My story and biggest problem right now (I'm a new user)...

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PureRumble
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27 Sep 2011, 4:43 am

Well, I'm not sure where to start. These past four years have been quite a bumpy road stuffed with blue mood (= depression?), worrying (= anxiety!) and crisis. But then again when I think of it all of my adolescent since I was 18 years old has been one big piece of... faulty lifte time, and the time before that (= childhood) hasn't been quite well neither.

I have lived my last six weeks in a psychiatric clinic that has been my home ever since that faithful night when I visited a suicide spot that I had in mind for some time (there were no trains at the moment, but I was standing on the rail..., there, I said it! No taking it back now!).

At the clinic, a very friendly, empathic, professional and competent psychologist diagnosed me with Asperger's syndrome after a very detailed and through investigation covering several interviews and tests. The diagnosis came as a shock to begin with, but once it settled and I had time to think it and my life through (there is a lot of time to think when you're in a clinic) I realized what a perfect match I and the syndrome are.

But let me begin with the number one problem that I'm currently experiencing in my life. I hold a masters in computer science degree, I currently have a job at Ericsson as a software developer that I love from every aspect of it... and I'm still this close ===>-<=== to losing it due to exhausting anxiety at work.

I love what I'm doing at my job. I love what we're developing. I ("platonically" speaking) love my co-workers. I love the tools and computer environments we use to do our job. I love the workflow. I love it all! And yet as the working day progresses, I get more and more anxious.

It's this sensation of tension, and another sensation in my forehead. The latter just gradually increases and increases as the day goes on, impairing my mind in some spooky ways. It becomes more of a struggle to think logically and do problem solving, drains me of energy, and I really don't feel like talking to my co-workers about current work-tasks or anything else for that matter. Nothing is relaxing in this state of mind, so it isn't like I can go to the break room and play some games on my iPhone to chill out, or browse the web as a break from work. In fact, not only isn't it relaxing, but it even ain't endurable!

Near the end of the working day and the time that comes after it, I have this feeling of being depressed and hopelessness. Crying happens a lot, but sometimes I can't even do that.

Haum, if I've had your attention this far I guess the number one question that popped up in your head is for the love of God you say that you love this job so much and yet this is how your mind reacts to it!? This makes no sense! Why do you feel like this?

Well, have you ever had this problem that you see a reaction and you observe a set of distinct underlying reasons that are causing it, but you just can't figure out to what extent each reason gives rise to the reaction?

That's this in a nutshell!

So, the greatest suspected reasons, mentioned in a random sequence:

>> My last job!

Now that was one of Satan's greatest achievements in real life, and he sure is proud of it! I hated it, and let me tell you that it wasn't just me. We all hated it! Sure it was software development too, but needless to say that one job can differ greatly from another even if they are in the same field?

The managers were intelligent enough to after more than ten years of operation finally realize that "hey, we got a big bunch of disgruntled employees and things aren't going as well as they should", so in a last ditch attempt every weekly manager meeting after October last year had only one single discussion on the agenda... how much everything sucks, how much the employees think it sucks, and how much everything is going straight to hell!

So, to relate it to me... I pretty much started going on antidepressants (for the first time in my life) due to sleep deprivation caused by the last job. I abruptly quit the job in April I believe (I wasn't the first employee to pop out of existence overnight).

I simply guess that the anxiety that shows at my current job at Ericsson (that I love so much) is a very primitive and instinctively reaction of the mind to the circumstances. Let me explain, it doesn't matter how much the last and current job differ, as long as they both in the end are about sitting behind a computer and watching a screen my mind reacts very primitively and non-logically.

>> My family and relatives!

Let's not even begin on this one. It's simply put a big house of whack jobs! I know you're thinking that this is something many people say of their family & relatives. But trust me ok? I'm a very analyzing and objective kind of guy and I say this: my family & relatives belong to the super-duper-extra special case.

>> My childhood & history!

Got six hours to spare? Not? Okidoki then let's not begin on this one neither... Needless to say that it hasn't been as a life should be, and a lot of the blame is on my parents that never really qualified as parents.

>> Asperger's syndrome!

On the inside, I simply don't tick 'n' tack as "normal" people do, do I? An autistic person goes through and battles various everyday-life-breaking problems that periodically surface as their his/her life progresses through the years, and anxiety might be one of them... right? I mean sure you could describe pretty much anyone's life in this manner, but autistic persons' lives are at the extreme when it comes to this, right?



Well, that's it. But hey what's there to discuss anyway? My boss, who truly is a very friendly and compassionate person, is still hard pressed by his bosses to fire me soon anyway. And then what? I've spent more than ten years of my life to eagerly study and prepare myself for a profession that I now seem to be incapable of performing. And what happens then when I've lost it, I wonder...

