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Featured Regression with age (Does autism get worse?)

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @the_tortoise thread poll lead me to think about this, which I've thought about quite often. I didn't want to change the subject so I've created a new thread on regression.
    I sometimes have felt like I'm regressing in autism traits.

    As a child I had difficulty talking - didn't learn to talk until I was in second grade and sent to a speech therapist. I know I mumbled and my family would complain that I didn't speak clearly. I know I rocked back and forth. I didn't know how to make friends or be social. As a teen I preferred staying in my room doing my own thing and had no interest in the things kids my age were interested in (except smoking pot. lol)

    My adulthood I had kids I was responsible for so I had no choice but to adjust into the working world. I made myself 'play the game'. I had some friends and I had learned ways to socialize. Any stemming was usually unnoticeable. I was able to make myself fit in when I needed to. I did have some difficulties and had lots of people that did not like me and so on - which I just assumed was part of life (no idea I was on the spectrum). Yes, I lived many places and never even considered needing to make friends and didn't, but when I was having to work I knew I needed to and I learned how out of need.

    Still before learning about my autism I noticed things getting harder for me again. I would talk to my sister about it. It's like I had forgotten how to make new friends again. I moved to a new place and going to church and once again found myself not fitting in and not knowing how to fit in. It was just harder to make myself go out anywhere. I found myself wanting to be left alone more. When I learned about the autism I realized all the things I was once again having trouble with were autistic things but I know I've regressed and these traits are becoming more as they were in my childhood. My son nd his family went to Colorado and Utah and was gone a month and I realized during that time that I probably should not be 100% on my own, when not too long ago I was not only on my own but responsible for myself AND my kids, and now my kids still see me as self sufficient and I'm not. It's hard to accept. The first few days they were gone, I had lost my phone at Food Lion and, luckily someone had turned it in. I locked myself out of the house and spent three hours trying to find a way in. And I tripped and fell down the stairs. I had a hard time sleeping at night and a few times the internet went out so I had no tv or computer and was having a hard time getting my old dvd player to work for the noise. I felt completely unable to leave the house and if I did, would go no further than Walmart or Food Lion about 5 minutes away. I just did not feel like I even trusted myself to be left alone anymore and THAT was a hard hit. Oh, even my speech - I get tongue tied easily again, where I didn't have that problem in my mid-life years.

    I read an article about adults and autism and read that one of the traits IS regression as you get older, and, although, I see it in myself, I wonder if those of you around my age have noticed it also.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Regressing or simply becoming more accepting of them, and who you are?

    There's a difference. ;)

    I consider myself simply becoming more discriminating as to when and where I need to mask who and what I am. I call that a form of wisdom- not a form of regression.

    Hopefully one can associate self-awareness with greater freedom to be who you are as opposed to struggling with who you aren't.
     
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  3. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't know what your age is, but I'm almost 82. Your regression may only be in your mind or it may have causes that can be dealt with once they're identified. Statements about regression being part of aging are generalizations, not prediction.
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yea, I know. But it feels more like regression. I know I'm more accepting of who I am, which is why I'm glad to have my diagnosis. But there's definitely some regression there. One of the many reasons I chose to go for the diagnosis was because I felt like I was falling back into some of the things I did growing up and thought I had grown out of but was back and I didn't understand it. It's hard to put into words.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Granted if you have Neurotypicals in your orbit on a frequent basis, their annoyance with you may make you perceive as if you are regressing. This is where IMO you must "draw a line in the sand" and accept it to be their problem- not yours.
     
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  6. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Now I don't know which it is. Could it be a little of both? Like could you go from moderate functioning to high functioning (out of need) and back to moderate functioning? Or could I have been moderate functioning all along and just viewed as high functioning because I did it without dying in the process and also managed to keep my kids alive? You know, if you're moderate functioning and put out in the world on your own - does that make you high functioning? And maybe that's where my confusion is coming from.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Being around family on a continual basis...that's a "neurological exposure" I don't have. Where I'm thinking that you're bound to incur more negative feedback than is warranted that may skew your perception.

    Yeah if you've lived much of your adult life independently, regardless of how you're faring, IMO it's difficult to perceive that as anything other than being high functioning.

