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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
Booze Zombie

Social interaction, emotional problems

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Hi there, all, Booze Zombie here making his first post. For reference here, I'm 23, male and have Asperger's Syndrome.

 

Now, what I wanted to talk about here was something of a recurring problem in my life. It *seems* to follow a set pattern. Be happy, meet new people, be happy about meeting those new people, turns out I did something "weird" (like lose my temper, get drunk way before they do, talk about recreational drugs in a casual context, etc) and then those people will think I'm: A loose cannon, weird, creepy or just a plain ol' jackass.

 

The issue I'm having is, it all seems to stem from some silly sense of... I don't understand why they'd think that and unable to ID the issue, I go nuts. I blame myself, it's very melodramatic. "Oh woe is me, I am literally so rubbish people hate me and I cannot escape that. Hu-wah." You know, stuff like that. I feel trapped in myself and during one of these big ol' fits of feeling terrible about being who I am, I sorta hit a thought.

 

My problems all appear to stem from being self-centered. I seem to think from me about others, about me, about the world. When someone's upset, I go "what can I do". When someone doesn't like me, I think "what did I do, what can I do, what will I do, how did I come off". I believe myself to be so self-contained that when someone shakes up what I believe or think I know, it's so alien to me as to panic me.

 

To give a relatively recent grounding to this, I recently went to a friend's Uni accomodation, met her flatmates, got drunk at 3PM and revealed an aspect of my past involving drug use. I later had an emotional issue with this friend with my own controlling behaviour (over a social networking site), due to their changing from regular contact to non-regular contact due to a now active social life in uni, after this point, I found out that I had left a negative impression with those people I met.

 

My occasional nickname was "that creepy guy" amongst them, apparently. My drinking style, my admitance of drug use and my later emotional overreactivity due to rapid change of a comfortable habit with my friend had made a negative impression with those people due to their knowledge of it all. I found myself reacting to this information quite strongly.

 

I smashed my hand into my keyboard and cried myself to sleep that night, I thought about how very terrible it was that I appeared to be so incredibly bad at interacting with people and how people seem to truly not like me very much. That was the order of events.

 

All that taken into account, I am just spilling this out here in an attempt to gain some understanding of myself and perhaps see if anyone else out there has similar or perhaps even identical experiences. Thank you for reading, though apologies about the amount of writing.

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Merry   

Hi Booze Zombie! Thanks for your post it made very interesting reading actually, so never apologize for writing a lot, write more if it helps, we all write a lot at times, that's what we use the site for, after all. More information is always better than not enough when people are reading and wanting to help. I find the people who use this site are very supportive during the bad times and encouraging during the good times. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.

 

I have Aspergers too. I'm a 33 year old housewife, and even though my life is sorted now and I'm pretty stable emotionally, mentally, and socially, it wasn't always that way. I was so socially awkward, even though I had good training and qualifications in my area of work, I couldn't keep a job. I upset pretty much every person who ever got close to me. I've made a lot of enemies over the years and there are some people who have literally HATED me and have told me so. It's partly because I'm too honest, partly because I was very self-centred and suffered from crippling negative emotions and anxiety at times, and partly because I used to try so hard to say the right things at the right times but would always say the wrong things at the wrong times instead. Now when I say self-centred, what I mean is that I was very inward thinking.....like I was the centre of my universe and everything which happened to me, around me, and in my own mind was of huge importance and I would have to analyze every detail. It takes a lot of energy to be that way. I would put so much pressure on myself to behave in the perfect manner during every interaction, that by the end of a college week or working week, I would shut myself away in a dark room (I lived alone) and hide in bed for the whole weekend, often without even getting up to shower or eat. By the time Monday came around again, I often still did not feel I had spent enough time processing and recovering from the week before. It took all the energy I had to seem normal, to appear as though I was coping, and to keep being liked by other people.......and still, I couldn't manage it, ever for more than a few months at a time. I would always eventually lose my job, lose my friends, leave behind a lot of bad feeling, and have to start all over again somewhere new. It's not that I can't appear normal, I just can't do it consistently. I used to feel i'd let myself down, and let everyone I knew down every time I messed things up. -Every time the aspects of myself which I desperately tried to keep hidden would start bubbling up to the surface. And all it would take to knock me down was one bad exchange, one bad event, one thing messed up, and the tall tower i'd built would start to crumble and fall. My emotions would make sure of it. I was completely at the mercy of my own destructive mind and felt I had no control. What did not seem fair, is that underneath the exterior which I tried so hard to promote, was an exceptionally loving, kind, and thoughtful girl who only ever wanted the best for other people and would never intentionally hurt anyone. I was constantly misunderstood. My outer exterior, which tried hard and then messed up and said all the wrong things and hurt people, did not match the person who was inside, looking out. I used to wish I could communicate without words........because my words were so often the wrong ones, but my heart felt only love. However, people judge us on what we say and do, not (unfortunately) on the longings and sincerity of our heart. This, most do not sense. It is kind of like the stare a dog gives when he wants to communicate but cant. That's how I used to feel, like it SHOULD be possible to communicate who I am on the inside but for some reason, all I had were useless words which I used to muddle up or use in the wrong tone especially when emotional or under pressure, and give people the wrong impression. So often, I ended up saying the opposite of what I intended to say. I was the cause of all my suffering but I felt powerless to change it even though my intentions were always good, a lot of people turned away from me and some actively tried to hurt me and It felt like injustice. My childhood was hard, my teenage years were harder, and my 20's were the hardest.

