20 reasons why I (an autistic person) am stressed pretty much constantly…

Pete Wharmby is one of our favorite neurodiversity advocates and consultants. We are happy to support his work and recommend adding him to your personal learning network.

Here’s a thread from Pete on autistic stressors that we here at Stimpunks very much relate to.

20 reasons why I (an autistic person) am stressed pretty much constantly…

A thread… 🧵
#autism #experience #autismacceptance

1. Nobody ever seems to say what they mean, so I end up having to guess all the time but as I overthink them, the guesses are frequently wrong #autism

2. Everywhere is too noisy, and much of that noise is totally unnecessary. It takes up loads of my brain’s processing power. The combination of loud background noise and conversation is particularly bad. #autism

3. My brain, probably cos of ADHD, doesn’t know how to relax so I find myself never getting real down time to gradually recover. It’s layer over layer of stress, like sediments creating continents. #autism

4. The temperature is always uncomfortable. It’s either too hot or too cold and my autistic ass isn’t able to regulate it so I always feel bleurgh. Only solution is cool moving air on my face. #autism

5. Every social interaction has the potential to go awfully wrong. Either some kind of miscommunication or misunderstanding, or a full on argument, because I can’t do conversation automatically – it’s all on manual and fails so often.

6. I’m too burned out from years of masking to be able to do my career anymore, so I’m trying new stuff and it’s really scary. #autism

7. I am petrified of criticism due to how it makes me feel. Its so severe that I avoid any interaction that could lead to it. This is called Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria and it sucks. #autism

8. My brain rebels whenever I am asked to do anything, with an immediate reaction of ‘no way,’ no matter how beneficial the thing might be. I have to do everything in my own time which is a nightmare for actually getting things done. This is Pathological Demand Avoidance

9. I absolutely need a set steady routine and anything that disturbs this can make me very unhappy, as my routine is the one thing staving off total stress. #autism

10. Sometimes my interests, which generally act to keep me happy and grounded, just disappear and no longer work in that way, leaving me totally at sea. That’s actually happening at the moment. #autism

11. If I have disclosed being autistic then I tend to get more patronised and spoken down to in a way that never happened before I was diagnosed. #autism

12. It is assumed that as I’m autistic I will have some amazing savant-like skill and I do not. This is irritating. #autism

13. People insist on making small talk all the time. I hate it, as its such a weird little verbal dance that I don’t understand. It’s talk but neither party is at all interested in the meaning of the words. #autism

14. People insist on using telephones and I have a severe phobia. I can’t make phonecalls at all and struggle to answer them too. This causes huge problems. #autism

15. My executive function is broken, meaning my ability to plan, prioritise, organise and order things is pretty bad. This makes trying to survive very difficult, especially when self employed. #autism

16. I forget everything, all the time. I don’t forget information much but I do forget to *do stuff*, pretty much constantly. This can cause problems with relationships, in work and elsewhere. I’m always dealing with the consequences of this.

17. Everything in the world is made for non-autistic people, meaning that all autistic people are immediately at a serious disadvantage. This is exhausting and depressing. #autism

18. I am painfully aware of rates of depression, anxiety and suicide among autistic people, which makes everything feel much harder to bear. #autism

19. I am constantly afraid that I have upset someone, at some point, somewhere and it makes me miserable. #autism

20. Non-autistic people don’t appear particularly interested in improving things for the sizeable autistic population, which is a constant source of annoyance and sadness. #autism

Now bear in mind all of that is from a cis white male. Throw in any further intersections and the situation gets much more difficult. This is a pretty low level of stress compared to some.

Originally tweeted by Pete Wharmby (@commaficionado) on July 19, 2021.

I, Ryan, relate to every single reason, but especially this one:

I too burned out of my career, and now I’m trying something new with Stimpunks. Scary indeed.

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