    Though there are select subjects that may involve a very different assessment, such as short-term memory loss. Where simply put, we aren't getting any younger. ;) :eek:
     
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  8. Progster

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

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    I had a lot of issues up to the age of 30, mainly social, some sensory and rigid adherance to routine, then at 30 I seemed to have settled or improved somewhat, then at 40 I took a new job in a new location and couldn't cope or adapt at all, and I burned out... depression and severe anxiety meant that I was not able to work and I lost my job. Really, I never coped very well with the demands and responsibilities of independent adulthood, and it all caught up with me and forced a crisis. Since then, I have not been able to return to where I was in my mid 30s, I have more social issues again, I'm not really able to socialise and have cut myself off from my old friends or acquaintances. I now have no desire to socialise, make friends or maintain friendships (not that I ever had many friends) and prefer to be on my own. I also find it harder to do things like travelling, I become more anxious than ever in unfamiliar environments and need more support. I don't know whether this is regression as such, or whether I have some PTSD-like symptoms from around the time when I was struggling with work and lost my job, or that I'm getting older. slowing down and not able to process or cope as easily as I once could, or it's a shield that I'm putting up as a mechanism to protect myself from further emotional trauma.
     
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  9. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    But then about 7 years (again before diagnosed) they did try to put me into a needing assistance category but it would have included finances and I was no way trusting (my now ex) with my finances so I had him write a letter saying I was able to do these things myself.
     
  10. Cactus

    Cactus Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm 55 and I've felt myself regressing for a number of years. I thought I was the only one. I'm not depressed, but I'm tired of failure in everything social. I really don't want to try anymore. I think my regression is partly due to my age. It seemed easier to fake it when I was younger. The world seems much harsher these days, and I find it hard to function in that environment.
     
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  11. Nauti

    Nauti Well-Known Member

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    I can relate. I'm middle age now, and I had a social withdrawal-agoraphobic kind of breakdown last year; mind you, it was after a lot of loss and undealt with trauma and chronic stress. It was when my partner went away. I couldn't even bring myself to go out into the yard to water the garden, unless it was undercover of night, let alone go out shopping.

    I managed to raise my kids (still raising the youngest) and did a lot of faking "normal" or "masking" as I noticed people here call it, for lots of years, but now I feel burnt out from doing that for so long.

    I have an Aspie partner, and we have a great relationship, but I even struggle to be social with my older adult children, let alone extended family or people out in the world. I know, in my case, that it is related to trauma and being judged and rejected by close family members, but it feels like, after all these years, of trying to "fit in", be acceptable and be a "good" and social human, I am back to feeling excruciatingly uncomfortable around people, and avoiding, pretty much everyone, other than a tiny few; my guy, my therapist and maybe one or two other Aspie girlfriends, occasionally. My youngest children I'm ok with, and my not-high functioning autistic second oldest son, but other than that, it feels like I'm back to square one.

    I do post regularly on a PTSD forum though and hope to find another online home, in this forum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  12. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    Oh my! I am 63 and I certainly feel like I have regressed. It is hard to figure out what is up with me. I will be seeing a knew therapist next Wednesday. I am hoping she can help me sort it out. My last therapist only saw me 3x's. She said she couldn't continue seeing me. What a rough situation that was to endure. And trying to find a therapist, something I haven't done in decades has been really stressful. Your topic really caught my interest. I could do so much more years ago. Burn out took a major toll on me and I have somewhat gotten better. Not well enough to be well functioning again but enough to be able to do some things. I have never really done well on my own though. I need some supervision if that makes sense. My choices seem to have gone from poor to bad. I haven't even been able to go to church lately. Everything seems to stress me. My hands shake, but I don't think I am anxious. I have decided I am depressed. I hate that and it scares me because I cannot take antidepressants. I am afraid to go to a psychiatrist to see if he has any other options, but I am afraid he will talk me into taking an antidepressant. Any information you come across regarding regression I would appreciate it.
     
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  13. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I looked for stuff on it today and couldn't find anything, and, now I remember it was when I was first learning about autism in adults and watching videos and reading things other older women were saying and there were a few referring to regressing. But I know I read it somewhere, too, as being a common trait. I was beginning to think I had imagined it, so thank you guys for relating to this.
    (Your therapist should have given you a referral).
     
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  14. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think you'll like this forum.
     
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  15. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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  16. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    She tried to give me a referral but they didn’t take my insurance. Then she just told me to call my insurance company and get a list. Apparently she had no understanding of how difficult and stressful that was for me.
     
