Troy’s Top 10 Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the main features of autism. If you’re on the spectrum, you have anxiety. But of course, we don’t all have the same sources of anxiety. Here are my top 10 (insofar as they were ten I could think of).

  1. Heavy Traffic — Actually, any traffic. I’m pretty sure I ought to be the only one on the road, ever.
  2. Not being able to say what I need to say before I forget it.
  3. Saying the “wrong” thing. “Wrong” of course being whatever is socially acceptable to the neurotypical majority of that culture.
  4. Doing the “wrong” thing. Similarly, “wrong” being whatever is socially acceptable to the neurotypical majority of that culture–not to be confused with “moral,” as autistics rarely have any problem with that.
  5. Not working–The brain is too busy to not be doing something, be it reading, writing, or something, anything.
  6. Working too hard at work to avoid upsetting people.
  7. People being factually wrong.
  8. People getting upset with me. I know I’m going to do something wrong without knowing why it’s wrong or that it’s wrong, and I’m anxious someone is going to get onto me about it, and I won’t know why they’re upset at me.
  9. Not being able to write down an idea before I forget it.
  10. Not having my expectations met. Especially someone promising to do something and then not following through. I keep expecting people to do precisely what they say they’re going to do, and I keep getting disappointed, and that creates anxiety when there’s no follow-through.

That is my top 10. What’s your top 10? Or, if your child or spouse is on the spectrum, what is theirs?

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