Ok so I’m doing some research. I have a friend with ASD who recently experienced hallucinations, suicidal thoughts and anxiety and she also self harmed after anti psychotic medication was reduced by her psychiatrist- in the midst of a family crisis! (she wasn’t on this medication for psychosis but anxiety.)
So was it extreme anxiety that led to the hallucinations? Or is it autistic psychosis?
Shes ended up in prison due to being discharged from a psychiatric unit twice (!) and offended to get into what she felt might be a safe place and the prison regime is strict on withdrawing people from Pregabalin, so now they’re taking her off 600mg in 6 days! and off Valium too! She’s experiencing hallucinations again and is very very distressed.
Has anyone had similar experiences? Or know of anyone? I’m looking into doing some training and this has become a particular area of interest and I hope to produce a booklet for local agencies.
I have ASC, specifically Asperger's, and I was referred to a psychiatrist last week to be assessed for bipolar. I have never had hallucinations, illogical thoughts etc when I have been in a manic phase but about 10 years ago I was under a lot of stress - I had stopped talking to my dad (although that is not surprising in hindsight as he was probably more autistic than I am although he was never diagnosed) and my landlord was building an extension on the back of the house I was renting while I was still living in it. I did not have any hallucinations but I did lose touch with reality and had some illogical thoughts which led to me trying to kill myself. Personally I would have said that the cause in my case was extreme stress.
To anyone reading this who feels unable to cope with distress or despair, it’s very important to tell someone if you develop feelings or thoughts of suicide. Call your GP and make an urgent appointment. Your GP can make sure you get appropriate help and support.
If it’s outside your GP hours call 111 to reach the NHS 111 service: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/NHS-111.aspx
The Samaritans also provide confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day on 116 123, or by email on email@example.com.
MIND have information pages on coping with self harm or suicidal feelings based on the experiences of people who’ve been through it that you may find helpful.
If you are very close to doing something to hurt yourself - call 999 now or go to your nearest A&E department. There should be someone there to support you and make sure you get ongoing support.If you need help with an autism related issue, our helpline can be emailed via webform https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main/questions.aspx or they’re open Monday to Thursday 10am-4pm and Friday 9am-3pm on 0808 800 4104.
I did actually call the Samaritans immediately afterwards and they persuaded me to see my gp. I accept with the benefit of hindsight that this was back to front but as I said I had lost touch with reality. I also went from ideation as they call it to action very quickly, perhaps in as little as half an hour.
(Perhaps the one thing I could add to what Nellie has said is that if you are having these feelings it is also a very good idea to put away out of sight anything which you might use in an attempt. For obvious reasons I won't go into detail what these might be and yes, some of them are easier to put out of sight than others.)
I have also used the Samaritans a couple of times since and I cannot recommend their services highly enough. I used to live somewhere where they had an office and you could turn up unannounced at certain times of the day and see somebody face to face which was wonderful for someone with autism who does not like phonecalls and who does not have internet access - for some reason I suspect a lot of times people will feel the need to contact the Samaritans at night and not during the day.