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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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About Frances20

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  1. Aspergers & Relationships

    I have lived with my boyfriend for 18 months. He has Asperger's. He has no contact with his family at all and does not see any reason to have any contact either. Nor does he have any friends. The only people that he speaks to are me, his colleagues and students (when absolutely necessary) and our cat. Before he met me he spoke to no one apart from at work (he is a senior lecturer at a university). He also refuses to meet my family or attend any social events at all. I can understand some of this because when he is with me he is relaxed, funny, talkative but when around others he is very hesitant and uncertain. He can also appear very blunt and rude. So yes, I think that they way your boyfriend behaves is consistent with Asperger's. The question is whether you can live like this?
  2. Struggling in a new relationship

    Thank you. I found your post helpful. I am feeling a little better although there are still problems.
  3. Struggling in a new relationship

    That is a good question. Why am I with someone who doesn't make me feel good? My previous relationship was with a man who adored me and would do anything for me, anything that is except intimacy. We were married for 20 years, 15 of those without any intimacy although as I said he treated me like a Queen. We shared so much and we're more like best friends than lovers. I began to miss intimacy and feeling physically attractive. The attraction to D. was intense, physical and fast. Within weeks I had moved in and the physical affection and intimacy is wonderful, but......the price is that I feel so stupid, we don't share any interests and I often hide or censor things about myself because of his disapproval. He often says things that are manifestly not true about British women (amongst other things) but he will not be contradicted. On good days I make a joke of it. On bad days I think that he's an arrogant know it all. He has said that he has never felt better; he wasn't eating, sleeping or looking after himself properly and before I moved in the house was like a very messy, dirty teenage boy's bedroom with very little furniture and he had stacks of unread post and unpaid bills despite being a well paid professional. I have quickly restored order, created a home and a routine, but am starting to feel that this was my intended role all along. He has no one else in his life than me and when I consider leaving (which I am) I worry so much about his wellbeing. That said I don't know if I want to be someone's carer (or slave as he sometimes refers to me). I am so low and following a dangerous incident am being seen by the crisis team every few days. D. (of course!) cannot see why they need to visit me. The truth is that I have been (am?) deeply depressed and at risk. Weak, stupid and ridiculous I know. I keep crying (in secret) and am despairing at times about the future. I feel disloyal posting this but really need advice/support.
  4. Struggling in a new relationship

    The last time that D spoke to me in a disrespectful and contemptuous way I told him that I would not accept it. And that if necessary our relationship would be over. Last night we were chatting in a friendly way about tennis (I'm a big fan). I made a comment and he looked at me with sheer contempt on his face and said 'Just shut up' in a very cold voice before carrying on with what he was doing. I left the house and spent an hour walking the streets crying. When I got home he completely ignored me and when I tried to talk about told me that I was irrational and we would not talk about it. Earlier in the day we had talked about my struggle at the moment with major depressive disorder and current suicidal thoughts which he also suffers from. I'm signed of work and seeing the crisis team. Despite knowing this, during our discussion last night he told me that he does think that I am stupid sometimes and that's when he tell me to shut up. I told him that sometimes he is stupid too but I would never speak to him that way that he does to me at which he shrugged his shoulders. Is this typical of ASD/NT relationships? Is this man incapable of caring for me for the way that I care for him? Am I on my own in this relationship?
  5. Any advice about Sertraline

    I also take sertraline and have done for over 5 years. It helped my depression and anxiety a great deal. Many underestimate the effect of anxiety and in my opinion of medication helps (after trying other methods) then it is worth taking. I'm not sure about giving it to children or young adults though as we don't know what it does to a developing brain. There have also been concerns about an increase in suicidal thinking in some people, particularly teenagers.
  6. Advice on asking for diagnosis

    Hi, you are understandably anxious about a life changing decision to have a baby. Even people without any difficulties either mental health or developmental in origin worry about coping, so for someone so shy and anxious and with a partner with a history of mental health difficulties it must be even more daunting. Clearly the decision to seek a diagnosis is yours and you might find that it helps with a deciding whether to have children. However you don't need a formal diagnosis to join the ASD community or post here and get the kind of informal support that is available. The other alternative is to explore support for the main difficulty which you describe as being shy and finding it difficult to socialise. This isn't exclusive to ASD. There are lots of people with disabling social anxiety and shyness. It is also a diagnosis in its own right and there are even drugs to treat it. One forum which I found online is http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/
  7. Advice on asking for diagnosis

    Diagnosis is not an exact science. Even with the latest techniques diagnoses for mental health difficulties and specific needs can differ between Drs @52 and 63% of the time. Ask yourself why you want to know and what you would get out of it. For children it helps to access additional support and help with related difficulties. This is can also be the case for adults who are having difficulties too. It sounds as if you are generally functioning well although with some shyness and anxiety. Both of these problems can be helped without a diagnosis of ASD. I know that some people do find it easier to have a formal diagnosis, especially if they need support at work or are applying for benefits, but neither of these seem to apply to you. The other thing to be aware of are the self-fulfilling prophecy which can exacerbate difficulties and, of course stigma. You touch on the latter when you mention concern about any impact on your employability. Of course stigma should never be a reason for not getting a diagnosis, but it doesn't sound to me as if you actually need one in the first place. For example I knew for a long time that I met the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder and my therapist at the time confirmed this. However I do not have a formal diagnosis from my psychiatrist who treats me for major depressive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. I have not shared my knowledge about my BPD with anyone other than a close family member because I know that I am managing it (I'm very high functioning and have matured out of the worst aspects) and I also know that it is a diagnosis with a lot of stigma attached. I have read a lot about it, know when to get help for specific areas and make sure that I look after myself. I wonder whether a similar approach would be helpful for you?
  8. Struggling in a new relationship

