Autistic Burnout

I have read autistic burnout is a real thing and I am starting to think that I am suffering from it.

I have become very sensitive to noise, light, smells etc. to the point I am having regular shutdowns and the occasional mild meltdown.  In addition, my speech has been slow/slurred and thought processes have been frustratingly fragmented and delayed/non-existent at times.  Fatigue is a big problem where I am incredibly exhausted all of the time and spend more and more of my spare time in bed.

I have sought help on multiple occasions from my GP and hospital, but I have been told there is nothing they can do.

The only time I have experienced this in the past has been when I have had a breakdown or I am going through a very stressful time, but this was before my diagnosis.

Can anyone relate to this and if so how have to managed to recover?  This particular time seems very hard to shift and managed that previous.

I am relying on sunglasses, ear plugs etc. more and more.  I am resting when possible.

Sorry if my post is fragmented - struggling to get things out today.

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  • First of all I would like to apologise, Starbuck, for starting a new thread that is related to yours just hours after yours.
    I hadn't seen your post and was reacting to a topic of autistic exhaustion raised in another thread.

    I am inclined to think that these things are never "just psychological" or "just physical". But that our bodies are a complex mix where everything influences each other. 

    Your heightened sensory sensitivity during this period also reminds me of something else both my sister and I (both on the spectrum) went through after mild concussion. It took months and months to recover.  The doctors called: "Hyperaesthetic Emotional Syndrome". Which it seems now is an old-fashioned term for burn-out related ailments (but is also mentioned as a reaction to trauma).
    But the name in itself is interesting: because of what you describe that in this burn-out fase you have very strong hypersensitivities... which not all people with burn-out experience. It can take months for these hypersensitivities to calm down.

    Mindfulness and meditation did help both my sister and me (but I find it impossible to keep up the discipline. There is a good book in Dutch about the specific problems for mindfulness for people with ADHD and also another book for ASD - because the mainstream instructions aren't always that useful for us). I wonder if it has been translated.

    My doctors all say that resting and accepting is the only way forward. I feel a frustrated because I feel there should me more I could do to heal myself. Interestingly, I notice my symptoms are much more better when I am in nature. I have noticed that I am quite sensitive to all the urban sounds especially cars and electric sounds etc. And no one believes me, but I get a headache when I use my bluetooth speaker too long (it is a good quality one, but still).

    My CBT therapist has helped in a way. She makes me feel angry sometimes, but there is some truth in what she says - in a sense: being aware of my thoughts and especially the negative thoughts is really good. Because on the one hand you have this lousy reality - and the thoughts you think and the way you think can make it far worse (worry about the future, worry about things getting worse, worry about your life, about being a burden, feeling guilty, etc.)

    But on the other hand I do feel that there is far more support that could be offered to people with chronic fatigue issues - because it is very incapacitating.

    I'm sorry I don't know any good answers. 

    So I am following this thread with great interest. 

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