 

Drug use is common for people like us, nervous habbits, bizarre coping strategies, overwhelming fear and powerful emotions leading to solitary behaviour, and all for a very good reason. Our minds are intricate and intense. We focus on details that most people don't care about, think about, or even notice. We sense subtleties and care deeply. And we are built that way. It's not something we can decide to turn off. But we can get better and better at coping with it and fitting into the world, or rather, molding our lives to fit us. If you think about it, unless you are intentionally harming others, you are perfectly entitled to be whatever you are and not have to apologize for it. You are able to live your life as an adult, just the way you are, and find people and situations which suit you. You can build your life up with those things and you do not have to live up to anybody else's expectations. You can choose to take all of the pressure off yourself about having to fit in socially, and just go about your life in whichever way you please. Once I realized that, my life changed. I found friends who wanted to know me as I am, and enjoyed having a friend who was different and quirky. They are still my friends now. I met a man who was prepared to put up with me and his sense of humour carries our relationship through. He's not a deep thinker, so we suit each other. He doesn't drain me because he's not demanding and is not at all dramatic. He likes his own space and I like mine. He doesn't understand my obsessions or my inner world, he just lets me get on with it. Because of that, I really do love him. We chose to love each other as we are and not try to change each other. I now let him go out to work, because that's what he likes to do, and I stay at home with our daughter, playing with the hose in the garden, painting, dancing and playing with her dollies, cooking and cleaning etc, because that's what I like to do. We don't have a lot of money, but we are happy, each living the way we like and not trying to be anything other than what we are. When you can say you are happy with what you are and what you have, you will feel the way I do and that's what I hope for everyone.

 

If you are as I am, you analyze your mind, your thoughts and feelings, your actions, what happens around you, what happened in your past, what might happen in your future, what other people are thinking of you, have thought of you, will think of you, how you responded, how you will respond next time, what they think of each other, why you exist, the nature of reality, etc etc........ and you've already cracked it because you have noticed the pattern in your mind. It may cause you a lot of exhaustion to be this way, but it did have it's purpose. It's as though you've been on fast-track learning in this lifetime and that's okay. A lot of knowledge will have come from the intense observation. Hopefully things should start to slow down soon, now that you are becoming aware. You are beginning to see that you are the lord of your own being, observing your thoughts and emotions, but recognizing them for what they are, which stops them from having power over you and gives you back the power. I say it a lot on this forum, something from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; "If you do not make the mind behave as your friend, it will behave as your enemy". It is very possible to take charge of your mind so that you can find relief from your emotions and suffering. All it takes is what you naturally do.....observation. If you become the watcher of your thoughts and emotions without getting lost in them, attached to them, or holding on to them, your thoughts and therefore emotions will eventually become under your own control and will be calmer, still and silent whenever you please, most of the time. This is the meaning of meditation. But whatever you call it, it's the key, I think, to taking control of a powerful mind, and having the freedom to create the life you want without the emotional interference. You could try asking yourself: "Who would I be and how would I live my life if I wasn't affected by or afraid of my emotions?/If I didn't care what other people thought of me?/If I was free to be who I am without judgement or worry?" Because regardless of how you must feel at times, you are most probably an incredibly interesting person to know.....and there is a perfect life for you out there, waiting for you to `grow` into it during the passing of time......if that makes sense.

 

With love and respect. :)

 

..............wow didn't I write a lot! :)

Edited by Merry

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Sally44   

I think you just gave out too much information to people who hardly know you, or may have just met you.

 

Close, personal information is for family and close friends. If you just meet someone, get very drunk, start talking about your past drug use, then get very upset and angry - what are those people going to think? That is all they've seen of you which maybe drunk, weird, etc. It takes time and some people you never get that close to. They are just acquaintences that you can say hi to or have a chat with. You don't bare your innermost soul to them. I don't know if that makes any sense to you at all. It is like walking up to a total stranger and snogging the face of them, tongues and all. Would you do that? Obviously not. Why? Because you don't know them, and they don't know you. Even if you got to know eachother they might not like you in that way, and you may not like them either.

