Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Do People with Asperger's Overreact?

You know how some aspies (even grown adults!) get upset over seemingly minor things? There are real reasons behind it, and most of the time they aren't trying to be stubborn or rebellious. Sometimes it stems from a "lack of control," a mental block, intense anxiety, or physical symptoms like overstimulation. Whatever the case, don't chide them for it until you know why they're overreacting. And think before you utter phrases like "get over it" or that they're making a "big deal out of nothing"--in some cases, that's like scolding someone for screaming in pain after breaking their arm.

I wrote this rant after getting upset over a situation that others might view as "minor."

"I'm such an Aspergerian idiot.

All I do is stick to my stupid schedule. No one can ask me favors on the fly because all I do in response is explain why I can't... or to them, "make excuses." However, asking me favors, or even asking me to do the dishes "right this minute" kills me with anxiety during times like these.

What's difficult to explain is just how stressful straying from my plan is, even if it's for something minor. Especially with my workload, I can't take any risks. My family has been complaining at me because I keep turning on the big chandelier light in the middle of the house, so they can't leave their doors open at night cuz the light will keep them awake. I use that light because it's indirect lighting that doesn't bother my eyes. And yet, there is a lamp in here. However... it's right in front of my face. And it's not in my schedule to move it behind me (and it's a standing lamp so it's a bit cumbersome), and the only way I'll do it is if I write it down. But I have too many tasks written down, and looking at my list will make me freak out. If I change my schedule at this point, let alone look at it, I'll crash and fall into depression for a day. I can't afford to do that because my work is important, and people are waiting on me to finish what I'm currently doing.

Just the idea of taking the time to move that darn lamp makes me really anxious. So I just don't. I tell my family to just deal with the light--it's only on for an hour after they sleep, then I turn it off when I go to bed. I feel like an idiot though, because no one should accommodate to every little struggle I have.

...I'm getting upset just typing this, so I'mma stop."

As a side note, I'm not saying that non-aspies should cater to an aspie's every sensitivity 100% of the time. Like most social relationships, compromise applies to an aspie's relationships as well. Aspies do need to try to adapt to the best of their abilities. Just be aware that you might have to accommodate more for an aspie as compared to the average person--i.e. refraining from blasting loud music, not pressuring them to join group activities, and being more direct in communication.

Anywho, it's now past my bedtime and I haven't finished my work for the night. Please excuse me while I go freak out again...


  1. I'm a fellow Aspie. My parents.. tell me i'm overreacting almost all the time. but i feel like, sometimes i cant read the situation. I can't tell whether they're joking or being serious. And when they give me "advice", their tone sounds alot like accusation and attacking, to me at least. To my siblings.. its a normal tone.

    1. I try to get my aspie daughter to smile as she asks questions to remove her needy/whiney tone. Her response is always, that's impossible to talk and smile at the same time. Having said that, reflecting on myself, I don't smile much when asking questions either. Must try harder and practice.

  2. My dear daughter overreacts too when told she is making a mistake or when she realises she is doing something wrong by physically pulling away very sharply, for example I tell her she is spelling something wrong and she very quickly retracts her arm away and nearly marks the entire page and even her top with a fountain pen. I often tell her not to worry about making mistakes and try not to react at all but try to freeze instead. Unfortunately she then has meltdowns in frustration and I too then feel like breaking down in tears.
    Are there any Aspies out there that have managed to control their physical reactions?
    I am a borderline aspie myself but fortunate to see my weaknesses, I mentally try to overcome challenges by recognising that doing new things won't kill me. Although I do admit I get very lost/worried when multiple new changes/tasks are put my way at the same time... have to tackle them one at a time.