Many autistic people suffering from autism burnout talk about not recognizing autism burnout before they’re in its core, struggling to maintain the life they held dear.
I created this quiz to help you determine whether you might be in autism burnout right now. It is short and sweet
Data in this quiz will be anonymized and used to make graphs. It will automatically delete six (6) months from its submission date.
Note: If you don’t choose an answer, the form will not allow you to proceed.
Once you complete the quiz, the form and results will display below. You do not have to subscribe for your results.
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Autism Burnout Quiz
Can't figure out if you're in autism burnout? Take this quiz.
Fine print: This is not a diagnostic tool.
How this quiz was made
Hej, I’m Jane. I created the Autistic Burnout Quiz because I felt like it would be nice to have something I could use to check my autistic burnout/depression status and there wasn’t anything like it yet.
Since I like knowing the WHY behind things, read on to learn why I chose the questions and how I decided which answers belong to which result.
3 possible results
There are three possible results you can get:
- Autism Burnout (AB) – Autistic, likely in autism burnout
- Depression (DEP) – Might not be autistic, and might be in autism burnout, but definitely contemplating suicide/nearing that arena
- Neither (NO) – Not autistic, possibly masking, but not contemplating suicide
Questions and answers explained
Are you autistic?
- Yes (AB)
- Maybe (AB)
- No (DEP)
There is no result for Neither (NO), because it’s not important enough.
Do you have hope for the future?
- Yes, I think I will be able to live a fulfilling life once I get out of whatever this is. (AB)
- I think so, but it’s hard to hope for it when I’m struggling this much. I don’t know how to get to a point where my life will be better, but I want to. (AB)
- No. I have no hope for the future and have considered unaliving myself because of it. (DEP)
- Yes and no. Sometimes, I think my life can be normal, but I spend a lot of time googling whether I’ll ever have a normal life. I want to, but I don’t know how to get there or if it’s possible. It’s like my brain just doesn’t compute, and I’m losing (or have lost) hope. (AB)
- Yes. My future is looking bright, and I am so excited for what is in store for my life. (NO)
The key difference in autism burnout versus depression is that suicidal ideation is not a common symptom, but hopelessly wondering if life will ever be normal is a common question among autistic content creators.
Are you so overwhelmed you wish that everything and everyone would just pause?
- Yes. I feel like the world is spinning and continuing on like nothing is wrong, and I’m just standing there like I’m in an action movie. (AB)
- Doesn’t matter if I stay in bed, spending most of my time asleep. Who cares? (DEP)
- Yes, but I have to keep going. If I can just make it through the next day/week/month/etc. until this is over, I will be able to take a break. It’ll be okay. I’ll be okay. (AB)
- No. I feel like I’m doing okay. I practice self-care, and everything is going well for me. I couldn’t be more zen. (NO)
Neurotypical society doesn’t allow space for autistic people — or anyone — to recover without compromising their independence, relationships and jobs. If we could hit pause, we’d have a chance at resting.
Moreover, autistic people in autism burnout may feel like they’ll be okay and have the ability to rest if they just push themselves to wait a little longer, but their body is already strained.
Do you feel on edge, like one tiny thing can set you off with no warning?
- YES! I feel like I’m constantly on the brink of a meltdown. (AB)
- Yes! I feel like everything is driving me into a meltdown/shutdown. I can’t regulate my emotions no matter how hard I try. (AB)
- Depends. I prefer to sleep and cry, even though sometimes the tears don’t come out. Or I just feel nothing at all. (DEP)
- No. I regulate my emotions well, or I am able to suppress the need to blow up at someone. (NO)
The wording for these answers was the hardest, and the limitations of the quiz plugin prevent me from assigning multiple results to a single answer. Autistics enduring autism burnout might sit or stand while staring into space, and tears may roll down their eyes — or they may be so dehydrated that they don’t cry.
But in order to balance the quiz, that one needed to go to depression — especially since depressed people tend to just stay in bed.
Are you unable to complete skills you’ve previously mastered?
