Autistic individuals burnout more easily than neurotypical individuals.
If anyone knows about symptoms ranging from minor to overwhelming, it’s me.
One day, I did not feel like myself at all. I had to go to work and felt like my body was in overdrive due to the uncontrollable stimuli society has. I felt irritable and didn’t want to communicate with anyone. My mind was racing like a race car. It felt like it was going a million miles a minute. Implosion is what I was feeling basically. The good news was that I was able to finish my daily work duties. Afterwards, I wanted to scream terribly, but I couldn’t risk getting in trouble. All I could do was pray to God that I remain composed until I got home.
When I got home, I was still very collected. I still felt irritable, but relieved that I was in a quiet setting. I took a nap in hopes of feeling better. It helped somewhat. Fortunately, I managed to continue on with my daily duties. I exercised, cooked dinner, and settled down for the night.
The next morning, I was feeling a little better, but the race car in my mind was still on overdrive. It did slow down somewhat. This went on for several hours. It was still bothersome to the point where I did not want to communicate with my writing colleagues at our weekly Zoom meetings. I just did not want my discomfort to make them uncomfortable. People can easily sense negative vibes. The last thing I wanted to do was show that just because I was not feeling like my “normal” quirky self.
This is called autistic burnout: emotional and physical exhaustion autistic children and adults go through. They are very uncomfortable, but not impossible to get through. Living in a neurotypical world can cause our bodies and minds to shut down, placing an daunting impact on our daily lives. This is common amongst autistic children due to going to school (noisy and crowded place) daily and coming home with piles of homework. This can happen to autistic adults after being in places with uncontrollable stimuli (the workplace for example). Autistic burnout is something that’s hard to put into words because our symptoms are too perplexing to explain. Also, it can happen differently any day at any time. It can be severe, moderate, or mild.
Our personal experiences are not easily understood by our peers. This is why autism is rarely spoken about by affected individuals. Autistic burnout is personal because our entire bodies are involved and many people don’t experience burnout the same way we do. Unfortunately, they cannot be avoided because the stimuli the world has is beyond anyone’s control. The only way to reduce burnout is staying somewhere quiet. Also, quiet places can be very helpful for relieving burnout when it comes.
Due to living independently, autistic burnout will unfortunately not be a part of my daily life. I cannot avoid the outside because I have to work to keep a roof over my head. Also, life is filled with too many great things for me to stay indoors 🙂 The good news is that I will get over the burnouts within several days.
A while back, I have came up with a quote. It goes like this: There is good within the challenges. It just have to be sought out. As confusing as this sounds, finding good within challenging situations is a great solace for getting through each day. In my situation, the challenges are communicating and autistic burnout. The good is the relentlessness the Lord planted within me to get through each day living with a disorder that’s not fully understood.