Saturday 1 June 2013

Autistic Burnout

What is Autistic Burnout?

I experienced Autistic burnout a few months ago. Coping with life became too much for me upon realising the full impact of my Aspergers' diagnosis. I had a major delayed reaction to my diagnosis and how much it really is going to change my life. More on that later.

In summary Autistic Burnout is an accumulation of years of trying to appear normal and cope as an Neurotypical (NT). The strain and drain of it suddenly becomes too much and an autistic person (me in this case) falls apart. All autistic symptoms get worse. Trying to manage all the every day normal activities are way too much. It is overwhelming and stressful for the person involved.

This article is an excellent in-depth explanation of Autistic Burnout. The original article is not working unfortunately. 

Wrong Planet has a discussion on Autistic burnout which is also really good.

Here is another forum about Autistic symptoms getting worse during times of stress.

The above picture is from Karla's ASD page on Facebook. I have found her page to be a fantastic source of resources and information about Autism. I highly recommend her page.

So what is the solution to Autistic Burnout?

I need to live my life in a way that suits me and that I can manage. I need to allow myself time to recover, process all the BIG stuff going on in my head. I need to manage my spoons or tokens and work out how many I have per day/week. I need to practice daily self-care which I currently do. I will write more on self-care in another post as I believe it is very important for us Autistics to learn and practice. 
The 'real world' as known by NTs (neurotypicals) is not Autism friendly. It is too fast, too busy, overwhelming, stressful, sensory-overloading for us. We need to create our own world that is Autism friendly and live in a way which suits us.

The above image is from Karla's ASD Page. I will hyperlink to the actual image as what she has to say on the subject of the 'real world' is excellent. 

I will share my actual story of Autistic burnout in another post.


  1. As an autistic adult, I'd never heard of this. Thanks for educating me! :)


    1. You're welcome Erika! I have only recently heard about it too. It is very helpful to know about as it is often misdiagnosed as depression or as a breakdown but it is neither. I will be sharing more of my story later. Keep reading. Thank you!

  2. I have grown to really dislike the ASD Burnout Trainwreck. Thank-you for helping me understand.

  3. This is really helpful. We have a now 16yrs old boy who was 15 when diagnosed with Aspergers. He had what they are calling a breakdown and lost abilities he had previously had. He is recovering now after 8 months at home and out of the school environment with the social pressure taken away. After reading this I am convinced he has had autistic burnout it fits with what he has tried to describe to us ...that it all became to much trying to fit in and it hurt him to a point that he could not pretend anymore. I would like to learn more about this. Thanks for sharing. Jayne

  4. I am really glad to hear that my blog post has better helped understand what your son has been through. It sounds like he has had a tough time. I hope that he is on the way to recovering and is learning to live life at the pace he can cope with. The links I have shared in the blog post will help point you in the right direction to finding more information about Autistic burnout. I myself experienced Autistic burnout early last year. It was a tough place to be and the last year has been a difficult time for me. I am slowly recovering and starting to live life at a pace that I can cope with. I don't take on too much anymore as that is what caused my Autistic burnout. I wish you and your son well.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing this. We believe our 13year old son in under a burnout at the moment. He stopped going to school as cant face it, he does not leave the house, he does not shower or get changed. DHW seems to be facing something similar to us. How can we help him to recover?

  6. Thank you very much. It is the first thing I found about autistic burnout. I was diagnosed with one earlier this year, but there seems to be no treatment up to now. This was the first post I read, I see I have 81 more to go :-)
    Kind regards, Sig

  7. Replies
    1. I understand you.
      This burnout article got me
      I'm JR

  8. I can absolutely relate. I have a busy life and i deal with the public daily.
    Because of this pressure I unfortunately have frequent meltdowns. My husband usually cops it. I feel horrible afterwards and I know it is happening but I can't stop it.
    I also have a daughter with ASD and am a really understanding supportive parent to her, of which I am proud of.
    I guess, like most mums, I come last and this is my main contributing factor. As I am getting older (I am 37) I am understanding myself more and can start to see and know the triggers. I am yet to learn how to help myself from not melting down as yet


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