‘Symptoms’

Some people talk about their autism-related problems in terms of symptoms that are sometimes worse and sometimes better. I don’t really see it that way (and probably no one is surprised).

First, because my “worse symptoms” feel like, and are usually pretty obviously caused by, fatigue. Doing a lot in a day, not getting enough sleep, not having enough to eat = “worse symptoms”. And those are all things that would make anyone, disabled or mentally ill or not, less capable than they usually are. So I think of those situations as being about fatigue, not about autism.

Second, probably because of my tendency to just accept various unpleasant things as Stuff That Is Happening, and keep going as best I can, rather than identifying it as a problem and trying to solve it. Is there a name for this? I know I’m not the only one who does it, but I don’t even have a direction to go in to suggest why I do it.

(Have I written about the time I dislocated my elbow, when I was little? And asked my parents for help tying a knot in my improvised sling, instead of telling them that it hurt to straighten my arm? That’s the most dramatic example I have of “well this is a thing that is happening” in action.)

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One thought on “‘Symptoms’

  1. “well this is a thing that is happening” is something I also do, really really bad. I think it’s why I’m stuck at this job, and it’s why I haven’t gotten a new doctor, among other things. I think maybe (in part?) it comes from the advice of normals/neurotypicals/Society basically never actually solving my problems… So my gut reaction is always to just wait it out, because solutions rarely work anyway. That doesn’t speak to early life experience though, which I also have… I dunno. I was pretty conflict averse as a kid. Maybe that plays into it.

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