Aaah, that's it folks! I don't have much more to say right now. Wow, it feels so much better having written this, and it sure would feel even better than so if one or two of you read through it and made a reply. :) But Godspeed to all of you and live well.

//Arash



TheMatrixHasYou
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27 Sep 2011, 6:42 am

Image

We're here for you.
AS drains you physically and emotionally. Combined with my Social Anxiety, everyday is a struggle. Various stimuli will affect how you act at work, any sensory processing difficulties you have will add to this. It'll hinder your problem solving capabilities. I love maths and physics, both of which require good problem solving skills. I tend to be slower than others during maths problem solving, not achieving what I think I should, making me depressed. However, if I stick with it, I'll get there, my solution being the same, but my method over complicates things. It seems to me that you LOVE your job, and the fact you feel depressed about not being able to perform well, just stresses this fact even more. Stick with it. You have what many people in your field don't have, a pure OBSESSION with computer science; you love it, so you will be good at it. Have faith. :)

With parents....I don't really have this problem...they are very demanding, but even if they caused my AS, I don't care . Without them, I wouldn't be as quirky as I am.

Let me reiterate, we're here for you, and I hope you feel at home here. :D



TwistedReflection
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27 Sep 2011, 6:58 am

TheMatrixHasYou wrote:
Image

We're here for you.
AS drains you physically and emotionally. Combined with my Social Anxiety, everyday is a struggle. Various stimuli will affect how you act at work, any sensory processing difficulties you have will add to this. It'll hinder your problem solving capabilities. I love maths and physics, both of which require good problem solving skills. I tend to be slower than others during maths problem solving, not achieving what I think I should, making me depressed. However, if I stick with it, I'll get there, my solution being the same, but my method over complicates things. It seems to me that you LOVE your job, and the fact you feel depressed about not being able to perform well, just stresses this fact even more. Stick with it. You have what many people in your field don't have, a pure OBSESSION with computer science; you love it, so you will be good at it. Have faith. :)

With parents....I don't really have this problem...they are very demanding, but even if they caused my AS, I don't care . Without them, I wouldn't be as quirky as I am.

Let me reiterate, we're here for you, and I hope you feel at home here. :D


I'm new, too, so how come I never got no damn hug?? :?

Anyway, welcome to WP, kid. You'll like it here. :D



TheMatrixHasYou
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27 Sep 2011, 7:16 am

Aw,lol, I'm sorry.....
Image
:D



TwistedReflection
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27 Sep 2011, 7:22 am

TheMatrixHasYou wrote:
Aw,lol, I'm sorry.....
Image
:D


At least you got there in the end. :)

Very funny avatar, too, if I may say so. It had me in stitches. :lol:



TheMatrixHasYou
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27 Sep 2011, 7:31 am

TwistedReflection wrote:
TheMatrixHasYou wrote:
Aw,lol, I'm sorry.....
Image
:D


At least you got there in the end. :)

Very funny avatar, too, if I may say so. It had me in stitches. :lol:


Why, thankyou! :D



OJani
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27 Sep 2011, 7:55 am

PureRumble wrote:
So, to relate it to me... I pretty much started going on antidepressants (for the first time in my life) due to sleep deprivation caused by the last job. I abruptly quit the job in April I believe (I wasn't the first employee to pop out of existence overnight).

Although I had been advocating against medication in the past, I've come to realize that proper medication might be a huge help. Personally, I don't need it (or at least I think I don't), but Temple Grandin mentions many times in her books that she suffered anxiety throughout her life before her early 30s until she discovered anxiety disorder and since then she takes SMALL doses of medication, and practically got rid of the symptoms that had been paralyzing her life for many years, especially the afternoons, similarly to you. Alternatively you could try diet (gluten-free) and exercise (running, swimming, cycling etc.).

PureRumble wrote:
I simply guess that the anxiety that shows at my current job at Ericsson (that I love so much) is a very primitive and instinctively reaction of the mind to the circumstances. Let me explain, it doesn't matter how much the last and current job differ, as long as they both in the end are about sitting behind a computer and watching a screen my mind reacts very primitively and non-logically.

Sensory sensitivity? You might be needing protection tools or accommodation.



PaintingDiva
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27 Sep 2011, 9:58 am

Big hug also!

It sounds like it has been a rough road for you. But here is the good news, you are alive, you have gotten a diagnosis, so now you have a road map, and you are employed in work you love doing. With a few serious glitches yes but congratulations for getting this far in life! Seriously, count your blessings every day.

Will your employer make accommodations for you? Do you work in a cubicle or do you have your own office space? Can you find a therapist who specializes in ASD issues who can help you come up with a strategy. What country do you work in? I believe in the USA there are laws for accommodating employees who are handicapped. And I am not saying you are handicapped but sometimes you have to 'work the system' if you see what I am saying. Though that indeed is a slippery slope because some companies will just find a reason to fire you if you put their feet to the fire and demand accommodations as your legal right. Why you need an expert or therapist who knows this stuff.

