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When I Feel Emotions Intensely as an Autistic Person

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I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2005. At the time I was a student, repeating my university finals and generally struggling to cope with everything life was throwing at me. When the diagnosis came, it was a great relief to me; it had been mooted that I was autistic when I was around the age of 12, although for reasons I’m not sure of, this never got properly followed up. However, at the time this diagnosis did little to dispel the depression that had been consuming me. I was struggling to keep up with classes and university work, I wasn’t eating or sleeping well, and I felt a near-complete disconnect with a lot of my university hall mates.

Scroll forward to now and I’m employed full time, I’m renting (and living on my own) and despite a few bad spells here and there, the depression has lifted for the most part. I’m enjoying life now in a way I never felt like I was quite able to when I was younger. As a result of that, I’ve grown into my own skin and I feel a lot more comfortable as a result, even on my not-so-good days.

That being said, there is one aspect of life I have a bit of trouble with, and that is how intensely I feel emotions on the whole. It can work in both positive and negative ways. I have been told before that my enthusiasm for my main interests is infectious, and happy me rubs off on people in a good way. On the flip side, however, I also feel frustration and disappointment very keenly, and it feels like I’ve been through a wringer and completely takes the wind out of my sails. I’m an introvert, which means that recharging my social battery alone after this happens isn’t a problem in the slightest, but stemming these emotions from getting the better of me isn’t always easy, and I’m still learning how to manage them.

Luckily I’m blessed with friends and family that make everything not just tolerable, but worthwhile. When you’re autistic, it can sometimes be incredibly lonely. However, the people who care about you can make all the difference, in the best possible way.

Getty image by Benjavisa.

Originally published: April 9, 2019
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