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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

Challenging Limits

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So... Something that has been a persistent thorn in my side since my diagnosis...

To what degree should one accept their limitations because of their condition, and to what degree should it be challenged?

I understand, absolutely, that the answer is mostly subjective to oneself, but I’d be keen to hear other people’s personal experience of such scenarios.

Is it OK to say, “No, I know I can’t do that; I know it stresses me out too much “...? Or is that being defeatist? I often feel guilty trying to impress that upon someone/myself - like I should be trying harder.

My own example would be something like speaking on the phone, arranging an appointment or booking the car’s MOT. I feel so awkward, so ill-prepared for their questions and unable to process quickly enough that I plead with others to do it for me. But then feel worse for it. I should be able to do it... And maybe it’s not that big a deal... Maybe I just need to “get over it”... I dunno.

Any input from you lovely folk?

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I suppose it depends on what someone wants to achieve in life.  In areas such as employment, life can be very competitive and people are expected to be be very knowledgeable about thir subject, have excellent communication skills, welcome change etc etc.  There appears to be little choice but to push oneself to the limits.  To help to do this coping strategies are useful.

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Knowing when to delegate a task to someone else is the key. Also finding alternative ways in which to complete a task can be helpful. I can book my car in for a service using an online app or an email. Some companies offer an mot test booking online. You get an email to confirm your test time and booking details. 

The scheme I'm on means they ring me up to ask for my car to be booked in for an mot. It still stresses me out as I have to plan out a whole day to get it done and I'm under time pressure to do it. When I rang up with a problem with my current car I was asked if I still had the last one. But you have to deliver the last car in order to pick up the next one so that seemed illogical to ask. 

If you present female at a garage some may try and rip you off, but if you present male or go with a friend being ripped off is less likely.

Can't you start the phone call with another person in the room and then if the call goes wrong say "I can't cope with this please speak to (name of person)" or "I can't cope with this please speak to my support worker". 

Some gp practices can permit email contact but I'm not sure how that would work for booking appointments. If your gp is aware of your difficulties on the phone they may permit email contact.

The subject line would be "FAO (your gps name)" if you can't cope with a telephone appointment (where the gp rings you back within a set two hour window) mention that on the email. Only downside of not having telephone appointments is you have to wait longer to see your gp. 

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