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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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RYOUNG78   

Whenever I am doing something new or meeting a friend for lunch I always get nervous before the event. Can this be part of the condition? Can you do anything to stop it?

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Tally   

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.

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yep im like that especially if u arrange something and then they dont turn up whenh they said they would. i had this done to me and i went home 4 hours later because she didnt turn up and then started telling people the opposite and because of that doesnt want to be my friend.

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Tally   

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.

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Lynden   

I think it's worth adding that NT people can feel that way too. I get nervous when I'm doing something new - I think a lot of people do - it's fear of the unknown. I also get nervous meeting friends if I haven't seen them for a while.

 

Lynne

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LancsLad   

Lynne really good point.

 

I think sometimes we are in danger of using a diagnosis such as Asperger's as a point of call onto which we attatch many elements which are pretty normal aspects of life. I like one statement I once read and that is people with Asperger's 'are like everyone else even more so'. I can think something like anxiety falls into this category for many people, I would tend to ascribe it as being a personality trait which might simply be magnified as a result of being on the spectrum.

 

In reality I think we simply should deal with many of the issues life presents as seperate entities. I think one of the potential issues with Asperger's and other spectrum conditions is that they are lifelong conditions. If think the problem with attatching things to this label is that we can often see them as lifelong issues and something we might not be able to do something about, which might simply not be the case.

 

I know personaly I have lots of well developed strategies to deal with my own anxiety. That does not mean at times I do not get anxious, nor does it mean my AS often magnifies the emotional aspects of such mental states. But seeing anxiety as a personality trait I can deal with and work on is a different mindset to seeing it as being an AS trait which might be fixed as an element in my life.

 

Just a few thoughts not sure if they will make sense.

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smileyK   

i used avoid social situations (make up an excuse - like i was poorly) i hated myself for making stuff up all time at the last minute just got scared anxious fear try and face fear and anxiety head on these days however difficult/hard i see it as a challenge now but still don't find easy at same time of being officially diagnosed with depression & A.S discovered i have Social Anxiety Disorder which adds pressure strain double of A.S some social anxiety is common feeling in AS but when it becomes more than that good luck i used to sweat physically shake get in right mess/state i prefer pre planned social events/situations rather than unexpected surprise last minute social situation with people hardly know or trust there!

 

XKLX.

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all in all, i think at times we call all be as nervous as each other, asd or not. i think sometimes in life you have to perfect a good poker face.

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Tally   

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.

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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.

 

That's depressing yet ever so slightly hopeful ;)

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