I’ve wondered about Aspies & PTSD myself. Like all people, many of us have been subjected to or experienced additional traumatic events. Some were persistently singled out for abuse within their familial setting. Others among us faced bullying in school or the playground etc. This mightn’t have even had anything to do with AS: some faced it because they were part of some visible minority group or were of a different (to whatever the mainstream is where they lived) religion. Having (some of us VERY significant ones!) social & emotional ‘impairments’ (differences..whatever..) our ability to understand, respond to, cope with & seek support for these challenges is also compromised. further complicating matters is the fact that the people to whom we would have to turn for support are most likely NTs (often clueless!) themselves!! Add to that our quirks & sensitivities & complex relationship with mainstream culture, I’d bet that we ALL have a degree of PTSD.
That doesn’t even take into consideration Aspies who were bounced through the social services/foster care system like a basketball, those who lived in deeply dysfunctional homes or who themselves have been homeless or incarcerated!
As for what you could have done to somehow ‘fix your issues’ I’d say HOW could you possibly be expected do such a thing when the underlying fundamental differences between an Aspie & the Neurotypical-normative world remain glaringly intact? This is akin to expecting a soldier suffering from PTSD to ‘get over it’ while still on the battlefield witnessing horrors! For Aspies, there’s no POST in PTSD. Although the bullying & direct abuse may have ended or lessened significantly, the social isolation, sense of shame, fear of doing the wrong thing, screwing up or melting down creates a ‘bunker’ mentality: a need to hunker down & protect oneself, retreat & regroup or hibernate altogether.
As an Aspie, I gauge my state of ‘okayness’ according to the checklist below.
1. physically alive, non suicidal & surviving,
2. not a hopelessly babbling detached mad woman (or man),
3. not a trembling emaciated addict
4. nor a violent maniac,
5. maintained a reasonable level of grooming & hygiene on person & your environment
6. Have taken care of my pets
7. Have on occasion talked to some people (be that work, family, spouse, friend, fellow student, shrink…who it is doesn’t matter so much as the fact that I haven’t completely gone awol)
8. Have paid basic attention to health/fitness/nutritional/medical needs
I’VE DONE ENOUGH!!!
Until NTs form some kind of committee & fix themselves & render the planet more user friendly for Aspies (& others with challenges) what we really will have is TSD.