Tag Archives: ADHD

Autistic Confessions – In Hiding

I’ve been in hiding. Desperately trying to conserve the energy that I have left at the end of the work day. Being in an offices is extremely hard, despite having kind coworkers. At the end of the day my head is pounding and my energy is drained, leaving little left for more pleasant things.

Hidden away from the world, I turn down almost every invitation. Navigating the social aspects of my workplace leaves my social mussels overworked. I’ve push almost everyone away because I literally can not handle anyone or anything extra at the moment.

I’ve stopped checking my personal email. There are so many emails and so much information being shared at work. I get to the point where I just need all input to stop. My brain has become bogged down and slow, as I try to process my days when I get home.

My brain is like a sponge, it sucks up everything until it is drowning and oozing. Covered and dripping with too much information this most important organ can no longer function, so I shut it off, preventing meltdowns.

This is burnout, this is me in self preservation mode. I am holding on but some days I am barely here. I try very hard to always stay positive because I know sinking into a depressing would be the worst thing for me at this point.

In the meantime it’s many solitary walks in the woods, counting my breaths, less commitments, and as much creative down time as possible.

That is why I have gone into hiding, reclusive, in quiet stillness. I’ve got to take care of myself, there is nobody to do it for me.


Autistic Confessions – Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts – I’ve had them since I was a child, although the older I get (due to continuing great effort on my part) the more manageable these things have become.

When I was a child, I remember being disturbed by some of the things that would randomly pop into my head. Very quickly my inner monologue would begin to obsess over what ever horror I had just seen or thought.

“Why I am I thinking about that? Is this going to happen? Do I want this to happen? What’s wrong with me? This is not normal.” 

As a child I was convinced I would grow up locked away. One day my mind would crack and all the crazy would fall out, people would know, and they would put me away. It sounds ridiculous but this fear was very real to me for many years. It never fully vanished until my Autism diagnosis.

I’ve learned to manage things. I’ve learned to recognize the patterns in my mind (most of the time). When I see myself slipping into that same old spiral it’s time to move my mind to something else – a distraction.

Turn on the radio and sing out loud. Blast your stereo and dance until the nagging fades away. Write a poem, make a sketch, go for a run, or a walk. Get out of your head – turn it off, make it stop. If you go there the trap will have you deep in the dark.

Autistic Confessions – Hyper Focus

Where did the time go?

I have no idea. I was hyper-focused on a task and the rest of the world melted away for the past 6 hours. I literally forgot to eat. I REALLY have to pee and my ass is killing me from sitting cross legged in this chair all day.

Did you hear me?

No, sorry I was really focused on what I was doing.

But I’m right next to you and it’s quiet in here. 

I know, I’m sorry I was really focused on what I was doing. I don’t mean to tune the world out, but the world is a constant bombardment to the senses. Hyper focus makes all that met away. I am getting things done, which is amazing and all the noise stops.

Autistic Confessions – I’m an Information Addict

Hi, my name is Anna and I am addicted to information.

I’ve been reading since I was two years old. It started with children’s books but I quickly moved up to encyclopedias and dictionaries.

I had and still have Hyperlexia, a condition that is frustrating beyond all of the words that won’t come out of my mouth.

I can read and type my thoughts just fine but often appear “dingy” and confused in face to face conversations.

I absorb and understand just about everything that I read. If I am not reading I am writing about things I’ve read or obsessing over the facts that I’ve collected in my brain.

Endless information, building up my catalog – hording facts. I read science magazines, websites, books, and articles. I listen to Audible, watch documentaries and YouTube videos.

Sometimes I read so much that I run out of books or videos on a particular topic.

I can’t stop. I am addicted to information.

Standardized Testing Isn’t Totally Useless, but It Does Miss the Point | Scott Barry Kaufman – Big Think

This video from Big Think has some great points. I have never felt like the public school system was fair to me and the way I needed to learn in my own way.

Teachers wanted me to sit still and my peers bullied me. I have always loved learning but I HATED school. Something is wrong with that picture.

