Hi. I'm new to the group. As I suspect is a common dialogue, I've suspected that I may lie somewhere on the autistic spectrum for quite a long time, but haven't sought diagnosis. It's one of those situations where I have difficulties in lots of areas in little ways, but on the whole I'm perceived as 'normal' enough by others for me to wonder if I'm just imagining it, or if 'these are just traits' or whatever else.

Yestersay I was in Ikea and a familiar thing occurred; the stimuli of the place became increasingly overwhelming, my brain gradually exhausted, I developed a headache, I found it very hard to focus, I became emotionally overwhelmed. Usually in these situations I pop to a bathroom and hide inside a cubicle for a few minutes to let my brain resettle (I call it 'defragging'). And ultimately, in this instance, I did that; but the level of mental upset I reached beforehand was considerably higher than usual. I've been thinking about this today, and today I decided it may be time to investigate my mind more thoroughly.

 This seems a good place to start, so here I am, to chat, to learn, to better assess myself and learn more about autism.

Some bits about me:

- Male, 31, gay, chemist, Mancunian

- Fond of sci-fi, rock climbing, videogames, electronic music, reading (sci-fi, horror & factual primarily)

Some traits, invoking vague suspicion:

- I thoroughly enjoy my own company and, despite being considered quite social by others, I usually find the company of people mentally exhausting

- I often feel distinctly uncomfortable when being observed, except by people I know well, though I cope with this

- I -need- periodic time away from people to 'settle my brain'. I tend to take a few opportunities to do this each day, if I can. If I'm unable to I become increasingly mentally fatigued and emotionally frustrated

- Hate tight clothing, but that could totally just be a whatever me thing

- Sensitive to bright white light, sensitive to certain sounds; invokes a kind of claustrophobic frustration

- I find rhythmic bass and staticky noise uniquely mentally rejuvenating

And other stuff I guess. Like having real trouble with casual conversation unless I have a clear remit, finding disorder in my personal life very frustrating, having a very strong disposition against perceived injustices, esp. social; etc.

So yeah. Looking forward to getting involved and learning more :3

  • hello and welcome!! I have lots of noise and light sensitivities. Shops blaring out Xmas music 2 weeks ago set me off walking around muttering "it's not Christmas it's mid-November" etc.

  • hmm..it ate my post.

    Hello and welcome! I too have noise and light sensitivities, and Xmas songs in shops from mid-November is sending me doolally!

  • Hi and welcome aboard. As a fellow 30-something (female) mancunian, who is self diagnosed i can relate to a lot of what you say. 

    I too enjoy my own compsny and dont have that needy feeling to be with others. Altho if i do want to see a friend (on my terms!) and no-one is available it gets me a bit depressed. 

    I too feel uncomfortable being observed. Like if im explaining something to friends and more than one pair of eyes are on me i feel under pressure. (however being a teacher i emcounter this everyday and am comfortable in class....its about context...)

    I too have found i need to time to let my brain settle. Since self-diagnosing i am more aware when this is needed an am taking steps to ensure i have brain settle time. During and after events.

    Im not into fancy or fashionable clothing. I love jumpers but they have to have the right texture.

    I too feel sensitive to some lights and sounds (i have a weird relationship with street lights....) but i love gigs. Again i think its about context....

    Trouble with casual conversation YES unless there is a clear remit YES. Sometimes not sure how to respond or what to say or if im supposed to be surprised etc. I do feel im learning as i go. I feel i am missing a conversation gene.

    I could go on but am just relating to your ideas.

  • HI. I certainly like Sf and horror.

  • I find rhythm like bass and drums great for listening to when public travelling, I get lost in the beat and sound like I’m in my own little sound planet. I can tap away without anyone thinking I’m weird as I’m listening to tunes unknown that I’m self soothing till I get to my destination or block them out. I remember in the 80’s when personal cassette players came available, it was a revelation to me to have sound in my head and made going to work a pleasure as I could block all else out. I have always had personal portable music every time I go out....I think it has made going out easier to cope with. Oh and my blue Irlens lens tone everything down as well.