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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

Tally

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  1. Nerves

    I agree that many people without ASD also suffer from the same anxieties that people with ASD do. But I still think the nature of ASD makes it much more likely that we will suffer from certain anxieties. I also think the approach to dealing with them should be slightly different. In a person without ASD, for example, a therapist might want to get the person to see that their social skills are actually OK. But in ASD there has to be an acceptance that socialising is never going to come easily, which leads to a slightly different approach of teaching practical skills to deal with social situations. Not that there aren't NTs with poor social skills, I've had most of them as bosses, but it's unlikely one particilar NT is going to have the full range of anxieties stemming from the real and genuine difficulties people with ASD face. Otherwise they wouldn't be an NT, right? I'm sure that there are many NTs with the same anxieties that Robert mentioned, but they would probably have different root causes, and in a person with ASD, the root cause is probably going to be AsD.
  2. Nerves

    Well, you've made a big step forward if you've pinpointed something that makes you anxious about meeting with friends. The next step could be thinking of practical solutions to help in this situation. Maybe you could think of some interesting topics before you go out. Think about interesting things you've done recently, or an article you read, especially if the topic is an interest your friends share. It's important to remember that if these people are already your friends, they must already like you. Therefore, you can't have been going too far wrong so far.
  3. Nerves

    I do think a degree of anxiety is part of ASD. When you have difficulty with social situations, sensory processing, and change, it's inevitable you would feel anxious about them. But I think we are also prone to developing more serious anxiety disorders which can become disabling in their own right. These can be treated if you can get a professional who understands the real and genuine difficulties we face. For example, it's not going to help you if they're trying to convince you that you're never going to make a social faux pas, but if they can help you develop social skills to help smooth things over when you do, then you're less likely to be ruled by fear of this happening. With the right help, I do think that anxiety can be kept down to manageable levels, but it'll never totally go away.
  4. Is it worth pushing for a diagnosis?

    Hello, and welcome to the forum. There are actually very few formal support services for people with a diagnosis of Asperger's. So if it's support services you're hoping for, then a diagnosis may not help anyway. There are several support/social groups around run by organisations like the NAS. I don't know where they stand on accepting attendees without diagnosis, but I would have thought that given the difficulties with accessing diagnosis, they would not have a problem with you attending without a diagnosis. I've been to two run by the NAS, and neither of them ever asked for any proof of my diagnosis anyway. A diagnosis might help mental health professionals have a better understanding of the causes of your difficulties, and find more effective counselling/therapy techniques. But many mental health professionals have so little idea about Asperger's that it might not help anyway. Since getting my diagnosis I did see a therapist with a good knowledge of Asperger's who helped me a great deal. But I also saw one who said I didn't have Asperger's because only boys get it. So a diagnosis may not help here either. The things that have helped me the most are the things I have done myself. Meeting others with Asperger's online and in person, sharing tips and suggestions, and sometimes just some understanding and sympathy. Reading books about Asperger's, thinking about what difficulties I have, and finding techniques to help with those. You don't need a formal diagnosis for any of those things. In terms of other people, I think it has helped improve my relationship with my mum now that she understand I'm not being deliberately awkward. She's also read up on things and will tell me when I'm going on too much about something and annoying her. Although it's occasionally hurtful to be told this, it does mean I stop before she gets really annoyed and shouts at me, which would be more hurtful. It's hard for my mum because she's not naturally very assertive, but understanding Asperger's has helped her be more frank with me and that's (mostly) a good thing. My mum used to be a teacher, and she thought she knew all about Asperger's because she was given some factsheets about teaching students with Asperger's. It said they would be disruptive in class and shout out a lot. I am not like this and am very shy and quiet, so when I first mentioned Asperger's to her she didn't believe it. The formal diagnosis was a massive factor in her accepting I have AS and reading up on it. Another factor was attending an event with me where she met a large number of adults with Asperger's, several of whom were a lot like me, and that helped her see that I fit in with this diagnosis. I don't think she would have attended the event before my diagnosis. But who knows, maybe she would eventually have come around to the idea if I'd not got the diagnosis. For me, the biggest impact the diagnosis has had is that I understand the causes of my difficulties now. For such a long time I've believed I was just lazy and that was why I couldn't manage normal situations. In school I was told I was being deliberately awkward and in therapy I was told I am being non-co-operative, all without understanding why. I have a lot of difficulty making friends and thought it must be because I am horrible. The diagnosis has helped me understand that I'm not being deliberately anything, I have a genuine problem that makes it look this way. The AS makes me look uninterested in people and that's why they don't warm to me. I'm not horrible, I'm just different. From there, I have started to work out where I'm going wrong to give off the impression I do. I'm a long way off being life and soul of the party, but I don't give off quite so much "I don't want to know you" vibes any more. I probably could have come to these conclusions without a formal diagnosis, but getting it official sped up the process. A formal diagnosis can reveal difficulties you weren't aware of. You will be aware of what you find hard, but you may be less aware of how you come across to others. A trusted friend or relative may be able to help you out with this as well though. My diagnosis has led to a lot of changes, mostly for the better. But I don't think a diagnosis was necessary for anything that's happened, it's just sped up the process, and others are more likely to believe a formal diagnosis over suspicion. A diagnostic assessment can also provide documented evidence of your difficulties, if you ever need to ask for adjustments in the workplace or benefits. Personally, I think that since you are having quite severe mental health problems, it would be worth pursuing a formal diagnosis to help you access more suitable treatments. That's only my opinion though, you have to decide whether the stress of seeking assessment is something you can cope with.
  5. Busy Day!