The world needs different types of minds, all minds, different perspectives. They are all valuable.

I can take no credit for Big Think‘s video below. Please check them out for more content.

Weighted Blankets – Princess Aspien

I’ve suffered with chronic insomnia my entire life.

I used to sleep under sofa cushions and pillows as a child and now, because I cannot sleep unless I have a heavy (not weighted) blanket over me – EVEN IF I AM HOT.

Being squeezed tight and makes me feel calm. Those weighted blankets are a bit expensive, so I don’t have one but I definitely want one!

Princess Aspien has another video (which I can take no credit for). I am super addicted to her channel. Please subscribe and check out her video explaining her experience with using weighted blankets to help her insomnia.

Hi, I’m An Asshole – Autism & Me | Just A Skinny Boy

The following post contains adult language.

I’ve been there so many times.

I am often misunderstood and can come off as standoffish and cold. Other times I am overly friendly with poor boundary recognition. It is hard when you are a genuinely kind person who is constantly misunderstood or called “rude”.

So much of what he says about not knowing how to respond and not knowing what to say tends to get me into trouble. All of the time my brain is going and sometimes my words are not ready to come out.

I don’t think in words unless I write them out or actively work to think about words. They don’t come out automatically and almost always will take great effort.

When I don’t have something to say – please do not assume I am trying to be rude. Asperger’s may be nicknamed the “Ass-whole Syndrome” but that is only because people don’t understand our true intentions.

I am Autistic and I am NOT an Ass-hole.

I just discovered the Just A Skinny Boy channel on YouTube and can take NO credit for his video. Please check out and subscribe to his channel for more great content.

The Lost Girls (on the Spectrum)

“Misdiagnosed, misunderstood or missed altogether, many women with autism struggle to get the help they need.”

We should not have to feel this way. We should not spend our lives confused and wondering why our best is sometimes not good enough.

Original article below by  please check out the full post here on Spectrumnews.org

It took 10 years, 14 psychiatrists, 17 medications and 9 diagnoses before someone finally realized that what Maya has is autism. Maya loves numbers, and with her impeccable memory, she can rattle off these stats: that the very first psychiatrist she saw later lost his right to practice because he slept with his patients. That psychiatrist No. 12 met with her for all of seven minutes and sent her out with no answers. That during her second year at Cambridge University in the U.K., industrial doses of the antipsychotic quetiapine led her to pack on more than 40 pounds and sleep 17 hours a day. (Maya requested that her last name not be used.)

But those numbers don’t do justice to her story. It’s the long list of diagnoses Maya collected before she was 21, from borderline personality disorder to agoraphobia to obsessive-compulsive disorder, that begin to hint at how little we understand autism in women.

It should never be this hard – but stories like the one above are common. I hear them over and over again. Many Autistic women will not seek a formal diagnosis for fear of being misdiagnosed with another condition.

An initial screening for Autism for an Autistic adult can cost anywhere from $500-$4000 depending on where you live. My specialist doesn’t take insurance. These costs are out of pocket. Many Autists are unemployed or under employed and under paid and simply cannot afford the out of pocket costs.

Something has to change. We need help.

Bright Not Broken – Gifted Kids ADHD & Autism

I read a lot. I also listen to a lot of audio books if I am cleaning or in the car. True to the Aspie nature, I am happiest when I am learning about my field of interest. Since learning that I am on the Autism Spectrum, ASD and mental health have been in the forefront of my mind.

Most of what I read has been about Autism in women and adults, because I feel as if this is a field that was neglected for many years. When my most recent Audible credit arrived I was drawn to a book that has a focus on bright and brilliant ASD & ADHD children.

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism written by: Diane M. Kennedy, Rebecca S. Banks,Temple Grandin, focuses on a group of children known as twice exceptional, or “2e”. Twice exceptional kids are both gifted and diagnosed with a disability – often ADHD or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These children have the potential to be our next Mozart, Isaac Newton, or Albert Einstein if we give them the right tools in life. 

