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Asperger's Syndrome and PTSD -

Discussion in 'PDD-NOS, Social Anxiety and Others' started by forowls, May 4, 2016.

  1. forowls

    forowls Lady

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    I was wondering if anyone else struggles with any form of severe depression/anxiety while also coping with Asperger's? I'm sure if I read through some of the previous threads I'd find more of you like me.

    I ask because I need help.
    I need help because relationships are hard, romantic and not, and waking up everyday is one of my most difficult struggles.

    I feel like damaged goods; like a burden--I get upset when I feel like I'm not being paid attention to and melt down (even though in reality I spend basically every second with my boyfriend [I even work with him]), it's impossible for me to maintain friendships because there's always that voice in the back of my head saying: "they don't actually want to be your friend". No matter how much sleep I get I'm always tired.

    Little things can set me off on meltdowns.

    Is there anyone here who can relate? How do you cope? Do you have any relaxation methods? How can I communicate without melting down first?
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Normally I'd just post an existing thread here on such a subject. However with the subject of depression comorbid to autism...it's probably best to simply type in the word "depression" in our search engine box and watch it go "tilt" with many threads on this subject. So many it will keep you reading for some time.
     
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  3. forowls

    forowls Lady

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    Thank you! I'm still super new to this forum. So I'm not exactly sure how everything works yet. :/
     
  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Basically you'll find an overwhelming number of people here commenting on such things. Welcome to AC.

    You are not alone! ;)
     
  5. qwerty

    qwerty Sight seeing on the planet of the apes

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    i deal with depression, anxiety and PTSD along with my asperger's.
    i think quite a few of us here do. it can be extremely difficult to
    deal with. i have had difficulties with partners before, and yep it can be
    complicated trying to maintain relationships.

    if you're struggling or just want someone to talk about it with flick me a PM
     
  6. hiraeth

    hiraeth Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I honestly think that most of my asociality is due to PTSD, not aspergers. Because, when I was very young, I used to like people a lot. I didn't know how to express that desire to get to know people, so I creeped or weirded a lot of people out, but I still really wanted to be close to people. Now, I do not. I find most interaction very exhausting, I am always too exhausted to be able to manage emotional investment in people, I have no energy to tolerate triggers and, if ever the possibility of becoming very close to someone appears, I freak out, and that freakout is enough to remind me that it's just not worth trying. I will fail.

    Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which diagnosis is "more responsible" for a particular challenge or trait.
     
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  7. qwerty

    qwerty Sight seeing on the planet of the apes

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    i felt much like you do when i started participating on this forum.
    but now i feel like i actually belong somewhere and feel safe to
    make friends and fill the void of having no one i could fully trust
    or be my actual self with without fear of them not accepting me or
    worse.

    the great thing here is that you have control.
    there are options to leave a conversation and
    to block seeing content from people etc
    plus most people here understand in a way that
    is rare in most places.

    it's like dipping your toe in the water to see if it's
    ok to go in further. remember, you are in control, if
    someone makes you feel uncomfortable you can block them
    or end the conversation.

    thanks to this forum for the first time i am learning to be my true
    self with other people. it's not easy at first but for me it fills that
    loneliness and aching social vacuum in my life.

    we could maybe start an open conversation for people who struggle
    like this as a safe way to talk with each other?
     
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  8. hiraeth

    hiraeth Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    qwerty sure. I made a thread about asociality a while ago. Maybe there can be a follow up to it. "Asocial and want help changing". Hahaha, what ever is cool. I'm not good at it, and the concept of "community" is one that makes me a little uneasy in and of itself. I wouldn't say it's a trigger, more like I have conditioned skepticism.

    I do like this place a lot. Otherwise I wouldn't bother to come. :sweatsmile: I like the diversity of backgrounds, and that people are allowed to be themselves, and/or express their experience and opinions openly. I particularly like the diversity of age and life experience. Seems like I tend to get a lot more anxious around groups of young people, or dominantly young crowds.

    I'm mostly drawn to being here because of the special interest discussions. When it comes to "being myself", that's really the only area where I have a solid and mature grasp on what "myself" is. Other than that, I really don't know - I think I haven't developed a well-rounded sense of self. It's to be expected when you miss out on all the years that most people get to spend figuring these kinds of things out, rather than literally just trying to survive and protect from physical harm.

    Right now I sort of just expect that the more I do that "figuring out who I am" work, and start to develop a wider range of interests and abilities which I can share and bond with people over, some desires to socialize again will return.

    Let me know if you wanna make another thread and we can continue the discussion there :)
     
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  9. jfk

    jfk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, pretty similar story here. I do think I've definitely got some sort of PTSD thing going on. a combination of growing up experiences, life experiences and my aspergers.

    Growing up I experienced really vicious daily racism at school. really nasty in your face stuff. sometimes physical. this was the early 80s when school's didn't really care, I lived in a very white area of inner city England. Basically count the number of ethnic minority kids on one hand. I'm half chinese so used to get all the stereotypes etc. didn't tell my parents. that went on for years, so not very enjoyable. worked out human nature and NTs pretty quickly. I got into fitness, body building, weights, boxing, to present a shell. Even though I was on the outside great looking, educationally very bright, slightly extroverted, inside I was a mess. Used to self harm (this was in the 80s remember so pretty unknown I would imagine ), self medicate. tried to kill myself couple of times actually. :-( not really a happy time.

    This did not help my asociability and anxiety /depression lol.

    Grew up, got educated, went to university, got away from that place.

    Had a rather acrimonious break up and divorce with my ex about 12 years ago. went pretty unpleasant and through the family court system, have joint custody of my daughter now ... but it nearly broke me all of that. seriously. thought I was just going to lose it.

