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Featured Isolation getting worse

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by ghostie, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    Hello. I never used to have a problem with this but now I find leaving my home to be very stressful and it is getting worse. When I was pretty young I used to always go outside and find a quiet spot to read in the bushes, then up until a couple years ago I used to like to go on long, multi-hour walks and just listen to music if the paths were busy or nature if empty and just daydream while I walked, nowadays leaving to go get food is a challenge and sometimes I've been known to miss a meal or two because going out is just too much sometimes.

    Logically I guess I just have to push myself in the reverse direction and start going out for walks but it's so hard, and also now it's winter so it's pretty cold, and I don't want my cat to be lonely, and a thousand other excuses.

    Does anyone have any experience with this and/or advice? I'm going to have to be out looking for a job in a few months and it's a terrifying prospect when even leaving to get groceries is a multi-day process to get mentally prepared.
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Use to suffer with this but self-talk helps. Realise other people don't like to go out either. We need food, gas, personal items.

    Try a litte reward on the days it went good. Maybe a coffee, a book. Something that says you did it and nothing horrible happened. This will slowly change your mindset and perhaps you will be more comfortable. It's to basically retrain your thought process. l really hope this works for you.
     
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  3. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    What you also need is profetinal help ASAP as this is not good signs and im afraid that things seems to have gone to far for you to be able to get out of it by youre self .
     
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  4. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I see you are a fairly new member, so welcome, ghostie.

    Are you happy when you are alone and isolated?
    Is the anxiety just when you go out into the world leaving the house?

    I lived most of my life with these feelings of not wanting to be out doing what we need to survive.
    Also, I never liked being alone. If someone, especially my parents, were with me it was a lot less stressful.

    Cognitive therapy and anti-anxiety meds are the only things that helped.
    But, I have never been able to desensitize the feeling of discomfort going places out in public
    and driving always caused anxiety.

    I hit my worst at age 31 and had to be hospitalised to find the help I needed.
    Finding therapists that you can communicate with and be comfortable with is the most important.
    You may have to try different ones.
    Nothing has gotten rid of the anxiety completely, but, believe me, with therapy and a lot
    of self coping skills training it got a lot better.
    I still continue with CBT and practice relaxation techniques and meditation. Always will.
    It may never leave completely, but, you never know.
    For some it does!
     
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  5. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    It!slightly easier being in the house! but I have panic disorder, it has no interest in being in the house 24/7,no choice ,this is the worst I’ve been .
    I took an SSRI for a few years it was easier !!!!then it became less easy ,you need talk therapy If they offer you citalopram ,research if its good for a agoraphobia (Hilarious meaning fear of the marketplace), the marketplace must be 1 inch outside my door .
     
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  6. VAW

    VAW Active Member

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    Hi Ghostie, Do you have anyone who can go with you? I think that makes it easier to actually go out! My son (the Aspie) will go out if it is with me or if it is with his brothers. I think he tries sometimes to just say one thing to someone....like at the grocery store I used to do everything for him because the anxiety was so great when he was out. Now he does things like pay for it himself and he is even saying thank you to the cashier. A lot of times he would just smile and not say anything. Do you have any kind of support to help you? I think in his case it helped because he didn't feel so on the spot by himself, if he couldn't answer then I was there to fill the void. Also for finding a job, I don't know what area you are in but here there are agencies who will work with you to help find something in your field. OR get you back in the working world. I work at the Habitat for humanity and my boss (he is the boss now) came to the place from one of those agencies, they pay you instead of the job for a while to make sure you can do the work or are comfortable there. He isn't an aspie but he had had a heart attack. I am not sure what all is in your area but maybe that would make it easier for you with less stress.
     
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  7. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I do! I do!
    And I find my comfort zone getting smaller and smaller.
    Last week - Monday I tell myself I need to go to the grocery store, but decide I need to wait until Wed when I get paid. Wed I look in the fridge and cupboards and decide I can wait another day, and I just put stuff together that I had - but did not enjoy my meal. Thur I decide I can just eat the leftovers from Wed, even though it wasn't good. Friday I finally make myself go to the grocery store.
    I stand at the door and look outside, but it takes effort to step outside. I remember doing this in my twenties even. I could not get myself to step out on my porch even.
    We often set our own boundaries.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I make a point of often going to the store just to make contact with people in a harmless and superficial way, such as a retail transaction. Most often just to get out of the house...apart from buying whatever it is that I ran out of !
     
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  9. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    Thanks! Yep, thankfully I am very happy to be alone here with just my cat. She's perfect for me because she really needs her space too, but is still really affectionate otherwise. Even one other person around will raise my stress, even people I like, I just have a hard time feeling free to be myself when someone can see.
     
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  10. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Now I know I have a doppelGanger .
     
