My Atypical Autistic Traits – Part 3: Emotional and Physical

Following on from appearance and intellectual/educational.

Emotional/Physical

“Emotionally immature and emotionally sensitive”

What does emotionally immature even mean? I’m emotionally sensitive. Easily hurt. It’s not something I can just “grow a thicker skin” over. I’m easily overwhelmed by my feelings, but often can’t name what I’m feeling. I discovered today that that’s called “Alexithymia”.

“Anxiety and fear are predominant emotions”

Not really. What I experience most frequently is guilt. Guilt for not being good enough, for not being neurotypical enough, for being too emotionally sensitive, and for not understanding the hidden curriculum, and for being a burden on my partner. After that comes anxiety and fear that I’ll be rejected because I’m not good enough.

“More open to talk about feelings and emotional issues than people with typical autism”

I don’t know many people with “typical autism”, but I don’t think I’ve heard them talk about feelings. I do talk about feelings, so I guess this one’s true?

“Strong sensory issues – sounds, sights, smells, touch, and prone to overload. (May not have taste/food texture issues.)”

Oh yes, my sensory issues need a blog post of their own

“Moody and prone to bouts of depression. May have been diagnosed with mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder, while the autism diagnosis was missed (note from typist: this doesn’t mean the other diagnoses are necessarily incorrect; just that they were comorbid with something that went undetected)”

“Probably given several different prescriptions to treat symptoms. Will be very sensitive to medications and anything else they put in their body so may have had adverse reactions”

Diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Very prone to depression for which antidepressants, counselling and “trying to be happier” have largely been ineffective. I’ve been feeling a fair bit better since ditching gluten, but still get occasional bouts of severe low mood lasting for a few days at a time. The antidepressants left me in a fog. I can’t remember most of the months I was on them.

“9 out of 10 have mild to severe gastro-intestinal issues (e.g. ulcers, acid reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and so on)”

See my earlier posts on gluten and how much better I’ve felt since not eating it.

“Stims to soothe when sad or agitated; rocking, face-rubbing, humming, finger flicking, leg bouncing, finger or foot tapping, etc”

“Similarly physical when happy – hand-flapping, clapping, singing, jumping, running around, dancing, bouncing”

These also need their own post to do them justice, so here I’ll just say YES!

“Prone to temper or crying meltdowns, even in public; sometimes over seemingly small things due to sensory or emotional overload”

If I’ve gotta cry I’ve gotta cry, the presence of a bunch of people is not going to stop me crying. Sometimes (read “fairly frequently”, it all gets too much and I need a long cry, a hot chocolate, and to be left alone with a cuddly blanket and a soft toy).

“Hates injustice and hates to be misunderstood; this can incite anger and rage”

Nothing annoys me more than people who just refuse to get it.

“Prone to mutism when stressed or upset, especially after a meltdown. Less likely to stutter than some other Autistic people but may have a raspy voice, monotone at times, when stressed or sad”

Yep, so much yep. I stop talking when I’m crying because my voice goes all squeaky and I can’t get my words out. When I have a sensory overload and have a shut-down kind of meltdown, I just don’t talk, I don’t do much of anything. Raspy voice is a yes.

Next up: Social and relationships

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