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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

Nell

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  1. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Hi Ally PTSD was mooted by my GP almost twenty years ago, after I was having some trouble sleeping. I did emphasize to him that I was not getting flash-backs about anything, though I had already told him that I always thought in pictures, i.e. visual thinking. Convinced that PTSD was the cause of the visual thinking, he referred me to a PTSD expert, who said there was no way I had PTSD and thankfully informed the GP that was so. I worked in NHS Psychiatric at the time, and was certain the GP's interpretation of my visual thinking was wrong - though being aware of Aspie visual thinking was not wide-spread with GP's then. It just illustrates how people with ASC's can have their normal ways of thinking/processing mis-interpreted. I had visited the GP to ask for some counselling as I was anxious about certain things that seemed to me to be strange things to get anxious about, (like a bus I was waiting for not arriving on time, or the ring of the telephone), and I wanted to find out why. I'm happy to say that I got the three counselling sessions the NHS provided at our local surgery at that time... though I had to wait six months for them. The sessions went well and I learnt some very useful strategies which helped to reduce the anxiety. I wish you all the best with your therapy. I hope it goes well and that you have a good outcome. Nell
  2. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Thank you Livelife I hope your own situation improves soon... I wish you well. Nell
  3. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Hi Trekster 'Late diagnosis' with no problems at home - would have been wonderful. But it is because of the terrible problems I had at home and at school that I began questioning what was wrong in our household and why horrible treatment was meted out to me. Of course, in the 50's, 60's and 70's there was no wide-spread knowledge and explanation for Asperger behaviour and problems. Treatment from my mother at home included daily physical and emotional abuse, but my siblings appeal to relatives for help was met by a telling-off from those 'grown-ups' and dis-belief. My relatives still keep themselves estranged from me because of this. I am sure that had there been the facility in those days, both me and my siblings would have been removed from our family home. My school environment was just as nasty, as I was bullied constantly from starting school until leaving at seventeen. Looked at in this context, late-diagnosis, doesn't mean that one has had no problems until the time of diagnosis. Like mine I am sure a lot of late-diagnoses are made after years of difficulty, anxiety, estrangement from family, and also mis-diagnosis by doctors - my catalogue of mis-diagnosis includes PTSD (for having visual thinking) and Depression. This is all stuff that I am happy to put behind me now, but it has taken decades to get to this point. The recognition and approval of family seemed very, very important for years, but eventually I came to the realisation that it was not going to happen, no matter how much I wanted it. So I had the choice of spending what time I have in looking back and hoping for that acceptance from family, or with the self-acceptance my diagnosis has at last given me, I could just get on with my life. I have chosen the latter. I have found it to be a good decision, and extremely freeing - after decades packed with anxiety, bewilderment, struggle and difficulty, the lifting of that weight is something that I had never felt before... ....and I am determined to make the most of it.
  4. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    I think the long stretch of time that went before diagnosis must be one of the hardest things to come to terms with, after a later diagnosis. I certainly found it so. My first and over-riding feelings after diagnosis were relief and happiness at having an explanation for my nearly six decades of a life that never went right, no matter how much effort I put into what I tried to achieve. I got the all the qualifications I attempted, and was efficient in my various jobs - but I never could 'join in' properly with the social stuff, the team activities, communicating well with co-workers - and I could not, nor wanted to, be 'one of the girls', which in turn led to non-stop bullying. And then suddenly I had the answer - Asperger's - great! Soon after diagnosis, on top of the relief and happiness, I began to look back at all those years of struggle. I am still trying to sort out a few of the loose-ends - asking myself if those things that can't be solved ought to be either dropped and let go of, or an attempt made at resolution. But two years on I have pretty much let go of the looking back, because it is now not constructive to dwell on it - it is done and cannot be altered, and I think I have wasted enough time thinking about it already. 'Letting go' seems to be the resolution I needed. Difficult but possible, even for an Aspie who likes to have all things finished completely and then neatly filed away in her head. So my focus is turned towards now and the future, not the past nor the years when I did not know I had Asperger's. I was in my late 50's when diagnosed, which is pretty late for a diagnosis. It makes me smile when I hear people say they have had a 'late diagnosis' at seventeen or eighteen years of age. Gosh - what I could have done with a having a diagnosis at seventeen or eighteen!! As an after-thought.... I have an acquaintance in their mid-sixties who has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's. Now that is a late-diagnosis.
  5. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Livelife I hope you manage to turn that bad experience around. Perhaps a different employer would have taken different action. I think that how people (NT's) react depends a lot on how much they know about Autistic Spectrum Condition, and let's face it, not many people 'out there' have very much ASC knowledge at all. DGB points out the value of The Autistic Gardener - it certainly shows the good things and the difficulties, associated with ASC, and the range of 'differences' between individuals. It really is a superb, informative programme. Unfortunately, in opposition to that, there seems to be an awful lot of mis-information around - and people will often follow mis-information they hear from someone else rather what they have investigated for themselves. One might say that is human nature, but perhaps it is more accurate to say it is NT-human nature - something that is often very baffling to ourselves, especially in the work-place.
  6. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Like the difference between all Aspies, everyone who has received a diagnosis will be different and each will have their own individual needs. I went for assessment/diagnosis because I wanted to know... and for a lot of people (including myself) that knowing is all that is needed to set one on the right path. The knowledge I had gained from years of working in Health Care/Mental Health Support/Learning Disabilities was enough to ensure I knew enough to work alone on the area's that had caused me problems in everyday life. Social workers and welfare benefits did not come into the picture. I find it troubling and unfair that even if one was working before diagnosis, you suddenly might become a health and safety problem, and have to have a doctor's permission to work, after diagnosis. It is not as if you have changed into a different person - in fact having the self-knowledge that a diagnosis brings, is surely going to make you a better employee. That sort of employment problem makes 'Self-employment' seem a very attractive alternative.
  7. Hello everyone

