Autistic burnout…it’s no joke

Just like people get burnt out from their jobs we get burnt out to – from life.  Trying to keep up with social standards, keeping up “appearances”, navigating a loud, big and chaotic world and just trying to get ourselves motivated to even want to step out our door.  It’s not easy for us to keep up with everyday things when we are feeling burnt out.

It’s like work – having a pile of reports or whatever to get through and someone coming along and piling more on top of that, day after day being buried in stacks of things you need to get done but you can’t just give some of it to someone else and you can’t not get it done – the whole thing can be overwhelming and leave you mentally exhausted.  But most people can escape by going out for a meal, going home, seeing a movie or spending time with friends.  For those of us on the spectrum those are usually the very things that we are trying to avoid – noise, people and social interaction.

We may tend to retreat into ourselves, some old behaviors may surface, some of our stuff may take a hiatus for a bit, we just need to work through it and decompress.

Asking us constantly if we are ok or if we need something or trying to get us out of “the funk” isn’t a good idea – when we are ready to step back into the crazy chaotic world we will come to you.  Now that is not to say checking in on us is bad – we just likely wont really respond much or well – don’t take it personally.~ add in being an adult, work stresses, bills, and all the social stuff we are likely going to be a tad grumpy.  We kind of want to just be in our own bubble for a bit to sort ourselves out and feel more centered and in control.

It can happen for a multitude of reasons or just one thing that shifted the balance in the wrong direction.  It can be simple things like to many social functions or to much going on at a job/school requiring a lot of processing power and we just can’t handle anymore so we go on overload.

It’s tough trying to navigate a world where you just feel like it’s just chaos all the time and nothing makes total sense – we are pushed to be “normal” and keep up with our neurotypical peers and be able to function without incident, all that just leads to burnout.   It can lead to health issues, anxiety, insomnia and other unwanted side effects so please just work with us not against us and let us have the time and space we need to get ourselves righted.

When we get like this we need to withdraw from the “world” we need space and time to process things at our own speed.  What works for one isn’t going to work for all so just try to take the queues we send and work within the constraints of our world for a bit.  The more you push us to try and be “like everyone else” the harder it gets for us to steer out of the burnout.  Remember we process things differently and need to work through stress and burn out differently than others.


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