Does anybody else find that they struggle to manage their autistic traits far more at this time of year than normal? I've been really struggling lately, to the point where I questioned whether I could carry on with my job in its current form.
Part of it I think is the change of clocks, which, due to my completely ridiculous commute, now means that I leave in the dark and get home in the dark. I don't see daylight Monday to Friday as a result, because I work in London and the number of people is terrifying so I never, ever go outside at lunchtime. I know this isn't good for me because I do suffer from SAD so this just makes me depressed.
Thinking about it logically, I can see that I have had serious problems at this time for the last few years. In fact it was one of these periods that left me seriously questioning my mental state and that ultimately led to me figuring out what was going on and getting my AS diagnosis. But this time of year I have had anxiety go through the roof, walked out of jobs, had meltdowns .... too many things to be a coincidence.
Does anyone else find that this is a bad time generally?
I understand what you mean but I don't suffer from SAD. The clock changing does affect me. It takes over a week for me to get used to the new times. I was usually waking up around 8:30. After the clocks went back an hour I started waking up at 7:30.
My meltdowns & depressions are not dependent on the seasons or weather. Many years ago I was travelling by bus through a rough area in glorious hot sunny weather and I was in a state of panic. But about ten years later I was travelling through the same area on the same bus route in February in dreadful sleet and wind. And I was relaxed and feeling OK.
hmm maybe it's just me then, or the SAD aggravating the ASD, or the depression from the SAD making it that much harder to cope with the anxiety ..... I wish I knew, but there does seem to be a correlation as the last 4 years I have had major problems at this time of the year, just feel like I am going off the rails really.
SAD is definitely an issue, most noticeable when I worked in Scandinavia for a while (think light at 10am dark at 3pm). I would get home from work and just sit on the sofa crying every night for a month at the start of winter. My flat mate used to give me a hug, bless him. It would get better eventually, but getting over/through that first month was the tough bit.
I definitely suffer with SAD and it just makes handling everything tougher like you describe. Don’t know what you do so don’t know if this would work but I have a daylight SAD light on my desk at work that I use in winter. It makes a huge difference to me.
I think I find it difficult from towards the end of December till around about March. I really ought to get a SAD light for home at least. At work everyone is a moaning minnie so getting agreement for one there might be difficult. I think we're moving desks again soon, and there's loads of space unused after a mass-culling, so I might ask if I can have a desk where no-one else is so I can have a light at work too. Doesn't help that after the mass-culling we all got moved into the sub-ground. The ground floor where we were before was generally much brighter.
You can get ones that look just like desk lamps. Mines one of them, that way you might not even need to say what it’s for, it’s just a desk light...
Hi your not alone I’ve suffered for years I’m lucky I work out doors so do get day light occasionally some sun
Windscale said:I think I find it difficult from towards the end of December till around about March
Yep same here, it takes a while to build up and I can usually get thru from clocks going back till Xmas reasonably unscathed but the first 3 months of the year are my lowest most vulnerable time. We are going to the Canaries for a week in Feb this year... the first time I will have done a winter warmer break in 15 years so I'm hoping it will help me get through. Exercise helps lift the depression too so I'm determined to keep that going through the winter. Unsurprisingly going for walks out in the daylight helps me quite a bit too.
I hate it when the clocks go back, and the nights get darker. I can't wait until the spring, when it changes again. I certainly feel negative thoughts more keenly during these darker months.
Yes, likewise. It's really not helped by my insomnia, either; my body clock gets so out of kilter that spending any time outdoors while the sky is bright can get very difficult. I was always jealous of the Blue Peter tortoise whenever it got to the annual episode where the jammy little bugger got wrapped in hay and stuck in a box in the bottom of the airing-cupboard until Spring - why can't that be me?!
I don't mark any religious festivals, and even birthdays only under duress, but the solstices and equinoxes are definitely milestones in my year, as are the daylight saving changes. The first half of the winter is when I usually feel most down, getting worse as the window for getting any daylight gradually closes. This isn't helped by the fact that I hate the palaver over Xmas and New Year. After the New Year, I generally start to improve a little bit, just from knowing that the days are finally getting longer again; but I don't really feel like I'm my proper self until the leaves on the trees are starting to open.
Yes definitely find Autumn & winter a difficult time of year and I think it's to do with change which none of us on the spectrum like.
When you think about all the changes this time of year there's a lot to deal with, colder weather, less sunlight, wearing different clothing, shorter, darker days, change of clocks, more people confined to indoor spaces, more people using cars & public transport - Arrrggghhhh
Fortunately I'm retired so I'm able to get out most days for a walk in the countryside which certainly helps, natural daylight & exercise has always been very important in my life especially this time of year.