Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support 06/04/2017Depression, 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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My SPD and OCD affect my life in so many different ways, half the time I can’t work out the difference between them. They coincide with each other all the time. I sometimes wonder that if OCD is tackled then the chances are my SPD would only recreate new OCD traits in a different form. Food is one of the hardest subjects for my SPD. I am vegetarian because of my SPD, it took time but eventually in McDonalds, I kept trying the burgers, and slowly over time I got more and more uncomfortable with the feeling of the texture, focusing on the texture made me think of cows, and well you can guess the rest, >.<. My SPD can make me very picky with foods, it annoys mum something terrible, and me, but I can’t help it. Most fruit I cannot stand, for example I find bananas, plums, grapes and oranges too fleshy, pears to be too grainy, raspberries too hairy, pomegranates, most melons, kiwi and strawberries to be too bitter. With vegetables if I see a brown mark on them then I cannot eat them. Mushrooms look a lot like fleshy overgrowths and some can really smell bad. I hate it, it makes choices of what to eat extremely few, I have a very small choice of foods, >.<. When it comes to food, it has to look right, smell right, feel right on my tongue, and taste right, if it doesn’t pass all of that, I am unable to eat it. I have tried apples, they are reasonable, the only problem is that it is difficult to get used to the fact that it changes colour so quickly. I have also tried watermelon, that is a little better, I have gotten used swallowing the seeds along with it, and the fleshiness of it is not too bad, the look of it does kind of remind me of steak though, which is disconcerting since I am vegetarian. I have tried smoothies but I have to gulp it down as I don’t like the feeling of the fruit bits on my tongue. Tomatoes by themselves are very bitter. Food is an extremely difficult subject due to my SPD, argh, it’s annoying, >.<. It is hard for everyone around me, including myself to deal with, but it is part of my SPD. That I can’t run away from. I want to try recipes to try other foods other than, tomato soup, soft rolls, breakfast muffins, pasta and pizza, but the problem is our kitchen is so very small and chaotic, making it claustrophobic, that it can be draining cooking in there, >.<. I feel I need to add a lot of spices to most dishes to increase the flavour of the foods, which also includes breakfast muffins. There have been several occasions in my past when I was much younger there was a dinner put in front of me to eat in amongst other children, the same happened once during primary school. I just stared at it and tears started to well as I knew I couldn’t eat it, but I didn’t want to make the situation awkward, as that is often the case if you can’t eat the food. It was horrible when I was asked to eat the food prepared for me but I couldn’t eat it, I didn’t want to be ungrateful at all, but I had no control over it. I also remember when I was younger and used to eat meals that my Oma (grandma in German) prepared; I had to eat them on separate plates. That was a clear sign of SPD, but mum and I didn’t know it at the time. What gets me the most is that I want to eat healthily but my SPD is preventing me. All I can do is take vitamins for vegetarians. That is not all. Being sensitive to touch is another major difficulty to my SPD, I get a tingly uncomfortable feeling whenever someone touches my arms and I cannot shake people’s hands. The smell of metal in my hands from coins, door handles, and such creates a real irony smell in my hands which is irritating, thankfully I have found a strategy to tackle this and light touch. If someone was to accidently touch me or I had that irony smell what I do is wash my hands, it gets rid of the feeling and the smell in one fell swoop. If I need to open a door, I tend to use my t-shirt to cover the door handle. If I travel I take a hand gel so that I can use that instead of washing my hands, it is also much quicker. That is why I am never sure if it is my OCD affecting me here or SPD. For everyday tasks I find cotton gloves have helped me. To me, it cuts off the direct contact to surfaces and makes it easier to do various tasks like making a cup of coffee. I can’t hold most knives, forks or spoons unless I wrap them in tissue. I even have my own selection of knives, forks, and spoons to combat the problem to some degree. At night I feel I must bring a torch out with me to check the floor as I hate to step on slugs, snails, and everything slimy or gooey. If I did I can hear the noise it makes, the feeling it creates and my mind will not settle until my shoes are cleaned. It is awful. I don’t know how else to tackle this other than with a torch. Sight is more focused on my OCD, I think, but to be honest, I have no idea. I am not worried over sleeping because of my eyes at all; it is not like that at all. What I have the problem with which is why this is perplexing me is that if I see the slightest stain or hair on any surface, be it mug, plate, bowl, sink, bath, anything that I could have direct contact with, I need to wash it to get rid of it. I cannot use it otherwise. That has got to be my OCD surely. I keep seeing crossovers between my SPD and OCD that I cannot easily tell the difference. Smells do affect me as well. I like the smell of fresh bread, coffee, candles, and even washing powder. When I go to the supermarket the aisles containing those items can get quite overpowering. I have a lot of air fresheners around so that I can combat the bad smells around the house. I can hear much better than my mum. I can hear a phone ring upstairs from downstairs in the living room at times; it is not a major issue to my SPD though. What is a major issue with my hearing side of SPD has got to be loud noises. My family sometimes have an unfortunate habit of raising their voices when tensions become high. I find this horrible, and it makes me feel worse, the best thing I think that was invented for this is earphones. I just plug them in turn my music up and it cuts it off. That has been my strategy for tackling this problem. Something has also perplexed me about my SPD. I am not sure if this is because of my SPD or AS but I have noticed that I can sense my family’s moods. Personally, whenever I sense someone is feeling bad I can tell, it is either that I sense the awkwardness of the situation, can sense their tone of voice, see their reaction, like sinking into a chair and covering their face. I immediately feel extremely uncomfortable; conflict is something that makes me feel really awkward about. I tend to feel bad if they feel bad, I guess it is like a mirror image. I have noticed something very strange that only happened once a while back. I got up one morning walked to the window then I suddenly got this picture in my head of a cat with an exaggerated scared expression. A few seconds later I heard a dog bark from far away and then a couple of seconds later I noticed a cat cry. I found that weird, I have never experienced that before. It shocked me and I didn’t know what to think. I am not sure what it is. Is it my SPD, AS or what? So the questions I ask are: Where does my SPD affect me and where does OCD? Also, has anyone found any strategies to tackle some of these SPD or OCD traits? And what happened when I got that pre-emotional reaction from the cat before it occurred?