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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
TheNeil

Have I Opened Up Another Can of Worms?

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TheNeil   

Oh God, the day has finally arrived. After talking to the company's PR/comunications manager last Friday, the company wide email has just been sent out

 

I spent most of the morning knocking the article into shape as he'd created it in a Q&A style and then totally missed my style of talking (so I had to reword most of it into 'Neil speak' - change words, rephrase bits, adjust tense, add bits etc.) :P

 

It's just dropped into my inbox which means thatit's also just dropped into 99 other inboxes around the office. I'm, all of a sudden, very nervous and unsure of everything. What if everything goes wrong or people don't understand or... :unsure:

 

On the plus side, me and the PR guy are 'doing lunch' tomorrow as he couldn't believe what an interesting person I am (or so he says) :whistle:

 

BTW If anyone wants to see what was written, either PM me or leave a note here (if enough people are interested then I'll post a copy online)

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i would love to know what you wrote, my son has just faced this challenge at his new college having tried it the pretend to be normal (whatever that is) way, best wishes :):) I will be thinking of you, let us know how it all goes.

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Tez   

I hope you get a positive response. I can fully understand your concerns, my son has just had to write a similar piece for his English GCSE coursework (A life in the day of AK an autistic teenager), but he's refusing to hand it over because he says it's too personal and people won't understand. I'd love to see your article. Could you PM it to me and would you mind if I showed it to my son?

 

Enjoy your lunch tomorrow.

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TheNeil   

Sorry people, was out last night (running - ow) so didn't get a chance to post the final article. However...

 

How did you learn that you are Aspergic?

 

I?ve always known that I was ?different? but it was when my (now ex) wife made me watch a documentary about a school for autistic children that I began to see the similarities between myself and autistic people. She then read ?The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? and announced ?That?s you.? I figured that she was talking rubbish but was curious and, after investigating, went to see my GP and joined a 12 month waiting list to be assessed. When I was then told it would take a further 18 months just for an initial appointment with a psychologist I snapped and decided to go private. Within three weeks I had an appointment, and, after a three hour consultation, the psychologist diagnosed Aspergers.

 

How did you react to the official diagnosis?

 

It?s a big thing to find out something like this about yourself when you?re 32 and have been blissfully unaware of it all of your life. It did explain a lot of things but I initially felt numb and was unprepared for how it would affect a lot of things, and my little world did come crashing down around me to a certain degree. One of the things about Asperger's (certainly in my case) is that you don?t have the ability to see alternative scenarios and outcomes, so that when the unexpected happens it?s very stressful and upsetting. I?d hoped that the diagnosis would be like a magic wand, everyone would understand and all the anxiety and isolation I felt would simply go away. I told the IT department but, if anything, I think it made them unsure about me and I felt that they maybe backed off for a time. Since then this has died down and it really isn?t an issue ? personally I just don?t think they pay any attention to it anymore.

 

Why have you chosen to share this with all of <company>?

 

There have been incidents with people around the business that have made me realise that people don?t understand why I react the way that I do. For example, I want people to know that I don?t set out to be unfriendly, rude or arrogant ? and this is often how I feel that I can come across. If I don?t acknowledge someone in the corridor, I don?t want them to get the wrong idea about why that is. If I don?t respond in the way someone might expect if they talk to me, I want them to understand why.

 

How does Asperger syndrome affect you?

 

It affects my communication and interpersonal skills, and my understanding of emotions. For example, I can?t read body language and many of the ?unspoken? forms of communication. I also interpret things differently so if someone says ?Nice day!? I just don?t hear it as a conversation opener. To me it?s just a statement that doesn?t lead anywhere ? it?s simply a fact. It affects my life in other ways too, such as my need for routine and predictability. For example, Tuesday and Thursday evenings are for running and Friday evening for shopping and that won?t ever change (unless something external forces a change ? at which point I?ll immediately have to develop a new routine and stick to that instead). I do the same things every day at the same time because I?m comfortable with order. If I do need to do something different then I need to work out in advance exactly what I?m going to do, how I?m going to do it etc.

