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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
tdewar

Anxiety and things in general

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tdewar   

Hi,

I was diagnosed with ASD since I was 3 and although I am a hIgh functioning Aspie I am constantly anxious due to bad experiences at school (Once being attacked) and suffering from severe depression.

 

I have some friends at college, mostly autistic, but when I ask them to meet up at the weekend nothing results. Most weekends I'm stuck at home because of this and I don't really like walking into my nearby village on my own. My best mate (Not an aspie) is at Uni and busy with his course.

 

I spend alot of time playing on my laptop but sometimes this can be excessive I don't know if I'm addicted, bored or both.

 

I constantly seek reassurance from people and feel like I'm under threat and find it difficult to express or stand up for myself

 

I'm nearly 20 and never had a girlfriend i don't know what I could say to them and don't have the confidence or proactiveness to ask one out and there are very few girls at my college, one or two I liked but they've left

 

Im residential at col and get nervous even WALKING around college when there are large groups of people is this social anxiety?

 

I worry about my appearance and the world and find it hard to accept that everyone has different opinions and upbringings- an autistic trait?

 

I feel lonely often and just want to feel content

 

Just how I feel any Advice would be fantastic

 

Tom

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Sally44   

Is there any adult mentor/counsellor at college that you can talk to. I presume they do know you are on the spectrum? Ask if you can speak with someone who has experience/expertise in ASDs, to see if there is anything they can suggest that might help reduce your anxiety.

 

Does your family know how anxious you feel?

 

Do you think this level of anxiety has always been at this level, or has it increased?

 

Have you ever talked through what happened when you were attacked?

 

Regarding going out. What if you suggest one of two of your friends meet up at someones house. It maybe that others are refusing because, like you, they may feel extremely anxious about the thought of going out. If you could get a small group together to talk about what they would like to do and when eg. going to the cinema during the day maybe less threatening to someone than going at night. Going on a weekday would be less crowded than at the weekend etc.

 

Have you contacted the National Autistic Society to see if there is any group in your area for adults on the spectrum.

 

If you have depression, then a visit to your GP might be necessary. Maybe other adults on the spectrum will give you some advice on what they did.

 

But I think you have a number of difficulties you have listed, some are related to eachother. If you try to prioritise them and then tackle one at a time that might start to make you feel better because you will be taking control, rather than feeling that things are out of control for you.

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I was in a similar position at your age (friend at uni - trying to do my own thing without them). My advice would be don't do what I did (I'm 30 now) I shut myself off from the world and now everything seems even harder than it did back then, so don't let the world beat you down, keep trying, don't give up. The reason for this advice is so that in a few years time you don't feel a failure like I do :D

 

Specifically focusing on anxiety: you have some advantage in being diagnosed at a young age (mine was early this year) you could see if there is support at your college that could help you, or you could see if your GP can offer any referral for anxiety management, whatever you do, don't feel demeaned for asking for help, it can be a brave thing to admit you might need a bit of help.

 

Regards

 

Darkshine

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Tanya52   

Hi Tom, :)

 

I believe that I know how you feel. I can only speak about my experience and I will not claim that everyone should be doing the same. It’s for you to decide.

 

It took me some time to develop a few survival strategies

Learning to like myself

Learning to like others

Learning to observe other people

 

I learned to like myself after I decided to stop judging and abusing myself verbally in the contrary I constantly try to encourage myself to do something positive and perhaps brave, taking into account that like you I’ve got social anxiety.

 

I know for sure that people are well able to observe/detect my anxiety and, who am I to blame them if they chose to avoid me for this reason?

How did I learn to make eye contacts? I’ve decided that when I see or meet people I’ll make myself to think/feel ‘I like you” and to give an encouraging smile. I didn’t make many friends this way but it did make my life a lot easier because I love when people smile back to me. I think that I’m a bit overdoing it because now I found it very difficult to break eye contact. I keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t stare and it works 8 out of 10 times. I’m in control.

 

I don’t know if you’ll trust me if I say that nothing other people do or say is because of me. They have their own reality, dreams and expectations. I’m not very popular because I found playing social games as an extremely exhausting business. But it would be a big mistake to underestimate the importance of these social games. For instance last year I run a linguistic project about social interactions. It was striking/shocking for me to comprehend that for the majority of my informants the default N1 priority is maintaining own social identity/ image. People are grooming each other all the time, it’s the fact and there’re plenty empirical data to prove it. Sharing information is always subordinate. So, would it be wrong to claim that many people whom I observed were very busy just thinking what to say and trying if not to impress than at very least not to let themselves down? So, I’ve learnt to treat interactions as experiments that can go wrong but try to do my best in analysing and learning from it. I guess this way I distance myself from painful self-observation of my anxiety.

 

What do you think Tom?

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What are these social games? can they help with anxiety of meeting/talking to people?

How do you make friends at work? do you know of any groups that will help to improve my social and communication skills?

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Hello :)

 

I'd say social games is another way of saying there are rules and conventions that people seem to "play" - like in conversation for example, how to keep talking, act interested, make friends, perform social niceties etc - I'm sure Tanya will correct me if I'm wrong ;)

 

I always call it learning the scripts, or learning how to act.

 

As for practice - I use this forum for that - its not the same as speaking, but since using it my speaking has improved a fair bit. Unfortunately most of my learning has begun from mistakes, and to make mistakes you have to try in the first place - it can be hard to keep feeling like it always goes wrong - but I guess with practice and awareness it can get better - I think Tally said in your post about joining groups where mistakes don't matter so much - that sounded like a good idea to begin with :)

 

Best

 

Darkshine

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