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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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Elanor

Medication

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Elanor   

I was reading the Amercian OASIS message board, and I was amazed at how many parents talk about the drugs their children are prescribed, and the range of drugs involved.

 

From my experience, it seems unusual to prescribe medication for Asperger's kids in the UK. Am I right? My son's specialist, after a lot of persuading, prescribed a tiny amount of Lorazepam (a sedative) for use in emergencies only. We've tried it in emergencies, and when he's been calm, but it has no effect at all. I'd still like to have a sedative to use when I judge that my son is become over-anxious - and I'll be discussing this at the next appointment with our specialist.

 

Has anyone else got views or experience on medication for AS?

 

Elanor

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Kris   

I had heard that sedatives are just about useless for Aspergers sufferers and can actually make them worse in some cases!

 

Does anybody else have any experience of this?

 

Kris

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eddie   

our doctor prescribed a sedative for little one when we were flying in the holidays and did advice me to try a smaller amount a couple of nights before we flew because it could make him worse, it was absolutely full of E numbers so it wouldn't have surprised me anyway!!! i did try it and it did make him worse, but happy worse!!!! he was absolutely bouncing of the walls!!!!! :lol:

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Hi All, my son has been on drugs for 2 years now, the first two were forms of prozac which worked for a little while, why was my son put on drugs....well it s something I said i wouldn t ever do,we had tryed all the other approaches left open to us but without success.With age my son had different issues, and when he hit 7 he started getting violent and abusive, not only at school but then at home, it threatened the survival of my relationship but the most important thing was our baby son, who by the age of 2 had been giving black eyes, thick lip,bruises by my (aspergers) son, not always on purpose but his behaviour was implusive and explosive, the drugs calmed him down, 6 months ago it all started again, but the victim then became me, and he also started trashing the house and running away, he is now on Risperdal which is about the only drug I ve noticed that has had a bigger result, my son sleeps better, he s showing a loving side which he never had before, he still flips and gets sparky but since he s been on it (2 months) he hasn t hit me and seems more settled.

I know some people are against giving there children drugs but sometimes its the only opinon left open to them, i know for a fact if my son wasn t on drugs my relationship would of been broken up and maybe my younger son would have to stay with his father rather than remain with me for his saftey. So its not always a matter of saying 'you would never' but weighing up 'what is it best to do'. also most children on the spectrum I know are on drugs, its quite common

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Lisajb   

Hi everyone, hope you're all ok.

 

I've noticed in a few topics and replies recently that people have said that their children are on various antidepressants, SSRI's etc.

 

I've recently had a letter from Chris's paediatrician saying that she feels he is borderline depressive and very anxious, and that medication is an option we should give consideration to.

 

How have other members found using medication works for their child, has it helped, did you find it a hard decision to make? I'd be interested in any feedback anyone can give.

 

Lots of love

Lisa

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jenn   
:P hi lisa, our chris who is 10 has been on Prozac now for about 6 months. Don't have much time to discuss at present as chris is having a very stressfull day as his birthday is soon and he is not coping and to add to the stress one of his brothers has been taken out for the day and he doesn't understand why he wasn't asked :o Chris was put on prozac to help control his OCD and she felt his constant soiling was possibly due to depression. It has been an interesting six months, maybe we can chat later, but I am very pleased with the decision we made to put chris on medication. It was very hard to make this decision but it has certainly given him and us a better quality of life, by greatly reducing his anxiety about his obsessions and he has nearly stopped soiling himself which is wonderfull. Hope this is of some help jenn

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Lisajb   

Hi Jenn

Thanks, would appreciate that sometime.

the main problem I have is my husband, who is completely anti- anti-depressants. Probably a hangover from our mothers day - valium, mothers little helpers and all that (my mum got hooked on Ativan!). I was taking Prozac myself last year as everything had got on top of me. I did feel that it helped - but I had hubby nagging all the time to give it up, which I did, and then felt pretty down again quite soon.

 

If it would help my son - who is also called Chris lol - then I would do it, and certainly the way he has been lately he needs help - but whether I could persuade hubby remains to be seen.

 

I'm so pleased it has helped your boy - I hope he feels happier soon.

Best wishes

Lisa

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Elanor   

Hi

 

My son (also called Chris (9) ? spooky!) recently was prescribed risperidone (brand name Risperdal). This is an anti-psychotic, found to be useful in treating anxiety in children with Asperger?s. It has been very effective in relieving my son?s anxieties, although its not a cure. Medication has lead to fewer meltdowns and violent incidents, and he is much happier than he was before. Before medication, he could be crippled by his anxiety ? homework was often an insurmountable problem, and sometimes he couldn?t go to school. Now he is able to seek help from us, and is usually calm enough to get involved in problem-solving. Actually, I?m understating the difference in my son ? its been something of a transformation.

 

I can understand (and share in) misgivings ? but its important to look at things from the child?s point of view. If medication can make life better and more tolerable for him, then that?s a powerful argument.

 

I know that I?ve been afraid that medication is the easy option ? and I don?t think that its a first choice option. In my case, I did a long parenting course and read books by the skipload, visited the specialist over a 18 month period, worked with school, went to the support groups, radically altered the whole family?s lifestyle ? and it still made very little difference to my son?s behaviour and happiness.

 

I still feel guilty though.

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nellie   
I still feel guilt though.

 

Elanor

 

As far as I can see you have no reason to feel guilty. Give yourself a big pat on the back, your deserve it!! He's a lucky lad to have such a great mum who puts in so much effort.

