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I Need a Magic Wand

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by ThatManViv, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. ThatManViv

    ThatManViv New Member

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    My son is a high functioning person, and has been diagnosed as autistic aged 46. He's devastated. He's also lost. When it comes to accounts and spreadsheets he's probably a genius, but with interpersonal skills he's probably a dunce.

    Now, he seems obsessed with dying, He doesn't care how as long as he dies.

    I was for a few years a psychiatric nurse and I learnt that people who say they want to die actually want their lives to change so they are not unhappy.

    I can't help him because I live in England and he lives in Ohio. He seems obsessed with this idea of dying. Can anyone comment or advise please.
     
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  2. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Suicidal thoughts, even obsessing over them, is as common for NDs as for NTs. He needs a depression treatment.

    I'm not sure how we can help, unfortunately. You can only be for him as you would be for any other member of your family. Call him, show him you care and love him. There aren't special words to say that would make it all better. Magical wands don't exist.

    He may cope and accept his diagnosis in time. It's not the end yet, definitely not the end of the world, although right now it may seem so to him.

    Hopefully, with you being just a call away (and maybe some other family members as well) he won't give up.
     
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  3. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh my gosh @ThatManViv That sounds like a mega-difficult situation. I think you're right that most people who feel like dying probably do just want the pain to stop, for things to be different, better. But at the same time it's important not to dismiss that they actually might try to do it. I'm going to apologise in advance because you're probably aware of that already, but I just couldn't be sure from what you wrote.

    Did the death obsession come because of the diagnosis or do you think he was unhappy prior (then he was diagnosed) and now that's pushed him even further?

    A diagnosis like this can involve some period of adjustment and learning. You get to learn about yourself, why things in the past happened (that were related to autism) and some of that can be quite positive. But it's important that you get to see the positives and read and talk to people who aren't all doom and gloom.

    Are there some organisations where he lives that you might be able to put him in touch with (or vice versa)? Or support groups? Maybe other members near Ohio could suggest some?

    When one of my kids was diagnosed years ago I knew nothing about autism of any kind. I started learning but I remember at first my focus was on 'fixing' because that child was so different from the others I didn't know how to parent properly. It was difficult for ME. My focus was on making my child more the same, and on all the negatives.

    Shortly though, as I was always learning more and more, I started to know about neurodiversity (yay!) and some of the gifts that can come along with the, admittedly, difficult aspects (you mentioned that your son has some great skills). Anyway, I came to an understanding that, though there is still a lot of stigma, the differences that come with autism are valid and it's been a mental shift that made me glad that I too was later diagnosed on the spectrum.

    I think what I'm trying to say is - mindset. Read the right things, get in with the right people and try to establish the right mindset (where he's not defective, he's just a person with some different needs) so he can carve himself a part of life in which he feels he's got a lot to live for and he's a valid member of society, even with his differences. Because he is.

    Also, I'm sending good thoughts out to you - all I can do - because I know it must be so hard for you being so far away when all this is going on.
     
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  4. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hardly a dunce. Just doesn't experience social situations in the same way you or some others do.
    doesn't make him a dunce.

    A diagnosis later in life can be a real 'head-masher'
    nothing's changed and yet everything's changed.

    Was his diagnosis a shock for him?

    How much does he know about Autism?
    If his current knowledge is only that which emphasises limitations, he may do well to learn more about the condition?

    would he join a forum like this one?
    (sometimes writing it down and putting it out there in the middle of a tribe who get it, can be cathartic.)

    He's still the same person he always was. It's likely he may always have had Autism.
    His strengths and skills and excelling at certain things are likely because of Autism.
    He just hasn't had an official explanation for it before now.

    getting him to accept that will be the difficult part.
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    What medication is he taking and how often does he go to therapy?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  6. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process! :)
     
  7. An Arctic fox

    An Arctic fox Well-Known Member

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    Friends are very important in this time. He also needs therapy and medication may help.
     
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  8. SolarPoweredNightOwl

    SolarPoweredNightOwl Walking contradiction

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    A therapist is key for him, but when you're depressed, let alone depressed and autistic combined, it's hard to make yourself go seek out a stranger to expose your most screwed up self to. Plus he's in the US, and our healthcare system is a joke, although if he's an accountant he can probably afford it.

