“Standing at several crossroads, without any clear routes, So many possible ways to choose, our choice will always be ambiguous.„
To be prepared or not to be,
That should not be a question.
Not enough sleep, stress and external sensory overloads affect several executive functions which makes it often (much) more difficult (or impossible) to focus, memorise, communicate, observe and understand what happens around us.
When this overloads the autistic brain, the fight-or-flight response kicks in delivering hormones that will replace the rational mind by raw and uncontrollable emotions, preventing the possibility to make well balanced and rational decisions.
This can have dire consequences for the future, especially when a choice is (immediately) required and none could be made, resulting in unwanted consequences that affect life.
Continue reading “To be prepared or not be..” →
It is very important that people that are close to a person with autism, to understand how invasive, confronting, uncontrollable, heavy and mentally exhausting a meltdown can be in the human brain. Most meltdowns start with an overdose of (earlier) sensory or stress overloads, which will shut down higher-order brain functions.
In a meltdown, (almost) all executive functions (like reasoning, memory, planning and decision-making) are shut down. Everything gets slower with no focus. Language is affected too and it becomes (almost) impossible to communicate adequately with others using normal structured sentences, while finding the right matching words. The brain becomes (very) chaotic because focus starts to wither. This is a moment where it becomes difficult to find a way out of the situation.
When not able to escape the situation, this neurological chaos in the brain can build up and result in a total internal cognitive shutdown or an explosive outburst, which is quite common during a meltdown. This explosive outburst may seem to come from nowhere, but it is mostly an end-result of an accumulation of sensory, cognitive and emotional overload, which may have started hours or even days earlier. Continue reading “When in meltdown, take care!” →
Real-time messaging has been a great invention for many of us, except, when the time is not right, those messages could get more annoying than a wood-workshop at full volume next to the ears, pushing up those stress levels to the limits; Especially when you want to do a task which requires full attention at hand.
Everyone with a smart phone is mostly connected 24/7 to various apps, like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tumblr and (many) more. This gives the advantage to be reachable at all times, but also brings a burden to be “too much” connected to the on-line world, bringing extra sensory overloads through that (super fast) connection of your phone.
Most people want to (and can) be reachable 24/7, but with autism and ADHD, it has its perks, especially when being in a mental state where there is no more platform to communicate actively with other parties. Most people see real-time messaging as granted and can become mad when you do not respond (in a timely manner) to a message being sent to you, making the anxiety and stress only raise in level.
Continue reading “realtime messaging can be wonderful too!” →
I’ve always had that ‘unnatural’ shyness, which is bothering me more, the older I get. A few years ago, I found out it is merely a container-word, for so much more than having a red face and being unable to talk or initiate things.
It’s a container-word with many faces. Anxiety, not knowing how someone reacts, fear of rejection, shyness and often not being able to see or know what somebody thinks of my awkward behavior at that moment.
It creates a lot of friction, because I don’t want to be a bother or a problem to anyone. But yet, it does seem to bother a lot of people, unconsciously.. Continue reading “Why is it so difficult keeping contact?” →
Yesterday, I had this horrible thing happening to me again and it went way quicker than expected. I’ve already felt that the pressure was becoming too much, when my brain started to scream “STOP” towards me, but also to the people around me. It was a truly embarrassing situation, which I had been pushed into!
To avoid over-stimulation and early fatigue, I pre-order every week 2 * 6 liters of biological 3.5% fat milk, because their brand is one of the only ones, which does not turn my stomach and intestinal system into a full war-zone. As many people with autism, I got a condition in my intestinal system. Also, I was quite sick for over a week, with fever and heavy medicines, because of an urinary tract problem, making my left nut being bigger than the size of a Dinosaur-egg! That pain is indescribably high. Continue reading “Our world is not ready for autism yet..” →
There it was, end of May, I had a total thermo-nuclear meltdown. I had this only about a dozen times before in my life, but when it hits me, it hits me really hard.
