Warning Signs Of Autistic Burnout
Autistic Burnout – and how it might be burnout, not depression
“The warning signs of Autistic Burnout are actually quite easy to spot if you know what to look for, either from an external point of view, as an observer, or loved one or internally, from an Autistic self’s point of view:
A growing lethargy An increase in irritability An increase in anxiety An increase in over-sensitivity to sensory information A dramatic decrease in sensitivity to sensory information Heightened Auditory processing disorder A decrease in verbal language A decrease in text language An increase in Shutdowns and heightened withdrawn state An increase in the frequency and severity of Meltdowns A diminished ability for the person to self-regulate their emotional state The slowing down of the thought processes Brain fog Memory loss A decrease in your ability to effectively communicate what you want A decrease in motivation An inability to generate momentum of body and of action An increase of rigidity, narrowing of thinking A feeling like your vision is tighter or narrower Extreme forgetfulness Extreme overwhelm A massive increase in guilt An increase in Executive Dysfunction An increase in Demand Avoidance
Can you see why it’s often mistaken for Depression?
What you can do about burnout:
“On a basic level, allowing periods of withdrawal, or decompression time at the end of the day, or even throughout the day can make a big difference. Time where [you] can effectively take time to process what has happened throughout the day, shut off external sensory stimulation and basically be inside their own head for a period of time. You may also find that this helps with the level of and frequency of Meltdowns that occur. Especially if you [or your child] Mask and do the coke bottle thing of bottling up everything all day and exploding at home.
Adult or child you need to proper time to withdraw. So even at Social events or Social Situations having an escape plan ready is vitally important. A reason to leave either completely or temporarily, a quiet space or bolt-hole to enable whoever it is to just have some time away from people.
It’s really important to recognise also, that after significantly stimulating or potentially overwhelming events or periods, that the person may need a day or two off of work or school. This may not be realistic, but it is effective. Allowing this decompression time is incredibly important. It allows the Autistic brain and equally the senses, an adjustment period to reestablish whatever the person’s brain or body considers normal parameters.”