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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

Education after School Phobia - there is hope!

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Hi all


I haven't been on here for a while as life has been very busy - but that is a good thing!


My youngest son Aw had School Phobia, Severe Anxiety and Depression, and basically did not attend Secondary School.


However last year things came to a head and he was taken to hospital for 3 months due to totally withdrawing and not eating. He was diagnosed with Autism and the stay in hospital broke a lot of the obsessive behaviours which had developed. They got him eating more foods (though still not many), and the little school in the hospital (mostly 1:1 sessions) reignited his passion for learning.


Last year he went to college. He started doing 4 subjects but by Christmas he had dropped down to just Maths GCSE. Until the Christmas it was still very doubtful he would be able to stay there. Once he was just doing Maths and started 'getting it' he settled down. He completed the course and gained a grade C (it was Foundation Level so that was the best he could get). He got 100% in all 3 exams and as a result the college offered him the unique chance to 'try' AS-level Maths & Physics this year. Doing the Maths last year has really given him confidence. The college have been brilliant, there is a quiet room where he can go between lessons and to eat his lunch on his own.


He has started and seems to be really enjoying it (though would NEVER admit it of course!). He is also doing GCSE English. It looks like he will be able to continue with these courses.


He has said he was anxious starting this year but not as anxious as he was starting last year. So with increasing age there is increasing insight to how he is feeling which is brilliant.


He has even got a taxi back from college when I am unable to pick him up, as he is keen not to miss any classes - he would never have coped with that last year.


Him being sectioned last year may sound like a terrible thing to happen but it was pivotal to this change in him. We think he wanted something done but would never have admitted this so he was so resistant to going to hospital as we expected - he just needed to be told he HAD to go.


There is hope but sometimes things do have to get worse before they can get better.


Best wishes



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That is such positive news. You had some really tough times and had to make decisions for your son that any of us would really struggle to make. And it seems your son is growing up socially and emotionally too. I hope he keeps focused on the positive things he is doing and achieving and that those continue. I think that sometimes fear of fear itself, and how to cope with it, can be very hard for our children to deal with. And so positive that you've found a college that is so supportive and realistic and has let him do what he is capable of and can cope with.

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That's good news - social phobia/anxiety/depression can make life very difficult, as I know well, so he has done really well to face up to his difficulties - and its good his college is able to support him. Obsessions can limit opportunities to develop - sometimes there needs to be an intervention, or crisis, to break the cycle and expose them to change and development. It shouldn't need someone to be sectioned to get the support they need, but clearly in his case it was a necessary step to take - and with a really positive outcome.


Hopefully he will now be able to found out his true potential - rather than being held back by fear/anxiety/depression.

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