Autism Comorbidities

The sunshine that graced us all day yesterday, coupled with my patience in allowing for the simple passing of time, has thankfully resulted in feeling a little better this morning. However, I woke up for the day at 1am because I was so exhausted yesterday that I went to bed early. Since I normally wake around 2, this early bedtime just further pushed my rising time into the “ridiculous” zone. It’s ok though because I rested for a while in bed and then used the time to cook, respond to emails, cleaned up the kitchen, and do some work.

I participated in an online survey for autistic adults or parents with autistic children yesterday. The survey was part of a graduate research project of a student studying at a university in the United Kingdom. The questions mostly addressed the presence of comorbid conditions or other diagnoses, as well as how being autistic impacts your life (ability to get an education, obtain and retain a job, make meaningful relationships, live independently, and how you feel (self-esteem, depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, etc.). What I found interesting is that there were relatively few answer options available to select; however, I found myself clicking most of them, which made me feel like these hand-picked few choices must be pre-selected to be commonalities among autistic people. For example, with the concomitant diagnoses, there were 8 options: ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, digestive issues, OCD, and SPD. I have all but one of those (OCD) diagnoses. I have heard of the connection between some of these conditions and autism, but I imagine the creator of the survey (the researcher), is honing in on these issues for a reason, perhaps because he or she thinks these are the most frequently observed overlapping problems. Should the list have been much longer and included many conditions I’m thankfully spared from (for example, respiratory illnesses, cardiac problems, schizophrenia, etc.), my impressions would have been different. Of course, this is all conjecture on my part, but I felt oddly comforted by the survey, with the takeaway that I’m not alone in my cluster of diagnoses and hardships.

There’s nothing out of the ordinary on my schedule today, which is great. I have a few challenging work projects that I’m juggling simultaneously, so that will be my main focus. My local library has a new release on hold for me that I’ve been eagerly awaiting for months (since the book was announced), so I’ll be making my daily stop over there after lunch. Other than that, I think I might do an extra self-directed therapy session today. I’ve just been doing it once a week recently because I’ve had more in-person therapy and Skype therapy, but since I have neither of those this week and I’ve been feeling sort of down about the extent of my problems, it might be a good use of time to just throw in another 30-minute session.

The weekend feels within reach at this point. I’m glad my stomach is starting to recuperate from the various assaults upon my digestion in the past five days or so. It’ll certainly be more workable and fun to drive up to see my family if I’m not racing for a bathroom or doubling over with cramps! I’m also loving date time with Ben on Sundays.

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