    It's hardly my fault!
  6. the pain just doesnt go away.

    Women rarely give their true reasons for endIng a relationship. It's a total waste of time to try and convince a man you just don't fancy him any more. You have totally fallen for what your ex has told you. You see her as a victim. She is the one who chose to end the relationship and accept an arranged marriage. But these are choices she's made, she hasn't been forced into any of it. It's going to take some time. 2 years is a considerable proportion Of your adult life. You won't get over that overnight, and you won't have any interest in other women until you do. But you will, and you will find happiness again.
  7. Jubilee Weekend

    On Sunday I went to London to watch the flotilla, which was really good, even though it was freezing cold and we got rained on in the bundle to get into Waterloo station afterwards. There was meant to be a street party in my road, but it got postponed because of the weather, so hopefully I will be able to go to it now.
  8. Busy Day!

    Peppermint creams are really easy. Whip up an egg white until it's frothy but not too firm. Then gradually add as much icing sugar as you can (about 300g). Add a couple of drops of peppermint essence before the mix gets too stiff to mix. You can substitute peppermint for any flavour you like, orange or lemOn are pretty good. You can also add dye at this stage if you wish. You can either shape pieces by hand, or roll it out and cut with pastry cutters. Don't forget to coat everything with plenty of icing sugar to prevent sticking. If your mix becomes too dry you can add a drop of water. Place your creams onto greaseproof paper, also well coated with icing sugar, in a warm dry place to dry out for a few days. Then hoover and wipe your worktops as there will be icing sugar everywhere! Washing hair may also be necessary.
  9. reasons to smile and be happy.

    Making new friends. Just been building a Duplo farm with a very sweet 19-month-old. I hope she enjoyed it too!
  10. That's a tough one. The fact that it's a new anxiety, when he has previously stayed away successfully, does suggest this is something related to anxiety rather than the ASD directly. I would suggest slipping into conversation something about what he did last time he stayed with Nanna, see what he replies, and then talk about something else. Just gradually remind him what a nice time he had and how he didn't miss you or get ill, but without making it into one of those "conversations." It just lets it be known that this is a topic he can discuss, and in a relaxed way. Then hopefully when he's ready, he will explain things.
  11. DLA renewal

    It's extremely time-consuming and utterly miserable. I hope you'll get a fair decision. It sounds like you have plenty of documentation, which is always a good thing.
  12. I wonder if you could try a non-pressured trial run by sending him to whoever you plan him to stay with on the understanding that you will come and get him at any time. Sometimes new challenges are easier to deal with if failure isn't a big problem.
  13. Busy Day!

    I'm feeling smug and pleased with myself after getting so much done today. In a couple of weeks' time we're having an open day at the wildlife rescue centre where I volunteer. My cousin is coming to stay and we're going to spend the Saturday making 100 chocolate muffins and 100 bird nest cakes. This has necessitated the purchase of 45 shredded wheat, a kilo of butter, half a kilo of chocolate, etc. and this morning my dad took me shopping and I got all my supplies. Then I got the lawn mowed and some washing dry before the rain came. Then I cleaned out the dead leaves from the garage. After that I went and made some strawberry creams. They need to be made ahead of time as they need to dry out and harden before bagging for the open day. I emptied the airing cupboard, my sheets and towels are going to have to live on my bedroom windowsill for a couple of weeks. The strawberry creams are looking great already and my airing cupboard smells awesome! Although it was only 11.30am I was ravenous so I cooked myself a big prawn curry for lunch and froze some portions for days I'm not up to cooking. Then I discovered it was actually 2.30pm and my watch had stopped. I couldn't find my nice spare, so I'm wearing an ugly luminous green one I bought only for swimming because it was waterproof. But at least it will keep time until after the holiday. This afternoon I have filled the other shelf in the airing cupboard with orange creams. I am ahead of schedule now and have only lemon and peppermint to go! I never did get around to cleaning my car after parking under the sticky tree, but now it's raining so hopefully it will wash the dirt off for me. And yes, I even remembered to bring in the washing before it rained! After all this I think I will sleep well tonight and be in top form for seeing the Queen tomorrow. I'm going to be on Waterloo Bridge, dressed in red, white and blue, soaking wet, freezing cold, eating a pork pie. But it's something to tell the grandchildren, right?
  14. Asperger's Socialisation Question.

    Singing a song is totally different to making conversation. I wouldn't describe singing a song as a social situation at all.
  15. Disabled Students' Allowance

    I had my assessment on Wednesday but I'm really not sure how I feel about it. I feel like they ignored all the concerns I said I had, and twisted things I wasn't concerned about to make them sound like concerns. They're going to give me a laptop to take notes in lectures, even though the laptop is not a lightweight one and I won't be able to physically get it to college. They are giving me some software that I told the assessor I can't imagine ever having a need for, and some lessons in how to use it, but they can't help me with the basic IT help I am going to need for getting to grips with Windows 7. They are going to give me money toward my home internet costs because I would find the library a daunting environment, even though I said I would not find the library a daunting environment. Not that I mind the free money, but I can't back up the justification if asked. One really good thing is that I am going to see a mentor one hour per week. I think this is really good because I am too passive to ask for help with situations, workload or anything at all really. Hopefully a mentor could raise issues before they become serious problems, rather than me having to approach someone myself. Do the university get to see your assessment? It's just that from what I saw the assessor write during the assessment, I sound like a total basket case who isn't even physically well enough to sit through a lecture. That's not really the first impression I was intending to make.
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