I have bouts of fatigue that are dense and black. At first glance, it looks like I have depression. I dig a little further (with the help of my trusty counselor) and wonder, could I have a sleeping disorder? Perhaps I have a mood disorder that lets my hormones run amuck leaving me high one moment and then exhausted after a drop in adrenaline. Maybe I’m just so over the challenges of trying to follow all the social rules like figuring out my audience before I speak, or remembering not to stand to close, or telling myself to look at someone enough but not too much like a wolf would, that I am simply falling asleep to avoid having to deal with humans any more. Then again, maybe I have a food allergy or I’m sensorial overwhelmed and have to have a break or I’ll break wide open.
You get my point. As tempting as it is to slap a label on an obvious symptom, it is not always wise. One symptom does not make a diagnosis and the wrong diagnosis begets the wrong treatment and bam- we’re back to ineffective and frustrating supports and results.
Keep a journal of your challenges. Write down what you’ve eaten, what happened during the day, where you were, what you did, who you were with, what the weather was like, any meds you took (or forgot to take), the physical exertion you had or didn’t have. Write down anything that effects your day and then find your pattern. Know you may have more than one issue going on, but find the best pattern you can. For me, it seems I have a combination of anxiety, sensory dysfunction, some depression and a big desire to cover my eyes and quit working so hard to logic my way through life. I’m tired. I’m older. I’m menopausal. My neck and knees and ankles hurt when I exercise. I don’t always eat right. I’m a mom of three women. I’ve been married a long time. I have lots of responsibilities. Oh, and I have Asperger syndrome with a big helping of NLD. I may well be depressed, just as my doctors have told me over the years, but mostly, I think I just need to learn to breath, relax, and let some issues run over my back like water down a duck’s feathers.
Who are you? What makes you tick and what makes you trip? Figure those questions out and then give your mind and your body the answers they need.
Related post: Public Disclosure of Diagnosis