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shortfatbalduglyman
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16 Mar 2019, 9:09 pm

Cumulative toll

Not having friends doesn't usually seem more than left out

But the impact adds up

Some articles claim that clinical depression has the same MRI as brain damage



StarTrekker
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17 Mar 2019, 12:31 pm

As others have mentioned, Asperger's and autism are now the same thing, so you would be perfectly justified in calling yourself autistic. Personally, I'm getting re-evaluated at the end of the month because I feel like ASD level one is no longer appropriate for me, since I too feel that my autism is worsening. At the time of my diagnosis, I was going to university full-time while simultaneously working in a loud, bright environment, I attended after-school clubs and hung out with friends.

These days, even leaving the house can be a challenge because everything seems so much louder and brighter than it ever did before. I cannot work well due to my terrible executive functioning, and have job coaches that are helping me look for simple work I can manage that's well below my education and intelligence level. I prefer writing to speaking these days as well, and find it easier to write my thoughts down rather than communicate them verbally. My meltdowns have also been progressively worsening. I had one last week because I was frustrated that I couldn't find the words I wanted to explain a problem to somebody.

It is very possible for autism to get worse, whether this is through organic causes or increased environmental stress, I don't know. I'm under far less stress these days than I was five years ago when I received my diagnosis. I'm not going to work or school, I'm financially secure and don't have to stretch to pay my bills, and I have no real responsibilities beyond getting myself to my therapy appointments, which I attend of my own volition anyway. I have absolutely no idea why my autism has gotten so much worse.


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goldfish21
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18 Mar 2019, 12:44 am

If something can make it worse, then something can make it better. That's the approach I took to my worsening ASD symptoms.

StarTrekker wrote:
It is very possible for autism to get worse, whether this is through organic causes or increased environmental stress, I don't know.


For me it was organic/biochemical.


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Magna
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18 Mar 2019, 6:44 am

DanielW wrote:
It does tend to occur between mid-to upper 30's to the mid to upper 40's I seemed to get it early. My overall functioning is a bit worse than it used to be and everything seems more difficult now. I'm not sure myself...but It feels like it might be in my own case.

Something to consider...



Count me among the mid forties for burn out. I acknowledged to myself and my family that I was flat out burned out, but I thought it was just my work/job itself. It didn't get better. Only being recently diagnosed, I now realize my burn out has had to do with so much more than just my job.


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AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
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Zuims
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20 Mar 2019, 2:40 pm

But my family is quite a bit more sensitive to it than me. They notice me becoming more aspie than usual, or more rigid.



jimmy m
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Yesterday, 11:59 am

Many Aspies observe their negative traits worsen as they age. Part of this is that stress is layered upon stress layered upon more stress. Stress is cumulative in nature. To much stress can lead to distress that can lead to mental health problems.

I have escaped this debilitating cycle. So perhaps my perception may be of some help. About half the people in the world are introverts and the other half are extroverts. Introverts recharge their bodies by being alone. Extroverts recharge their bodies by bouncing off one person and then another. Heaven to an extrovert is a party. In general introverts are happy being introverts and extroverts are happy being extroverts. So it is O.K. for an introvert being an introvert and trying to turn them into an extrovert causes anxiety and stress.

Some people have figured that Aspies would be much better off if they learned social skill, the ability to be social. I disagree with that premise. I am an introvert, and happy being an introvert. Instead of conforming to society, I expect society to conform to me. What I have learned in my 70 years of existence is that society, in general, is willing to conform to my quirks. I have friends precisely because I am a bit of an oddball.



Uhura
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Yesterday, 12:09 pm

I am ok with being mostly an introvert. What I wish is that it were in the DSM that autism worsens with age. Instead it is as if the only ones who know it worsens are those of us with it.



BeaArthur
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Yesterday, 12:24 pm

Well, I disagree that it worsens with age. IstominFan and kraftiekortie are two forum regulars who consider themselves to have improved considerably with age. Add me to that list. Since I am retired now, I don't have the considerable stresses associated with working, but I am also picking my battles. I've given up trying to impress anyone - ANYONE. I do notice that I am less able to read at length, which I associate with both a shortened attention span and weaker eyesight, compared with 40 years ago.

So this discrepant information to your experience, Uhura, is why they don't have "worsens with age" as a criterion in the DSM. It is far from universal.


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kraftiekortie
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Yesterday, 12:49 pm

It might seem "worse" for you because you notice your symptoms more. Because you have more knowledge of your symptoms, and why you have your symptoms.

Many people learn, just from living life, how to adapt to things---even with their symptoms.

You have a nice screen name which means "Peace" in Swahili. And you're the namesake of Lt. Uhura on Star Trek.

I do understand how crappy life could be sometimes.



Uhura
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Yesterday, 12:58 pm

I chose my name from Star Trek. Uhura and B'Elanna Torres are two of my favorite characters. Although I like Deanna Troi too. Aside from Uhura and B'Elanna Torres, I like Spock and his father and other Vulcans because they are telepaths, just different from some other telepathic species.
I have been on the spectrum for many years so am aware of all the symptoms from studying them when diagnosed-about 15 years ago.



kraftiekortie
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Yesterday, 1:03 pm

Yeah. Counselor Troi is pretty cool, too.

I'm sorry you're feeling like you're getting "worse." I can't tell you, truly, if you are getting "worse" or not.

I have found, in myself, that at times I feel like I'm getting "worse" during times when I "give up" on things, and go into a "shell."

But what is true is that "getting worse with age" is not a salient characteristic of autism spectrum disorder/Asperger's. And real-life experience has proven this in many people.

It must be frustrating to feel like you're "regressing." I bet there are ways to offset the "regression," though.

What used to be "regressive autism" is something which occurs in toddlers, usually. Skills are gained by 18 months of age, and might be lost by 2 1/2 years of age. Sometimes, the skills return; other times, they don't.

Having Aspergers/Autism is not a dead-end street. Most people do improve with age. And learning. I've improved through being aware of other people and how they tick. I had no idea about people as a kid and adolescent.



goldfish21
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Yesterday, 2:57 pm

Counter to kk’s post, my symptoms definitely did get worse. They fluctuated a bit throughout my life, but got exponentially worse around 6-7 years ago. I couldn’t work or function in life. Some symptoms got so bad they were terrifying as I wondered if I was just going to regress until I couldn’t do anything at all anymore.

Then I figured out what caused everything and how to reverse/treat it, and I’ve been living an extremely high functioning second life ever since.

Maybe kk’s symptoms are pretty level, but it is entirely possible for ASD symptoms to worsen - not just be perceived to be worse by being more aware of them. I know because I’ve lived it.


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IsabellaLinton
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Yesterday, 3:07 pm

People can lose their resilience or ability to mask as they get older and suffer the cumulative effects of comorbid PTSD, anxiety, depression, insomnia, workplace stress, poor executive function in increasingly complex situations, and the strain of living independently. People can easily experience decreased tolerance for sensory stimuli or interpersonal interaction.

Autistic burnout can occur when there is just no more ability to cope.



ASS-P
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Yesterday, 3:46 pm

...You draw a strong distinction between Asperger's and autism, OP?


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Uhura
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Yesterday, 4:18 pm

No. I just don't believe that those not familiar with the spectrum would agree if I say I have autism. Because too many people seem only familiar with more severe or at least moderate.