Hey from West Mids

So after a long road I was finally referred for an ASD assessment by my psychologist in October 2017, 6 appointments (7 hours in total) later as my case was so 'complex' I have been given a diagnosis that I "meet the diagnostic criteria of Autistic Spectrum Disorder of DSM5 299.00".

I am 30 years old and have seen doctors, councillors, psychologists since the age of 13. I have given many diagnosis's over the years and treated for Anxiety, Social Anxiety and Depression mainly. I was involved in a nasty RTA (Road Traffic Accident) when I was 17 which added a new range of symptoms such as PTSD and hypervigilance. As a result I had to answer each DSM5 assessment question twice, before and after the RTA. Also as I struggle with communication and getting what I want to say across so I also typed more in depth answers on the questions being asked in each assessment session.

I'm just here to find out more on how people cope/manage and what support is available in my area, Walsall in the West Midlands. I know there are certain support groups but currently I am struggling to leave the house. Sound and being around people are my biggest issues so group support isn't really an option for me at the moment. I only leave the house for medical appointments and to walk to the shop once or twice a week and I cannot go anywhere without my headphones on. 

While I am still under the care of a mental health team appointments are far apart so I just kinda feel lost in the system.

As far as medications go before my diagnosis I have been on 9 different anti depressants on maximum strengths but nothing has seemed to make any improvement at all and often make things worse. Has anyone on here had a similar experience? The only medication that works for me is Diazepam which I only use in crisis situations and monitored by my doctor. Also I have had CBT 4 times and EMDR once which only made things worse. I purely have to use distraction techniques when I have panic attacks/crisis's.

Any advice welcomed :-)

Ryan

  • Greetings, I am supposed to say "Hi! Welcome to the Forum and Please look around and hope you make many friends here!"... so, I just did that, then.

    From myself... you might want to change your picture: it is not a good idea to post Real Identifying information, here.

    Lastly, with regards to Walsall and West Midlands, This is what I find after a little search upon NAS:

    http://www.autism.org.uk/directory/a-to-z/l=W.aspx

    ...there are about five "Walsall" things there, so hopefully you find something. That is all from myself, I guess.

  • Hello and welcome Ry. Trust me I know exactly what you are going through. Was diagnosed at 38 after years of mental illness. I'd been seeing psychologists, psychiatrists and the like since I was 13 too. Speaking to other people who were diagnosed late it seems that is a pretty common age for things to start. Your whole story is very similar to mine. I've been on a range of medications on and off since my mid teens too. I have hypervigilance as a symptom of GAD and OCD.

    Have you let your mental health team know about your diagnosis? I did and things were looking up but the psychiatrist has basically not even looked at any of the information that the psychologist sent. It's been a battle to get things to the stage they are now. I'm going to keep pushing on but that is a story for another thread! The only blessing to come out of it is that AWM and the psychologist worked out a mentor to guide me through certain things. I've only had one meeting but things do look promising on that front. I can't really add any more to contacts other than what DC has said. I have found AWM helpful though. I'm close to where you are and I think you are under their catchment area.

    Again Hello and welcome!

  • Hi Ryan

    There is some very good support available in Walsall from Autism West Midlands:  http://autismwestmidlands.org.uk/

    As well as some very good online resources they have a presence in Walsall, but I think they are or have moved from their former base, so it may be worth dropping them an email.  From your post it seems as if you are not in work, but if you are in work or you get a job, they can give workplace support for a few hours a month funded by Access to Work.

    My experience of CBT is that it is of little benefit unless the behaviour (anxiety, depression or whatever) is something you can control.  When its cause is not in your control, it is of very little, if any, benefit, in my case it just made me feel worse simply because I could not control the external factors.  I cannot control my autism (I am and always have been autistic, whether before my diagnosis or after), I cannot control bullying behaviour in others (within the law anyway), and I cannot control the lack of power over others I have. Changing ones behaviour in order to accept a situation that is causing problems in my opinion is not the answer.  The answer is to remove the cause, not treat the symptom.