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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team
JOtterN17

Hello to everyone, and thanks for having me!

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First and foremost, a warm hello to everyone.

I'm 51 years old, female, and I have been plucking up the courage for some time to perhaps find somewhere like this where hopefully I might learn from others and also others might benefit from my experience. It is to my wonderful Better Half - and best friend - to whom I owe the fact that I am now able to sit here and paralyse all who read this with this surpassingly boring overview of my life.

I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome 10 years ago (I also have impairments in executive functioning), after a lifetime of experiencing difficulty trying to fit in but failing catastrophically, often without knowing why. When I was about 3 years of age my parents received for me a verbal diagnosis of classic autism, as I had speech delay, was extremely anxious, and was so hyperactive that I could barely sleep for more than 2 hours a day, as well as many other traits and idiosyncrasies, some of which I still have.

At age 4 I suddenly seemed to 'get better' and the powers that be saw fit to place me in mainstream education, albeit being placed with children younger than myself until I was 9 which guaranteed that the bullying which had begun from when I was 5 would continue right through my school life. Although my cognitive functioning was tested frequently, and my social functioning constantly monitored, no one intervened and there was no support for my parents, who didn't know what to do with me. On the whole it was a very punitive environment in which my failures were noticed more than my talents. I was constantly being told to 'toughen up', as I was very timid and sensitive.

Fast forwarding past an undistinguished school life, self harming which started when I was 15, a series of unsuitable unskilled jobs in which I was bullied, history of various mental health problems, two suicide attempts, and presently about to make another effort to squeeze myself back in through the revolving door to my local mental health services, it would appear, judging by what I've been reading on this forum, my experience of life on the spectrum is not uncommon.

Oh, there I go, blethering on and on again! Sorry for rambling on, which I have a tendency to do. There is much more that I could say, and I hope that any experience I can share might be of help to you.

Kindest regards, Jo.

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trekster   

Hello and welcome

 

Really pleased your better half managed to persuade you to join the forum. I hope you feel supported and respected on here.

 

My autism was missed as a child as well. I have learnt a few coping strategies to try and compensate for my executive functioning difficulties.

 

I have also struggled with the mental health services. Is there an autism service for adults or a branch of your local autism society who could help guide you more specifically?

 

My last suicide attempt was 15 years ago on the 18th January.

 

Do you have an idea about what kind of work you would like to do? Is volunteering a possibility for you.

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Hello and many thanks for your kind welcome,

I'm very glad to be here and I hope that maybe my experience of life may be of value to others. This is essentially my first experience of participating in a forum so please bear with me.

Trekster, January must be an especially tough month for you ( just as June is for me). I hope that life has been kinder to you since 2002.

Support services for adults with autism are pretty thin on the ground around here (the Weybridge area of Surrey); the nearest venue where people can meet is in Godalming. As I don't drive, am unable to use public transport and virtually housebound, getting there would be a problem.

My most recent experience with mental health services was actually quite a good one, but sadly the course of therapy I was receiving was terminated (in 2012) due to cuts in funding. In June 2013 I had to have my appendix removed, which required a short stay in hospital - the first time I had ever stayed away from home on my own among strangers. I overheard the nurses saying some awful things about me in the corridor. The past three and a half years since this incident have been a gradual descent to where I find myself today. To cut a long and very boring story short, I am now about to deliver a letter to our GP, requesting another referral to my local mental health team, as the problems which I have always had, leading up to the most recent treatment program, are worse than ever.

You asked what kind of work I may like to do. At this point I don't feel I could do anything at present. I find it immensely difficult to interact with, and relate to people. I also have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Because of all the issues I've mentioned, I have no self confidence at all. Apart from drawing I have no special abilities, no skills, and only a basic education.

Hope I haven't bored you too much, and thanks again for your time and warm welcome!

Jo

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