 

How does your condition impact on your job?

 

I generally have to avoid group meetings (although I am working on that) but they do make me very uncomfortable and stressed. I also can?t deal with ambiguity so if anyone asks me for A, B and C than that?s exactly what they?ll get. If they hint or imply that they really want D, E or F I just won?t see or understand that. To coin a phrase, I can?t ?read between the lines?.

 

There are some advantages, though, aren?t there?

 

By my nature I must be precise and accurate and I am analytical and logical. I break things down into procedures and tasks and, when you?re a programmer dealing with code, this can be a massive advantage. In my case I?m gifted in programming (it just kind of ?happens?). Once I know what the outcome of a task needs to be, I can focus completely and just concentrate how to get there.

 

Is there anything your colleagues can do to take your Asperger?s into account?

 

I need people to put me straight when I make communication mistakes and I need them to let me know if I upset them or make them uncomfortable. It won?t make me feel bad if/when they do as I can then try to understand and be able to make a mental note of what caused the problem and, hopefully, avoid it in future. I also want people to understand that sharing this information is not some sort of ?get out of jail free? card allowing me to get away with offending people ? pull me up on something if I make a mistake. If someone wants to talk to me they?ll have to start the conversation because I simply can?t ? although I can happily send email all day long (oops, that?s one of the <company> Values out of the window). It?s not that I don?t want to talk to people?I just can?t start conversations. They?ll also need to remember that I don?t read/understand body language and that my own body language doesn?t necessarily reflect what I?m thinking. Conversation isn?t instinctive or natural for me so if someone is talking to me I?m (usually) thinking carefully about how to respond (and avoiding eye-contact at all costs ? anyone who?s ever talked to me has probably spotted that one).

 

Can I also point out that being Aspergic doesn?t suddenly make me stupid, deaf or invisible. People don?t need to speak s-l-o-w-l-y and deliberately or use simple words. I also don?t need people to make a fuss and start asking me if I?m OK all the time (now and then is OK, but not all the time). I do have a brain in my head, even if it is wired up differently. Sometimes it even manages to work.

 

You seem to be quite humorous, even though you say you don?t recognise non-factual communication.

 

People do sometimes say that I can be funny and that I do have a dry sense of humour?although I don?t think people always ?get it?. They should also remember, I work in IT so I am officially insane?that?s got nothing to do with Asperger?s though.

 

Ok so it might not go into great detail but as this is aimed at the uninformed masses I don't think it's too bad at all, and certainly seems to mention the major things that will affect office life

Edited by TheNeil

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The Neil

 

:notworthy::notworthy:

 

That's fabulous. It gives lots of information without overloading. You should be very proud. I'd be very surprised if this does not make a difference to your colleagues.

 

Well done

 

A

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:thumbs::thumbs::thumbs::clap::clap::clap:

 

That's good TN, I think it explains your condition very well.

 

There's a bloke in my office and I've been positive for some time that he has AS (un-dx) because you've just described him too. I'm one of the few people in the company he talks to, most people find him arrogant and rude - I just find him different, but he's exceptionally good at his job.

 

There are days when he blanks people out entirely (myself included) but as you say that's because he's either intent on what he's doing or doesn't know how to start 'small talk'

 

I like him and have time for him even though he does say some very hurtful things to people (I think it's unintentional really - he's just very matter of fact and tells it like it is which is a hundred times better than talking about someone behind their back).

 

Get him on a subject he's interested in and he's very talkative :D

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Jericho   

Wow! Well done!

