Requesting feedback about adult breakdown/burnout

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goatfish57
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30 Nov 2015, 8:00 am

Great postings, I've retreated from the world numerous times. Usually, after a major life event starts to make itself felt. The death of my mother, my father's break downs, brutal jobs and other family dysfunctions.

The last one happened after hernia surgery. After months of trying to get my strength back, the pain started. My blood work was all screwy and I had a new doctor. The new doctor was awful. He scared the crap out of me and got it all wrong. I found a better doctor, been working on my diet, changed my exercise routines and trying to have a more positive outlook on the world. It is still a work in progress.

PS: I love my morning coffee


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Tsuri
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07 Dec 2015, 3:10 am

Burnout is bad enough, burnout before an autistic diagnosis can be downright scary as the well intentioned medications and therapies designed for neurotypicals can be quite evil for the rest of us. My best advice is to inquire to make sure that any professionals who try to help are at least aware of your place on the spectrum. If they don't understand what that means, seek a second opinion immediately. Bad enough to run out of fuel, no need to make it worse by putting gasoline in the diesel tank. On the bright side, a bad reaction to an inappropriate medication may simplify your SSDI application. Been there, done that.
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08 Dec 2015, 6:39 am

Tsuri wrote:
Burnout is bad enough, burnout before an autistic diagnosis can be downright scary as the well intentioned medications and therapies designed for neurotypicals can be quite evil for the rest of us. My best advice is to inquire to make sure that any professionals who try to help are at least aware of your place on the spectrum. If they don't understand what that means, seek a second opinion immediately. Bad enough to run out of fuel, no need to make it worse by putting gasoline in the diesel tank. On the bright side, a bad reaction to an inappropriate medication may simplify your SSDI application. Been there, done that.
Tsuri.

Great post.


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GarTog
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10 Dec 2015, 11:37 am

I tend to lurk on here but this topic touches me to the very core.

A couple of years ago I realised "things" were not getting easier with age (I am 56) as I expected but in fact harder.
As an active-but-odd Aspie my life appears pretty normal - Been employed for 30 years, decent salary, contentedly married, son (ASD and LD) etc...

In fact I feel every second as a struggle, feel little joy and experience continual weariness - can't wait to retire but fear (know!) it is me not my situation and little will change

Make myself do things I enjoy but even that struggle against anxiety. Seldom tell anyone

But I do recognise my strength of will, determination and enduring love of people and Nature



cavernio
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14 Dec 2015, 10:49 pm

I'm going through a major life change right now, but to an outsider it must look like I am getting worse and worse as I am on disability and my days are filled with barely leaving the room.

I didn't know this was an autistic trait.


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GarTog
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16 Dec 2015, 3:31 am

One of the issues many face is the lack of understanding concerning the amount of energy required to appear "normal". After a day at work I feel like I just want to scream and hide. It is important to realise that this state can become chronically debilitating (as Cavernio above describes) if it is not recognised and addressed. Coming out of the well of despond takes much longer than the time taken to fall into it! However it can pass if you accept the situation and do not blame yourself for feeling this way (especially the "I am weak" stuff). Wishing you all the best Cavernio.



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16 Dec 2015, 1:10 pm

GarTog, I requested a disability accommodation of a reduction in the amount of hours. I used my spine injury and chronic pain as reasons, but failing those, you can probably use your psychiatric diagnosis. The employer does not ever need to know what you are diagnosed with, just that a doctor says you need this accommodation. (This is in the US.)

So I work 35 instead of 40 hours a week, which is still considered full time as far as benefits go, but of course I get paid a little less (7/8 of my full time scale). This may be a way you could continue to work without falling apart. Good luck.


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GarTog
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21 Dec 2015, 8:12 am

BeaArthur wrote:
GarTog, I requested a disability accommodation of a reduction in the amount of hours. I used my spine injury and chronic pain as reasons, but failing those, you can probably use your psychiatric diagnosis. The employer does not ever need to know what you are diagnosed with, just that a doctor says you need this accommodation. (This is in the US.)

