Patreon members and YouTube channel members had access to this video on Oct 3, 2022. The video’s public release will be November 30, 2022.
Lyric: Hi everybody, welcome back! Lyric here, also known as the NeuroDivergent Rebel. I am Autistic, also ADHD, and this week I wanted to talk to you about Autistic and NeuroDivergent emotional differences, emotional processing, and emotional regulation, and how this is visible to those observing from the outside.
If you would like to know more… Please, please, please… stay tuned.
Talked about it. We’re gonna talk about it. We’re gonna talk about it .
Okay, So I’m Autistic. I’m ADHD. These are two of my NeuroTypes. They both are things that impact the way I experience and express emotions.
For example, with both ADHD and being autistic, it is very common to have an extreme or intense emotional experience… which basically means, from my point of view, , if I am happy about something, I’m not a little bit happy- I am all in completely excited, thrilled, really, really excited, happy… I’m, I’m really happy.
Or, if I’m upset about something, I don’t tend to just be a little bit upset about something. I tend to be really, really, really upset about it.
I feel my emotions very intensely, and because of that intense internal emotional experience, sometimes that results in me having a very intense outward emotional expression, that can be seen by other people around me.
That’s a hallmark of the ADHD, having that intense emotional world, but then also not having the impulse control to hold that back all of the time, or it taking a lot more effort for me to hold that in.
Also, something that is part of my emotional experience, as an Autistic Person specifically, would be: when I have a very intense emotional experience, and it is just too much emotional energy inside my body, that I just cannot handle and process in that given moment… I am likely to shut down and implode on myself.
If that is not possible for some reason, and I keep getting triggered emotionally by my situation and people around me, I might have a meltdown, because I become completely overwhelmed by those intense emotional experiences.
From the outside it can appear like I am very, extremely emotional, or as if I am lacking emotion and blank, and devoid of emotion. Regardless if I’m feeling a really intense emotion or not, when I shut down, it looks like I’m just not feeling.
Here’s the other thing, about my emotions, as an Autistic Person: sometimes I process my feelings and my emotions on a delay, or I struggle to tell how it is exactly I’m feeling in the moment, other than, “I’m not feeling good right now, and that that’s all I know.”
I often process feelings and emotions externally, through writing or talking to myself through things. Sometimes in the moment, because the emotions I am experiencing can feel so overwhelmingly intense, it is like a flood running through me, that I don’t have the mental capacity, in that moment, to process those emotions.
It just becomes too much, and I don’t know how I feel, I just know I’m not okay in that moment… or if it becomes too much and I shut down, I may not be processing those emotions right then and there, because I have shut down because it was just too much for me. Then I may process things on a delay.
I have had situations where I’ll process it days, weeks, months, or even years later. I have been sitting in my room alone, meditating as an adult, and processing a memory or a situation that happened to me as a young child, and emotion I felt as a young child, and finally being able to name that emotion, busting out crying in my room, 20 some odd years later.
It’s an interesting difference we can have in our emotions, where they’re often very intense, we may not show them and may appear compartmentalized, or to disconnect from those emotions… or we may appear outwardly to be very, very, intensely emotional, because… a lot of times, the world in here, is actually very intense.
Something else, about my emotional experience and expression, as an Autistic Person, is how much of my stimming is actually part of my natural Autistic body language, and is tied to the way I express my emotions; which is why I say it’s such an important thing not to discourage stimming, because often, as Autistic People, our stimming can be a key to things that are happening on the inside.
If we are excited and happy, or if we’re afraid, or if we’re angry, or if we are in pain, we might stim in another different way. Even the self-harming types of stims, often can be a sign that there is something more going on.
The emotions are expressed, for me, as an Autistic Person, often through my stimming.
All right, NeuroDivergent People… let me know: do you feel you have an intense emotional experience, or do you feel like you can be disconnected from emotions in certain situations?
Do you feel you process things on a delay, or struggle to control your impulse to react when you experience an intense emotion?
I would love to hear what this is like for you.
Thank you so much everyone, for sharing your personal experiences, for sharing this video, for subscribing, following, dropping comments and suggestions, and video feedback.
Thank you, of course also, before I go, I do wanna say thanks to the Patreon members, YouTube channel members, Facebook subscribers, and Twitter super followers -those of you do that little monetary subscription to help fund the technology with which this blog is filmed on: the transcriptioning software, the closed captioning software, the website hosting that lets me host these long format videos, with transcripts at NeuroDivergent Rebel dot com.
None of this would be possible without the help and support of you, my readers and viewers. So… thanks! I am truly grateful.
I will see you all next week. Bye.
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2 thoughts on “NeuroDivergent Emotional Differences – My AutDHD (Autistic ADHD) Perspective”
My emotional processing is complicated. I was always overly reactive as a little kid, and my parents would not tell me about trips and events until the day of because I would be too excited. (I guess I was unbearable.) Sometimes this secretiveness on their part would backfire and they’d have a child having a meltdown over something that should be a good thing. Often I don’t react to things at all, not like I’m shut down, I’m just quietly processing. Such as, while watching a funny movie, I might not laugh at all, it’s not that I didn’t find it funny, I just fail to express it. Meltdowns happen, and I try like hell to keep them in check, but when the fail-safe breaks inside me, the emotional outburst is intense and scary for me and for whoever is around. When it’s done, it’s done, and I’m exhausted and empty. Then I move on. Since my retirement, I’m home alone a lot, I’m perfectly happy, doing my thing, making art, reading, doing chores at the barn, taking care of my wee donkey and tinier goat, and the kitties. I’m happy. Sometimes when my Fred and our son come home from work I’m stunned by having people around me after the quiet (but very busy) solitude. I get a little over stimulated because they drag in the world with them and I have to have a glass of wine and take a hot bath! I am thankful that my Fred is so patient with me, we’ve been married for 37 years, it always amazes me that he puts up with my weird ways!