I have been trying to work out if I am experiencing Shutdowns, I am still not sure
I have been trying to find information online but its pretty unspecific. Very few videos about it either.
If you experience shutdowns, please
I want to determine if I am indeed experiencing shutdowns.
Get your experiences added to this collection .
Thanks for any responses,advice,ideas
So... I'm also confused about this. I'll tell you what I experience, and then I'll tell you why I'm unsure!
1. I have times when I feel absolutely, flat-out exhausted - all I want to do is curl up in a dark, quiet room and sleep. I don't want any light or noise - even the TV is too much. I struggle to communicate and I find it hard to even imagine getting anything productive done. I usually feel this coming on throughout the day (e.g. during a particularly challenging day at work), but manage to stave it off until I get home.
2. The process is: feeling exhausted (sometimes with sensory overload); struggling to communicate (e.g. mixing up words); struggling to function (e.g. walking home is like walking through jelly!); heading to a dark room; lying quietly; usually going to sleep.
3. Afterwards, I feel groggy - as if I've slept for too long and can't come around properly.
4. The triggers seem to be sensory issues, stress, anxiety, emotional/information overload, and being overtired.
Why am I questioning whether these are shutdowns? I recently went to my doctor and have been referred to a specialist - it turns out I'm anaemic and may have been suffering from a chronic illness for years, without knowing it! The chronic condition they suspect comes with extreme fatigue, as do the symptoms of anaemia.
At this point, I'm not sure whether I'm experiencing autistic shutdowns, or just overwhelmed by the fatigue caused by my physical health conditions. I suppose the most important thing is not the question of whether it's a shutdown, but what you can do to take care of yourself (I know that I need to take it easier sometimes, and that's okay).
A cautionary note from me - it's always worth checking with your doctor if you experience symptoms like this. I have several symptoms that I've been putting down to autism and anxiety, but there's a lot going on inside my body that I'd completely overlooked!
I think what you say could be expanded further, even. I try not to refer to them as "autistic" shut-downs, because I don't believe that they're an autism specific thing. It's common enough to describe oneself as "speechless" following shocking news, and profound lack of energy due to illness, sleep deprivation, lack of nutrition, or going into shock following an accident can have just the same effects on cognition and memory.
In the case of autism, I think it's better to think of it as our sensory sensitivities and the fatigue of masking etc. making us more prone to these states due to them putting our brains under more pressure than others would experience in the same situations. Hence why I divided mine into two categories; on the one hand, overwhelmed senses leading to this state, and on the other, the fatigue of burning out from exerting myself too hard to meet the demands of the world. There's some overlap between those, of course, and they also overlap with whatever other illnesses or situations might provoke them. For example, whenever I get a bad cold or flu, I often find that I shut-down more easily.
So, in your case, maybe not an either/or situation, but a combination of both.
Thanks for sharing your view on this - I think you're very right in terms of shutdowns not being exclusively autistic. There are lots of autism traits that are also shared by people with other conditions, or just people going through specific events (e.g. experiencing a meltdown or shutdown as a result of stress/shock, as you mentioned).
I definitely relate to the sensory sensitivities and the fatigue caused by masking. I was recently praised by my friends for masking so well and being so easy to communicate with, so I had to try and convey to them how much energy that takes and how drained I feel at the end of the day.
This weekend, I think I've experienced a mixture of overload and the fatigue associated with my conditions. I spent most of yesterday in bed and had a very early night, but still feel absolutely exhausted.
It's been really helpful not to feel I have to work out the cause for my fatigue, but just accept that it's happening and choose to take time out to rest and take care of myself.
You always share really useful insights here, so thanks again.
ok I wont use your shutdown account in my condensed report thingy, Thanks for letting me know you dont think your shutdowns are not autistic related