The other option is to change jobs to a less stressful one, doing the same thing but more low key. Is that possible? Can you telecommute? I am guessing not but just a thought.

You have already conquered many challenges in life. You just got your diagnosis and have been suicidal so you have a lot on your plate at the moment.

You have a lot to sort out and you absolutely need a professional to help you, just google, therapist, ASD, and where you live and see what hits you get.

Medications? Perhaps, for depression absolutely, for focusing and anxiety, yes there are medications for that also. I am not qualified to make any recommendations about that though.

Best of luck and welcome to Wrong Planet. We are a diverse group.



btbnnyr
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27 Sep 2011, 12:19 pm

This definitely sounds like sensory overload, OP. I went through the very same thing, doing what I enjoyed and had always wanted to do and still not being able to push through it due to daily overloads and shutdowns. As others have said, I hope you can get some accommodations from your employer. Otherwise, know that it is a physical reaction, and there is nothing psychological about it. Your mind does love your work, but your brain can't handle the sensory stimuli at work. Once you get accommodations, there's no reason why your mind can't get back on track. And that will probably help with the depression too.

Is working at home a possibility for you?



abc123
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27 Sep 2011, 12:21 pm

I'm also thinking about workplace adjustments as the person above. There could be something such as headphones to cut out outside noise, flexitime, having somewhere quiet to go occasionally, or even working part time, there might be ways of managing the workload to make you less stressed, or having someone to talk to occasionally to blow off steam.
I am in contact with an Aspergers employment service. Sadly I'm not doing as well as you in terms of employment (that's great), but I am employed and they are helping me with interviews etc. in the hope of getting a better job.

I've suffered from anxiety and depression since I was a teenager, related to such things as not being like other people socially or not achieving the same things. Academically I've done well, got a PhD but at work and socially AS has affected me. I have started on an anti-depressant which seems to be working and feeling much better so I wish you well with it. My family are a bit nuts too! I am finding nice friends and in-laws around me as I come out of my depression.



PureRumble
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28 Sep 2011, 4:31 am

...

Wow, where can I begin this time? I posted a topic all about me to help myself feel better and get some ideas by "self reflection". Getting some nice replies and advice was just something to hope for, but now I've been overwhelmed by such.

Seriously you don't know how it felt reading through your posts. Thank you all of you, and big hugs and love back to you too :-)

I want to summarize and reply to your comments, please forgive me if I don't address you in person.

I think I've had an idea about what's causing my job-problem. This popped up in my head after having written my post and has now been confirmed by your replies. In fact I wish I added it to the list of reasons I presented first:

Sensory Experience and Processing

This is one of those "BIG TENS" about AS and autism in particular, right? We tick and tack differently from the "normal" people when it comes to this specific topic, right?

And friends, my little idea tells me that the various forms of sensory experiences cause my anxiety. But then when this problem has been rolling for a while, the (fear of) anxiety feeds the anxiety on its own. But revelation is the number one cure that may solve this problem.

But I don't think that the constant background noise and buzzing of office space environment is the foremost sensory experience troubling me here. I actually have another suspect in mind: watching the monitors.

I'm a programmer, watching a monitor is my bread and butter. But due to my AS, my mind finds it troubling to perform the very simple act of looking at a monitor.

I've already taken all kinds of good measurements. At work I've two state of the art very ergonomic monitors that I'm working with, and I already have computer terminal glasses. I also take regular breaks by leaving my working place. But still the problem remains albeit very reduced.

And I think there's only one way to come in final term with this problem, and that is endurance and accustoming to the act of looking at the screen. This is possible only by keeping doing it until my mind figures out that there is nothing bad with looking at a screen or two.

Am I on the right track? I think so. Will I manage to come in term with this and keep this job that I otherwise love so much? Maybe.

Is there a way forward no matter how this ends, albeit that road might be a bit bumpy?

DEFINITELY! :-)

But oh look selfish me keeps talking about my days and problems. Now over to you! abc123, the way you work and think differently is much more a solid strength of yours than a weakness! I think it enabled you to get a PhD, just a tiny fraction of the world population got what it takes to get their hands on a PhD! The good job that you love will come. Have patience through the bumpy road, even if I know that's easier said (written?) than done.

btbnnyr, if we have the same problem then I really do look forward to sharing experience and possible solutions through this forum. :-)

OJani, I was also during a period of time strongly advocating against such medication, and I still believe there are meds out there that one should stay away from. But now I'm convinced that the meds I'm taking have helped tremendously, made my road a bit less bumpy. Just have this opinion in consideration.

TheMatrixHasYou and TwistedReflection, damnit just tell me where the hell do you find those nice pictures!? I want them :-D

Well, that's it for today folks. Sorry for not having replied to all of you, but I'm currently at work and should get some coding done too.

Godspeed and live well

//Arash