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The Easily Frustrated Aspie

Is it common for people with Asperger's to become frequently overwhelmed and frustrated over seemingly insignificant matters -- that is, things that typically would not bother anyone else?

People with Asperger's are indeed easily frustrated by certain circumstances. They may become overwhelmed by minimal change and very reactive to unwanted environmental stimuli. They typically like everything to stay the same.

In addition, they tend to get anxious and worry obsessively when they don't know what to expect. Tension, exhaustion and sensory-overload often throw them off balance. Thus, they may seem to be disturbed about a lot of things

Some "Aspies" find work very stressful, but they tend to keep their emotions bottled-up until they get home. Most of these individuals don't display the body language and facial expressions you would expect to see when one is feeling anxious or upset. While they may appear relatively calm at work, they are often experiencing very different emotions under the surface – and may release those pent-up emotions in the safety of their home.

Due to difficulties with empathizing, many adults on the spectrum don't recognize the suffering of others. So, when they attack another person, they may not be able to fully comprehend the damage they inflict.

Low-frustration tolerance may occur due to any of the following:

Sensory integration dysfunctions
Rigid or inflexible thinking
Resistance to change
Hypersensitivity to sensory input
Executive functioning disruption 
Difficulty with social comprehension
Difficulty understanding cause and effect 
Difficulty identifying and controlling emotions 

Some of the traits associated with the disorder (e.g., mind-blindness, sensory sensitivities, literal thinking, social skills deficits, etc.) may result in the Aspie viewing the world as a cold and hostile place. They may develop a habit of attributing hostile intentions to others. More on this topic here ==> https://youtu.be/P1izup2uX3U

Those Aspies who have had some luck controlling their tendencies toward becoming easily frustrated have usually learned to do some of the following:
  • recognize angry feelings in themselves and others
  • self-calming techniques
  • how to remove themselves from a frustrating situation 
  • how to problem solve
  • how to control angry impulses
  • how to avoid being a victim of someone else's angry actions
  • express anger nonviolently
  • communicate angry feelings in a positive way

Many adults on the spectrum have been known to experience meltdowns. Think of a meltdown as an “escape mechanism.” If the Aspie has the means to get himself out of a highly frustrating situation before it becomes overwhelming, the cognitive and emotional pressure lessens. But, without these means of escape, the anxiety will escalate, and his body will begin to panic, propelling him toward a meltdown.

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