 

:cheers:

 

:groupwave:

 

I will be showing this to my husband later. He too has AS and works in an office and the staff there just don't seem to understand AS at all. :wacko:

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TheNeil   

So far the response has been muted to say the least. One woman (who I know has been refering to me as 'wierdo' and was put in line by the Heath and Safety guy about it) sent me an email about it explaining how she'd been told abut my 'owtism' (by the Health and Safety guy) but as way of having an 'ally' in the admin side of the business and so that she could look out for me whenever I was in that side of the building. Strange that as she's never actually 'looked out for me', intervened when I've had problems or provided any sort of help. Methinks some porky pies are being told ut I shall turn the other cheek

 

The only other email I've had was to say that someone was shcoked that I was 32 :lol:

 

It's now 'public knowledge' though so might stop 'incidents' from happening in the future

 

By the way, if anyone wants to quote/use this in their office, please do. I'd deliberately removed my company's name anyway so, if it's useful, use it

Edited by TheNeil

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So far the response has been muted to say the least. One woman (who I know has been refering to me as 'wierdo' and was put in line by the Heath and Safety guy about it) sent me an email about it explaining how she'd been told abut my 'owtism' (by the Health and Safety guy) but as way of having an 'ally' in the admin side of the business and so that she could look out for me whenever I was in that side of the building. Strange that as she's never actually 'looked out for me', intervened when I've had problems or provided any sort of help. Methinks some porky pies are being told ut I shall turn the other cheek

 

The only other email I've had was to say that someone was shcoked that I was 32 :lol:

 

It's now 'public knowledge' though so might stop 'incidents' from happening in the future

 

By the way, if anyone wants to quote/use this in their office, please do. I'd deliberately removed my company's name anyway so, if it's useful, use it

 

 

:D>:D<<'> Well done The Neil. You've written an excellent piece, very informative to the layman (or woman) without being overbearing. I would certainly like to use this for parents I work with and also professionals.

 

Well done you !

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cmuir   

Hi

 

Thought your feature was brilliant and that you hit the nail right on the head with a lot of points that you made.

 

I have a son who is nearly 5 (Robert). He's been diagnosed with AS and the most obvious traits that he has are behavioural. He's very unpredictable, aggressive, volatile - quite a little Jekyll and Hyde! My point is that I've had to deal with a lot of ###### from other people. When you think about it, it's not Robert that's the problem - it's other people and the way they react, etc. I guess in your case it's similar in the sense that it's actually other people who make problems.

 

Interesting that someone responded to say how surprised they were about your age! Prime example of how people react towards situations. Anyhow, you've done your bit (and done a damn good job if I may say so!) and it's up to other people. Some people will be more understanding and others won't, but that's their problem!

 

Well done you!

 

Caroline.

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TheNeil   
Interesting that someone responded to say how surprised they were about your age! Prime example of how people react towards situations

 

And there was me thinking it was simply because I've aged well :lol:

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Bullet   

It's an excellent article, good on you for having the courage to do it.

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Neil

 

That's brilliant!!! :dance:

 

If I was one of your colleagues, I would feel proud to work with you. Well done.

 

Let us know what reactions you get.

 

... and make sure the PR guy pays for lunch!

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TN,

 

That's brilliant. I can think of a few people I might like to show it to if thats ok.

 

Well done :notworthy:

 

I'm glad the interview reflects your sense of humour too. Even if you dont get many responses I'm sure that you've helped people to understand how AS affects you.

 

SV

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TheNeil   
That's brilliant. I can think of a few people I might like to show it to if thats ok.

 

As I said before, anyone who wants to use this is more than welcome to - anything to help out if I can

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Suze   
>:D<<'> , hi ya neil, hope alls well with you, not been around much , had major stuff going on :( , but good on you mate for letting them all know , rock on tommy as my dear grandad used to say.Hope your furry critters are well, your calfs are,nt aching and you had a nice tea tonight , bye for now suzex

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TheNeil   
Hope your furry critters are well, your calfs are,nt aching and you had a nice tea tonight , bye for now suzex

 

The furry ones are currently driving me mad with their constant demands for green beans, the legs still hurt, tea was a disaster (my mother phoned so it all went cold which is a shame as I just made my 'own recipe' world-beating low fat pasta sauce) and I ended up being up half the night with a migraine and now have a sore throat. Aside from that lot though, everything's fine :lol:

 

Hope your 'major stuff' has either calmed down, sorted itself out or whatever and hasn't been causing you too many problems/headaches - it's not the chickens is it? >:D<<'>

Edited by TheNeil

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Kathryn   

That's a great piece of writing, The Neil. You've articlated so clearly how it is for you and I always enjoy your sense of humour. :)

 

Hope your sore throat is better soon.