So I work 35 instead of 40 hours a week, which is still considered full time as far as benefits go, but of course I get paid a little less (7/8 of my full time scale). This may be a way you could continue to work without falling apart. Good luck.


Hi BeaArthur

Thank you for taking the time to send helpful advice.
I actually work in an employment service so know about "Reasonable Adjustments" ;-) I have changed my work hours to fit better with my needs.

The weariness is not from working though, it is global ie everything I do apart from walking quietly in the outdoors wears me out and causes anxiety - ironically work actually keeps me on an even keel as without focus I just close down completely

Thanks again

GT



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21 Dec 2015, 10:01 am

I always say, for some of us work provides our "sanity break" from home life! We come to work so there's one place in our life that is predictable and organized!

I anticipate retiring in 2016 and wonder what I will be like when I do. I'm looking forward to it, but it will be an adjustment, for sure.


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czarsmom
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05 Jan 2016, 4:46 pm

Yes, at age 46 I had a breakdown that landed me in a psychiatric hospital. I was very depressed, and literally could not cope with my life at that time. My doctor had me taken to the hospital. I was inpatient for a week, then outpatient for 3 weeks after that.

I realize that I often fall into the expectation set of non autistics, even unintentionally and without realizing it, until after I get overwhelmed and overstimulated. This happens to me rather regularly.

Thankfully, I finally enjoyed a day "off" today, and got to spend about 7 hours to myself. It was wonderful. Next year at the end of December, I'm considering making sure in advance that I designate every other day as on "off" day for me. Now sure how I will do this, as I am likely going to be having my 2 sons (teen and young adult) home with me for 90% of the time.



Tawaki
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10 Jan 2016, 1:28 pm

Someone wrote about psychiatric accommodations.

Becareful.

My husband had his Aspie burn out before his diagnosis at work. He was originally diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder with major depression.

With a psychiatric diagnosis they would only hold his job for 6 months, and then cut him loose (no pay, nothing). There was little in accommodations or reduction of work that could be done. It was the nature of the job, and legally the company does not have to shift you to something else.

Autism is a developmental disorder from birth. It is considered like being deaf/blind. You will never get more hearing (congenital hearing loss) or sight. Autism has a special standing that way. When his diagnosis changed from a mental illness (which could be managed and put into remission) to Autism, the company was in a bind. They could not fire him, and his job had to be left open or given another one within the company.

The company decide to pay him to stay home on disability, and forced him to retire this year. It sounds good, but for him it has been terrible self esteem wise. No one wants to hear, "We so do not want you around, we'll pay you to stay home."

He also couldn't work for another company without forfeiting 20 odd years of benefits and retirement.

I bring this up because I didn't know Autism had a different legal standing that the average disability. He worked for an international corporation, and I'm sure HR and the lawyers tried to find something to punt him to the curb.



Chickadeesingingonthewrongplanet
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14 Feb 2016, 4:13 pm

I had a kind of burnout, not being able to cope, always wanting to hide, stuff going badly at work,
not coping at home, feeling overwhelmed by the smallest things...
it's what led me to seek a diagnosis, which I've just gotten after a wait of
quite a few months. Now I'm trying to put the pieces back together. Lots of chaos, I abandoned all
good habits about housekeeping and live in the results, which are too much to fix at once. But I am
on the way back, I think, I hope. Interested to read the post about nutrition here, because I pretty much
traded wheat in for oats, and starch in for non-starchy vegetables plus protein,
and that made a big difference. Now trying to adjust my perspective to the diagnosis and figure out
what I can find to try to get better than before.



InTechnoColor
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09 Mar 2016, 12:38 pm

