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A question for older members

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As I got in to my 50s my autistic traits seemed to get worse, or more pronounced. Logic tells me that it’s probably just part of the process of getting older. Less energy and less inclination to keep holding up the mask, a little less caring of what others think, grumpy old man syndrome, etc.

It seems a bit of a strange question to ask in here but:

Am I normal?
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I'm definitely not an "older" member, I'm probably median age on here, but the closer I get to being in my 30s, the grumpier I get too, lol.
I think some of it is that when you get older you develop more of an understanding of what's going on around you, and in your own life, and you kind of lose the rose-colored glasses a bit. Especially if you've been through traumatic experiences.

I used to be overwhelmingly optimistic, but a lot of things that have happened in the past six months or so, in my personal life and also on a global scale, have kind of zapped my positivity. Plus constantly dealing with people in various aspects of my life who are always combative and angry. I broke down and lost the energy to deal with it after a while, so I lost my filter a bit in general and have more of an attitude.

I haven't noticed worsening of autism symptoms particularly in myself, other than having less of a filter when something annoys me, but being more grumpy, jaded, and disgruntled... definitely.
Part of why I'm distancing myself from serious threads, at least indefinitely, is that I need to get professional help for the depressive episode I'm going through, and some threads are so triggering that I really need to stay away from them. I don't really count this as a "serious" thread but I thought my experience with this may be helpful for you. Sorry if it isn't and this was just a ramble, lol
 

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
I'm 51. Yes, I think it's normal. I've become less social, I go out less, spend most of my free time alone, don't seek out social interaction, don't mask as much, more entrenched in routines. I also don't cope with stress so well.
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I think Atrapa Almas might be right. :)

And no Luca, it wasn't a useless ramble. I can relate to a fair bit of what you said.

With Progster's comment taken in to account as well, does this mean I'm the new normal? :)
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I'm actually going through a flat period at the moment. I don't seem to get really depressed as in full of sadness and despair but I go through flat periods where nothing really excites me either. This shows up very obviously in my housekeeping, at the moment it looks like a cave lived in by a beer animal and I haven't had a drink in weeks.

That's not giving up drinking by the way, I used to be a big drinker when I was younger but I never developed a need for it. I could always take it or leave it, these days I seem to prefer a decent coffee.

As for the flat period, I've been through it enough times before, I know it'll go away again, it always does. Just coming in to spring here and slightly warmer weather, maybe that'll help me snap out of it.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
There are articles about autism getting worse as we get older.
And I definitely agree.
At 65, nothing seems to excite as it used to and feels there is nothing really left
to look forward to.

I find myself just wanting to isolate and ignore the world of people more.
Yeah, grumpy and not caring what others think so much anymore.
Sensory issues are bothering me more and I can't stand too much going on
to think about in my life. Need more time to adjust and think things through.
Please don't try to make me multi-task or push me into making quick decisions.

The article said it goes through phases in life. As a child it is pretty obvious,
then a lot of things seem to get better, (it did for me), then we return to the more obvious ways again when we get older.

Second childhood? Heck, I never outgrew the first one!
 

Stuttermabolur

A psychologist said so
V.I.P Member
I'm actually going through a flat period at the moment. I don't seem to get really depressed as in full of sadness and despair but I go through flat periods where nothing really excites me either. This shows up very obviously in my housekeeping, at the moment it looks like a cave lived in by a beer animal and I haven't had a drink in weeks.

That's not giving up drinking by the way, I used to be a big drinker when I was younger but I never developed a need for it. I could always take it or leave it, these days I seem to prefer a decent coffee.

As for the flat period, I've been through it enough times before, I know it'll go away again, it always does. Just coming in to spring here and slightly warmer weather, maybe that'll help me snap out of it.
I can relate. I call it a "melancholy phase". I don't feel like doing much and get very introspective. I also get very quiet in social situations. Like you, it comes and goes for me. I think I'm more likely to go into one when I've been under a lot of stress. When I tell my friend about it she knows what I mean, but before I did, she noticed I was "different" when we were talking.
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
@Outdated

I'm "past 50" (not big on sharing personal information :)

As my overall energy has dropped, some things have changed, and it's affected my behavior.
I haven't noticed a change in my "Aspie symptoms" though.

My "executive dysfunction" (an ADD symptom) is getting a little worse, but my ability to get stuff done once I'm over the threshold and actually doing it is the same (adjusted for lower energy of course - for example I'm too old to work long, mentally intense days.

Something that might have helped: I've had a more-or-less lifelong interest in figuring out NTs.
I've become steadily better at, and (unexpectedly) continue to improve. Two things have greatly reduced the "cost of NT interaction" that I think we've all experienced:
* Learning/developing new techniques for judging situations and communication
* Improving the efficiency of my masking and similar things (I seem to do this differently to most Aspies)

Both of these reduce the amount of mental energy (and indirectly physical energy - the brain takes a lot) that I use.

