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lailacampos
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27 Sep 2021, 6:58 am

Hello there.
I'm a 30yo woman who has had a late ASD diagnosis.
I've struggled almost my whole life with depression, being officially diagnosed with it when I was 14 or 15.

Recently my therapist began exploring the theory that perhaps my depressive episodes could actually be long burnout episodes, resulting from feeling overwhelmed by social situations, from forcing myself to mask for long periods of time.

I'm reading more about burnout and masking and so far it's uncanny how I relate to absolutely everything.

Does anyone else, who has struggled with depression, noticed a link between it and burnout episodes?



Edna3362
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27 Sep 2021, 7:58 am

There are plenty around to read about depression and burnouts.
How the two can intertwine, enforce another and even mistaken for another due to how similar it is.


I have. My worst ones were around puberty.
My experiences got little to do with masking however -- there are a lot of other accounts who can attest to it's detrimental effects.

But mine is very much to do with dysregulation and lacking the ability to handle the whole thing altogether.

In depression alone, when it's over, things would likely go back -- with only time passed and some consequences of one's action during at such state.
Yet while being depressed, one may burnout sooner or more frequently when pushed further than one could cope.

In burnout? Something degrades, and it may or may not be go back the way it used to right after.
Not only the time passed over and consequences during it, but something changed in long term and usually not for the better. This in itself is usually depressing.


Regardless...
Both are exhausting. Both are rather soul sucking.
Only that burnouts are more injurious.


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MrsPeel
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01 Oct 2021, 8:01 pm

Yes, my burnout episodes have been mistaken for depression also.
I can tell they're different because they're more episodic and variable than true depression.
I tend to have a constant level of anhedonia as well, which confuses the matter further.

Anyhow, nowadays I put all the mental health difficulties down to autism.



kuze
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02 Oct 2021, 12:06 am

lailacampos wrote:
Hello there.
I'm a 30yo woman who has had a late ASD diagnosis.
I've struggled almost my whole life with depression, being officially diagnosed with it when I was 14 or 15.

Recently my therapist began exploring the theory that perhaps my depressive episodes could actually be long burnout episodes, resulting from feeling overwhelmed by social situations, from forcing myself to mask for long periods of time.

I'm reading more about burnout and masking and so far it's uncanny how I relate to absolutely everything.

Does anyone else, who has struggled with depression, noticed a link between it and burnout episodes?


Hi lailacampos, I have a late diagnosis and too discovered that I had been trying to mask my whole life, with varying levels of success. I too get overwhelmed by social situations and since my diagnosis I now feel as though I no longer wish to spend time with anyone that could cause social anxiety, this includes certain family members. It's actually very liberating to make that decision. I read something lately that said some people diagnosed late with ASD have been masking for so long that it becomes very difficult to define the line between the mask and ones real (autistic) self. I think since diagnosis, I feel less pressure to be drawn into potentially overwhelming social situations. In other words, I spend a lot less time masking.

kuze


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02 Oct 2021, 2:54 pm

"Burnout" is a made up, socio-culturally constructed concept. It doesn't explain anything. It is basically a legitimate sounding placeholder for "this, this and this negative stuff is happening to you, we have no idea why".

You are better off individually addressing factors causing each of loosely related aspects attributed to this mental state.



MrsPeel
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02 Oct 2021, 11:11 pm

badRobot wrote:
"Burnout" is a made up, socio-culturally constructed concept. It doesn't explain anything. It is basically a legitimate sounding placeholder for "this, this and this negative stuff is happening to you, we have no idea why".

You are better off individually addressing factors causing each of loosely related aspects attributed to this mental state.


Well, I can't say I agree with you, BadRobot.

You might as well argue that depression is a socio-culturally constructed concept, since it's generally diagnosed based on subjective reports and not brain scans or biomarkers, but that doesn't mean it's not real.

Burnout is well recognised as a real phenomenon amongst autistics, regardless of its lack of medical acceptance.

And of course it is vitally important to draw the distinction between depression and autistic burnout, if only because that will help the sufferer in doing what you suggest - addressing factors causing the mental state.

If diagnosed with depression one will be steered towards psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. Whereas knowing it is burnout, one may recognise the importance of avoiding social and/or sensory overload and the like.



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03 Oct 2021, 7:09 am

MrsPeel wrote:
You might as well argue that depression is a socio-culturally constructed concept, since it's generally diagnosed based on subjective reports and not brain scans or biomarkers, but that doesn't mean it's not real.


Depression IS a sociocultural concept. Clinical depression is a well determined condition. Major depressive disorder is something you get as a diagnosis when occurring episodes of clinical depression meet certain criteria.

Burnout is only sociocultural concept, clinically it is pretty much meaningless and provides very little value.



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03 Oct 2021, 7:25 am

badRobot wrote:
"Burnout" is a made up, socio-culturally constructed concept. It doesn't explain anything. It is basically a legitimate sounding placeholder for "this, this and this negative stuff is happening to you, we have no idea why".

