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calciume
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09 Apr 2024, 12:23 am

These last few weeks at work have been not particularly pleasant, yesterday though things hit a peak. Even when I'm well rested recently I have tended to feel incredibly exhausted at work to the point where doing just about anything is a struggle. My patience with people drops significantly. I work at a sandwich shop so there is a lot of talking with people. I've noticed though when I am working alone (I open the store by myself), this intense exhaustion and lack of patience doesn't exist. Once I leave work the same thing happens, I feel awake and well.
Yesterday I looked up autistic burnout and its symptoms, knowing it existed but never looking too in depth into it and I seem to fit the bill. I only work part-time and usually don't even work 8 hours on a usual shift so its a bit frustrating to see I may be experiencing burnout with so little work. So I've gotta ask, what is burnout like? Does my experience hit home for you guys?



bee33
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09 Apr 2024, 12:14 pm

I don't think I've ever experienced autistic burnout myself, so I don't know the answer to your question, other than to say your suspicion seems correct.



IsabellaLinton
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09 Apr 2024, 12:29 pm

It sounds a lot like the sensory-social fatigue that's characteristic of autism. You are autistic in part because of your nervous system's response to overwhelming situations whether they be social, sensory, or both. Your job would also require a lot of multitasking and masking to keep you performing at their standards. That's all very draining because it takes low levels of adrenaline to keep up the energy. You're also likely following an internal monologue telling yourself to smile, make eye contact, speak clearly, etc. More exhaustion.

It's very normal for autistic people to feel the way you describe. I'd say we tend to have small "burnouts" after most of our social events. Lots of autistic people say it takes them several days or even weeks to recover from sensory or social overwhelm. I'm no expert but in my opinion a "big" burnout is the kind when your nervous system shuts down and you become physically / mentally ill, or in some cases you can't continue the experience at all unless significant accommodations are put in place. That tends to be rare, so many of us just burn out into oblivion and have to quit our jobs.


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