FWIW my work (WFH IT, doing very specialized tech work + a fair amount of phone conferencing) and some of my hobbies keep my brain active. IMO this is just as important as getting adequate exercise.

These factors would be relevant if the post-50 change in symptoms is a side effect of how much energy you have available. I don't know if it's a reasonable theory though, nor do I know how it could be tested.
 

Neonatal RRT

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As I got in to my 50s my autistic traits seemed to get worse, or more pronounced. Logic tells me that it’s probably just part of the process of getting older. Less energy and less inclination to keep holding up the mask, a little less caring of what others think, grumpy old man syndrome, etc.

It seems a bit of a strange question to ask in here but:

Am I normal?
In short,...YES.

I never gave much thought to my sensory issues until much later in life,...it was just something I had,...adapt and overcome,...sometimes ignore. Now,...I am a lot more aware of my sensory issues. Same thing with my autistic traits and behaviors,...now I am a lot more aware.

To say that they are necessarily "worse",...perhaps,...not sure. It may be that I am generally less tolerant of "BS",...my own or anyone else's. It may be that I am more educated and self-aware of my condition than I was.
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
I think I've noticed more than I ever have in my life...I think it may be because of the "official diagnosis" that has now made me more aware that this is the "condition" that I have to live with and these are the traits that I have. It's been a satisfying event because now I can travel down a path of "knowing" with better ability to cope.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
As I got in to my 50s my autistic traits seemed to get worse, or more pronounced. Logic tells me that it’s probably just part of the process of getting older. Less energy and less inclination to keep holding up the mask, a little less caring of what others think, grumpy old man syndrome, etc.

It seems a bit of a strange question to ask in here but:

Am I normal?

Normal? Oh my. I don't use the "N" word.

Otherwise, the answer to your question would be "yes" for the most part.

I prefer to categorize it under the "L" word. - Liberating. ;)
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Diagnosed at 60, and by 70 as my spouse and I age, I was getting triggered to remember the emotions of past social trauma. For the past year I have been doing Cognitive Processing Therapy and am making progress. I have been on a path of continued improvement all my life and do not intend to stop now.

That said, I am getting intolerant of stupidity, selfishness, hateful people, and those who demand that they control our behavior. While I should be getting more conservative, I look into that abyss and am glad I remain progressive.
 

Ken

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I'm now in my 70's and yes, I feel my autism has gotten worse. But, in reality, I believe it is exactly the same as it was when I was a child. The difference is that over the years, I learn more about myself and my sensitivities. Also, over the years I have gained more and more traumatic experiences that, for me, never subsides; they just build. I am now more aware of what I am sensitive to and what hurts and traumatizes me so I am far more careful, which highlights my autism.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I'm definitely not an "older" member, I'm probably median age on here, but the closer I get to being in my 30s, the grumpier I get too, lol.
I think some of it is that when you get older you develop more of an understanding of what's going on around you, and in your own life, and you kind of lose the rose-colored glasses a bit. Especially if you've been through traumatic experiences.

I used to be overwhelmingly optimistic, but a lot of things that have happened in the past six months or so, in my personal life and also on a global scale, have kind of zapped my positivity. Plus constantly dealing with people in various aspects of my life who are always combative and angry. I broke down and lost the energy to deal with it after a while, so I lost my filter a bit in general and have more of an attitude.

I haven't noticed worsening of autism symptoms particularly in myself, other than having less of a filter when something annoys me, but being more grumpy, jaded, and disgruntled... definitely.
Part of why I'm distancing myself from serious threads, at least indefinitely, is that I need to get professional help for the depressive episode I'm going through, and some threads are so triggering that I really need to stay away from them. I don't really count this as a "serious" thread but I thought my experience with this may be helpful for you. Sorry if it isn't and this was just a ramble, lol
@Luca , I think with your progressive outlook, your striving to be the best you can, and your values, it is possible that you may escape a sullen old age. You have clear and understandable boundaries and that does not make you a curmudgeon. Just be good about remembering your victories, however small.
 

clg114

Still crazy, after all these years.
Staff member
V.I.P Member
As I got in to my 50s my autistic traits seemed to get worse, or more pronounced. Logic tells me that it’s probably just part of the process of getting older. Less energy and less inclination to keep holding up the mask, a little less caring of what others think, grumpy old man syndrome, etc.

It seems a bit of a strange question to ask in here but:

Am I normal?

As some one who is well into the grumpy old man stage, I know how getting older works. As for your question, I am going to have to answer it with another question. What is normal?
 

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