Menopause…the time when “my autism broke”

Many women report that menopause was the time when their autism became much more pronounced or even a problem in so far as they were attempting to continue the status quo of their largely "adaptive" life as before yet that ability to mask and appear typical suddenly flew out of the window. It may even be the time when they first realised they were autistic, such were their adaptive skills up to that point.

How the ingrained behaviours of family may clash with neurotype to provoke a chronic response in the body

How much do epigenetic components, mere accidents of circumstance, parenting styles, and other peoples expectations feed into chronic states of health, not least when you are autistic and have been entrained, all your life, to adhere to behaviours that fail to meet the preferences, abilities or sensitivities of your neurotype? Is chronic illness a form of demand avoidance that takes shape in the autistic body when it refuses to continue being ignored as before?

Unbecoming

Coming out as you truly are, to yourself and to others, can be so utterly monumental, so pivotal, to your own personal wellbeing; yet also something which cannot be adequately conveyed to anyone who has not ever had to feel like an exile fumbling about in the darkness of their own bewildering life until this point. Nonetheless, it's an experience that deserves celebrating and encouraging, as I do today in these few words on the topic.

Freeze response: the intersection of autism, trauma and chronic illness

What happens when huge amounts of energy get stuck in the body as trauma, leading to a freeze response or shutdown? How does this intersect with chronic conditions such as CFS, fibromyalgia, sensory defensiveness or other syndromes and does being autistic make you more prone to this? How can somatic therapies be used to discharge years of trauma? Exploring through my own deep-dive into the territory.

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria is debilitating, devastating, isolating and often quite unbearable and yet nobody that has not experienced it for themselves can imagine what it truly feels like on the inside; there is no point of reference for anyone that isn't wired that way since it is the product of particular genetics plus epigenetics combined with a lifetime of trauma. As a common experience of both autism and ADHD and something I experience myself, this important topic has been on my list of most daunting things to cover for quite some time...here goes.

Fibromyalgia as an expression of “stuckness”

When an emotion gets buried in the body, what does it look like years later and are there links to chronic health conditions? How are unidentiified autism or ADHD linked to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, as is emerging? What is our body trying to tell us when it seems so "stuck" and is this a clue to our recovery?

The fascinating cross-over of ADHD and chronic illness (and other unsolvables)

I was at an outdoor concert in an idyllic setting listening to some of my favourite music and yet, less than 5 minutes into it, I realised some part of me was screaming an existential scream, knowing I was going to be sat there like this for the next couple of hours. Admitting I have ADHD, that I am wired to need more dopamine than most, that I am rewarded by all kinds of stims (and not all are created equal...plus some are much harder to come by when your health is compromised) is proving to be a massive step towards understanding chronic illness, how it came about and why it perpetuates.

Tackling sensory-defensiveness

There's a degree of sensitivity that goes way beyond the standard definition of being highly-sensitive and turns into pathology and lost quality of life. It is as isolating as it is impossible to explain to others and can feel as though it came from nowhere, or perhaps has been there all of your life in one form or another, perhaps amping-up with the passing of time or added stresses and trauma, yet often making no sense at all in the context of how well you look after yourself, strive for a healthy life and cultivate positive attitudes and yet, all through your nervous system, there are triggers, over-reactions and pain. Its as though your nervous system is laid wide-open to the sky rather then held, or supported, by life. Exploring sensory defensiveness, where does it come from, how do we tackle it (because, apparently, we can with good results and thus I am). This will be the first of my shares on the topic as I progress through the protocol.