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self-diagnosed Autistic
V.I.P Member
I watched a video on YouTube by Psych2Go called 10 Signs Your Parents are Making You Depressed after I got home from dropping off my insulting mom at her building. I am 49, and she still can make me feel like crap.

0:21 they hold you back from your dreams
0:42 they put a lot of pressure on you
1:01 they're emotionally unavailable to you
1:24 their presence overwhelms you
1:42 they worsen your depression
2:03 their dysfunction rubs off on you
2:31 their mental illness affects you
2:56 they struggle with substance abuse
3:21 they've become abusive
3:42 they don't help you overcome your depression

When I watched the video I knew it was true in my life and this is what I wrote out:

Even 50 years into adulthood, I still suffer from my parents. I was gifted at art, and an art teacher recognized this in grade school and suggested art school. My mom said she would not reward my bad grades with drawing.

Growing up my mom did not believe in Depression yet in High School another student noticed I was depressed and told her school counsellor. When that counsellor wanted to talk to me and asked me if I was depressed, I denied it, afraid that it would get back to my mom.

My mom always put me down for how I said things or worded things, and I never seemed to do things good enough. As an adult now, they both deny favouring the eldest of my 2 brothers, but my youngest brother and I both saw it and still feel it today. His jokes were always funny. His personality always winning. His social skills always better. I even put that to the theory once when my mom did not hear his joke, so I repeated it and my mom literally said it was stupid and to grow up. When I said that my brother said that joke, but she did not hear it, so I said it, she said there is no way he would have said a joke that stupid. Yup.... And my youngest brother also feels like a failure at the hands of his older brother. His older brother thinks he would be successful like him if he only did the same things and says they had the same upbringing so no excuse. I finally proved to him after 40 years that he had no clue how his father had abused him physically and hated him and never wanted him born but only loved him, and before he was born wanted my mom to dress me like a boy as I was born first.

I got kicked out by my mom when I was 18. Such a loving family. Yup. I was still in high school due to being held back due to kidney disease interrupting my grade school and high school years. I sank so far into depression that I went from upgrading my English skills when they said it could not be done to barely passing to graduate high school and the principal just wanting me out, so she passed me anyway.

My mom was always hard on me for not being good at hair because she was a natural at hairstyling and became a hairdresser and cut and styled and even permed everyone's hair that she knew (even my kidney doctors at the children's hospital.) I finally got her to realize in my 40s that she cannot draw, but I can, and it is equivalent to how she can do hair and I can't. It does not make me stupid because I don't have the same talent she finds easy. She still is harsh about my hair on me, but not as much, at least.

I remember as a teen I would draw cartoons (not publicly) as a way to get my feelings out as I could not talk about them to my family EVER. She found them and assumed I was devil worshipping instead of the cartoons being me able to fight my demons / battles / those who bullied me at school. She never asked me about it or talked to me about it but assumed. She still assumes a LOT even today. I am 49, and she was telling me about a small book I wanted that she brought to my car. She told me it had the part I wanted and then hung on the right words, so I said a word, and she got mad at me saying FINE I won't tell you since you seem to know! And she never did tell me. I dropped her off and went home. Was glad to go home. I cry many times because of my mom. She makes me feel like utter $#!T!! If it wasn't for Paxil I would still be crying constantly and running to the washroom to just be alone to cry without family knowing.

I never let my mom into my apartment. It is just too stressful. I can be happy, but around family I just am brought down so much. I have never been encouraged and always just been told what I am doing wrong from wearing the wrong clothes, or how I talk too much, or how I drive the wrong road which is not the way she would have driven.

I do not know if my parents have any depression or anything, but I suspect my dad and my youngest brother do, and the older brother is too busy for family except his wife and kids and for years now I have not been able to give his kids Christmas gifts even within a week or a month of Christmas and decided finally this year no more gifts for them for birthdays or Christmas because I never see them anyway. I will only buy for my youngest brother's kids. The older brother always wants a pat on the back and is always boasting about his success and saying how busy he is (too busy for us) and always is in too much of a rush when we visit. My youngest brother smokes pot all the time heavily in an attempt I think to deal with his depression, which he has admitted he has but not officially diagnosed where I am diagnosed. My brothers do not talk about their feelings and my mom gets mad if I talk for her, and she will never "air her dirty laundry" and my dad is very secretive and manipulative. My parents are not together anymore and haven't been for years. My youngest brother was just 15 or 16 when they split, and he told my mom to take him. He kept his favourite. My dad kept the house through manipulation and my mom ended up in a home for abused women and had to go on Welfare and start renting homes that she found while my youngest brother was in high school, but he ended up dropping out.

