I think it can, and there are a few articles online that explore how autism relates to trauma and PTSD. Compared to neurotypical people, trauma in autistic people has different causes and plays out in different ways.
Although there is a little research on the topic, I think it deserves more. I would guess that the above examples are all risk factors for depression, stress, alcoholism, heart disease, and a whole host of other health problems.
The above examples all relate to my own experience. But I'd be interested to hear about the experiences of other late-diagnosed adults. Does any of this chime with you too? What have you done to heal?
I can definitely relate to the examples you listed!
I think there's something in this. It's double-edged. Yes, you get the 'Eureka!' thing of your life making sense at last. But I had my diagnosis 3 years ago, at age 56, and it's starting to come back at me now in negative ways. Feeling like my life has been lost in the 'cloud of unknowing', etc.
We have much higher levels of sensitivity to trauma than NTs. For most people, witnessing something horrific or being under deadly threat can be traumatic. For us, just the way someone behaves towards us can cause huge problems. Like my own recent issue, with a colleague at work who 'unfriended' me and 'blocked' me on Facebook simply because she disagreed with some of the things I was posting. She could have just ignored them. But no. And her doing that, to someone else, might just result in them thinking 'S*d you, then. Be like that.' And let it go over their head. With me, I was so upset by it that I ended up going sick from work. I'm revisited time and time again by an incident that happened at school when I was 5. It really traumatised me at the time, so I'm hyper-sensitive to criticism if it's not done in a civil way. If someone shouts at me... then I'm in a mess.
This short article is very good. I think it sums up very well the points that you are making:
At The Intersection of Autism and Trauma
I've only been diagnosed at 44, but can't say I'm traumatised. I probably should be as growing up with a psychiatric mother was a recipe for disaster.
I do have issues with unexpected things happening and thought I was really traumatised by the experiences in childhood.
Am going to read Martian Tom's link as I do think the two are intertwined.
I don't think it necessarily has to lead to trauma, but I suspect most people have some degree of trauma. I wonder how much a childhood diagnosis would have helped me? I'm not sure how much support is available now, but back in the 70s/80s I would think there was pretty much none. It's kind-of a senseless question though because obviously you can't go back and change what has happened.
But if a person was lucky enough that they just happened to be born into a suitable environment, and they were brought up as happy and well adjusted Autistic people, and then happened to fall into a niche which suited them, then I don't think they would have to be traumatised. We probably never hear of those people though because the people who haven't suffered any adversity are unlikely to be looking for anything.
I agree because in the 70s and 80s I would have been disadvantaged had I had a diagnosis back then.
So I'm happy my parents tried to make me more sociable. I was also lucky that I have no issues learning, even though I got physically punished at school from time to time for being unruly. And no, back then that was not allowed anymore either.
I have had challenging experiences (and still do).. but my limited ability to process them in a better equipped way has led to a degree of trauma. Earlier awareness would have I think led to a greater awareness of my vulnerability and been more cautious in situations where I had a greater degree of agency.
I've been reading a book called "Very late diagnosis of Asperger syndrome" by Philip Wylie which goes into the subject in detail, describing the sort of feelings which can accompany the whole process of self recognition, assessment and diagnosis, the good and the bad. (The author was formally diagnosed at the age of 51.) It's really helping me as I wait for my own assessment, because my feelings are in complete turmoil, but I can see from the book (and posts on this website) that I'm not going mad. Nice to know!
Thanks for the recommendation - I'll look it up
...so will I! :)