Unfortunately the gifts and talents of some of our most brilliant kids may never be recognized if we overlook these kids’s talents and focus solely on their weaknesses. It is easy for these children get lost in an endless cycle, piling on harmful diagnostic labels.

Bright Not Broken sheds new light on this vibrant population by identifying who twice exceptional children are and taking an unflinching look at why they’re stuck. The first work to boldly examine the widespread misdiagnosis and controversies that arise from our current diagnostic system, it serves as a wake-up call for parents and professionals to question why our mental health and education systems are failing our brightest children.

Most importantly, the authors show what we can do to help 2e children, providing a whole child model for parents and educators to strengthen and develop a child’s innate gifts while also intervening to support the deficits. Drawing on painstaking research and personal experience, Bright Not Broken offers groundbreaking insight and practical strategies to those seeking to help 2e kids achieve their full potential.

The book is very scientific and has more of a textbook feel, so if you like warm and fuzzy or have a hard time reading non-fiction this title might not be for you. Listening to it on Audible while you are driving or cleaning house might make it easier to digest if you have a hard time sitting still through something so information focused.

However, I really do feel as if this title looks at Autism and ADHD in a unique way, and can help shed light on why our brightest and most brilliant minds are often left behind in society.

If you prefer to read on Kindle or want a physical copy – you can purchase the book here.

Autistic Comorbids

Many people on the Autism Spectrum have other comorbid disorders (myself included). Below are a few things that bother me even now as an adult.

Anxiety – I live in a near constant state of anxiety. The only thing that helps is my overly logical mind. I can normally “out logic” my anxiety and then distract myself. When a panic attack occurs, I can sit “calmly” on the outside and nobody would ever know anything was wrong (unless they noticed that I was a bit spaced out or tried to get me to talk).

Insomnia – my entire life. I have a hard time falling asleep and wake often. If I know that I have to get up earlier than usual in the morning my anxiety will keep me up all night in anticipation. Getting out of bed is also extremely difficult because I still feel tired.

Gastrointestinal / bowel disorders – I’ve always had problems with my stomach, as long as I can remember. There are certain foods that can trigger a horrible vomiting attack, but the main thing that seems to cause this is stress. It is possible that my stomach illness are what happens in the most extreme version of a “meltdown” but that is more of a theory for now.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – My teachers tried to convince my mother that I had ADHD in elementary school. I am easily distracted and have a hard time focusing on things that I am not interested in. My mind wanders off. However I have hyper-focus while working on tasks I enjoy. Luckily my mother refused to have me evaluated for ADHD because she did not want me medicated. I honestly think this is just part of the AS personality type.

Depression – it runs in my family and I now believe this is actually Autistic Burnout.

Sensory problems – most of us have these. Mine seem to worsen and become more intense when I am tired, but there are certain things I can never tolerate for long. Certain lights give me headaches and hurt my eyes. I can NOT handle the feeling of a manual toothbrush in my mouth or getting my nails filed. Also there is only a few types of socks that I can wear.

Nonverbal learning disorder – People with this disorder may not at times comprehend nonverbal cues such as facial expression or tone of voice. Has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language and may have poor coordination. (Yes, Yes, and YES!)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder –  I have more obsessions than compulsions. Most of the time I am able to mentally talk myself out of doing something that I fell heavily compelled to do. (Although the nagging thoughts / urge to do something can linger on until I find something else to occupy my mind.)

“Obsessions themselves are the unwanted thoughts or impulses that seem to “pop up” repeatedly in the mind. These intruding thoughts can be fears, unreasonable worries, or a need to do things. When a person is tense or under stress, the obsessions can worsen.

Compulsions are the behaviors that may result from the obsessive thoughts [. . .] Compulsions may be rituals, repeating certain actions, counting, or other recurrent behaviors.”

Epilepsy  / Seizures – I have only ever had one seizure and it was at a time where I had way too much stress in my life. Perhaps this was brain overload in its most extreme form.