    Hello Tony Congratulations on the diagnosis. As you will see, there are plenty of us here who have had the same experience. Welcome
  8. Book Request

    I gave my copy away, because I thought it was an extremely negative book. That's just my personal opinion - as with all books, some people take to them and some people don't.
  9. Diagnosed 5 days ago

    Hello Dave It's great that you've found your diagnosis to be so positive. I know exactly how good that feels. I was diagnosed in my 50's - and it was an overwhelming relief. All the things that hadn't quite worked in my life suddenly had an explanation, and I saw all my difficulties in a completely different light. A 'light-bulb' moment for me. That feeling of understanding has lasted, because I have now begun to live within 'my' boundaries rather than other peoples. Although I read a lot about Asperger's Syndrome before diagnosis, I have continued to read and learn about myself, ( though I am careful to read positively and selectively.) Really knowing yourself, after years of struggling to be NT, is an enlightening place to be. Welcome.
  10. What book are you reading at the moment?

    Am reading: Mr Mercedes - by Stephen King. Love pretty much everything that Stephen King has written.
  11. How did people in your lives react???

    Glad that things are settling down for you FlorenceD. I hope the situation continues to get better for you.
  12. How did people in your lives react???

    Confused Traveller... I think the real problem is that Aspie's can never imagine how an NT will react. So the measure of what an NT reaction might be, will probably have to be based on their past behaviour... probably all we have to guide the decision of 'tell or not tell'. As you rightly point out, there is also our own behaviour to consider. Sometimes our condition and the pressure of maintaining difficult family relationships causes us to retreat... it's normal for us to want to break contact if even for a short while, our minds demand it. But to the NT, breaking contact or not returning letters/e-mails/ phone-calls may seem like a snub. From experience I know that this earns the Aspie a 'reputation' within the family, and if the majority of the family think this way... no matter how rational and honest our explanation for our behaviour, my current thinking is that the prejudice is likely to prevail. If another member of the family were diagnosed, I think it would make a difference. The existence of Asperger's would become a family problem and not just that of the one individual. It is scapegoating really, isn't it ? A harsh practice that I think most Aspie's will find very difficult to understand. One has to hope that somewhere amongst family members there is at least one individual who is willing to understand Asperger's... though I have yet to identify that person in my own family.
  13. Why have I had it easier than some others with AS?

    Same here Confused Traveller... normal life, college, marriage, jobs... but something not quite in tune with the people around me. I reached my conclusion of Asperger's through researching some of the odd behaviours of my parents, and problems my siblings and I had... the result was enlightening, and everything fitted into place when I received my diagnosis. Only then I could see the differences in me that people had occasionally commented on through out my life... the lack of eye contact, the super-memory, and the attention to detail. These were not just chance observations but part of the way I was made.
  14. How did people in your lives react???

    "A quote from a film a will always remember was, theres no such thing as a perfect outcome, just perfect intentions. All we can do is try to do the best we can and except things wont always be how we need then to be. " I am going to keep this phrase in my mind, Livelife. I think it is very helpful... At present I am struggling with whether to tell my family - only second degree relatives left alive now - or whether to just keep my diagnosis to myself. I read some advice, that said it is best to tell only those people who will have your interests in mind. None have shown that they have... in fact I rarely hear from them - despite efforts on my part to keep in contact with them. Somehow though, I feel that they should know we have Asperger's in the family. May be that knowledge would make them more understanding.... or not! I am finding this decision much harder to make than deciding whether to go for diagnosis or not.
  15. back after a very long time

    Hello HH I'm also new here... Welcome
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