Hello there! Today, let me introduce my friend, Natalie, who is guest posting! 🙂 She was diagnosed with autism in high school, and today she is sharing what it’s like for her with autism, and particularly, how to help someone handle the anxiety part of it.

autism and anxiety

“Hello, my name is defeat
I know you recognize me
Just when you think you can win
I’ll drag you right back down again
‘Til you’ve lost all belief”

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Matthew West’s song, Hello my name is and never thought about the different “names”. Regret, defeat, but what about the most hidden and just as damaging name? What about anxiety? If I were to add to his song, it would probably be something like:

“Hello my name is anxiety

And no you can’t get rid of me

The moment you can stand and breathe

I’ll pay a visit, then you’ll see

The only movement is a crawl”

You see, for someone with autism (take me for example) it can cause mental disorders like depression, ADD/ADHD and anxiety. All of which I suffer from, so I have to be very careful with what I do during the day so as to not overload myself and create a meltdown later. Now you may look at this and say: but you look so normal, how can you have a mental disorder? And you’re half right. I DO look normal. Let me show you what a day looks like without anxiety (or a normal day) vs. one with a full blown anxiety attack.

A normal day:

6:15-alarm goes off and you get ready for the day

7am-breakfast, getting ready for work

7:30-departure for work

8:00-4:30-work shift

4:30-departure from work

5pm-arrival at home, cooking supper

5:30-6:45-supper, dishes

7pm-on -relax, movie, bed

 

A day with an anxiety attack:

6:15-alarm goes off and you get ready for the day

7am-breakfast, getting ready for work

7:30-departure for work

8:00-4:30-work shift
4:15-drained

4:30-departure from work

5pm-arrival at home, not feeling up to cooking supper

6:45-8-supper, dishes

8pm-on -attempting to relax, fighting brain cloudiness, curling up in a ball, desire to delete all social media accounts and become invisible, crying, inability to breathe, panicking, searching for relief and stability with truth.

Midnight-calmed enough to sleep in hopes of a better tomorrow

 

Now I know that this may seem like an unrealistic schedule, but it proves a point. A “normal” day you’re able to enjoy the simple things like watching a movie, whereas during an anxiety attack, it is simply not possible. And you may be thinking, “just get over it, and move on” Sorry, there is no such thing as getting over it. It is simply not possible. At all. Instead, the better question should be: How can I help? And the answer is simple: Just. Listen. (And we will tell you)

  • Hold us as we rage through our emotions.
  • Reassure us that everything is going to be okay (because we’re probably believing something different).
  • Help us fight through the panic.
  • Be our foundation until we can calm down on our own.

For everyone who “looks” or “seems” normal…be kind. You never know what war is raging inside.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NKJV)

Thank you, Natalie! 🙂 

To read more from Natalie, go visit her blog here!

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