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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


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Everything posted by Mihaela

  1. The Âutistic Ûnion

    I know several 'high-functioning' Aspies with bus passes. My support worker is arranging for me to have one. The requirements should be the same across the country. Instead it seems something of a postcode lottery
  2. Ehc assessment

    DCD is very closely associated with autism, and although it involves our motor functions, executive dysfunction and sensory processing sensitivities are often present. It's very likely that many children diagnosed with DCD are actually on the autistic spectrum - 'high-functioning' girls especially for the 'female-type' Asperger's has traits not found in classic AS and has only quite recently been recognised as a distinct class of autism, and then only by those professional who have gone out of their way to study it. Your daughter may be more than just 'very bright'. Most gifted children are on the autistic spectrum, but often not diagnosed as children, for their intellectual abilities disguise the autism and can be used as an excuse for explaining a child's atypical behaviour. I was one myself. Bullied daily at school and often suicidal. Not only did I hate school, but it also stunted my learning (I'm virtually self-taught). I'd have learnt far more if I'd have been taken out of school altogether - and would have been far happier, and my adult life would been far easier. The PRU caters for children with anxiety, but if your daughter's anxiety is due to her DCD (or autism) then the PRU can't be used as a 'quick-fix' solution. It just wouldn't work with children whose anxiety has a neurological origin. Any return to mainstream school is likely to make her anxiety increase, and I agree, she will 'fail again'. When you say "she is not mentally strong enough to cope", I know exactly what you mean. Without knowing more of her traits it's hard for me say that I suspect that she's on the autistic spectrum, but from what you've already said, it might be worth seeking another diagnosis. An OT report at 6 wouldn't be enough to satisfy me, now that she's 13. If she does turn out to have a lot of 'female-type' AS traits then she would need to be referred to an autism specialist with knowledge in that area. Not all are up to speed yet.
  3. Ehc assessment

    Oops! something went wrong with this post. I've reposted it below.
  4. Western/white culture - a controversial thread

    Thanks for the compliment LL, but I was only stating a fact. It's also a fact that Ashkenazi Jews have a higher average IQ (115) than non-Jews. Sephardim score 10 points lower, but are still 5 above the non-Jewish average. Over five times as many Ashkenazim are eligible for Mensa. The reasons are complex, but purity of the bloodline is one of them. None of this is racism. Facts are stubborn things because they represent what is true. Too many people are afraid of truth because it can sometimes undermine their cherished myths. People have called me a gentle ikonoklast (I use k's in that very Greek word!) for truth matters more to me than offending sensibilities. No offence is ever intended. My own sensibilities are offended almost every time I go out, but I just have to put up with it.
  5. Has anyone read?

    I've read quite a few articles written by her. Apart from studying autism, her big special interest is one that I could never have for seeing animals killed would send me into a screaming meltdown, but at least she has helped to make that gruesome and unecessary process somewhat more humane. Her type of autism is very different to mine, but her writing can be quite inspiring, and she seems to know the subject well.
  6. why you should eat dark chocolate!

    I eat one square of dark chocolate every morning after a drink of very weak black tea. I buy the 35p blocks from Sainsbury's. People think I'm mad for only eating one square, but it's become a habit. A typical aspie thing!
  7. Hello... new here!

    Hello Nell, and welcome! Like you I was diagnosed late in life. My parents always knew I was 'different', and they protected and helped me all their lives. I feel lost without them, and I soon began to realise that I couldn't cope with many aspects of day-to-day living. It was only when I started researching 'female-type' Asperger's that it became so very obvious and explained so much about me. My mum left this world in 2012 and I only got my diagnosis about 6 months ago. Like you, it came as great relief, but it's still an uphill struggle all the same. Life has never been easy for me.
  8. My interest

    I fully agree with you, Livelife. I find that lots of aspies are 'psychologically minded'. We tend to analyse why people behave the way they do, either by watching them, listening or reading. Our logical minds are forever trying to make sense of their often rather chaotic behaviour. We're also good at analysing our own behaviour. Average NT people don't do this. I often extend this analysing to the NT world as a whole. Tell us more about your people-watching travels, MikeC.
  9. I means that trolls, just like people, need food to thrive. The trouble about trolls is that they can't thrive unless their diet is spiced up with the thrill they get from the suffering of others. There's been a lot of recent research done on internet trolls which that they have personality disorders - either narcissistic (NPD) or anti-social (APD) - in other words psychopathic traits. Take away their supply and they'd have nothing left to enjoy in life.
  10. Power of Attorney

