Neurodiversity Thread


#21

Can imagine managing things like the lights and radiators would be tough. Like the headphones idea, but do you use them when you go to restaurants as well as shops?

I’ve very recently gone through the process of diagnosis for ADHD which was pretty much the last answer I was expecting as a potential factor in my 25 years of battling mental health issues. Apparently it can be difficult to diagnose in adults with a relatively high IQ because by the time you’re fully developed you’ll have worked out ways to compensate for the symptoms (the few people I’ve worked with that I’ve told think I’ve been joking, as I’m able to hyper-focus on things when I’m under pressure- unfortunately I really do have to be under pressure though, which isn’t a great way to have to deal with almost everything you do professionally).

The whole thing feels a bit raw and uncomfortable at the moment as it’s not at all a route I thought we’d be going down when I was referred, but I’m hopeful I’ll come to terms with it and focus more on the positive aspects in time.


#22

Hello, I think I’ll be much more comfortable in here than in the depression thread.

I’ve only very recently been introduced to the conceptual world of ‘neurodiversity’ by getting talking to people who are already invested and knowledgeable about it. Since I left my home town at 19, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure myself out, but that was purely in terms of understanding the social and power dynamics, both in my (highly dysfunctional) family and in my social life (in which I unconsciously reproduced some of the family dynamics). In other words I’ve been trying to understand myself and my thoughts as a social phenomenon rather than a mental one. That’s been really useful to me and has allowed me to work through and understand some really difficult and complex things in sort of theoretical terms. But it’s never removed the fact that I feel completely isolated and incapable and ‘other’.

I always just assumed that I feel (and am) so different and find it so difficult to fit in because the unique family dynamics just created this fairly unique person with a strange way of looking at the world and themselves. I never felt like I fitted in to a particular ‘type’, particularly cos I never took into consideration anything other than depression when thinking about ‘neurodiversity’ (didn’t use that word at the time). I think I never thought about anything like autism or dyslexia or w/e because I always framed the ‘problem’ of my mental state as being something that I suffered from. So like, you suffer from depression, but you don’t suffer from autism, if that makes sense.

Anyway, while I think my original way of understanding myself is more nuanced and more accurate in a lot of ways, I’m really really fed up of always being in some sort of ‘liminal state’ between modes of being, and that applies in mental health and neurodiversity as much as in anything else. So I’m looking into types of neurodiversity and ways of seeking out help to look into how I might fit into particular categories. As much as anything, it would be such a relief to just be able to say to people “I have X or Y” when explaining why I am why I am, instead of having to be like “well I have a really complex and unpleasant history and it has effected me in this way and this way, sorry I’m explaining this terribly and you’re not understanding me at all” etc.

Sorry this was a stupid waffly post.


#23

I don’t start off wearing them in restaurants but always have them with me in case I need them. I usually order a drink first and take a few minutes to judge if I think I’ll be able to hack it. So many restaurant trips were abandoned mid-meal when I was a child… my sister must have hated me.

I don’t have ADHD but I do have concentration issues. Basically I can get super obsessive and stuck into something, or I struggle to do it at all. Which is not a viable way of working at my workplace sadly. Have you been offered any support in relation to the ADHD? Or was it a “this is what you have, go Google it” thing? I’m hopeful you’ll see the positives too! Of course one positive is that you’re now a member of the #1 coolest DiS subgroup.


#24

That wasn’t stupid or waffly at all! I don’t know your family situation of course, but I had a complicated childhood which definitely shaped me in various (mainly negative) ways. But I’m lucky to be able to distinguish them quite clearly.

It would be awesome if you share your neurodiversity journey here, however it ends up :slightly_smiling_face:


#25

this is why I really struggle with work sometimes and think I’m much more suited to working on larger projects rather than managing lots of little ones which is what I do now :frowning:


#26

THIS THIS THIS

I basically have three (Sometimes four) different roles at my workplace and ast the moment I’m only really into doing one of them. I wish I could spend entire days doing it thoroughly and perfectly rather than having to dip and out. I love where I work though, so it’s hard to know whether less suitable work at super suitable workplace is worse or better than more suitable work at a less suitable workplace. If I had more talent I would love to own thing :pensive:


#27

Well, I think it’s a good idea- am easily distracted in a crowd or noisy restaurant myself but suspect it’s more annoying for the people with me who think I’ve just stopped paying attention to them! Totally identify with being obsessive or not doing something at all (which I guess is maybe obvious as a typical ADHD trait).

I’ve been given various bits of advice and have a care plan I can share with an employer around things that may be helpful for me to be productive (but work from home a lot of the time so this isn’t really an issue at the moment). I feel quite positive about having a different perspective on why I’ve had difficulties for so many years. I’ve lost count of the different meds I’ve been on that have never really helped me, and at least this doesn’t feel like I’m going round in circles and getting nowhere.