 

Nellie x

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jenn   

hi all I know how you feel Eleanor I feel guilty each morning when I give Chris his Prozac but I genuinely believe we were not left with any choice. Chris was permanently angry. Meltdowns seemed to roll one into the other. My other childrens saftey was at risk as he would throw the four year old and had strangled another brother damaging the windpipe and causing internal bruising. I and my husband felt like a punch bag and restraining Chris was a daily occurence several times a day. The only one he never touched was his baby sister, I have still yet to work out why, but I am gratefull that he only used to scream at her but to my knowledge never hurt her. Chris himself was always anxious. His little life filled with rituals and obsessions. Checking plug sockets four times before going out. Toys in certain order. A hat that only came off when he was in the bath or in bed. Sleep? I think he had forgotten that he was suppossed to sleep at night time!!I could list numerous anxieites and obsessions here but suffice it to say that in the end I had to mahe the decision to put Chris on Prozac not only for his own good but also for the saftey of his siblings. The change in him is incredible. His anxiety is greatly reduced his meltdowns are without doubt less frequent, the family is more relaxed and chris is visibly more relaxed. His osessions and anxieites are without a doubt reduced. The only other main effect we have noticed is that his HFA is more noticeable now than it was before. Overall I feel we have made the right decision and although I know medication does not offer long term solution it has without a doubt improved the quality of life for Chris and the whole family. Dont know if this was of any help. I do hope so.

All the best and take care

love Jenn

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nellie   

Hi Jenn

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

 

We had similar problems with our son, he attacked my son and husband but never physically attacked me, I'm not sure why, I always thought it was because I never showed any fear. Medication was never an option, as he behaved like an angel in front of everyone else, it was deemed to be our problem. By the time he was diagnosed at 19 with ASD, we could not take any more, neither could he. He wanted his independence and we were lucky enough to find a placement with the understanding and experience to care for him.

He now has a good quality of life and supervision which enables him to do things he would otherwise not be able to do.

It has been six years since he left, he sees his care placement as his home. He enjoys his visits to see us but is always pleased to be going back 'home'. Today was a very special day as he has bought himself a webcam and mike and today we had our first face to face conversation with him on the web. (I have to admit to a lump in the throat). If they can overcome the difficulties it may cause him, such as it becoming an obsession, we will be able to have weekly chats with him face to face.

It took me three years to get over past experiences and to come to terms with it all. The guilt was the worst thing to deal with. I am pleased to say that I now have no guilt, well almost no guilt!! I know I made many mistakes, but at the time I always did what I thought was best, I don't think you can do more than that. With hindsight I would have done many things differently!!!!!!! If it had been offered I may have excepted medication.

 

Nellie

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Elefan   

Thank you both for sharing your experiences so openly and frankly. Hope your latest 'project' of the webcam is a success, Nellie. Sounds brilliant!

 

The nice thing about the people whom have found this site is that they are honest, polite and non-judging of each other.

 

At the risk of sounding gushing,...many of you are an inspiration to me, especially those whom have had to fight 'the system' and won. One thing that is certain, is that we all try and do our best, and from that we should take some comfort, whatever the outcome.

 

:)

With the greatest respect and thanks to you all,

 

Elefan

x

Edited by Elefan

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Lisajb   

I feel hellishly guilty about Chris, I always will, about why I didnt spot things sooner.If I had, then maybe things would be different now. He can't cope, I can't help him and when he says things like "you always used to be cross with me. you didn;t know I was autistic" it tears me in two. I think I'll always beat myself up about it, and we haven't even got to the stage of deciding on medication yet. "I'm sorry" doesnt express even a little of what I feel.

 

I'm so pleased for you Nellie, I hope everything works out.

 

 

 

"I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do"

Affirmation - D Jones/D Hayes

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nellie   

Lisa

 

Thank you very much for your reply. I am so sorry Lisa, I do understand how you feel. I have had the time and space to work it all out in my head, whilst you are still in the middle of it. At the time I felt exactly like you do.

 

When my son was ten I asked an 'expert' if my son could be autistic, he told me definately not, because this was the advice of an expert, I accepted it and never investigated autism, if I had, I would have known without a doubt that it was and I would have been treated my son very differently. I think I managed to work through my guilt by learning to accept what I could not change and to change the things I could, if that makes sense. I also learnt to forgive myself.

 

Nellie xo

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nellie   

Just to let you all know the web cam was a success, slight technical hitch, vision but no sound, but used messenger text. Great to see him, but he was only interested in seeing the dog!!!!!!!!!

 

Nellie x

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Helen   
Just to let you all know the web cam was a success, slight technical hitch, vision but no sound, but used messenger text. Great to see him, but he was only interested in seeing the dog!!!!!!!!!

 

Nellie x

Hi Nellie,

 

Glad everything went quite well with the web cam - your message brought a huge smile to my face, as I know how important a dog can be within the family environment, Brilliant!

 

Helen.

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I had heard that sedatives are just about useless for Aspergers sufferers and can actually make them worse in some cases!

 

Does anybody else have any experience of this?

 

Yes, I am on sedatives that make it worse. But the trouble is both my parents and doctors refuse to take me off of them!

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For me personally most of the anti depressants that I've been placed on in the last 3yrs have been a total waste of time. Because they either had no effect on me at all or turned me into a zombified being with some nasty side affects that I was very conscious of...feeling sick...terrible indigestion problems.

 

The one that I'm currently on does very little in terms of controlling depression basically because my depression is hormonal but its excellent at counter acting against my OCD which is Venlafaxine (EFEXOR XL) 75mg. The original dose was 150mg but again at that level it played havoc with my indigestion problems.

 

:wacko: Apparently this drug is supposed to make its "victims" buzz with anticipation, which is one side effect I'm certainly glad I haven't experienced from it.

 

Tim

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