I can't work full time. I'm sensitive to sound, temperature, touch, texture etc. which has me living in a bubble. I realized recently that I live a very controlled lifestyle and avoid environments that affect my mood as much as I can. I finished a masters degree and cannot find work. I blow the interview time and time again. The tention I carry with me just getting to an interview is enormous. I had agoraphobia about 10 years ago and since then, find myself with no desire to go outside. I make excuses to stay home and only go out if necessary.
I'm not good with identifying when sound or other things are irritating me and tend to retrospectively look at my behaviour for clues about my emotions. When I was leaving the house on a daily basis, I lasted two weeks before hitting extreme exhaustion.
Being outside is a taxing experience that I need to get a grip of so I can lead somewhat of a life. I do nothing, no one calls and I tend to find myself if situations where I am taken for granted or I hurt someone by being too honest. I have few friends, no one visits. I rarely speak to the family that has not completely misunderstood me and cut me off. The family that is still around want to know why at 30, there is no engagement or dating going on. They feel that I have let myself go but the truth is that when things were good, I was on a strict routine and could afford to buy complete outfits off the rack in order to fit in. Ask me to put together an outfit on my own and it's a disaster. I get anxious knowing that I have to go out somewhere and don't know how to dress myself appropriately. I found a pair of boots bought 2 years ago in a closet never worn that I purchased based on functionality and never had a desire to think of them or consider wearing them since.
I don't go out much so when I do, I'm always surprised at the changes to things (costs, malls and fashion etc.) and find myself asking people questions that they feel I should know which I would if I probably went out more. I have no desire to purchase clothes, put stuff on my walls or go to dinner.
I was on anti depressants in the past but got diarheaa, stopped eating and wasn't sleeping. I'd go off the meds for a few days and just sleep. It's no way to live. I was though, able to go outside, use public transit and go to public spaces like malls etc. I wasn't exhausted and although people were irritated with my mania (calling at all hours of the night etc), it was something that I need to be able to do again.
I'm hypersensitive...react to most thing but am willing to try perhaps some meds that might help with my sensitivities. If anyone has any suggestions I can present to my unsupported doctors who know little about what Aspergers can look like, let me know. Any specialists, treatments that you've tried or heard of as well.
I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time, but I think the right medication would help you a lot. You have so many strengths going for you and I think you will be able to get back into things soon enough if your Drs. can get you on a med that will help lift the oversensitivities that get in the way.
Have you been on Zoloft or Paxil? You might want to talk with your Dr. about these. Lexapro is another one I have heard very good things about.
SocialWorks, you sound like an exaggerated version of myself. Can't really offer you any meds advice, I too am supersensitive, and either get hyper, go to sleep, or into a suicidal depression. Not worth it. Try taking a half dose or less if you try meds. Sometimes that works for me, where the full adult dose is way too much.
My son wears headsets most of the time (mp3). Helps with the sound issues. Find clothes made of fabrics that feel good on your skin. I understand the clothing issue - I have tons of new shirts and pants - none of which match, or at least I don't think they do. Not a clue what to wear to different events or how to put outfits together. I get so anxious that I don't go. So I usually only go to very casual places. Wear my same old blue jeans and t or sweatshirt all the time. I bought a pair of new boots several years ago. When I finally decided to wear them (to impress someone), they fell apart from dry rot. Definitely made an impression.
Have you checked into allergies? When my allergies are acting up, my whole life goes haywire, from painful skin, to foggy or slow thinking, processing impairments, anxiety or hyperactivity. A good ENT can do a blood test to find out if allergies need treated. When I'm hyper, it usually means my allergies are out of control.
If you haven't already, I'd suggest applying for disability. Yes, I know, your brain is perfectly normal, you're smart and there's nothing really wrong with you, your body works fine. When this was suggested to me, I kind of freaked out. But I couldn't work, and at least there's some money coming in each month. That's really the main thing - that one can't work because of medical issues. Think of it this way - if you're looking for meds, and nothing seems to work, there is a medical problem. The reason is secondary.
It would help to find a psychologist who specializes in Asperger's. A good one can help find ways to "be in the world". My "secret" is to spend 1 day doing "social" stuff, like groceries, errands, gas. Then spend 2-3 days alone, with little to no interaction, before doing social stuff again. If I "do" people too often, I get really drained. They can also help "script" various social situations, and help us "learn" what "typicals" expect. Mine even helps with clothing choices if I ask her.
Meds may be able to help the anxiety, but additional help is needed to understand the social cues that are being missed so life "out there" doesn't seem so strange.
Dear Social Works,
You need to get to a good psychiatrist to get you back on track. He can get you on the right meds and refer you to a good psychologist who can work with you with behavioral issues.
The good news is... you used to do well with a structured schedule. You need to get yourself back on a schedule. I agree that you need to push yourself to go out for a day and then take a break for a day or two. Some simple things that you can put on a schedule are eating meals, laundry, showering, cooking, reading, cleaning and exercising. It doesn't have to be a major schedule with going out activities, it can be things you do at home.
Please keep us posted.