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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

Gaming meltdown

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Hi all - just joined and already value reading your stories and would love your advice.

We have a 13 yo boy who has some characteristics that would seem to suggest Asperger traits - obsessions, struggle with close friendships at school, hates change, lacks some empathy - but otherwise seems to be coping better with life than most teenagers. We have only realised possible ASD in the last few months since he hit his teens so it's very early days and while he is coping OK we are keeping our thoughts to ourselves.

His current obsession is x-box gaming (fortnite of course - but issue is true of all human vs human battele games) and with usual mutual frustations we have agreed time limits for playing and separately watching youtube videos. I'd say he's a better than the average player but he really struggles with losing which is most of the time by the nature of the game - it can never be just one of those things/bad luck/better player, its always someone cheating, error in the game, internet lagging, etc. At first (January) it was shouting and moderate swearing which we worked on, but more and more he is crying and screaming with rage/unhappiness. He broke an old laptop so was warned that next time something gets broken that would be the end of it. If he plays say 15 games/day unless he gets a win early on his moderate anger will ramp up and so will his reaction to failing to win. He can't be persuaded to take a break so launches straight back in and unsurprisingly he's even less likely to win because he is so angry and under more self pressure. He will then scream at my wife and I and shut us out. We do our best to sit with him and reassure him but we struggle with what to say/do until time's up and after 15mins he can calm himself down and be more rational.

I've read many of your stories of undesirable activities/noises that can create meltdowns but what is best when that is associated with his biggest love/obsession?

My natural desire is to protect him by removing the game/x-box but if he is on the aspergers scale is this best or should we just accept this is part of his life? He's aware of the stress and hate of losing but the buzz of winning maybe 1 in 25 games or the need to be the best overrides the negatives in his eyes. I can't think it good to have this love-hate-self-lothing association building up.

Should we stop him playing to protect him or should we just pur our fingers in our ears and let him get on with it? In our weekend quiz he said his biggest fear is failure so things are begining to fit but we are desparate for some pointers for coping with this specific challenge...

Thanks for reading.

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My son is diagnosed he's 24 he loves Xbox but hates to loose and reacts just like your son.He plays online and is always ranting people are cheating, its not faire he gets in a right strop.Its hard to just not get involved and leave them to it but we try.I found it's best not even to casually enquire as to what's wrong it just fuels his rant.We ignore him let him rant it tends to blow over.When he's calm again we find its best not to bring up the subject it can set him off again.

We didn't get the diagnosis till our son was 20 but we knew and he had attended a special school with a statement. I suggest you speak to your go say you want him accessing it took 12 months on a waiting list in our area to see the physiologist then a further 6 for the assessment.

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First and foremost we feel others emotions too intensely to cope, that doesn't mean we lack empathy. I've watched TV programs to help me learn empathy and discussed it with people who can explain in 'black and white' ways 'the other side of the coin'.

He might feel like the only thing he's good at is the game. He could know the game very well and be able to tell if there's an internet problem or people cheating. We are rule orientated so if someone does something out the ordinary it can look like cheating.

I've been a game quizzer for over 4 years with 2 friends. At first I was stroppy with some of my friends, them giving me time to reflect and my home situation improving meant I was less likely to be stroppy with them. I used to get really wound up when we didn't get any prizes. Then my teammates reminded me of other ways we could consider success, eg our score each time going up, the questions not being the ones we we're experienced in etc.

Would giving him specific praise help? Have a motto 'no problem too big, no achievement to small' in th household and strive to resolve it no matter what. Remind him of it when he brings up failure.

Perfectionism is a difficult trait to resolve in us autistics.

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