I really wish my mom was supportive and close to me and someone I could talk to, confide in, and would accept me. I show signs of autism and rock back and forth, which my mom has always yelled at me about and insulted me for and would say stop it and grow up. My mom and the older brother does not believe in Autism, depression or dyslexia even though my youngest brother and I were diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school, and he even went to a special school for it.

I remember my mom was always so nice to my friends, but never to me. Even my cousins recognized she was especially harsh on me. Unfairly so. I always blamed myself because my parents always blamed me. My dad and my brothers would say I talk too much and that "no one is interested in hearing your whole life story" when I just wanted people to understand me ... and my mom seems to get mad when I talk. My parents only appreciate me when I work on their computers because I am the only one in the family good with those, and they don't know much about computers. In fact, it is the first time my dad actually wanted me to come visit him and his girlfriend more often. I was finally appreciated. When things go wrong on my mom's computer, she overreacts and wants to get rid of it. My brothers don't have computers because they are too impatient to understand computers and get annoyed how it always needs to be updated and rebooted. My mom will assume I spend so much time on the computer and will say I am fat because I am on the computer too much and not because of Prednisone (medication for kidney transplant) or PCOS, which both contributed to my weight even though I used to be underweight for 31 years straight until my first diagnosis of polycystic ovaries and sudden 4 sizes increase in a matter of only 6 months which is very unusual for me.

I am tired of being put down, insulted, never good enough and having to keep my depression and anxiety private from them. This video was exactly about me, it feels. Thank you for this video. It got me thinking of all those things and I realize my family is a HUGE contributor to my depression, even though a friend of mine said that you can't dwell on the past and much move on. He doesn't understand it is not a light switch. I WISH it was that easy. I wish my depression was cured, I wish they were proud of me, I wish it mattered to them that I am the only one in our whole family who went to College (even though ending up on dialysis interrupted a promising career I had), I wish they would accept me for me and encourage me and recognize my strengths and stop pointing out all my flaws. I wish I felt loved and accepted by my own parents and brothers. I wish I fit in with my family. Doesn't help that when I was still a kid, my mom even said she wished that I had never been born.

But then when I was looking on where to post here as I am having emotional issues, I noticed Avoidant Personality Disorder and looked it up. I found that I could be that instead of the High Masking Autistic I suspected.

Could Avoidant Personality Disorder be caused from my family's emotional and verbal abuse of me growing up, or am I misunderstanding this?

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Personality disorders can have a lot of crossover with ASD as you can see in the venn diagram. The thing to do here I think, is to have a long look at which side of the diagram you think you most strongly identify with.

The bottom line here is that a Personality Disorder is defined by the personality traits you have. So you have to be sure that any of the traits on the left of the diagram you identify with are parts of you personality, not a justifiable reaction to specific situations.

It's a subtle concept to understand, but if you read up on personality disorders in the IDC-10 or DSM-5 (or is it DSM-6 now?), you will see that personality disorders are characterized by pervasive traits, such as those shown in the left of the venn diagram. In other words you will constantly display examples of those traits that have a constant impact on your life and relationships.

From what I've read, there is a tendancy for autistic people, particularly women, to become misdiagnosed with disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder or other similar disorders. It's very tempting for mental health professionals to diagnose a personality disorder and call it a day.

When you eventually get to talk to a psychiatrist, you need to be clear about how anything on the left of the venn diagram manifests. If you only feel these things when you interact with your mother, then this would be a problem with the relationship, not your personality. They wouldn't be pervasive in that case.

I'm not medically qualified obviously, but this is something that needs to be explored fully and properly as the treatments (in every sense of the word) for ASD and Personality Disorders are very different.

I personally don't identify with anything in the left other than "Low Self Esteem" but many things in the middle and right side of the diagram.

Basically a diagnosis of Avoidant Personality Disorder would need to show you have several of the key traits and experience them so often that they have a detrimental effect on your life and well being.
Much of the dynamics you described here sounds like narcissistic family systems and the associated abuse (There are family patterns such as a golden child and scapegoat child, etc.). Please know, I am not diagnosing anyone or calling anyone a narcissist, only a clinician can do that. I'm just letting you know that what you are describing sounds a lot like family scapegoat abuse and YES, family can make a member mentally ill with it. It might help to look up information about it such as Rebecca Mandeville's work - she describes the symptoms on her website here 6 Clinical Signs of Family Scapegoating Abuse (FSA)
Family scapegoat abuse is not a clinical DSM diagnosis yet, but increasing research is helping therapists become better aware of the specific type of abuse and its impact on family members. I'm not saying this is your situation and I may just be seeing some of my own family dynamics in yours. But I figure it is at least worth weeding out on your search for answers.
I feel sad that your mother was not supportive of you. That has to hurt. While my parents never were able to understand or help my social difficulties they gifted me with a fierce independence. They taught me how to move through the world on my own and even before the age of 10 I was taking the train alone between Windsor and Toronto. Certainly that independence also fed my isolation until it morphed into loneliness, but it also left me unafraid of change and I was able to grow and mature for myself. (and remember, this was back before mobile phones when one had to solve difficulties for oneself when one was 4+ hours away from family)
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It ate at me for years, one day I tried to decide why NT people tend to assert themselves more, even if they taking advantage and I spent time on this denial theory in psychology and extended it to a capsule of multi-lqyered denial systems that output not just lies but belief that they have right to. I've met women who were uglier than me with more confidence and this was all before realising what autism was.
I masked for years never really healing my avoidant detachment disorder, and abuse does this it leaves you defenceless. My understanding was that healthy asp tend to be able to somehow express discontent with something. Even if you came from good family that ABA erodes self defence mechanisms. Also extra need to care for you, because already we neglect ourselves. Shopping, grooming were learnt skills. Take time out to buy me something nice to eat.

