Autistic workplace burnout – 2

The first part of this blog explores how autistic burnout can be conceptualised as chronic life stress from a mismatch of expectations and abilities, without having the adequate and regular support necessary. The previous blog considers symptoms that may be experienced from burnout (and along the way), for instance chronic health issues, depression, anxiety and difficulties in completing tasks, while in this blog I focus on what to do to prevent autistic burnout from occurring in the first place.

I also want to stress that it can be the case that we’re often not believed (or we’re dismissed) in terms of how we’re feeling.

I get that, and have been there many times myself. A manager may feel that you should be able to cope with your workload, given that you receive support and have had adjustments made. Or you may feel that you yourself should be able to manage, particularly if you perceive that others are doing just fine. Firstly, you don’t know that they are, but most importantly; it’s about how you are feeling and what your needs are.

Fortunately, there are options to consider, and I will explore these:

1.  Self-knowledge in understanding oneself is crucial. And I appreciate this won’t be a new concept to you; as autistic people, we’re always having to pre-empt and find ways to nurture and take care of ourselves. It’s simply a part of our existence. But in relation to burnout, this couldn’t be more important, because as we know, the signs of burnout won’t just disappear if we ignore them: they’ll become exacerbated and persist.