    I've decided that I can't carry on any longer battling endlessly with officialdom that treats me like dirt rather than as a feeling, caring human being. The stress is unbearable and will drive me towards ending my life if nothing is done. I've been reading about the mental capacity act, and in the area of money and legal matters I easily satisfy all four criteria: where someone has any impairment ...of the mind or brain and is unable to communicate, understand, retain or evaluate information relevant to that decision, they can be said to lack capacity in relation to it. I satisfy this criteria in that my impairment is entirely due to the effects of autism. I have difficulty communicating, understanding, retaining and evaluating information relevant to making decisions regarding money or legal matters, and even have difficulty making decisions generally. All four characteristics make me unable to make decisions in certain areas, and if I do attempt to make them they may turn out to be the 'wrong' decisions which me very vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation. a) Communication. The language and jargon of money and officialdom is alien and confusing to me. I tend to go along with it, pretending to understand, simply to reduce stress time - always my priority. Understanding. As the language confuses me, it causes stress and so I can only ever grasp bits of the whole. If it lacks logic, or isn't concise and clearly explained, I'll be even less able to understand it. Even without the jargon, it can still easily reach a point where I 'get lost'. c) Retaining information. My short-term memory and concentration in this area is very poor, and I'm easily distracted. If the subject doesn't interest me, then it's highly unlikely that I'll remember the details - or even the basics. I find money, law, politics, etc. not only illogical and confusing but also uninspiring, trivial, mundane and very, very dull. d) Evaluating. If I don't understand it or misinterpret it, obviously there's no chance that I can wisely evaluate it. This doesn't mean that I have difficulty with these four processes in other situations. It depends very much on circumstances and the degree of stress that they create, if any. The very act of discussing these 'toxic' matters involves social interaction with strangers who don't have my interests at heart - and this itself causes further stress - especially when those strangers are unpleasant, arrogant, stupid, insulting or bad-mannered. The more stress and anxiety, the less capable I become. (Although, regardless of this, I still have underlying autism-related difficulties to deal with: dyscalculia, apophenia, distraction, lack of concentration, absent-mindedness, dyspraxia and a disinterest in money - all of which add to my executive dysfunction). My big question is what can I do about it? I relied on my parents until they died. I want to appoint someone with 'power of attorney' (silly jargon again), but I don't know anyone and wouldn't be able to handle the form-filling without help.
  11. I think he's home-educated, Trekster... By the way, I strongly agree with those five points. I started on a reply here tonight, but never finished it, as I'm very tired and my brain isn't at its best. I'll try again tomorrow. It must have been so very distressing for you.
  12. MRI result

    I couldn't help picking up on this idea of always wanting to be in control. It's the main feature of Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) syndrome - which is a special type of autism, usually associated with Asperger's. The triggers that can cause meltdowns often involve being told by others (especially those closest to them) to behave in a certain way. It can be very minor thing such as asking a small favour. The effects of these triggers can't be handled in the same ways as AS sensory triggers, and the only way to get anywhere is to use a range of different strategies, which isn't at all easy. I have a friend who has it. Anything at all that's seen as a demand can trigger a meltdown or sudden change of personality, such as aggression or defiance. Her meltdowns are of the silent type and happen when she feels out of control. Asking favours of her can only succeed if done in a very subtle way, that doesn't make her feel that a demand has been made of her. During meltdowns the worst thing you can do is to try and hug her, but a hand on her shoulder doesn't have the same effect. In time it all passes, and once she feels back in control, she's her usual self again. It's good to hear that Glen's making some progress. Slow but sure.
  13. My interest

