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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

Student son, Aspergers?

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Looking for some help for my son (now 19). My wife and I have always been concerned that he has displayed some different trait's whilst he was growing up:

Never getting excited at Christmas, Birthdays, Holidays etc. I mean nothing - He was even selected to carry the Olympic torch when he was younger, the response when we told him was  was oh that's good and he just carried on doing what he doing like nothing had happened, didn't even discuss it (and never told anyone is school - it was just normal)

When playing with his friends in the garden, I would shout for him repeatedly - so much so that all his friends would and stopped to look at me and he would carry on playing - it became a bit a joke with his brother, that after shouting his name 3 times and would should his brother to get him! We used to always joke he used to go to his own planet!

I remember a load of friends coming round to watch a horror movie - I think for his birthday, I could see everyone else having a laugh, then I saw him totally engrossed in the film as if no-one else was around. His ability to lock himself into his own world has to be seen to be believed (the world could be ending before he noticed!!) 

... I could go on.....

When he was around 4 he had a grand mal seizure and stopped breathing, he was transferred to the nearest specialist children hospital and put on a breathing machine - the following day he came round and was sent home - however we had a different child, he become obsessed with things like going to a play place he had visited - the next day we had to take him (as he would repeated go on about it). It took him a long time to get back to being being normal (or like he was before) - but he never seemed the same again - we never raised this with anyone - and maybe we should of!

He is incredibly focused, first at sports (long distance running - we asked him what goes through his head when he is racing and he said he would go through his physics or chemistry revision - is that normal?) then his exams.

He is now at the top UK university (or 2nd depending on which ranking you look at!) so although there is some negativity to his behavior , it also allows him to be incredibly focused!

At university he seems to have a really nice group of friends and after several pint's he looks like he really having a great time and fit's in, so not all bad :-) Although he has never been good in groups.... 

Oh and my Uncle had Aspergers, spent his whole adult life in care homes / institutions :-(

Now the reason for the post.....

He has been in a relationship with his girlfriend for 4 1/2 years (they were inseparable in that time and he was obsessed with seeing her, our lives then revolved around allowing him to spend time with her), she however, has decided to end it as she doesn't feel he shows her any feelings. She came up at the weekend to see him - he "says" he is upset but no tears - nothing (maybe this is good - but not what I'd expect - but that is just the way he is)

We have some concerns that this will be a repeated process with him and I'm not sure what help he would get, or if giving him a label would help.

However it may help us in dealing with him and the arguments we occasionally have.

He is a wonderful lad, who has been incredibly successful but really struggles with any emotion or the ability to change his behavior.

Am I just being paranoid? Is this just normal ( we do have another son - who is nothing like this...)



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I'm not an expert, but I think it's plausible. In my opinion, I don't think there's any harm in asking the question, and I would bring it up to him, but do it in a nonchalant way when you're relaxed, maybe sitting in front of the telly having a conversation, but not in the middle of a family argument for example. I would say something like 'I've heard of this Asperger's condition, does this sound like you...?'. In my own experience, I suspect I might have Asperger's, but the penny only dropped for me at the age of 39, and I am currently awaiting assessment. When I disclosed this to my family, it seemed like everybody knew except for me, but they hadn't told me and it looked like they never would, and I was quite annoyed about that because if I'd known earlier my life might have been easier! Get him to take the Asperger's AQ test, which is available online http://aspergerstest.net/aq-test/ , it's not a diagnostic test but it is a good indication of whether someone might have Asperger's or not. Hope this helps!

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Does your son have any plans for what he's going to do after university?

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