#28

good thread
i’ve been struggling with a lot of aspects of life over the last couple of years but have also started to feel more comfortable with myself and i think getting diagnosed is a part of that, would definitely urge anyone who is unsure to seek a diagnosis if they have the means and they think it might help - even if they don’t pursue it any further after that.
wish i was better at talking about this stuff offline, massive respect to people who can talk about their disorders or MH problems publicly


#29

i think i’m more or less neurotypical but have a few issues with sensitivity.
can’t wear wool
any item of clothing with a label at the back of the neck, i have to cut the label out or it drives me nuts
my brother is autistic and dyspraxic and is the same with woollen clothes. when he was younger he wouldn’t even wear non-woollen knitted things without another top on underneath


#30

Hey, am I able using this as a safe space for talking about being a parent of a child with ASD? I’ve got stuff I feel I need to sound off about, as my eldest is having a really tough time of it of late.


#31

Sure - unless it’s “my life is hell because of his ASD, cure plz” in which case probably not the right thread? Tbh I still strongly relate to and remember being an autistic child, so might be able to help with suggestions.


#32

Yeah ccb, I am happy to listen and try to help if I can x


#33

Ah not at all, she is a lovely girl and I love her dearly, autism and all. And I get really really mad when people say daft stuff like “oh I’ve heard that estimate broccoli cures autism” or whatever. I need to put it all properly in writing as I figure this might be a safe space, and yes coping mechanisms etc might be really helpful. (But it’s late and I need a while to summarize and compose my thoughts!)


#34

Look at me being terrible and automatically thinking boy :woman_facepalming:

Please do post, it would great if this thread could be of any help to either of you!


#35

Not sure I’m comfortable talking about this but I’m a bit drunk so here goes.

I’ve been getting therapy for anxiety and my therapist suggested that a lot of the things I’ve spoken about as giving me issues were consistent with high functioning Asperger’s. She suggested I did some tests and… yep. I didn’t react well to this, because it tied into a very deeply held fear that I’m fundamentally strange/odd/different.

But it makes A LOT of things make sense. I mostly hate social contact, I feel like I’m wearing a “mask” to get through everyday social interactions, and that I’m repeating learned behaviours rather than responding intuitively. Unfamiliar social situations make me anxious because I haven’t learned the rules yet. So I avoid them if possible.

Pretty sensitive to lots of noises. Eating noises, transistor hum, any sudden loud noise. Less so for general sensory over-stimulation but once I notice how much I’m taking it I can’t stop it and I start to freak out a bit.

Obsessive about interests.

I’m watching documentaries and reading articles about Asperger’s and finding more and more stuff that resonates with my experiences. Not everything - I’m ok with being empathic, even if it still feels like something I’ve learned to do rather than being innate - but lots of it. Still coming to terms with how I feel about all of it, but I don’t feel upset by the possibility any more.


#36

That’s great that you don’t feel so upset by it. I get what you’re saying re: empathy, for me it feels quite a logical thing rather than emotional, but I don’t think that makes it not empathy.

All those things re: social situations resonate with me (and probably most ASD people) big time. I can enjoy non-work/family social situations but they’re so intensely draining that I can’t really manage more than one a month. I feel like I need to sleep for three days if I spend an hour and a half in the pub with people. My mind just shuts down.


#37

sensory wise I don’t find anything to be too painful, but definitely find things uncomfortable. Heat is the main one, I would happily live in a world without radiators, only wear a coat for the coldest week in the year.

I can’t sleep with any light, I cover up things like plugs, clock displays that emit light, I have a black out blind on my window:

notice at gigs whenever there is a sweeping spot light, most people don’t react where as I wince each time the light hits my eyes. Also noticed that sensory things seem to have a delayed effect, charge me up with nervous energy that then gets released, so like if I hear a loud sound I will feel bit overwhelmed and then all it will take will be another small sound and my body will shiver. Also can’t tune out persistent noise. I’m sure most of this stuff many typical people can also relate to, just think my threshold for it is very low


#38

Very articulately expressed there, Epimer.

I think learning more about aspergers, finding the positive perspectives that make sense for you and the way you experience it, is a good approach for processing a diagnosis.

There is nothing wrong with having been upset with the thought of it either, I remember being completely overwhelmed thinking I had to reframe my entire existence… but really, it ended up being a very positive thing for me to be able to gain a much better understanding of how I work.


#39

If you haven’t already, read things by Tony Atwood (e.g the complete guide…), as he seems to be the best and exploring the diverse ways it can affect people. I never even considered I had it because I had some stereotypical ideas about it which I didn’t think fit with me, then I read that book and was like that is the answer


#40

Another endorsement for that Tony Attwood book, it gives a suitably diverse picture which is a nice antidote to some very narrow portrayals of autism.