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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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BelLocke   

Hiya, real brief - my husband is 28 years old and has Aspergers. He's currently not on any kind of medication, although he used to take anti-depressants until we became a couple. He's now very against taking them, especially as he has body/weight issues (if I weren't here to feed him, I very much wonder if he would stop eating altogether) and is extremely frightened of gaining weight. Anyway...

We moved three years ago, and he's only ever used our local GP twice. The second time was just this week, and it was not helpful at all. He's been extremely stressed and anxious due to various issues, and was perhaps seeking some medical advice for anxiety medicine, etc. Rather than helping him, the doctor decided it would be best to tell my husband (diagnosed for the better part of 15 years, by the way) that autism "is not a disabling condition" and pretty much belittling/downplaying anything having to do with his AS. Obviously, I'm getting red flags from this GP already, and I'm desperate to find someone who actually believes autism/Aspergers is a real condition.

Does anybody have experience with doctors in the Birmingham area? Am I too optimistic in hoping to find someone useful/understanding on the NHS? Is private any better? Or in the end, is it just trial and error until you find a good doctor?

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Unfortunately not all GP's truly understand autism, especially Asperger's, and that applies to psychiatrists in my experience. I think plenty of autistic people, or their relatives, will say that autism can be very disabling, though its true that many may not find it disabling and able to live a normal life. Unfortunately, if you are mildly affected by autism then it can be difficult to get help and support - presumably because you don't seem 'disabled', which is unfair. I think its a post-code lottery as to how good your GP is at understanding autism, some are lucky and get a good service but the rest of us don't. My normal GP is pretty useless, luckily there is a second GP that I can see who is much better but still been a challenge to get a diagnosis. All you can do is be assertive with your current GP as much as possible, push for what you think he needs, and failing that see if you can register with another GP either at the same practice or somewhere else. Take a list of all the difficulties he has, and the effects it is having upon your relationship - hand it over to them, so they have it in writing.

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BelLocke   

I was afraid this was the case. Coming from an entirely different culture (America) in terms of medical care, I still can't get over how much of a mixed bag the NHS is. It's really depressing sometimes. :( But thanks for the honest answer. I might have to work on some sort of information packet or something that I can show his doctors in the future. It's a real shame some doctors are still so stubborn as to not take autism seriously as a condition.

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BelLocke   

It definitely crossed my mind to complain. I've just been told it's a problem throughout Birmingham that doctors are overlooking Autism, so the problem might go deeper than just this one guy.

The good news is I've been given a good lead to finding a doctor who might be a good fit for my husband, so fingers crossed!

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trekster   

Hope you manage to get a decent GP for your husband. I changed to a different GP within the practice because he told me "you're hiding behind your autism". My wellbeing worker strongly objected to this viewpoint.

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BelLocke   

That's such a terrible thing to say. It makes you wonder why some doctors are even in the trade when they can't be civil and understanding to the people they're supposed to be helping. Anyway, hope your new GP is treating you much better.

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