    You're correct that he finds his circumstances intolerable and would rather change them than actually die. A therapist (or possibly you) can help him identify what, specifically, bothers him and why. Then you/therapist can suggest alternatives. Sometimes we fail to see different ways of doing things or other paths available to us, and this can especially be a problem for those of us on the spectrum.

    Make sure he does his homework on autism, and takes what he reads with a grain of salt. There's a lot of bad literature out there (outdated, poorly written, some of it flat out wrong). It's a difficult thing to face, but it's essential. Before I figured out I was on the spectrum, there were times I'd get angry or scared or upset and wouldn't know why. Now I understand more about what bothers me and why (sensory overload, hypersensitivity to sound, etc) and can make better choices for my own happiness (doing things by email rather than phone, getting sufficient rest between social events, etc). Small things, mostly, but life is mostly made of small things. It makes a big difference over time.
     
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  9. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    Some people it takes time to accept their diagnosis, I was 31 when I found that I am on the spectrum and while It didn’t cause me to be devastated I did wonder why it took so long for someone to pick it up.

    There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about Autism and maybe if your son did some research online and find out that everyone on the spectrum is different and don’t fit into the stereotypes maybe that will ease his mind.

    I am a female and went through numerous misdiagnoses like schizoaffective disorder,psychosis and the professionals even thought I might develop schizophrenia before I eventually found out I have Aspergers along with Complex PTSD and a Anxiety disorder.

    Depression is common with those on the spectrum so maybe try and get some counselling for that because the thoughts about death are worrisome and he may need someone to talk to,I hope your son will realise being on the spectrum is not a bad thing nor does it make him a bad person. You can still be a great,kind and good person and being on the spectrum has no impact on that.

    I hope for the best for him and hopefully he can get through this rough period he is having.
     
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  10. ThatManViv

    ThatManViv New Member

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    W o W ... I'm so glad I made this post - what a lovely lot of charitable understanding people you are .
    I should point out that my son is certainly not rich, he is now unemployed, having lost his job very recently. He hasnt shared what happened with me - this "secrecy" is part of him, recognised since his school days.
    He may well have been depressed before his recent diagnosis but he didnt share that with me either.
    I'm communicating with him thru FB messenger most days hoping some of my words might help him.
    He is fortunate to have lovely gf partner who has just started talking with me, which is reassuring. However, she does need to work, leaving him alone. Last week he drove to a bridge where he wrestled with thoughts of jumping off and was spotted by police who traced him to their house and talked about institutiionalsing him but never took any actiion towards that.
    He has been seeing a therapist, which culminated in his diagnosis, and this therapist has referred him to a behavioural specialist, but this, of course, costs $$$$ which he is working on. His last employer is claiming to be making monthly payments to him but he hasn't received a cent.
    Together we have read the book Martian in the Playground, which I was able to find in our english library system, and it has informed us both I believe.
    I'll make some efforts to find support for him in and around his locality. A phone number could be all he needs. And I'll try to discover some support in my area where maybe I can be welcomed.
    Thank You for all the replies.
     
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  11. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, the members here really came out in force. It's great, isn't it. :) I am so glad to hear that he has someone with him, even if not 24/7. The depression is still concerning and I just want to agree with previous posters that perhaps medication is necessary to get him stable again and through this dangerous period. I would be asking a doctor about that as well as moving forward with understanding the diagnosis and getting support.

    I can be secretive too. It started originally because I wasn't diagnosed for so long and I knew the things I did were considered unusual, silly or weird by many people so I started covering and hiding them. I realise now that they are part of my autism and I'm trying to unlearn that (the secretiveness, not the autism :p).

    That's crappy. Sounds like he may need to do something to push that along. Like he needs more fires to put out right now! :(
     
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  12. An Arctic fox

    An Arctic fox Well-Known Member

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    Just a by the way if a suicidality hospitalization is needed (and if they do that where you are). Do make sure you learn the difference between suicidal ideation (wanting to die) and suicidal plan (having a plan to kill oneself)
     
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