Masking and suppression of meltdowns

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*this won’t relate to everyone*

Autistics will often mask how they really feel during the times when things are triggering them.

 

sometimes I think this can be because autistics simply don’t know how to get their feelings into words. There might be an inner dialogue going on during this trigger, but the person is not able to be expressed this difficulty.

 

it could also be because the autistic person is worried about being judged, then possibly outcast through expressing their real feelings.
As they could be misunderstood or seen as odd and different by others.

 

Opening up and allowing others to see your struggles can make you feel incredibly vulnerable, when an autistic person has a meltdown, they are putting trust in the people or person that is witnessing this.

 

The autistic person needs to know they will have unconditional support and understanding in a meltdown situation!

 

Other wise suppression and masking will continue. 🖤

 

Artist- unknown

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Autistic burnout warning signs

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Autistic burnout triggers, autistic centred burnout support. 

Autistic burnout is really serious and can have a massive impact on autistics lives, please be understanding and supportive. 🖤

 

1.Autistic burnout warning signs-

more frequent meltdowns, and becoming overwhelmed quickly .
Becoming ill more frequently, lack of motivation.
Difficulties Maintaining good self care, personal hygiene, experiencing extreme tiredness.
Social situations become more difficult to cope with, memory issues.
Verbal communication can become more difficult.

 

2.Autistic burnout triggers-

Taking on multiple tasks, not having enough rest time, not eating a well balanced diet.
Not getting enough sleep each night, lots of change with in a short period of time.
Hiding or putting a mask up to fit in with neurotypicals (non Autistics) each person will find triggers that are personal to them, keeping a daily journal can help to identify triggers.

 

3.Autistic centred burnout support-

Take time out of social situations. Make sure to get enough sleep, and that you’re eating a healthy diet.
Build in routines to make task more manageable, make sure to build in rest times.
Make sure sensory needs are being met daily.

 

Artist- unknown

Understanding Stress and supporting yourself

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Causes of stress-

1. Upcoming events or situations that are putting pressure on you- this can be where you have many different situations happening and some might be out of your full control.
2. Daily demands placed on us- This can make us feel overwhelmed and difficult to deal with.
3. Personal problems
4. Education and study problems
5. Money problems
6. Problems with where you are living

If you already have anxiety (most autistics do) or low moods, stress can make the anxious feelings worse. If you already have a mental health difference stress will heighten that difference, during the stressful situation.
www.mind.org.uk (some information taken from this website)

Physical reaction to stress-

1. shallow breathing or hyperventilating
2. you might have a panic attack
3. muscle tension
4. blurred eyesight or sore eyes
5. problems getting to sleep, staying asleep or having nightmares
6. sexual problems, such as losing interest in sex or being unable to enjoy sex
7. tired all the time
8. grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
9. headaches

How you might feel-

1. irritable, aggressive, impatient or wound up
2. over-burdened
3. anxious, nervous or afraid
4. like your thoughts are racing and you can’t switch off
5. unable to enjoy yourself
6. depressed
7. uninterested in life
8. like you’ve lost your sense of humor
9. a sense of dread
10. worried about your health
11. neglected or lonely.

Often being stressed will make it hard to stick to routines, you might find that you are not sleeping well or eating correctly, this will then have an effect on your emotional state causing emotional stress as well.

This can make you feel tearful, fight or flight feelings, aggressive, the body will be releasing hormones cortisol and adrenaline which causes the fight or flight feelings, which many autistic people are already feeling so this feeling will be even stronger during stressful situations.

