnosed as an adult. (Then you get to get angry at people who help perpetuate such stigmas! Yay!). Overcoming that emotional hurdle WILL help a lot. Nowadays I don't even think about it much unless I'm talking with someone else who has it, and usually it's then like PEOPLE, HOW THE HELL DO THEY WORK.

Thinking about things that makes you happy helps. In that time, it probably wasn't the best thing to do, but I bought a ton of plush animals because they make me happy. That helped me a bit. I also made friends with some very supportive people. If you have that in your life that will help a lot (even if you're like me where people stress you out!)

I mean I'm just basing it off of my own experiences, results may vary. Tread carefully around the lion's den.

EDIT: You ninja'd my post! lol still my advice is applicable but disregard the "employment-specific" stuff :p


I can understand that. I think I am having more issues with the anxiety then the ASD though. When they diagnosed me with both I got upset over the anxiety diagnosis but not the ASD. I've always understood how my brain works but I didn't understand anxiety because the way I feel is how I thought everyone felt. I thought everyone had to overcome the anxiety of getting anxiety whenever they start something lol. I do think you are right where a diagnosis has thrown things out of wack for me too. I have everything in my life incredibly structured and follow a very unchangeable routine so to have a diagnosis throws everything out of wack from my normal routine which then causes a severe amount of reflection which then causes more stress and so forth. i'll give it a try looking at it from your way.


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Tuttle
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27 Jan 2014, 11:03 am

http://askjan.org/

(That's who will help you with getting accomodations sorted out if you need help with it)

Do your job, get accomodations, and stop trying so hard to act NT instead of to show that your autistic some. It just increases the pressure.



corvuscorax
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27 Jan 2014, 11:03 am

Completely understandable (it's nice to see that ASD didn't upset you as much as it did for me at least). What I would suggest in addition then is to just remember that you're the same person as before. Even though you now are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you have had that your whole life likely. Your anxiety is being compounded by the fact that you were diagnosed. So yeah.


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 11:04 am

Here is another example of a major issue I am having in the work place. With inpatient they want to get big money out so they want me to bill any big UB (facility side) bills that come through. I have a lot of trouble with routine, patterns, and general OCD so I have to bill things in order by date or else something might go past timely filing and then that's a bill that is not billable. Even if I try I can't bring myself to do it the way they want me to and that is causing problems when they do an audit and ask why I have a bill in January with no UB billed and I'm still working on December pro fees to catch up (juggling two sites is hard). This also causes a incredible amount of stress because I just can't skip ahead. If i do everything gets disorganized and is much harder for me to focus on and remember where I am at. Would they make accomidations for that sort of thing and not bother me about it? either way stuff still gets done but with my way it is much more structured and pleasant.


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 11:06 am

Tuttle wrote:
http://askjan.org/

(That's who will help you with getting accomodations sorted out if you need help with it)

Do your job, get accomodations, and stop trying so hard to act NT instead of to show that your autistic some. It just increases the pressure.


Thanks, I will take a look. Yes, I think it does increase pressure or stress because at work i have to try and act normally which to me is just not doing anything. don't talk to anyone, don't change my routine. where at home I can stim with my fingers and ramble on about things that interest me. At work everyone just thinks I'm shy because I learned that by being looked over or ignored I can go on without being singled out.


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 11:56 am

You know I think you are all correct. Thank you. I keep telling myself I don't need help because I've got by so far and other people have much more trouble then me. I thought I was level 1 for both a and b of my diagnosis but I'm actually level 2 for section b. Granted, these still aren't very server in my view of things but maybe I really do just have to bite the bullet and ask for help.


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btbnnyr
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27 Jan 2014, 12:54 pm

I think that you need to get help with the severe anxiety. Even if you get a bunch of work accommodations, your anxious brain will probably find new ways to be anxious and screw you over, so it may be best to get lots of therapeutic help with the anxiety. The anxiety is not inherent part of asd, so it can be helped a lot.


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CivilSam
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27 Jan 2014, 1:09 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
I think that you need to get help with the severe anxiety. Even if you get a bunch of work accommodations, your anxious brain will probably find new ways to be anxious and screw you over, so it may be best to get lots of therapeutic help with the anxiety. The anxiety is not inherent part of asd, so it can be helped a lot.


Yeah, I am hoping it can be helped too. During my diagnosis they get me unspecified because there is no diagnoses for anxiety caused by autistic behaviors. Most of my anxiety steps from breaking my routine. if people would let me work without an interruption all day I do pretty well for the most part (unless interrupted by a difficult bill that requires me to go do something). I still think I could alleviate some of it with therapeutic help and counseling. Even as a kid my parents tried to get me to get treated for anxiety but I refused because that is a break from my routine. I don't want to start new things or end current things. It just hurts?


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