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What It’s Like When Autism and Anxiety Clash

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Because I have autism, certain noises and volumes of sound make me uncomfortable, and make it hard for me to focus on anything but said sound. Because I have anxiety, these noises make me terrified; I’m uneasy, the room around me spins and I fear I’ll physically throw up or faint… because of the noise from the boiling kettle.

Because I’m autistic, I tend to lose my patience a little bit easier and quicker than my peers, for a few reasons. I become easily irritated if someone interrupts me while I’m speaking, and may snap and tell someone to “shut up” and have a bit of an attitude. Because I have anxiety, I can lose it. My anxiety can come out and be expressed as anger, without me realizing or having control in the matter. I’ll go on a “rampage” and start shouting at people, throwing my phone against walls or saying how much I hate my life because I fear you were all laughing at me, you were all thinking I’m not good enough, and what I was saying isn’t worth listening to. Because I lost my patience.

Because I’m autistic, I overanalyze everything — the things you said, actions you took, the way you looked at me. I think back to the roots. Why did you say that? What did you mean? Have you said it to anyone else? You mean something else? I overanalyze a simple “hello” some days, and not always in a bad and negative way. Because I have anxiety, I fear the worst. You didn’t smile at me today like you did yesterday because you’ve been pretending to like me; you secretly hate me. You forgot to reply to my text last night, not because you were busy and simply forgot but because I’m annoying. I’m too irritating to hold a conversation with. Why do I think this? Because I overanalyzed your actions.

But because I’m autistic, I am unique, I am different, not less, and I am proud. Being autistic can be difficult, but I consider it a gift, I see the world in ways some people can’t, I can see the true beauty of things that other people may find boring. I have a great memory when it comes to my likes and interests. I’ll hear a song today and I’ll know it word for word by tomorrow. Give me a subject and I’ll be able to learn everything I can possibly find out about it. Most importantly though, I care, I support and I love, with all my heart.

So yes, there are struggles to being autistic, but I wouldn’t change my autism for the world. I get to see the world in my own special kind of way, and if that’s not something to be proud of, then I don’t know what is.

Photo by Callie Morgan on Unsplash

Originally published: June 29, 2019
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