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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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  1. This is a question which I have asked all of my support staff, but I haven't really been able to get a satisfactory answer for it. Namely why do so many of us (namely those who are on the more 'higher functioning' end of the spectrum, and thus are more aware of ourselves) 'look autistic'? When I say this, yes I am aware that ASD is not a physical condition, but raher a mental one, so thus (to cut a long story short) it does not effect ones outward appearance in itself. Rather I would like to know why so many Aspies and Auties look scruffy, are overweight, don't brush or comb their hair, wear ill fitting or dirty clothes, don't shave the appropriate areas of the body and (even when they are no longer teenagers) have spots or boils. I know that sometimes people aren't aware of what they look like, have little interest in looking like an NT, have sensory issues regarding things like razors or even are happy with the way they look regardless of how they may appear. But let me share with you all a little story... Some years ago I knew a girl (by the name of Becky) with AS, (who should now be in her early thirties) who was into all the kind of things a typical girl in he teenage years/early twenties would be into, but due to her AS, she was into them a lot more intensely (eg she would write her own fanfiction based on characters in music videos) as she had an obsession with Britney Spears (I think she even had a lesbian crush on her). However partly due to her being cooped up in, firstly a special school and then later a care home, she had become institutionalized. Thus she was sorely lacking in various skills. One day I asked her why she did not put more effort into her appearance (I did not use those words, rather I simply pointed out all the things I saw her carers do that she didn't). Her answer, as she knew I wasn't having a go at her, was "I never thought of it." So why don't more people (eg parents and care staff) point this out and tell them what to do bout it?