 

We've all got drunk in our time. But as you are younger, if you are socialising with people you don't know that well, reign in the drinking so that you don't become the groups liability and get labelled as someone to avoid.

Edited by Sally44

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Tanya52   

Hey there! :)

 

Welcome aboard. Thanks for sharing. I think you're a good person, who've made a mistake (I'm taking about drags). For God sake, you're only 23 and don't judge yourself harshly, leave it for others.

 

I think you were just trying to impress your acquaintances. The bottom line is I'm not going to throw my stones at you.

 

take care

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Quotey stuff!

 

Thanking you for that response, it is very encouraging to hear other people's experiences, how they function, what they do to get through life just fine.

 

The thing that struck me the most was your comment about being on the fast track to learning, I have noticed I'm very quick on the uptake but there appears to be a vital flaw in my... me. I am learning quickly, I am noticing a lot of things and I'm most certainly not stupid but... it occured to me very recently that a lot of my problems are related to confusion. I can't seem to remember all of the important things, it's like my mind has become apathetic and doesn't want to bother retaining rules it thinks will become outmoded in a day or a week or a minute, so it just discards them as useless.

 

Oh. I'm expecting failure, yeah... that actually explains a lot. Definately need to give myself a reprogramming, get some more focused thinking going on.

 

As you said, nothing wrong with writing a lot. It's normally very insightful. You're right, we live an observational life and I think the biggest challenge is learning to accept that not being able to turn off, it's like being the main internet connection to a super computer, you're observing the world. But it can be fun if you learn how to process it constructively, I feel. That's actually why I had tried drugs in my life, spiritual enlightenment notions and such!

 

Quotey stuff

A valid observation, I'd dare say I was drunk and nervous and just trying to impress. I enjoy having a blunt opinion on things, it's refreshing. Thanks.

 

Quotey stuff

Hit the nail on the head there, ha, ha! Thanks for the input!

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scumble   

I don't know whether the drug use came about because you got involved with the wrong kind of people. That can happen to people on the spectrum. Also being too honest and trusting.

 

I'm 35 and still don't understand it. It's interesting how much you can share with people after a while without overstepping the mark, but it still isn't obvious to me how people cross the line into being friends. I think it is one of those things that I would understand if someone told me but still not be able to implement.

 

What appears sad to me is that I have not experienced a lot of friendship so I don't have a clear idea of what it looks like or how it develops.

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Immie B   

I'm 23 and female, this is my first time on a forum, I have a diagnosis of Aspergers and live with my boyfriend, I am gradually getting more erratic, reclusive and depressed (it has always happened in cycles), he thought it would be a good idea to try and speak to other people who are similar, we live together and have been a couple on and off for 5 years. I tried speaking to my parents (my mum also has a definition of aspergers) and said that I felt I couldn't cope, I don't feel like I can engage with other people, I don't understand society, they told me that's how they feel and it won't change. I also have bad experiences when I try socialize, I've stopped attending college, I just sit in the house and don't speak to anyone, I have a bad reputation due to my drink and drug problems, I get aggressive and do stupid things, drugs aren't as much the problem as drink. I feel completely alienated by the whole of society, I got a diagnosis when I was 16, I tried to commit suicide and had to see a mental health officer- since then the only help I've received from the NHS has been citalopram which I've stopped taking, there is no service that specializes in AS in the area apparently, that's it I have to accept it. I live in an out of the way area and the subsidaries are going to be cut meaning my boyfriend won't be able to get to work come the middle of April, this still has not been officially announced. He says he can't cope with me anymore because of my behavior, I just feel like a burdon on other people whenever I try interract with them. I don't understand how people have any motivation or interest in what they want to do with their life anymore. Sorry this is a very self absorbed rant but has anyone felt like this and how have they made themselves better? Without just making things worse by drinking?

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smileyK   

I always regret drinking even after great night out with friends as drags you down yet even further of trying to forget and feel better actually turns out makes feel worst so opposite in the end! end up coming home endlessly sobbing ,crying which feel makes no sense or have no real control over! I can really personally relate to cycles of erratic and impulsive behaviour patterns /cycles which you've described go on and off! makes complete sense as does general depression not easy to manage at best of times when get 'unwell' I stop suddenly taking my medication altogether which ended up in total state ,mess horrid ,awful im currently on lustral 50mg but been on many anti-d's since my early teens too long list! goes on forever to be honest so fed up ,drained go through stage being 'well' then just crash and drop! which freaks me out scares me! can feel another 'unwell' stage coming on building up currently then blow into crisis mode which never ends great or well! just end up feel bad guilty! ;(

 

XKLX

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