    Oh boy. I had to learn to be clear and direct very quickly. I also had to learn to state my emotions rather than relying on inference or NVCs; as I come from a family in which nobody says what they mean and any authentic emotion is ignored (unless it was rage or hilarity) this has been a challenge. I have to say though it is a huge relief to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't use emotional blackmail or rage to communicate their needs. Not sure whether this is just D.'s personality or AS.It also still surprises me how some things that seem obvious to me do not to D. Things like locking the front door at night or not leaving his MacBook on the table in a cafe when he goes off to the loo... D. Is much better at this than I am. He is usually the person to suggest that we talk later and it really helps because I am the one who can get emotional and lose my clarity.
  9. Struggling in a new relationship

    Hi hasnow, Rule three really made me smile. Seriously though it is a fine line between identifying individual quirks that are not AS and those behaviours that are based in AS. My previous partner was not at all lazy, so maybe he was also not typical, although not on the spectrum either. My new partner also has significant depressive disorder so that is also a factor. I've noticed that as our relationship has progressed D. Is definitely more active and there are things that he no longer means reminding about. His formidable intellect means that he picks things up very quickly and if it makes sense to him then he'll now do it without prompting. I am becoming more confident and assertive; I also suffer from major depressive disorder so some of my feelings are due to my own mental state. Living with D. means that I am having to gain more clarity about what is important to me and why; as well as finding ways to live as a more independent person than just being one half of a couple. In previous relationships I have always been very dependent so this is also a healthy development. Overall I feel as if we are both growing and that is great. D. is so affectionate and loving and we both listen to each other, know how important respect is and talk a lot about our relationship, our previous relationships and families so I feel very positive about our future. I have never been with anyone who is so physically affectionate and is so accepting of me and my own particular craziness.
  10. Struggling in a new relationship

    That is the hard part. Since We've been together I have felt that it is me that does all of the compromising. That is also difficult as I don't have really have friends other than colleagues and my sister. That is one of the reasons that I looked for a forum like this which I am finding really helpful.
  11. Struggling in a new relationship

    It has been quite hard for me to this as I am a 'people pleaser' and will tend to do things without asking for help. My relationship is really challenging me to be more directive and to expect an equal effort from my partner (even if I have to ask him). I think that we can both develop in the relationship and that is a good thing. Fortunately my partner is very placid and does not appear to have a temper. My main problem is when we have a discussion and he just will not let it go. For example this morning he asked about preventing nuisance calls (the phone ringing really bothers him) so I mentioned the Telephone Preference Service. We then started in a very long discussion about how it works and. I finally had to say that I didn't have the detail that he wanted. My problem is that I end up feeling stupid. This is more about how I deal with things I think so it is another personal challenge rather than expecting my partner to change. When I say I don't know or don't want to carry on talking he always accepts it which is great. As we are both in our 40s it is a real voyage of discovery to form a new kind of relationship. Your comment about this has really made me feel very positive about the future!
  12. Struggling in a new relationship

    Oolong, thank you so much for your post. It really helps to hear from you and gives me confidence in the future of my relationship. Clear and calmly authoritative is a great piece of advice. It amazes me at times just how childlike my partner can be, especially when in new situations are when confronted with something unexpected! I hope that you meet someone understanding soon.
  13. Struggling in a new relationship

    Thank you to both of you. Your replies are very helpful. One of the first things that he said to me when we talked about his Aspergers was that 'we (meaning people with Aspergers) are easy to deal with. Just tell us what you want and give us good advice.' I have found this to be the case in most respects although unless what I say is stated as a specific instruction he will continue to question things that seem (to me as a neurotypical) to be obvious. Snowdon you are right when you say that I love him. I was, as I said naive because I thought that my background as a psychologist and counsellor would make our relationship easy. Unfortunately I had not realised that these experiences would not carry me through 24/7 and 7 days of the week; tiredness and illness! I understand that I have to focus on the positives and recognise that I have a lot to learn. But I think that it will be worth it.
  14. Hi, Image looking for support and/or advice from people who have lived with someone with Aspergers for longer than I have; which is only six months. I am living with a lovely, sweet, gentle and highly intelligent guy who has Aspergers. This was one of the first things that he told me about himself and because of my professional background; nurturing personality and our deep physical attraction I thought that our relationship would be easy. I am sure that many of you can guess that I was extremely naive. I used to be very confident in my intelligence but after repeated episodes of what feels like forensic interrogation about what should have been a trivial comment, piece of news, statement or question I feel incredibly stupid. After a couple of insults from him during discussions I threatened to leave if it happened again and he has kept his word. However the forensic questioning and doubting has continued and he is absolutely certain that he is right about almost anything we talk about. I don't know how to handle this anymore. I am also struggling with his lack of comprehension of my emotional needs. I have a lot of very serious stuff going on in my life but if I say that I am upset or unhappy he will always ask why? Then he will usually make a what feels like a dismissive remark. For example my father has cancer (terminal) and my partner actually said not to be too upset as he would be dead soon. I told him that was not a helpful comment and part of me knows that it is the Aspergers talking but the rest of me wonders if he really is as uncaring and selfish as he sometimes behaves? Some examples: throwing my stuff on the floor to get at what he wants;walking away from me in shops and restaurants when we have finished there; sitting watching me do housework without offering to help - although if I tell him to do a specific task he does it willingly; walking into the bedroom where I am asleep and turning on the light; rolling himself up in the whole duvet before I get into bed. It doesn't help that I am also very introverted and do not have friends other than colleagues. I also do not socialise or have sociable hobbies so I am very isolated. This is also part of the reason that we click - we understand those parts of each other, although I can behave extrovert and have very good social skills. I am in a very sociable profession and also test as an extreme empath so in a strange way we complement each other but as I said I am struggling. Thank you for reading.