    That's all very interesting MikeC - and so many people think we lack empathy! This thing about observing how others behave is very common in 'female-type' Asperger's, and I've yet to meet an Aspie who dislikes meeting other people. Some of us may not be good at socialising, but that doesn't stop us wanting to meet others. Trying out all those different experiences is such a good way of understanding how others feel. Even if we're not good at understanding empathy, I believe we can learn it from watching others, and that we all have feelings, even though we might be unable to express them in the usual ways. I like travelling too, but nowadays I can't travel far when alone due to panic attacks. I love exploring places too - deserted buildings, ruins, old villages, woods, tunnels, etc. I often find new interests but the old ones never completely disappear, and do keep going back to them. I'm something of a collector on interests! - as well things and information. It's quite obsessive.
  14. Hello there

    Well, what you think you lack in intelligence is certainly made up for by your very sensible and intelligently-thought-out posts. I think you might underestimate yourself. Anyway, intelligence isn't as important than feelings. People with Williams-Beuren syndrome tend to have low IQ's, but they make up for with their exceptional empathy. We can learn a lot from them.
  15. I have one too, but only at the insistence of a friend. I now only use it for my European singer friends, and tend to post in Romanian. I go through phases with it, and lately I've hardly used it at all as it can be so time-consuming. I've never really liked Facebook all that much - too trivial for me, although there are some good groups there.
  16. Autism And Humankind

    Not here, no. I asked my psychologist and she said no groups existed in this area, but that there were plans to start one and she'd let me know. There was a very active group in Yorkshire and I miss them.
  17. Hello there

    Haha! me too. I make lists of odd place-names (such as Wibtoft, Potto, Melbury Bubb and Ugley), odd words (like Filigree, Syzygy Lek and Blet). Moths and fungi have some pretty amazing names too. These exercises calm me down at night. I also invent my own alphabets, languages and grammar, play with French puns, prime numbers, number sequences, etc. Yes, many would say I was mad!
  18. Autism And Humankind

    United we stand divided we fall. I feel it's our duty as Aspies to help one another whenever needed, both on forums like this, and in real life in our local area.
  19. Is it just me???

    Just a quick reply, Florence, as I'm very tired and never slept last night. I can't really add much to what LL and Mr S have said. I too always seem to be having to wait for things - which itself adds to the stress. At last I have my first CBT appointment on Tuesday - but it's over the phone. Apparently the first one is done that way. I'm not sure what to expect or what state I'll be in, but we'll see. I've never taken medication or been offered it, but I know we react very differently to anti-depressants. Don't expect a fast improvement, or even any, for they don't work with all of us. http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/drugs/antidepressants I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.
  20. Aspergers and OCD

    I can identify with a few of your OCD traits, but generally my traits fall into the magical-thinking and hoarding categories. They are not particularly about purity or cleanliness but more about security through preventing loss. Loss has haunted my entire life and my thoughts ever since I was small. I have a close friend with OCPD, the personality disorder characterised by OC traits, and she is obsessed with cleanliness and order to such an extent that it interferes with her ability to keep friends, and involves most of her time. I hate touching trolley handles, I don't like touching chip and pin machines or cash points. Nor do I, nor do I like touching anything that strangers have touched. But not as obsessively as you, for I don't find the need to use alcohol gel. Most of all I don't like touching money, and always carry coins in a small plastic bag rather than my purse, for I don't want my purse to become dirty inside. (The bag very soon becomes filthy, which just shows how dirty money can be). But I also have an aversion to money which is getting ever stronger. I detest everything it stands for in NT world - greed, exploitation, poverty, weapons, materialism, etc. It is created by large companies run largely by wealthy 'successful' psychopaths, and I see usury as unethical. Money symbolises everything that I am not, and by using it I feel guilty that I'm contributing to this. This symbolic nature of money relates to my magical-thinking OC traits, for they are entirely symbolic and made up by my myself. They affect me whenever I'm away from my home and involve many rituals and words that I must say. If I forget them I retrace my steps back to the place. If I don't perform them correctly I feel that something awful will happen - the death of my parents. I still feel this even though they're no longer in this world. One special OC trait of this type revolves around monkey-puzzle trees, and has become highly obsessive. Luckily they aren't too many about, but I can guarantee that I can recognise the shape and know the location of every single one that I see on my travels (about 75). I even plot them on maps! The ritual itself is similar to that which I use when I see lone birds, animals, flowers, etc. when I'm out. If I don't verbally 'greet' or 'bless' them they will suffer and die. The same applies if I see sad-looking children. I feel that my ritual will protect them and make them happy. I speak to and touch certain statues, ornamental lions, owls, etc. obsessively whenever I pass them, putting down my bags. I go through intense phases of avoiding cracks in pavements. I could go on and on. Indoors, I have a few rituals with my cats, the two sugar bowls, positioning of ornaments, etc. but my main OCD trait is hoarding - not only my 3000 or so books, but very many collections of various kinds. I even hoard information and thousands of pictures. Childhood ephemera, and any scrap of paper bearing my parents' handwriting are perhaps the most valuable things that I hoard, yet of no value to anyone else. Much of my hoarding has a strong sentimental value. I won't change the position of furniture pictures and ornaments, or the garden arrangements from the time my mother was here. If I lose or misplace things it can be a sign of bad luck, depending on what it is. I pick up leaves, cones, shells, pebbles, etc. and bring them back. I even rescue dead creatures that I find on my travels - as long as they aren't severely damaged. The back garden is full of buried animals, my cats in boxes with toys. I have to be very careful that objects don't take over my two houses, and I must try to be ruthless when I eventually move all my things over here, for I won't have room for it all. I have rituals in the garden when feeding the birds too. Like you, my list is endless. As well as all that, I carry out all the old superstitions that were followed by my grandparents, so yes, I live a very full life.
  21. Is it just me???

