Author’s Note: I am not experiencing the thoughts, just rather have in the past and am writing about why it’s important to pay attention to autistic burnout.
If I were to ask you to stop being who you were for a day, that would be selfish, right? If I asked you to stop acting a certain way (even if the intention behind your action was good and the action wasn’t hurting anyone), you would be confused and alarmed, wouldn’t you? Now, picture yourself being told that the way you’re communicating isn’t good enough, and you’re, like me, struggling to choose the right words to say. Your autonomy and choices taken away for a day would not be good for anyone (including yourself), and the expectations and demands are stressful and piling. You’d probably feel overwhelmed, right? Now, picture yourself as an infant, learning how the world works. You are bombarded by your senses, and everything else around you. A lot of stimulation occurs and it can be overwhelming. You probably would like to nap, right!? It’s tiring. That is what burnout is like, but on a much greater intense level for autistic people every single day. For us, our emotions are at a more intense level every single day. This cannot be “fixed”, seeing as though the amygdala in my brain is three times the size of an average person’s. Suppressing my own needs; therefore, would be harmful right? The input and the output in my brain don’t work the same as everyone else’s. The neurons don’t always communicate together in ways that I need them to. They fire off in different ways. This does not mean that I am brain damaged. It’s, rather, just the way I was born.
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