Ways to support yourself during stressful times-

1. Work out what the stress triggers are, are there things that come up regularly that increases the stress feelings, or things that perhaps happen less often. Identifying these triggers is so important as this will allow you to prepare when the triggers happen.
2. Break large tasks into smaller more manageable tasks.
3. During stressful times it’s easy to forget things, so make a list of the tasks you need to do for that day.
4. Make sure you are not overloading yourself, is there anyone that could help you? Take breaks from the tasks that are making you stressed (so important)
5. Make sure you are doing things that make you happy in your spare time.
6. Try to eat regularly and a good balanced diet (not easy!) make sure you are also drinking enough fluids.
7. Make sure to do regular exercise, as this will help to release the hormone that makes us feel happy.
8. Visit the GP (not easy)

I think stress does get to everyone but being autistic makes stress even more complicated as most (not all) autistic people will already be dealing with anxiety, eating differences, sensory differences and other mental health differences.

Stress will then make these differences harder to deal will as stress drives these feelings, this will cause the autistic person to feel them at a stronger frequency.

I totally understand that adding in support can be really difficult, just do what you can! And don’t give up!

Wishing everyone a stress free day! Girls Autistic Journey 🖤

 

Art work by- djamilaknopf- Instagram

Recognising negative life cycles

Possible trigger warning ⚠️

 

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1. Feeling ok- life is good I am feeling positive and happy doing things that make me feel good;

like working out
eating well
sleeping well
spending time outside
spending time with family


2. Triggers- something comes into Autistics life that causes them to feel stressed or causes an unpredicted change in routine. Some Autistics don’t know how to manage this trigger or sometimes not even realising this is a trigger. This can lead to negative feelings;
feeling lost
scared
venerable
multiple other feelings and emotions.

3. Response- Some Autistics(definitely me) are now using Negative responses to cope and manage these feelings, I use food to block out the feelings and emotions to take my mind away from the triggers, and pick my fingers until they are sore. Some Autistics will have all different negative rituals that will be the response, for me it feels out of my control like a compulsion. This spiral of negative feelings can lasts hours, days, weeks even months.

4. Cycle starts again- I start to come out of the negative response and so it starts again.

I have been trapped in this cycle most of my life I am not sure if neurotypical(non Autistics) go through this, perhaps they do but I think like most situations Autistics feel this more intensely and for longer periods of times, as processing time takes longer for Autistics. I think Autistics have higher levels of anxiety so perhaps situations that bother and stress Autistics don’t stress neurotypical(non Autistics) why would Autistics experience these situation like neurotypicals as Autistics neurology is different.

Breaking the cycle

I have been thinking about this cycle for so long and so want to break this negative way of being, I think seeing triggers as triggers is the way to beat this. Dealing with the trigger understanding the trigger needs to happen rather than trying not to face difficult feeling and emotions, I need to face the triggers by using the positive part of the cycle, using the things that make me feel good. Keep this cycle out in view regularly look at the cycle and understand it is a learnt cycle, when triggers happen pick a positive experience from the list of things that make you feel good. Remember the negative feelings don’t work they don’t help! But the positive experiences do help! Will this be easy sometimes yes other times NO! is it worth trying to do do this YES! We need to empower the next generation of Autistics to not fall into this cycle, look at the cycles they are in and help them to rebuild the cycle and build a positive cycle.

Change is hard but I know doing what I am doing is feeding my triggers and it’s never made me feel better, what if the positive replacement works…….

 

Girls Autistic Journey~ 

 

 

Autistic Masking doddle

Autistic Masking

Girls Autistic Journey (kate) and Introvert Doddles teamed up and bought to life this ‘Autistic Masking’ doodle, and how Allistic (non Autistic people) can support and help Autistics. 

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Hope you found them helpful! 

 

Girls Autistic Journey~ 

Understanding Autistics

Autistics neurology is different to non Autistics this means Autistics process and understand the world and all with in the world differently.

This not wrong or a condition, people need to understand this in order to enable Autistics to live a healthy and full life.

STOP trying to force Autistics into a non Autistic way of living this is damaging, and does not work. Start to understand Autistics and how the world feels for Autistics, everyone wants to live a life that feels right for ones self. Not to be moulded or force into an unnatural way of living.

