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Mountain Goat
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14 Jun 2019, 6:25 am

I don't know if this has anything to do with autism or if it is just is my brain.
I had wanted to ask a question via email to the assessment centre and it was on my mind for a couple of weeks. I looked at my emails today and I had flagged the email that I had sent and had a reply before. (It is the first time I flagged an email and am not sure what it does except to put it in a flagged area. Would any new emails from them go into the flagged area?

Now I had been trying to decide if I should ask a question or not as I don't want to hamper them as they have a long waiting list and a whole lot of people to deal with. But today as I was looking at the emails, I checked to see if the flagged email was still there and yes it was. I was thinking of asking the question but my mind went completely blank. It does that when I visit the doctors. I just couldn't even think at all. Nothing. But when I went to close my emails to sign out my mind worked fine. Yet every time I try to think about the question my mind shuts off and goes blank.

This does happen when I go to a shop to buy a certain thing and get in the shop and I am standing there not knowing what to do as my mind goes blank! Sometimes it happens so many times where I only went to get something simple, and it has taken me many months to get it! Sometimes I never do get the item!

It makes me think if there is something wrong with me. I used to just think it was one of those things everyone gets, but I am not so sure now, as when it happened now with the email (And it still has not come back to me) it had me questioning.
Firstly, I know I don't go into shops that are crowded as I don't do crowds.
Secondly. Some shops with tall thin isles I don't do.
Thirdly is this mind blank situation where the shops maybe fine and spacious with hardly any customers... And normally I am always thinking... It is soo hard not to think... I have a very active brain especially late at night when I go through the days events or have inspirational ideas... So active I have to wear it out by chatting online until late or some other thing like that before I can sleep... But why then do I get mind blank situations when trying to ask or look for important things?
Another worry is, in the future, if my mum is not around, how will I go shopping? Usually I am fine, but if I get mind blank then I am stuck.
The funny thing is writing things down does not always work, for two reasons. One is that I can get mind blank when thinking what to write though it only happens when I try to think of the subject I want to write about.... Think about something else unrelated and my mind kicks back in. The other issue is, if I have a list with me and I get mind blank I won't think to look at the list as my mind completely goes blank until I can get it to kick back in and the way to do this is to shift my thinking to a completely different subject.
It is rather like a modern TV which a certain channel has frozen but the other channels work fine, so if you can just get the channel to work slightly you can get it to change channel to at least watch something even if it is a totally different subject!


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment. Probably not on the spectrum but I need to understand things. If I am on the spectrum it is mild.


jimmy m
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14 Jun 2019, 10:55 am

I think this is a short term memory problem and I think many Aspies suffer from this. For me the solution is to put together a list when I go to store and I always have the list in my pocket. So if my mind goes blank, all I have to do is reach into my pocket to get myself back on track. I have made my list a strong habit which I repeat over and over again through the years. My brain is trained around my list.

I believe others refer to this as a problem with executive functioning.

One website gives the following advice:
Adults can compensate for working memory deficits by making information external — using cards, signs, symbols, sticky notes, lists, journals, and apps. Make time external by using clocks, timers, computers, counters, and other devices that track time intervals. Use external motivation, like points systems, being accountable to others at work and school, daily school report cards — anything that reinforces accomplishing goals.

Give yourself a problem-solving manual. Take the problem, and break it into pieces that are easy to tackle. Allow the self-regulatory system to pause and refill by giving rewards and positive emotions during tasks that are stressful to the executive functions system. For example, engage in positive self statements, encourage yourself to try harder and visualize accomplishing the goal. Take 3- to 10-minute breaks periodically to relax or meditate. Use physical exercise to help cope with symptoms. Sip a drink with sugar to keep blood glucose up and your brain running smoothly.



Here is a link to a website that looks at means of improving short term memory, which is sometimes referred to as working memory.
8 Working Memory Boosters



Mountain Goat
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14 Jun 2019, 12:15 pm

Thank you. :) I get these mind blank moments when I go to see a doctors so the enviroment is a little nurvous. (Nurvous for me rather then for a doctor). It is different from just forgetting which I get a lot. When I used to work the trains I used to have to remember the request stops to tell the driver where to stop. I started to write a list as I went through checking tickets, but the number of times I reached the driver and couldn't find where I put the list! The solution wasn't that healthy but it worked for me. I would write the request stops (Which we called "Shorts") on my hand and then write them down on a piece of paper when I reached the driver so I had a list to give him. It is something I tend to do to get round forgetting...
However, this brain blank is differe t again i rhat if I try to think about the whole subject my mind just goes blank. Nothing at all in there. Is so wierd and different from simply forgetting. Forgetting my mind works but just can't recall the thing I was intending to remember. It took me two years to actually ask for an assessment at the doctors because of this mind blank issue. When nurvous and the doctor asks the reason for the visit... Then mind blank! During mind blank I doubt a list would help unless I quicky gave it to the doctor before he or she asked! Yet my mind would then restart and suddenly switch back on if I thought about another subject... Things like throat closing up and trying to trace energy loss etc (Which was a thing foe years I have been trying to trace and until recent events I assumed it was some sort of allergy... But have discovered now that it is a partial shutdown... Why I never was able to find what it was I assumed I was allergict to, though there are a few things I avoid).

It is very interesting you mention about having some food with glucose to help my memory, as when I have a shutdown it feels like the energy just drains out of me and I go limp on the floor. (As I try to lie down). Chocolate or something like that helps quicken recovery... Glucose partly works as well though not quite a quick. Certain foods help. Is there a connection? It could be the brain needs energetic foods? Is interesting... I always have to take either a sugary fizzy drink or chocolate with me incase I get energy loss. In the past I never thought it could be my brain that needed it, as I assumed it was my body.

I will look at the link in a bit. :) Thanks for taking time to reply. :)


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment. Probably not on the spectrum but I need to understand things. If I am on the spectrum it is mild.


Mountain Goat
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14 Jun 2019, 12:21 pm

Quote:
I believe others refer to this as a problem with executive functioning.


Ooh. I'm an executive! ;) There's posh. I'm going up in the world already! :lol:


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment. Probably not on the spectrum but I need to understand things. If I am on the spectrum it is mild.


Trogluddite
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14 Jun 2019, 12:48 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
Quote:
I believe others refer to this as a problem with executive functioning.


Ooh. I'm an executive! ;) There's posh. I'm going up in the world already! :lol:

:lmao: Your humour when we're discussing these things is delightful - keep it up! :D

My brain does the same to me very often - and I agree with you that it isn't the same thing as forgetting; my mind goes so blank that I wouldn't even know what a memory is. Lists and calendars are certainly useful, but during a mind-blank, they don't exist either, so there's no impulse to check them.

I think this is why so many of us are so strict about our routines. The routines are a kind of "auto-pilot" so that we can get things done without mind-blanks or procrastinating getting in the way. If you looked through the junk in the bottom of my ruck-sack you'd find many till receipts from the local supermarket all with exactly the same list of items on them. I get my grocery shopping done by buying exactly the same things every single time - I could probably do it with my eyes closed (until they move the shelves around, of course!) Sure, my diet gets a bit boring, but otherwise I'd come home to find that I haven't the ingredients for a single meal.


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Mountain Goat
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14 Jun 2019, 4:19 pm

I'm almost worried now. I mean... You know what these discoveries may mean.... But... Let me get my head round this. Am I likely to be NT or AT? Could I be a Normal Tistic or would I be on the spectrum. Maybe I am both? 8O


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I do not know if I have asperges/autism or not. Waiting an assessment. Probably not on the spectrum but I need to understand things. If I am on the spectrum it is mild.