- Yes! I feel like a toddler, even though I KNOW how to do things. I WANT to, but my body can’t. (AB)
- Maybe? I know how to do things and can do some things, but it doesn’t seem to work. (AB)
- I know how to do things, I just have zero motivation to do them and don’t want to do them, because what’s the point? (DEP)
- No. I have skills and am capable of doing them. How can you unlearn skills? (NO)
Autistic burnout often involves loss of skills, though it is not necessarily a starting sign. Still important to note.
Has this 💩 you’re in gotten better through talk therapy and behavior therapy (e.g. CBT)?
- Yes! Talking about it with a therapist/friend/etc. helps me feel at least a little bit better, but it’s still hard. (DEP)
- No. Talking about it only makes it worse, exhausts me, and causes me to fall deeper into the 💩 (AB)
- I don’t feel this question applies to me. (NO)
If it gets better by talking about it, it’s more likely to be depression. Autism burnout doesn’t typically respond positively to medication, behavioral therapy, thought reframing, or talking about it — it might get worse instead.
Do you put on a mask to fit in?
- Yes. I feel like I have to, because non-autistic people won’t accept me if I don’t. (AB)
- I used to, but I can’t anymore. It doesn’t fit, or it’s damaged, or something…it just doesn’t work, no matter how hard I try. (AB)
- If you mean to ask me if I pretend I don’t want to unalive myself, then yes. (DEP)
- I don’t need to pretend I’m someone I’m not. (NO)
- I don’t know what this means, but I AM autistic and feel like my problems would go away if I could just be myself. (AB)
If you were a car, would your battery be dead?
- Dead? It’s past that. I’m certain it’s caught fire. (AB)
- It’s dead, and that’s why I spend all my time in bed. (DEP)
- When the battery is dead, I stop and take a break to rest and/or practice self-care. (NO)
- All I need to do is jump start it with a nap, and then I’ll be back on my way. (AB)
Alternative to the spoon theory.
How’s your personal hygiene?
- I don’t want to brush my teeth, shower or do anything that requires preparing for a sensory input because I don’t have the energy for it. Sometimes I’ll use a washcloth or baby wipes, though. Dry shampoo. Etc. (AB)
- Who cares about showering? My bed doesn’t. (DEP)
- I have no problems with personal hygiene. I’m in tip-top shape. (NO)
- It’s not bad, I just don’t have time. Or energy. I have more important things to do. (AB)
Personal hygiene may pose sensory complications for some autistic people in autistic burnout. Or autistics might keep going, despite autism burnout sinking in (masking, perhaps).
Do you feel like life would be easier if you weren’t autistic?
- Absolutely. If I wasn’t autistic, I wouldn’t be in this mess. (AB)
- I feel like I’m struggling like this BECAUSE I’m autistic, but I DON’T want to not be autistic. I just want people to embrace neurodiversity and accept people like me as we are. (AB)
- I don’t think it matters. I think my life would suck if I wasn’t autistic, too. (DEP)
- I don’t relate to this question at all. (NO)
Autistic burnout exists due to the unrealistic expectations to live up to neurotypical society, plus all their stigma.
What do you feel would help you most right now?
- Being listened to, instead of dismissed/gaslit. I’m autistic, not a robot. (AB)
- To stop feeling depressed or just stop existing. (DEP)
- If my obligations disappeared tomorrow, I would finally be able to take a break. (AB)
- I don’t know. Maybe if the world just paused, or gave me a break, I would be able to figure it out. (AB)
- If people would be like Elsa and let how I failed/disappointed them go, I would be able to think clearly. (AB)
- I don’t relate to any of these answers. (NO)
Reducing obligations greatly diminishes the effects of autism burnout.
Do you think you’re in autism burnout?
- Yes (AB)
- Maybe (AB)
- I think it might be both. (AB)
- Does autism burnout include feeling like I/my life doesn’t matter? (DEP)
- I’m autistic, but I’m not THAT autistic. Struggling is a normal part of life, and I’m fine. I’ll rest when I can catch a break. (AB)
- I am not autistic, and I think I might be depressed. (DEP)
- I don’t relate to any of these. (NO)
I think this one is self-explanatory. Also: I, too, thought I wasn’t that autistic until I recognized my internalized ableism…and then fell head-first into autism burnout.
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