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Old 07-17-17, 05:51 AM
Barbrady1 Barbrady1 is offline
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Spacing out in public

Is is common for those on the spectrum to completely 'space out' in environments such as supermarkets, bars and cafes?

Earlier this morning, I ordered a chilled Americano from Costa Coffee. Whilst waiting for my beverage to be prepared, I found myself completely overwhelmed by how many different sounds I was exposed to. Consequently, my brain kind of switched off, and it wasn't until a few minutes after I had left the cafe that I felt cognisant again.

Is this sensory abnormality a symptom of autism or ADHD?

At present, I only have a formal diagnosis of HFA but I do suspect I have severely inattentive ADD/ADHD too as I am unbelievably passive and lackadaisical.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:15 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

Simply, yes..... I think it's a REALLY common trait.... ( search up on disassociation )....

While i've done this heavily my whole life....... I only became aware of it past 30 when I started getting treated...... now I'm aware I do it...... it's kinda weird cause it has led to some anxieties cause often it's a physical response...... but since treatment, it can easily be seen as a social/anxious thing.......

Comes down to knowing yourself, and having some coping mechanisms if need be....... For me, this mostly means that I need to do "thinking" things in quiet places.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:23 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

This happens to me nearly every day!
once i am seated and I know i have a certain time frame for coffee, lunch, whatever - i enjoy the "zoning out", it's a kind of a break, just being absorbed in the environment and letting my mind wander as it likes.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:40 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

Do you mean on the autism spectrum or is adhd a part of that too?
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Old 07-20-17, 01:32 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Do you mean on the autism spectrum or is adhd a part of that too?
I was trying to ascertain if it is autism-related or an indication of ADHD.

By the sounds of it, it's a sensory sensitivity that leaves me feeling overwhelmed, thereby causing a 'blank mind'.
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Old 07-22-17, 01:08 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

Do you just space out in situations where you experience a kind of sensory overload or can this also be triggered by other things like boredom? For example, when I get dragged along to go shopping with someone (grocery shopping, clothes shopping, etc.), I often kind of zone out or space out which can be really annoying to the person I'm with. But I think it's triggered more by boredom than sensory sensitivity.

When I was growing up, I used to get dragged along with my mother when she went shopping which I hated and found very boring. I probably spaced out a lot then, too.
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Old 08-05-17, 08:29 PM
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Re: Spacing out in public

It's a regular thing for me, a problem when I need to function, have no control over my response and sound childish when I lose it, or miss information, just can't function, horrible when I need to function and can't. Could it be both autism and Adhd? It to me is overload/sensory problem. Memories of college courses where tutors have pushed me when I've already pushed myself 'just do a bit more' why I've never completed a course or got any qualifications, just taken for stupid.

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Old 08-07-17, 12:00 AM
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Re: Spacing out in public

Quote:
Originally Posted by someothertime View Post
Simply, yes..... I think it's a REALLY common trait.... ( search up on disassociation )....

While i've done this heavily my whole life....... I only became aware of it past 30 when I started getting treated...... now I'm aware I do it...... it's kinda weird cause it has led to some anxieties cause often it's a physical response...... but since treatment, it can easily be seen as a social/anxious thing.......

Comes down to knowing yourself, and having some coping mechanisms if need be....... For me, this mostly means that I need to do "thinking" things in quiet places.
I also identify as ADD (profoundly inattentive) and Asperger's. If I understand your description correctly, I'm having this happen very often lately and it's getting worse and worse with age (in my 30's.)

I describe it as a feeling where I'm thinking about something and notice at some point I don't feel connected to my surroundings. Sometimes when it's bad enough, I lose complete track of where I am in space, even if I am walking literally 3 blocks away from home.. although it takes only a moment to correct the situation fully, it is jarring and "creepy" to have this happen. It's like things are "unreal" or I am not exactly present.

A related sensation, which also appears to have disassociative features, is just a feeling of being "empty-headed", where I simply cannot attend fully to any given situation and that's that; my brain made the choice for me. I don't feel fully present at these times either. I am either "on" or I am "off" and this "off" mode is happening more often. I'm almost worried it's like some kind of cognitive impairment happening prematurely. Oy Vey.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:35 PM
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Re: Spacing out in public

I don't know but spacing out is very ADHD, probably overlaps with autism symptoms. Guilty as charged.
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Old 08-08-17, 11:53 PM
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Re: Spacing out in public

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Originally Posted by ginniebean View Post
I don't know but spacing out is very ADHD, probably overlaps with autism symptoms. Guilty as charged.
Interesting that so many of you share the sensation.

Can you relate to what I described? Do you experience any "spatial confusion," or like you don't feel integrated in space? I think the former may be related to an innate deficit (I'm horrendous with directions or knowing how to get anywhere) but the latter seems to be more "dissociative" to me. It all sucks, though.
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