    Had therapy few times, had some great counselling, been on a path of self discovery. only really worked out my diagnosis last few years. I'm 43 now and just about worked it out.

    I feel exhausted a lot. like others have said.

    Feel sad now typing this :-(
     
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  10. Professori

    Professori Professori

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    Well stated and the same applies to me :)
     
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  11. radasp

    radasp Well-Known Member

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    What you are feeling sounds familiar to anyone who has been through the "maze" of symptoms, diagnosis, lies, incompetence, social gossip, pop culture, and myth, disappointment and bullying that surround ASD, Aspergers and all the other alphabet soup of "problems" in the DSM. Remember that you are you, not what people say you are. Believe it or not, you are not ruined, damaged or hopeless. You have the ability to look at the people around you and ask yourself, "Are these people perfect? How many of them are truly happy? How many are causing pain for themselves and other people?" Be realistic. You'll find that all those "normal" people are pretty strange. Then choose for yourself who you want to be; it takes a lifetime to become "you".
     
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  12. Rayner

    Rayner Well-Known Member

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    I have both Autism and PTSD. My childhood was awful I came from a broken dysfunctional family of neurotypical people, that I now have next to zero contact with.
     
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  13. Christine Jarvis

    Christine Jarvis Active Member

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    I have both PTSD and Autism about 2 months ago. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with both because it seems like my fear of change and stuff not being the same triggers my PTSD because then my anxiety gets way worse and I can't stop thinking about it and there days where I can't stop thinking about the subject that is making my PTSD come out a lot more.
     
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  14. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I recently learned about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and man, that was a huge light bulb going on in my head when I found out that's actually a thing.

    I really think my brain is just hardwired to develop PTSD type responses too - I've long ago used up whatever resilience I had and my brain will just immediately develop triggers to any painful situation now. It doesn't matter how insignificant it seems when viewed objectively, my brain just goes haywire.
     
  15. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes. For me - PTSD and anxiety.

    You will find depression, anxiety and numerous other issues are often found along with Aspergers. The best thing that ever happened to me in terms of improving my life in relation to these issues was to find a therapist who 1. I liked and trusted emotionally 2. who was smart - so she was helpful and 3. I could afford to see her regularly over the long term. If you can find a situation like this then I would recommend it (and I always do on this forum BECAUSE it did so much for my life - not because I have any weird, blind faith in 'professionals' :p).

    Beyond that, things that might help include learning to recognise your triggers for meltdowns so you can take actions to avoid getting to that stage. Learning progressive muscle relaxation is a good one (google it). Medication is a funny thing. I haven't had much luck with it working more than short term, except for CBD which I now take on prescription. CBD seems to work for me WHEN I can afford it (very expensive here in Australia), it helps me with sleep, anxiety, ptsd symptoms. Re sleep - I occasionally take valarian tablets (over the counter) and for me they really work to help get off to sleep and sleep soundly. Obviously with anything like that, consult your doctor and keep to to the medication instructions.

    I don't have relationships now but when I did I remember their friends would kinda be my friends - except when I look back they weren't really. I was just a tag-along. Relationships can be more difficult for aspies/autistics. I find it easier to relate and build up friendships with people one on one or at least in smaller settings but of course one has to make the effort. It's not always easy.
     
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  16. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    More of a "sympathetic/empathetic" response than a useful one probably, but here goes...

    Yes. Have experienced both depression and PTSD (probably CPTSD if anybody ever bothered to formalize such things). I typically say I've been through enough trauma for 3 lifetimes, as a form of shorthand.

    Currently not dealing with any significant mental illnesses, except the same sort of COVID fatigue everybody else is dealing with these days.

    Music has been my main emotional regulation thing for decades now. I was also lucky to have an awesome autism specialist for many years who helped me with a lot of crisis management, and helped me develop self compassion, and get rid of the self condemnation. And so many other things. Somewhere along the way, I developed a whole bunch if coping skills that are now reflexive. CBT modified for autism is probably responsible for a lot of them, although again, there was nothing formally said saying that's what we were doing. Unmodified, CBT is more problematic than helpful IMO, like so many things are that NTs think are helpful, without taking our differences into account.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
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  17. N2k12

    N2k12 Active Member

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    Me to mate. Me to. Is it us? Or is it them? I have no family to speak off. Feel abandoned. Like i was to much of a burden.
     
  18. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    Hmm... I think the term dysfunctional says it all. Not functioning well. Or IOW f*cked up. If they can't get along with each other, or know how to behave in a useful and supportive manner with each other, how can they possibly know how to do so with us??!

    We tend to think all NTs have it together, because socialization and communication etc. comes so much easier to them, but, in reality, so many of them never learn "proper"socialization skills, and wouldn't know how to have a healthy relationship of any kind, if their life depended on it! Why do you think there are so many self help books out there?

    I could go on, but I think I've made the point that just because someone is NT doesn't mean they are also mentally healthy, or have good attachments to other people, or...
     
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  19. N2k12

    N2k12 Active Member

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    hit the nail on the head with this one. And when a "NT" behaves poorly or aggressively, they are often forgiven or "understood" more. When aspies or ASD peoples have a meltdown or show aggressive behaviours, its never "forgotten" about, there is no real forgiveness, its always on the back of peoples minds. And you are shunned away. I just dont get it
     
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  20. WolfSpirit

    WolfSpirit Not a dictionary. Or a search engine

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    It never ceases to amaze me that sociopaths are actually quite prevalent and successful in the business world
     
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