You are better off individually addressing factors causing each of loosely related aspects attributed to this mental state.

While those with Aspergers struggle all throughout life, distinct periods of intense, noticeable struggle are fairly and accurately deemed burnout. No societal validation needed to know the difference between "regular" struggling vs. more intense struggling. What are you even trying to get at?



badRobot
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03 Oct 2021, 7:31 am

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
badRobot wrote:
"Burnout" is a made up, socio-culturally constructed concept. It doesn't explain anything. It is basically a legitimate sounding placeholder for "this, this and this negative stuff is happening to you, we have no idea why".

You are better off individually addressing factors causing each of loosely related aspects attributed to this mental state.

While those with Aspergers struggle all throughout life, distinct periods of intense, noticeable struggle are fairly and accurately deemed burnout. No societal validation needed to know the difference between "regular" struggling vs. more intense struggling. What are you even trying to get at?


If you just blindly accept that whatever is going on with you can be explained by something ambiguously labeled as "burnout", you might end up wasting time and effort barking up the wrong tree.

You will get much better perspective if you match symptoms of "burnout" and causes of "burnout", and skipping the "burnout" part.



Last edited by badRobot on 03 Oct 2021, 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

ezbzbfcg2
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03 Oct 2021, 7:36 am

badRobot wrote:
If you just blindly accept that whatever is going on with you can be explained by something ambiguously labeled as "burnout", you might end up wasting time and effort barking up the wrong tree.

On the contrary, it's not that "burnout" explains what you and I or someone else are going through. Rather the opposite; it's a recognition of the fact that this period of time is even more arduous than normal, and a desire to put a name to it, as it's clearly different than the "normal" suckiness. "Burnout" is as good a name as any other. Okay, we can call it a rough-patch, or a dry spell, or being 'in a bad way.' Same concept.



badRobot
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03 Oct 2021, 10:40 am

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
badRobot wrote:
If you just blindly accept that whatever is going on with you can be explained by something ambiguously labeled as "burnout", you might end up wasting time and effort barking up the wrong tree.

On the contrary, it's not that "burnout" explains what you and I or someone else are going through. Rather the opposite; it's a recognition of the fact that this period of time is even more arduous than normal, and a desire to put a name to it, as it's clearly different than the "normal" suckiness. "Burnout" is as good a name as any other. Okay, we can call it a rough-patch, or a dry spell, or being 'in a bad way.' Same concept.

Or we can use specific terms that actually describe our mental state. Blanket ambiguous labels lead to blanket solutions.



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03 Oct 2021, 10:52 am

I get overworked, stressed, paranoid, overtired and this can in itself make me feel a bit depressed but then when I come away from whatever situation I was in to make me feel that way I'm fine again after a meal, good night's sleep and a bit of tlc.

A therapist once told me that I was on autopilot. This wasn't a medical diagnosis but it did put the way I was functioning into some kind of perspective.



kuze
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05 Oct 2021, 2:52 am

ezbzbfcg2 wrote:
badRobot wrote:
If you just blindly accept that whatever is going on with you can be explained by something ambiguously labeled as "burnout", you might end up wasting time and effort barking up the wrong tree.

On the contrary, it's not that "burnout" explains what you and I or someone else are going through. Rather the opposite; it's a recognition of the fact that this period of time is even more arduous than normal, and a desire to put a name to it, as it's clearly different than the "normal" suckiness. "Burnout" is as good a name as any other. Okay, we can call it a rough-patch, or a dry spell, or being 'in a bad way.' Same concept.


I agree. Can you imagine if every word we wrote or spoke was perceived as the actual dictionary definition? Welcome to my world. :)

kuze


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badRobot
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05 Oct 2021, 4:17 am

MrsPeel wrote:
And of course it is vitally important to draw the distinction between depression and autistic burnout, if only because that will help the sufferer in doing what you suggest - addressing factors causing the mental state.

What exactly is this distinction? Is there?

MrsPeel wrote:
If diagnosed with depression one will be steered towards psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.

And stay depressed for years. To recover one should address their basic needs, like sunlight, fresh air, healthy diet, physical activity. No amount of therapy can give your brain precursor of serotonin if you don't consume it in your food or get rid of buildup of quinolinic acid if you don't exercise. Antidepressant medications don't work if there is nothing to work with, suppressing re-uptake is useless if there is nothing to re-uptake, increasing receptor sensitivity is useless if there nothing to be sensitive to.

MrsPeel wrote:
Whereas knowing it is burnout, one may recognise the importance of avoiding social and/or sensory overload and the like.

No. If you don't follow this misleading narrative you can address direct factors like hyperventilating in mildly uncomfortable situations you didn't notice for years. Or address your pre-existing anxiety problem by taking cold showers and doing breathing exercises. Then you will be able to socialize effortlessly and don't feel "burned out".