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
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.