Imagine that every communication you receive is in a constantly changing code that you must unremittingly remember without writing it down. Imagine being expected to instantly decode every incoming transmission, while simultaneously encrypting and transmitting outgoing ones, with your supervisor standing next to you tapping their foot impatiently. If you falter, suddenly everyone in the room is looking at you, and someone says, “What?” and someone else whispers, “Wow!,” and rolls their eyes.
I began to question myself the potential link between anxiety, school refusals and the avoidance of any perceived demand linked to trauma experienced within the formative years such as in communities, educational provisions, developmental trauma even trauma linked to having sensory processing disorder which potentially keeps a children in a constant state of fight and flight.
Understanding that our bodies remain on high alert after a trauma, the post-traumatic experience looks exactly the way we’d expect: agitation and irritability, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, nightmares, uncontrollable flashbacks to the event.
To speak more scientifically about these experiences:
• The prefrontal lobe changes, impacting our capacity for language. If you find yourself having extra difficulty finding the words to describe your trauma, this may be why.
• Have you felt overly emotional? Have your emotional responses surprised you, or seemed out of character? The amygdala steps into overdrive, making it virtually impossible for us to regulate our emotions.
• Have you been misplacing your keys or forgetting appointments? Sometimes we experience shifts in memory, likely due to the actual shrinking of the hippocampus.
• Have you felt more jumpy than usual? Are you more easily startled? The medial prefrontal cortex, which controls our responses to fear, changes also.The Power of Love When Healing from Trauma
However, high compensators reported greater anxiety than low compensators. Anecdotally autistic people report compensating in social situations as an exhausting, taxing process, which may have an effect on their mental wellbeing. Feelings of not ‘getting it right’ in social situations, despite being motivated, could also contribute to poorer mental health.High IQ autistic people learn social skills at a price