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Autistic Burnout: Signs, Symptoms, and Recovery Tips

Autistic Burnout is a recurring condition that can have a harmful impact on autistic adults. It is a phenomenon that has been gaining attention in recent years, with early research highlighting the urgent need to better understand it.

What is Autistic Burnout?

Autistic Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that can occur in autistic individuals. It is often characterised by a loss of skills, increased sensory sensitivity, and a decrease in the ability to cope with everyday life. It is important to note that Autistic Burnout is not a clinical diagnosis, but rather a term used to describe a common experience among autistic individuals.

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Signs and Symptoms of Burnout.

The primary characteristics of Autistic Burnout are easy to spot if you know what to look for, either from an external point of view or internally, from an autistic self’s point of view. The warning signs of Autistic Burnout include:

  • Physical exhaustion and depletion
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of executive function skills (disorganized, trouble making decisions)
  • Difficulty with self-care (showering, personal hygiene)
  • Increased sensory sensitivity
  • Difficulty with communication
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Difficulty with daily living activities
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Inability to ask for help
  • Memory issues
  • Loss of words or selective mutism

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What Causes Autistic Burnout?

Autism Burnout can be caused by a variety of factors, including social and sensory overload, masking, and the stress of trying to fit into a neurotypical world. Masking is a common coping mechanism used by autistic individuals to hide their autistic traits and fit in with their peers. However, masking can be exhausting and can lead to burnout over time.

Managing Autism Burnout

Managing Burnout can be a daunting task, but there are steps that can be taken to help prevent and manage it. One of the most important steps is to recognise the signs of burnout and take action before it becomes overwhelming.

Another important step is to practice self-care. This can include taking breaks when needed, engaging in activities that bring joy, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. It is also important to set realistic expectations and boundaries, and to communicate these boundaries to others.

Autistic Burnout is a phenomenon that can have a harmful impact on autistic individuals. It is important to recognise the signs of burnout and take action to prevent and manage it. Practicing self-care, setting realistic expectations and boundaries, and seeking support can all be helpful in managing Autistic Burnout.

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