Please take some time to understand Autistics feelings, by doing this Autistics will feel calmer more happy, respected, valued, which will build a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

This will then allow relationships between non Autistics and Autistics to blossom and grow. These simple steps can be life changing for everyone!

 

You have a choice!

 

Girls Autistic Journey~

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Autistics never give up!

Picture reads-
Never stop fighting for what you want to achieve

Picture By Ivy Gaster- 10 years old.

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I don’t share much about Ivy (my child) but I loved this! Ivy did this piece of art  just before bed.

Never underestimate Autistics always think ability and respect Autistics.

 

Ivy Keep on inspiring! 

 

I am so pleased Ivy knows her dreams and wants can be with in reach, and that Ivy won’t just give up! 

 

 

Girls Autistic Journey~

You are overloading me please STOP!

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Picture Credit~ where’s my bubble 

 

so many Autistics must feel this way! totally overwhelmed!

 

please remember many Autistics need processing time and space to consider how they are feeling.

 

Everyone’s feelings are their own so when they are telling you they need space and feel overwhelmed, believe this is the TRUTH!

 

Please Slow down, be kind, think of  how Autistics are Processing this situation. 

 

Thank you!

 

Girls Autistic Journey~ 

 

 

Autistic inclusion- my Daughter

 

I don’t really talk so much about my daughter on my page, but I wanted to share this self portrait she did today.

The school she is in now is her 4th school placement(2 mainstream 1 special previously) her current school understands her needs, the staff respect her different way of experiencing the world. She doesn’t have to be bent or pushed into another way of being (neurotypical) she is her real self!

She is happy look at the picture, look at her smile 😊 she’s never drawn a school picture that’s happy!

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Being in the correct environment and having the correct support team is critical! Never underestimate this!

Finally after 4 years of my daughter struggling, feeling lost, lonely, miss understood she’s in her words “Home”

I am so proud of you, you have endured so much and now it’s time to bloom and be you. ❣️

#acceptance #blooming #home

Girls Autistic Journey~

Autistic Masking

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Please be aware people of any gender identity might mask

1. Understanding Autistic Masking
Autistic Masking is when Autistics mimic and use social scripts, learnt from others, in order to fit in and to go unnoticed in the neurotypical world. Masking is not gender specific. Masking often becomes a way to cope in situations that are hard for Autistics to understand.

 

2. What does it look like?
Autistics might look to peers, for instance the way they dress, talk, play or communicate, and replicate this.
Autistics can use naturalised scripting methods and integrate this into everyday discussions. Autistics might hold back and observe situations and context, then try to copy it either through imitative play or in direct social situations.

Autistics that are struggling might not want to be noticed, so will hide and blend in. This will lead to some Autistics not contributing much to the conversation and allow others to lead conversations.

This can be misunderstood and Autistics might then be considered shy or reclusive, rather than the truth, which is that some Autistics are struggling to fully understand certain situations and are having difficulties expressing emotions.

Some Autistics will take on the persona of other people, like You Tubers or screen/book characters. Some Autistics are like a chameleon blending into many situations the struggles going unseen.

 

 

3. What happens after long term masking?
Masking is a suppression of the true feelings that Autistics experience in life situations. Masking can lead to Autistics being wrongly diagnosed with mental health difficulties because Autism is not considered.

Autistics become exhausted from masking, which can lead to small episodes of burnout. This then leads to Autistics having long term intense burnout, which can result in self harm and at worst suicidal ideation and attempted suicide (this might not apply to all).
Adulthood might lead to Autistics feeling a sense of losing one’s self, feeling more socially isolated, like no one knows the Autistics real self. This can lead to Autistics feeling that further masking is the only way and the disconnection from themselves continues.

Suppression for some Autistics can be felt as though nothing in life sits right or not having a sense of belonging anywhere.

This can lead to self medication, self harm, heightened anxiety, depression, confusion, anger and mental exhaustion (this might not apply to all Autistics).

 

 

 

 Girls Autistic Journey~