I've met people who healed narcisstic and other forms of abuse, depending on your age that you break free from invisible chains....I've noticed NT people heal faster and assert the self better. When I decided 2 years ago to go public outcry after years of silence about this....I knew I was not going to give about the opinions I got.....I had one msg at time and it was disabled people abused throughout history and nothing has changed. Abuse mars the lives of disabled, but no one gives.
Since returning from doctor and evaluating when and how and types of memories and symptoms ....I know say that my altzeimers started during pregnancy. Being a skrwny rat type of add it is now my mission to establish diet for contemplating such a strenuous task. So I ditched calcium and drinking fresh milk and loads folic acid and potassium from oats and other cities b supplements that are unique to hidden silent asd issues women face.
There is also unique psychology as a women who battles in relationships because you pressured to perform through burnouts for sale of children whereas mostly men dictate their relationships. I bring this up because all psychology in you life really boils over when you decide to have kids of your own.
Love to my sister's out there that I can make a difference by preparing women for one most challenging jobs for us who are on spectrum.
Sorry, the Intelli sense changed my words in above message.
When I say masking I mean not really looking after the person inside. Having children changed something in me because I had to make decisions to put their needs ahead, something easier for me to learn to assert myself for sake of kids. After about 4 years I'm noticing how I treat myself as if it doesn't matter, let people take total advantage...and deciding whether I too deserve right to also have a fair chance and to stand up for me.
Avoidant personality disorder is one thing, but another thing that exists, that you may find interesting is an avoidant attachment style.

Avoidant attachment style​

Also known as dismissive attachment or anxious-avoidant attachment.

Avoidant attachment can look like an adult who is a “lone wolf” or overly self-sufficient. People with an avoidant attachment style are likely to not delve much into emotional conversations, either in regard to their own feelings or those of others. An avoidant attachment style often stems from a relationship between a primary caregiver and a baby that’s marked by a lack of emotional support or connection.

How does it form? Avoidant attachment is most likely to form when a caregiver doesn’t provide a baby with sufficient emotional support. The caregiver’s responsiveness to the baby most likely ends with caring for their physical needs, like feeding and bathing, but the caregiver doesn’t provide the emotional comfort the baby also needs. In that environment, the baby learns not to rely on others to care for their emotional needs.

What does it look like in adult relationships? Adults with an avoidant attachment style can be seen as self-reliant and emotionally guarded. They’re unlikely to seek emotional comfort or understand how to comfort their partner.

How common is it? Research shows about 23% of adults have an avoidant attachment style.

Tip for people with an avoidant attachment style: Dr. Derrig notes that people with an avoidant attachment style often distance themselves from others and assume others will disappoint them. Actively observing your own emotions and considering how you pull away from others will require a lot of work. But that effort can be an eye-opening way to help understand your style and learn to let others in.


I don't mean to be rude, but a NT psychologist knows nothing about autism except what heard from autism community.
A deep insecurity is caused by attachment theory and one can see an insecure person from a mile away!!
What should another useless shrink get paid for??
So like use your observation skills..... When I was worst waitress ever we had this loud mouth Italian going bravo bravo and unnerving me, I forgot to ring up sushi and was grateful to get fired as I never wanted to work there again, just anxiety for 2 hours knowing I hated that job. Thanks to Mr. Bravo I realised a male waiter who was unattractive performed with more ease, was more talkative, spontaneous etc.
So there's a lot we have to figure out for ourselves like what is autism and what is being insecure due to avoidant type.

Surface healing is when we realised things, worked thru issues ourselves....it helps to release negative thinking and free ourselves but it's more masking.
So when does deeper healing happen and my idea is not cognitive therapy that is surface. Hypnosis is start to remembering but there is more to it, maybe I should just write my book!!! That way I get a penny for my thoughts my tears my suffering, a penny less than psychologists.

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