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Getting Stressed Out When Things are Moved/Changed

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by cai24, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. cai24

    cai24 New Member

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    This is my first time posting here. I've been to multiple psychiatrists, and I've had so many different labels thrown at me (ADHD, OCD, Social Anxiety, Asperger's, Depression, etc.). I feel like I have a bunch of varying/overlapping issues and no clear understanding of how certain symptoms correspond to a particular disorder. One thing that I often read about with ASD/Asperger's is a dislike for change. I never really thought that this issue applied to me, but now I'm wondering if I just never thought about it correctly.

    An example would be the positioning of items, such as the layout of my wallet. Everything has to be kept in the same spot, and I can't handle any changes. Even if it makes sense to move something, I can't do it. It's not worth it for me to even try, because it will just make me upset. I don't like to make changes once I have an established layout, even if those changes would make sense.

    Another example would be something as silly as my browser layout (ie. Chrome). I came into work one morning, and I felt like something was different. I was pretty sure that my bookmarks bar hadn't previously been showing and now it was. I couldn't stop fretting about it and wasted time trying to find a browser screenshot from an earlier time. I know it doesn't matter, but my brain just wouldn't let it go. What could have ended up being a good day was derailed by something so trivial.

    Similar to that, we have a software interface that we use at work. It would be helpful for me to change the columns around, so that information is more accessible. For some reason, I can't do it. I can't change the original layout, otherwise my mind will go crazy.

    I could really apply this to all sorts of situations. One of my coworkers once borrowed my chair while I was out of the office. That would normally have been fine, but the person readjusted my chair configuration, and it made me so anxious. I was a mess the entire day, because my chair didn't feel right. I wanted it back to the original configuration which I knew wouldn't be possible.

    I don't have this problem with everything, so I'm not sure why certain things trigger it.

    Does this make sense to anyone? Can anybody relate? Why would I be like this?
     
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I think pretty much all of us can relate.
     
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  3. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I see this as part of the predictable aspects of an ASD person's life. We don't like having to hunt for things that we use regularly. The confusion of trying to find something that has been moved is what sets us off. It interrupts our train of thought. As a kid, I always thought I was being unreasonable if people took my things and didn't return them to the right spot. We need this kind of organization in all aspects of life. I call this "balance", part of the greater concept of whole life balance. I don't really care if someone moves something of mine, as long as I know where it is when I need it, then I return not to the right spot. There is a reason why certain items are kept in certain places. It's called being orderly - a place for everything, and everything in its place.

    I went nuts when my e-mail page layout changed. I am slow in processing new information, so I got very frustrated having to investigate the new symbols and locations of the functions I needed. On top of that, I was in a bit of a hurry. Bad combination. It takes me time to calm down from surprises like this. It churns up my head making concentration difficult. I never developed a method to deal with my lack of patience for situations that other people think are not worth getting upset over. Getting upset gives you nothing. It's just ugly. I like to avoid the problems by remaining organized. I am programmed that way. I have had to develop methods to compensate for my ADD/ADHD and my OCD. I wish I had a "who cares" attitude, but I think I would lose my motivation as well.

    This fastidious demeanor isn't a bad thing as long as you learn to manage the upset. It's the upset that causes all the problems. I don't have a grasp on that yet. I try to use mindfulness. I just stop, and I focus on the first action needed to correct the issue. Then, I do the action calmly and systematically. It's effective. I try not to feed the chaos in my head that is making me go bonkers. General rule - don't feed any of the monsters. Ignore them.
     
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  4. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    This is a useful post for me. I know that I spent a lot of my life repressing my autism but I think I also spent it repressing some OCD tendencies as well. I am constantly struggling with how uncomfortable I feel in my condo but lately I have begun actually ordering things and doing like you say, having a place for everything. It makes me feel about one billion times better when things are ordered and I know where they are.

    I used to have places in my condo that I couldn't acknowledge the existence of and it was generally places where things that didn't have a place ended up piling up and I just pretended that those places didn't exist cause just thinking about the fact that there was a bunch of unidentified items that were just there where they shouldn't be was causing me a lot of anxiety at home.

    But I spent so long hiding from myself and repressing that it's still a fight now to fix everything but I am slowly developing a system of where things should be and it is making me feel better. It's still a hard fight because I have so many years of just hiding from it.
     
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  5. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    But you get a giant reward for moving forward. Change is hard, but the more you get into your new way of classifying, you will feel better. Take baby steps! It's amazing how hard change can be. l throw myself into some changes because it's important to challenge myself. Threw myself into a new service career, it's been kinda of fun.
     
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  6. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yep. In my own home, at least I have some kind of control over where I keep my things, but that makes it even worse if someone puts something away in a diffferent place. One of the worst things is when the supermarket suddenly decides to change its floor plan, that is incredibly frustrating and takes me ages to get used to.
     
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