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Autism: shutdowns, meltdowns, misdiagnosis, gaslighting

Came across these about Autism on Wordpress today: posts about shutdowns, meltdowns, misdiagnosis, gaslighting.

Note that I've seen a few places where my situation varies to some degree or another from the author's.


How “The Golden Rule” Harms Autistic People
Do you know what neurotypical people often think would help when someone is having a shutdown? All of the above! Because it would help them when they are upset. But just because it would help them, it doesn’t mean it would help me.

Do you know how many interactions cause autistic people harm and could be easily mitigated if non-autistics stopped assuming other people were exactly like them? If instead of projecting our own needs and emotions onto others, we actually learned about each other’s differences, listened to other people, and respected their own different needs and way of being?


We autistic people have spent years, sometimes decades, hiding our sensory pain and overwhelm. When I told people that the TV was too loud as a kid, or that someone was talking too loudly, they didn’t experience it that way, so they ignored my requests.



In an anecdotal facebook experiment by Terra Vance, both neurotypical people and autistic people viewed the image below and provided their own interpretation of the situation:




Dear Autistic Kid, on meltdowns and shame

I just wanted to let you know that autistic adults have meltdowns too. I still have meltdowns as an adult sometimes. I hate it when everyone is staring at me when I have them, especially in public, because I don’t want to be angry or yell at people or cry, but I can’t help it when it’s happening. And sometimes the people around me don’t know what’s going on, which is extra frustrating. Sometimes when ...
There are a lot of autistic adults in the world. And all of us have had meltdowns before. Just remember that you’re not alone in that.

Third one, https://autisticsciencelady.wordpre...sis-the-default-path-to-an-autistic-identity/
And oh man do I know about the hazards of misdiagnosis on this.

Adult Misdiagnosis – The Default Path to an Autistic Identity
June 15, 2019

CW: Gaslighting, med trauma

[*Caveat: I am no way trying to say that having a diagnosis of bipolar, schizophrenia, or borderline personality disorder is bad. I believe the stigma surrounding these diagnoses is terrible, and people who have these diagnoses shouldn’t be treated as scary or ill – they should be treated as people. I am also not trying to say that medication is bad or unhelpful. Plenty of autistic people do have depression and anxiety, and other co-occurring diagnoses such as bipolar disorder, and medication can be very a useful treatment for people. The problem I am addressing here is that autistic people are receiving misdiagnoses which can further harm their mental health, through medication or gaslighting by professionals. Professionals tell them that they cannot possibly be autistic, or misinterpret autistic people’s answers to screening questions and misdiagnose them. People who are accurately diagnosed with bipolar, schizophrenia, or borderline personality disorder should not be gaslighted or treated this way either. Gaslighting from medical professionals needs to end.]


Autistic Misdiagnosis – 228 Autistic Lives

This post is about the hundreds and thousands of autistic people who are misdiagnosed everyday by psychiatrists, psychologists, and other professionals. Just from a casual twitter poll alone over 5 days, 228 autistic people out of 295 responses said they were misdiagnosed, 77% of respondents. This post is for those autistic people. Their stories need to be heard. Medical professionals have an obligation to do no harm, yet many of them continue to harm autistic people. This needs to stop. Patients should be listened to, not gaslighted, and not forced into treatment they don’t want and don’t need in the first place.

Many autistic people were gracious enough to tell me about their experiences with being misdiagnosed and gaslighted by medical professionals. This post consists of 46 quotes from autistic people. If you can, please read them all. Please listen to autistic voices.


Thank you for posting this. I hope it helps us to understand a bit more about something so important.

My first instinctive reaction when I saw that young woman in the picture (in your link) being "comforted" by the others was that she was being horribly crowded. In "real time" and physical. Everyone staring at her, trying to catch her attention, presumably talking to her at the same time.
I couldn't take that. And I am not even on the autistic spectrum as far as I know.
That would overwhelm me too.
Most animals....dogs, cats, couldn't take that kind of "comfort" either.

My instincts saw this scenario in the same way the autistic people saw it.

My conditioned social responses saw this as "helpfulness"..... (what??)
I recognised those views have been conditioned into me.

Knowing there are supportive, non-intrusive presences nearby who do care, is a different thing maybe? Without them being so pushy.

Sometimes to be honest, I wonder if human social accepted responses are conditioned to be anti-natural and do not suit all people all the time, even for those who are not autistic.....
Medical Harm
Some people have been actively harmed by medical professionals due to their misdiagnosis, particularly from a misdiagnosis of borderline personality disorder.

Yes, that is exactly has happened to me and once you have a wrong mental health diagnoses put on your file, its near impossible to get it removed. I've had a couple of drs at the hospital tell me it should be removed as they believe it's wrong but the head down there wont let it be. Having the wrong diagnoses makes people treat one completely in a different way to what one would be treated otherwise.

I wasnt till I was around my 40s that I finally got my autism diagnosed (it was Aspergers back then). I had seen over 7 specialists (psychologists/psychriastrics), all who missed seeing my correct diagnoses. Quite a few of these told me they could not understand me and refered me on. It wasn't until I went to live with a dr who had a child on spectrum and who also had other family members on the spectrum did someone finally realize what the correct diagnoses was and sent me to autism specialist for them correct diagnoses.

Now I'm in the situation where due to severe mistreatment of medical professionals I know I now have PTSD but though I'm told I fit that diagnostic criteria when I pointed it out, no one will give me that diagnoses as according to them "you have too many diferent things to tell". and yeah the wrong BPD diagnoses is still on my records but just with autism and a few other things I have added too.

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