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  11. ghostie

    ghostie Active Member

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    It would be great if I could find an agency like that. I actually had a fairly decent job before I had to leave it and I did ok there (ok by the bosses terms I mean, for me it was agony because of the way it conflicted with the autistic traits I didn't even realize I had) so I think I would do ok in a new job.... but the interviewing process is a huge barrier for me. Actually it was that process that made me first realize just how bad my verbal communication skills are, no one would hire me as I am now unless they were already open to the fact that it would be rough at the beginning but I would eventually be able to fit in better.
     
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  12. George Newman

    George Newman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi there, ghostie. I understand. I experience the same fear and apprehension. The prior comments were great. Here are my thoughts.

    I don’t know if this will help but this is what I do when I need to leave the house for let’s say groceries.

    I imagine the entire process and I think all the way thru it, from getting in the truck to driving to the grocery store to shopping to checkout to driving back home.

    I remind myself that I have worked thru this process a thousand times prior with minimal effort and residual effect.

    A couple tips. Put your shopping list together from back of the store to the front so you efficiently move thru the process.

    Make as much of the activity a process as possible. Make it mechanical and emotion-free.

    Avoid the big mega-super stores. A smaller store is just easier for a thousand reasons.

    Gather the confidence. When you get home smile understanding you purposefully managed this routine task on your own and you can do it again, when needed.

    You could apply this to all your outings. Remember make it mechanical work out a process. Do what needs to be done. You can do it!

    I am heading that way this morning for the glorious AM donuts. Wish me luck, thank you for the post, and welcome to Autismforums.com.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  13. VAW

    VAW Active Member

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    I know those interviews are hard, I never know what to say or if I don't say enough or too much (and I am not an Aspie) Years ago when I first started working you had an interview and if they liked you most of the time you were hired on the spot, now you interview and then have to go in for a second interview sometimes a third interview and then they tell you you start in 3 weeks. and you have to apply online for almost any job. IT is a royal pain. My daughter doesn't like to work with people or deal with people so she got a job at the Walmart distribution and basically you just do your job without interaction from anyone. She started at $28 an hour and she only works 3 days a week but they are 12 hour days. IT was perfect for her but they are long days and she has a lot of heavy lifting. I like my job at the habitat for humanity but I deal with people all day and sometimes I just hate people!!!! lol
     
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  14. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    What ever ex president Jimmy Carter has I would like some managing to help on a site after he’s fell and hit his head and he has metastasised cancer
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    What do you do if they have changed the shelves round again !,I would try to follow your process of getting to the supermarket and then getting around the supermarket! but! if they decide to change the shelves again! that will be different !I’m slightly hyperventilating saying the word different! thanks .
     
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  16. VAW

    VAW Active Member

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    I think he is in Georgia, We don't work anywhere near him as we are in Wisconsin.
     
  17. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    For some reason he seems to work in Tennessee all the time .Maybe it’s close to where he lives ,I know his whole (mother father siblings )family have died of pancreatic cancer maybe he has to stay close to the hospital, he’s already lived nearly 5 years longer than expected,It’s miraculous ,my dog had heart cancer and lived a month until the vet had to kill her, to live five years with metastasised cancer........
     
  18. VAW

    VAW Active Member

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    I guess he is a tough guy! Some people have it in them to keep working and other's do not. I think a lot of people don't understand what the habitat does. We get people in all the time who apply for a Habitat house but simply do not qualify for it. Even I used to think that those houses they build are free or very cheap for people who can't afford a house but that isn't true. I work there and I wouldn't qualify for a house lol If I had to use only my income! They go thru the same process as buying any house, they do all kinds of checks on them to make sure they can afford to pay for that house. They need a pretty good income. They used to give them an interest free loan but now I believe it is at 1%. IT does however bring the community together working on it though, sometimes the high school kids get involved as learning a trade. It just isn't what most people think. IT is a non profit though so all the money is used to build houses.
     
  19. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    It’s better than what the Disney Corporation supported ,when I used to watch extreme makeover home edition I used to think those houses are just too big, some of them were nearly the equivalent of stately homes in Britain and most of the people that owned those gave them over to the state or the National Trust,I remember them saying they did a finance check before they gave them the house Then you hear they’ve gone bankrupt and can’t keep the house and I used to think did you really give them the advice that they should’ve had, it’s heartbreaking to think they thought they would have a house and then it’s taken away.
    I’ve remembered one lady who was living in a trailer, which I think had previously been an office and they renovated it ,I thought you should’ve just given them that again, at least they might be able to afford to live in it.
     
  20. George Newman

    George Newman Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Great point, Streetwise. If the supermarket decides to change the shelves around.

    That certainly would cause anxiety. If I stay away from the big super stores I can avoid most changes as my local small grocery does not seem to changes the shelves much.

    It’s a good point to be sure.