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  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It was one of the reasons I began to research more. Since I retired at fifty-five I don't come in contact with people as much nor am I forced to talk a lot during a day. My language has changed and I have a hard time remembering similar words. My vocabulary has become smaller. But that may have something to do with the fact that I speak french all the time and only speak english to my husband and my brother.

    Yet, often have difficulty speaking as readily as I used to. The words don't come so easily. I've become a little clumsier, and go through times where I've hit my hands on doorways, smash my toes into furniture, scratch or bruise myself without even noticing. Sometimes my brain doesn't seem to work as it should, and I react without thinking.

    I'm not touching the chain saw anymore, one slip and I could lose a limb. The loud noise of the chain saw and the table saw and the circular saw make me irrational as I just want the noise to stop. So I'll do things quickly just to get it over with. And that can be dangerous for me. I think we do regress.
     
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  18. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    While I don’t think it’s regression I do have times where I feel certain traits get worse and maybe it could be due to stress,I can become more withdrawn and stay mostly in my room and also my ability to socialise can be affected aswell,like you I am not sure if I am completely self efficient and worry that if I was on my own I would fall apart from having to deal with just day to day life,I am dealing at the moment with these issues mostly due to stress in my life and I do feel like I’m becoming more and more withdrawn again.
     
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  19. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I have read that we regress also, but, can't remember where.
    Online somewhere probably.

    I am 61 and going through exactly many of the same things @Pats and others have described.
    The younger years until through with highschool, the autistic traits were more dominate.
    Then I also thought I had outgrown a lot of them when I entered into Uni at age 18.
    I had a good job and sometimes worked additional part time when extra money was needed.
    I learned to mask and interact with people as it was needed at work, no matter how uncomfortable
    I was.
    Only thing was as @Judge said about independence and living on your own. I did not.
    So I feel I was always moderate and the high function came only from necessicity of actions.
    I had no desire to marry, live on my own or have a family/chldren, etc.

    Then I started noticing I was regressing back into the autistic traits of youth.
    I didn't know they were autistic traits as I wasn't diagnosed or knew until 3 years ago.
    I can see now they were.
    This regressing started around age 50. Then I lost the only way of life I had ever known
    leaving me traumatized five years ago and the childhood traits are coming back.
    Driving and leaving the house alone or going very far is becoming more difficult.
    Just finding the drive to get out of bed and do what must be done daily in life and interacting
    is more difficult.
    I still don't live independently and know now I never will. I'll always need support.
    Like Pats, it is not good to be %100 alone.
    So, yes, most definite. Regression.
     
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  20. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    It is really good to hear others sharing this same struggle. Quite sobering for sure. I had always wondered what was wrong with me in this area and so many other areas which I didn't know until recently were from my autism. I self dx when I was in elementary school after reading a Reader's Digest article about childhood Asperger's. I knew that was me. I was shocked, but so relieved at the same time. It gave me my first sense of normalcy. I was not alone. There were others like me and my life made more sense. I didn't share this with anyone. Communicating intimate things was exceptionally difficult for me.

    I also read Dib's in Search of Self as a child and recognized I was like Dib's inside. I felt so lost and hidden and no one seemed to care to look for me or help me find my way out. I thought the obvious autistic traits I had learned to mask meant I had managed my autism. I knew that functioning in life was rough. I even believed I was street smart because my siblings said they were street smart, so I figured I was street smart too. I didn't realize until I moved to Kentucky for about 8 years that I was no where near street smart. I have never seem to have a good grasp on who I was. I thought I was able to play the part much better than I apparently did. Sometimes now I think maybe I was just playing the fool. I seem to think things are the way I want them to be. Reality is tough. Getting lost in day dreams is so needed.

    I had a friend in college who looked out for me. She let me know if I were doing something I might regret. We had an agreement that if she would give me advice I would listen. People who give me good advise have always been very special to me. They are hard to come by. I did ask her my friend for this help and she seemed to recognize that I truly needed someone to look out for me when we went out to parties or other school functions/outings. I never knew why I was like that either. It was just something that I had to contend with. I seemed to need supervision. Yet at work I could supervise others. In my personal life, no. I needed supervision. I always hated that but it was yet another thing I learned to deal with. I never ever even suspected that had anything to do with my autism. I love this group!
     
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