 

K x

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Eva   

That was great TN. I got a lot out of it!

 

I didn't realise the bit about not being able to see alternative outcomes - hope you don't charge consultancy fees!

 

Cheers,

Eva

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very well done, its a good piece of writing and personal to you so it is better than just handing over soemthng printed off the web, in my opinion.:)

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TheNeil   
I didn't realise the bit about not being able to see alternative outcomes - hope you don't charge consultancy fees!

 

This is one thing that applies to me but not sure how many other Aspie's have the same problem. It's not an issue when I'm working on my own or when people do what they're 'supposed' to do - sadly people have a habit of not doing what they're 'supposed' to do :lol:

 

I can work out what I think will happen in a given situation but then become so focused that I get very confused/upset if it doesn't work out exactly as I've planned it (as I put together these things in my head then there's surely no way on Earth that things aren't going to go to plan so alternative outcomes simply aren't needed). If I say A then the other person will say B. Then I can say C and etc. Sadly I say A and they then say Z - AARRGGHH

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This is one thing that applies to me but not sure how many other Aspie's have the same problem. It's not an issue when I'm working on my own or when people do what they're 'supposed' to do - sadly people have a habit of not doing what they're 'supposed' to do :lol:

 

I can work out what I think will happen in a given situation but then become so focused that I get very confused/upset if it doesn't work out exactly as I've planned it (as I put together these things in my head then there's surely no way on Earth that things aren't going to go to plan so alternative outcomes simply aren't needed). If I say A then the other person will say B. Then I can say C and etc. Sadly I say A and they then say Z - AARRGGHH

 

Good Grief TN you've just described me. I get so wound up by certain situations that I can't rest until its happened and have terrible anxiety problems. My husband is always telling me to let be but I can't!

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westie   

Those are excellent answers to the question an seem to explain Aspergers in an uncomplicated way.

 

Also your later descriptions of "unexpected situations" reminds me of my sons reactions in some wats - He seems to expect things to go a certain way and will not be happy if they are different to what he is expecting.

He can ask you a questions; listen to one word of your answer and then have a massive meltdown because in his mind you have said something completely different!

 

For example he once told his dad that I had said he could go to his friends house, and his dad replied "oh did she?" and he started shouting and getting really mad - he thought his dad had said that he was not allowed to go...

 

I often think that it is like he has his own little scenario in his head and that is what has happened, even if it has not been at all like that. :blink:

 

Not sure if that makes any sense now, hope someone understands! Perhaps it is just me misinterpreting him...

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TheNeil   
Not sure if that makes any sense now, hope someone understands! Perhaps it is just me misinterpreting him...

 

Makes sense to me. It's kind of like having a movie script and in scene 1, A, B and C will happen. Then in scene 2, D, E and F will happen. The only problem is, no-one sticks to the script apart from me!!!! :lol:

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wow that was really helpful to me as a parent! it has just made me think of loads of things that el says or how she reacts to things....and now they make sense! and she also has a great sense of humour, as you seem to! why do people think aspies dont have a sense of humour? maybe they are a bit too slow to get it....anyway, big thanks for that! :notworthy:

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Karen A   

TN that was an excellent article.If I worked with you I would be proud to be associated with you.I am sure that it will be a big help to parents of newly Dx children,those thinking about seeking a Dx for their children and especially the many adults that come here wondering about themselves.Even if you don't get a lot of feedback at work you will have done a very worthwhile thing.Regards Karen

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