I had a horrible breakdown/meltdown, whatever, two years ago. It left me completely emotionally crippled. I was unable to talk with anybody, I felt a sort of impending anger/rage all the time. I'm not violent, never wanted to be, it was just a feeling that happened beyond my control. More than that I was racked with fear. I couldn't go outside or have any kind of a conversation with anybody without completely tensing up to the point that I could barely talk or breath. I would sweat and shake. I couldn't think, or speak correctly. My words were slurred, my face was unable to emote at all. I experienced all kinds of sensory overload stuff that I didn't understand, so that scared me even more. I still have problems with some loud/repetitive noises, I still feel weird body sensations from time to time, but I'm much much better now. Especially since I know I have Asperger's and that it explains it all. My point in saying all that is that you can come back from a burnout. I know everyone is different and after/during a burnout you really don't feel like you can do much of anything, but you can. It just takes baby steps. Any destination can be reached if you are willing to go the distance. My advice is stay positive. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Even if it is just reading, or drawing, or playing a video game, whatever. Try not to wallow. That can go on forever, it's just a vicious circle. Know that you are not crazy or dysfunctional or damaged/broken or useless or a failure or any of these things. This is just something that happened and it is something that can be dealt with and overcome. So take it easy for a while. Relax as much as you can. Don't let people make you think you aren't trying hard enough. You need to pace yourself. Trying too hard, at least in my experience, for too long is part of what causes these things. Just take care of yourself. I know it isn't that simple, because life is still out there, but what helped me was just trying to find ways to relax despite everything that was trying to keep me from doing so. So, there's my two cents.

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GayAspieBoi
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10 Mar 2016, 1:39 am

Had to leave the army because this happened to me. I went from being a highly awarded corporal, to not even being able to answer my SGT's phone calls.

I rushed to get back in school after my discharge just to feel productive again, but I wasn't better yet so I ruined my 3.8 g.p.a. with a series of F's and class drops.

I couldn't hold down a job either.

Essentially I went back to a mode I didn't know I had anymore. The kind that is overwhelmed by the world and all its movement and ongoing expectation. Just the thought of doing ANYTHING that is not an optimal state of comfort makes me want to scream or kill myself.

Finally, I applied for disability and was approved. I have been lucky in finding ways to make extra income, but now fear I'll never be the high functioning me again, which is sad because I spent years in therapy to develop him.

After 2 years on disability, I'm working again and from home too which helps, but the drive and motivation is lost for me. Truthfully, I just want to live in the woods and abandon all relationships and responsibilities.

To help, I've been targeting causes. Whatever it is that is too much I no longer take on. It prevents a lot of anxiety. The dilemma, both things and people I deeply love are on that list. I'll figure it out eventually.

I say just know your limits and know yourself is key.

Stop taking on more than you can chew, because the end, 1 year, 2 years, 3, 5, the truth comes out. That's it wearing you down and that you can't sustain it anymore.

I once wanted to be a genetic engineer. Now, I'm at peace sending emails. Yeah, I have a ton of biology credits that are going to waste, but I'm not having odd jerks and bouts of depression or letting my loved ones down.

For me, the sacrifice is worth it.



inmydreams
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18 Mar 2016, 2:41 am

I am so glad I found this post. It seems that every time life sends a new challenge I push myself and push myself to get through it. And then I get really ill but even then I carry on.

Since my Asperger's diagnosis the reasons have become plain to me; while I struggled as a child, teen and adult I didn't have this frame of reference and nor did my family so I was accused of being 'spoilt' or 'lazy', 'difficult' or 'demanding' and as a result I try and do it alone and in the absence of their words, I beat myself up instead.

Also I don't seem to have an off switch if I start a project that is important to me. The most destructive I have discovered, is doing up my house. My environment feels critically important to me so I don't stop perfecting until the colours, textures, light and function is right. And this is all while I raise my daughter (father not around) and work to pay the bills.

I used to fantasise about going to hospital just to have some time off. To be forced to do nothing. Ridiculous I know! Last year it happened and it was horrible - the odd routine, desperately uncomfortable bed, disgusting food (I'm also unable to eat gluten)....and more. Basically I wasn't in charge of my environment and even then, before I knew I was Asperger's I was berating myself for being "fussy" etc...

Does anyone else share a similar problem? That your internal voice echoes your family's/friends' response to your autism? It find it adds to the pain and the drive to be like an NT so much more.

I really need to find a way to function in this world that doesn't make me ill/burnout.

Also, does anyone else find that meaningful sex is the best way to calm down and come back down to earth? I notice that without it I become quite highly strung :)

And does anyone here have a security blanket to othe themselves or suck their thumb? (I'm 42!! !! !)