Wrong Planet Syndrome

Picture of a planet and alien

Some autistic people refer to their autism as “Wrong Planet Syndrome”.

Being autistic in a neurotypical world can feel like you’re an alien on the wrong planet. You may feel disconnected from other people, misunderstood, different, and like you don’t fit in. This feeling of being “alien” may be due to the differences in communication, sensory and information processing, and the intensity of interests between autistic people and neurotypical people. 

Not being able to connect with other people can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.

This is why being late diagnosed or never being diagnosed with autism can be harmful.

Growing up, I experienced extreme loneliness which was a major factor in my suicidal depression. I felt disconnected from my peers, was frequently misunderstood, and I didn’t know anyone that shared my interests with the same level of intensity as me. 

I wish I had understood what autism was when I was a depressed teenager who couldn’t connect with anyone. I could have at least turned to the online autistic community and known there were others like me out there. This is part of the reason why I am now so passionate about sharing my experiences and raising awareness of what being autistic can feel like.

Looking back through my angsty teenage facebook posts and blog entries from a decade ago, the term “Wrong Planet Sydrome” seems quite apt. I frequently expressed feeling alien, alone, and misunderstood. This was before I knew much about autism. Even 10 years later, I still feel the loneliness of being different.

I’ll share a few of my old facebook posts that expressed this sentiment, but I found many more posts like these including private old blog entries.

“I sometimes like being odd, different, and very unconventional. But there is the horrible consequence of being rejected by the general society and having no one you feel you can connect with. Lonely in the heart and mind.” – November 18, 2011

“One of those days you’re so lonely it hurts… Not because you’re physically isolated, but because your mind is lonely. No one that thinks like you do. No common thoughts or feelings. You are just this strange alien who no one is compatible with because you are too damn different. But you don’t want to be a sheep. You don’t really want to change and be like the rest.” – July 5, 2011

“Billions of people in this world… I wonder if anyone would actually be compatible with me. And if there was someone, or some people, would we ever meet? What a depressing thought…” – June 2, 2011

Do you feel like “Wrong Planet Syndrome” describes your experience of the world? Share your thoughts in the comments!

One thought on “Wrong Planet Syndrome

  1. I can relate to this.

    One of the feelings I have often felt throughout my life is that I don’t like being different. I don’t like the loneliness in being weird. BUT I don’t want to change who I am. I want to be me, but I want there to be others like me.

    I felt a lot of other people were either very “normal”. It was easy for them to fit in with the crowd. OR people were proud/happy to be so unique.

    Even with autism, though…I feel this. The imposter syndrome when I don’t fit in with a common trait. I feel relief when I find the autistic people who I can especially relate to.

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