“My burnout started at age 45 and ended up in complete collapse at age 47. My coworkers thought I was the same as usual; but my body was going through literal hell from not being able to relax. I often wished I could run screaming from the building, but I felt like I had no option.
I think one thing that may be different about a person on the spectrum going through burnout, is they may have learned a social facade that can be carried into periods when they are horribly stressed.” ~ Katie Mia
What Is Autistic Burnout?
It’s a term that I’ve heard come up in reading many different articles and forum posts.
Karla’s ASD Page has a picture that illustrates some of the symptoms of burnout:
Late-onset loss of functioning due to sustained monumental efforts
Happens to MANY young ASD adults and many more all the way up into 50-60 years
No ASD (autism spectrum) book or NT (neurotypical) professional references Autistic Burnout. Only ASD adults talk about it.
3 Reasons Why We Need to Be Talking About Autism and Burnout
#1 So That You Realize You’re Not Alone
I’ve run and participated in a lot of counseling groups.
So many people are amazed when they hear that they are not the only ones struggling with a particular problem.
“I thought I was the only one!” is something many participants say.
When they find out their problem is not unique, they draw comfort from knowing there are others like them.
You may feel discouraged and critical of yourself, wondering why you no longer have the energy or motivation to do what you’ve been doing, whether at work or in your personal life.
Well, you don’t have to be alone anymore. I’ll share articles that have a lot of resources and links to other autistic writers’ stories so that you can learn about this phenomenon called autistic burnout.
#2 So That You Can Recognize The Signs
Amethyst Schaber made this very helpful video to describe autistic burnout.
Watch this video for a detailed description of causes and “fixes” for autistic burnout.
I’ve taken some notes underneath the video.
You may be developing autistic burnout if:
you feel like you have ever-increasing demands in your life
your brain is getting exhausted and seems to stop processing sometimes
you feel like you’re getting “more autistic” (when you’ve actually been autistic all your life)
In children, autistic burnout may show in some of the following symptoms:
“Empathy is a two way street. Part of the stress of burnout is a lack of empathy and understanding from neurotypical society.”
Parent, teachers, counselors, boyfriends, girlfriends, sisters, and brothers, let’s educate ourselves about autistic burnout by reading the many resources in Ryan’s article and others which I will list below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."