    So sorry to hear that, but I'm going through just the same as you are right now. I've been up since 3.33. "I feel like I'm falling apart" describes me perfectly. I've not mentioned it on here so far, for I don't have the mental energy. I feel so bad that I've just been looking for the local mental health crisis care phone number on the internet but I can't find it and my brain is hurting. So I came here, to my little refuge and saw your post. I'm sending you a PM...maybe we can try to support one another. It's depression and stress caused by our high sensitivities due to our autism. Autism makes a lot of us very prone to it. OCD is one of our ways of coping with the anxiety, and it's taking over my life, just as it seems to be with you.
  22. The Âutistic Ûnion

    Another interesting group run by autistic people for autistic people: http://www.autisticrightsmovementuk.org/index.html
  23. Aspergers and OCD

    Just a quick comment for now on the asexual topic. (I'll come back tomorrow to comment on the other points) I'm asexual but it took me a long time to realise this. Many asexuals have had sexual experiences but we don't find them enjoyable, and usually we're just pretending to be sexual beings in order to appear 'normal' - just as many Aspies try to imitate NT behaviour for the same reason. It never quite works though, and the effort can be very stressful. I find the ABCD asexual classification quite useful: Type A have a sex drive but no attraction. Type B have attractions but no sex drive. (This one is me) Type C have attractions and sex drive but don't see them as being linked. Type D have neither. Attractions are usually emotional and romantic, but needn't be. They can be aesthetic, intellectual or spiritual or mixture of these. And yes, it's safe and unthreatening, and that's what I really like about it. I've always felt a little scared and threatened by sexual approaches - extra vulnerable. Sometimes I just can't read the signs and I've ended up feeling exploited.
  24. A-Hole (Asperger hole)

    I only discuss my special interests with others who share the same or similar interests. I've found that there's little point in discussing them with people who obviously aren't interested. I can usually sense this after a while. My interest in many issues is intense and passionate. Most people lack that passion, and trying to get through to them is stressful - and not worth the effort.
  25. How did people in your lives react???

    Good replies, Mr S & LL. You're not ranting, Florence. You're lucky to have an understanding sister. It was my parents' hope that my brother would 'take care' of me after they'd gone. Even though I'm almost certain that he too had Asperger's, he could at least travel and organise his life a lot better than I can. Unfortunately, I lost them all. If your mother does come round, it would make your life a lot easier, but if she doesn't it's not your problem, but hers. If you're sure a diagnosis would change her mind, then she shouldn't just assume that you don't have autism. She should at least accept the possibility and give you the benefit of the doubt. (I suppose that my logical brain working!) If you do get a diagnosis, I hope she apologises for all the stress she has caused. It seems so wrong that we should have to rely on 'professionals' before people change their attitudes towards us. What happened before such a diagnosis had even been thought of? Luckily for me, my parents accepted me for who I am, and didn't even suspect autism - but knew there was something 'fragile' about me. Good luck, Florence - and don't ever give up...and don't feel guilty.