Hi, feeling really hopeless just left the hospital where my 15 years old autistic daughter is detained under section. I just need someone to give me a little hope and tell me if she is going to stop trying to end her life. I fear that one day she will succeed. I listen to the doctor and it doesn't feel me with confidence as they don't seem to know what to do and keep trying different things that don't work. Why does she get so depressed? Sorry about this whimpering but most of the people I know just look at me with puppy eyes and want to hug me but they don't really understand. I know you guys do.
Depression is quite common. I am also very close to suicide. Just waiting for life to get worse. It's bad at the moment.
The way to deal with these feelings is to have something positive to look forward to.
I'm sorry you and your daughter are having a rough time. We have a page on the site that explains a bit about autism and depression and gives links to further information and resources from mental health charities that might be able to help - http://www.autism.org.uk/about/health/mental-health.aspx
If you'd like to speak to someone directly who can tell you more about the options available please do call the NAS helpline on 0808 800 4104 .
Hope this is of some help,
Ross - mod
I know that when I have experienced depression, it isn't just 'one thing', it's a series of things which all help to lower my sense of self esteem which then further feed into the feelings of depression. It is different for everyone and age will also play a part. For example, I am no longer trying to 'fit in' like I did when I was younger and what I've noticed recently, is that my sense of self worth etc is all effected when my basic needs aren't getting met. I didn't even used to know what that meant but after years and years of inner reflection etc, I can see that the world moves too quick for me and when I try to keep up the general pace of the rest of the world, my basic needs get overlooked and ignored and this, ultimately, leads to depression for me. Being 15 is difficult for most people and having ASD can make it that much more difficult and not only have they got social pressure to fit in etc, their bodies are changing, hormones etc are kicking in and many of us on the spectrum struggle to identify feelings anyway so things get even more confusing when we start to experience other strange feelings that we don't understand.
I agree with Blueray. Being a teenager is hard but harder with asd. I recently discovered depression can be genetic and is not always the environment or circumstances but that environment and circumstances can affect both positively and negatively to those predisposed to depression. Depression is awful and initially a scary rollercoaster. With long term depression it seems to be part of you and on the whole, as horrid as it is, you learn to live with it and wait for the worst parts of it to pass. Naturally it’s not that simple but as you will read many of us do have low moods, difficult thoughts and try to manage them. It’s not the answer you want to hear but you do need to know there isn’t anyone at fault or to blame even though our miscommunication and misinterpretation of life is contributing to the depression. I’m so sorry you and your daughter are in such pain right now. If it’s any consolation I’m in my 50’s and still here in spite of suffering from depression since my youth. I am well aware this is not the same as being hospitalised with the condition but I sincerely hope the team caring for your daughter can help.
As everyone has said here, being a teenager with ASD is a very confusing and painful time. I have been sectioned twice in my life, my first time I had just turned 19 and was despairing at the world. My best advice I can give you is be supportive, understanding and don't hold judgement. This may sound a silly statement as you are her parent so naturally want to do the best for her, but I found the communication difficulties I had with my parents were only compounded during my time in hospital, which made me feel more isolated. Naturally you are better informed of your daughter's need through having a diagnosis where as I didn't have one at the time.
I found that I lost my voice (was non-verbal at times)and never felt like I was being listened to when I was in hospital. She may not feel comfortable explaining what she is battling with, but reassure her you are there to support her no matter what. For me, knowing that you are not alone and someone is there to listen can make a world of difference and help to put things into perspective. I found writing down my thoughts and responses to medical staff was the only way to communicate what I needed or what I was thinking. Not sure if this would work for your daughter, but might be an option.
The good news is as traumatic as teenage years are, the fact that there are so many of us here in our 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond demonstrates we find a way of getting through these bad stages in life. I myself am going through a rough stage myself at the moment, but I am now better equipped and experienced to manage certain aspects myself, as well as spotting the signs earlier on when I need medical intervention.
I hope your daughter recovers quickly and I hope the medical staff provide your daughter with what she needs to heal.
The main thing to remember is you are not alone in this situation.