I had many symptoms which make me a bit worried, but which explains a lot of things which happened in the past too. Continue reading “A full meltdown in detail ..” →
There’s always a great pun with me and idioms about time. A lot of people say that time flies, every second counts, time is money and other taglines. That’s all too great, if I had any concept of time! Especially when someone says to me “wait a minute”, I get that smile on my face and instantly think: “how long do you want that minute to be?”… Continue reading “How do I grasp time?” →
The mind is a strange but beautiful organ, which can do great things. Mine works great and different, with a high IQ when there is no stress at all. But as soon as that demon called stress comes knocking on my door, the house starts to shake on it’s grounds.
If there is one thing which I cannot state enough about this demon, is that stress is disastrous for autism combined with ADHD. When stress gets added to the mix, it has direct effect upon my processing power, sensitivity and thinking processes. My efficiency drops by large amounts the higher the stress becomes, rendering me sometimes not possible to function good in society. Continue reading “Coping with (insane) stress levels” →
There I was, standing perplexed and silent at the AH cashier with four bottles of milk. Just standing there, while my mind was entirely frozen, as I tried (like usually) to focus upon one sound and one task at the same time. This all started when a very loud alarm system went off at another cashier. Continue reading “Sensory overload in the supermarket” →
This solution was already a few times under discussions by my previous two psychiatrists, to help me finding some structure back, but tried to push away this medicine for as long as I could, because of the bad experiences with Rilatine and Concerta around my 23 years old. Because of a huge structural needs, it was time to try this again… Continue reading “Again on Rilatine! – medicine” →
I’ve experienced it as a heavy hammer falling from high on my head, after working for 12 years uninterrupted for 18-22 hours a day. Everything went dark, gray, impossible. Even a conversation with a friend was difficult. Searching for help was impossible, nothing was possible to do anymore. Continue reading “How a burn-out felt like” →
This time it was time to try Abilify, a medicine which is usually used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but which gave remarkable effects with a certain test-group of people with autism according my psychiatrist. It was given to me to treat anxiety and to get me a little bit more open towards communication with others. Continue reading “Abilify, my experience – medicine” →
This book explains a lot in detail what is going on in the mind of an autistic person. It is in many aspects so near to my experiences in life, that it became sort-of a guide or a bible, how I work inside my brain. I got to give credit to my psychiatrist for giving me the title to this great book called “Brein Bedriegt” by Peter Vermeulen.
You will be able to read a few rough translations straight from the book, that especially apply to me, but most likely also to a lot more autistic people, besides me. I have left many citations as whole, to be able to get the full context. This does not mean all the details in that citation will all apply upon me or any other person with autism. There are so many variants of autism and comorbidities, giving different results and behaviors.
If you are having autism or you are connected with it, this book is totally worth reading. It is for as far as I know only available in Dutch, so I have taken the liberty to translate the most important quotes, which I find most applicable towards me.. Continue reading “Brain Deceives (Brein Bedriegt) – Book” →
Today something very tragic happened on the train from Antwerpen to Den Haag (train 1222 from 10:36). The conductor went totally out of line, because he assumed I was an east-European guy without a ticket; so it escalated from verbal violence straight to physical violence and an unlawful arrest by the authorities. This is a rough translation.
Part 1: Yelling to me for my ticket?..
Conductor: Hey, you there, Ticket!
Me: Ok, moment <while taking off my backpack>
Conductor: No! TICKET NOW!!
Me: hey! May I maybe take it?!
Conductor: I saw you moving from behind to the front, your TICKET NOW IMMEDIATELY!!
Me: I was searching a place to sit and am having a phone call, what is going on?!? Continue reading “Agression by NS personnel on train!” →
Today, I had an appointment on time and had to use the public transportation. Because the public transportation became so crowdy, it is almost impossible to arrive at location without frustrations, a fit and/or a meltdown first.
Mostly I walk through the city, especially for that reason, because most of people don’t bother to move away from the entrance doors, leaving lots of empty space at the seating areas and too overcrowded spots at the doors. Continue reading “Crowded transportation issues” →