I'm struggling, in truth i have been struggling for a very long time, I think most of us do. My GP has me on anti depressants and anti anxiety tablets they don't do much for me at all.
Is there anything that does help? I think that my depression is not depression but part of my autistic spectrum thing. Assuming that it is asd not depression is there anything that can make it any better? I am not sure that I can cope for much longer.
I recommend exercise, particularly tai chi or yoga, for stress and anxiety although it should have a knock on effect on depression. It's more important though to find a form of exercise which you enjoy doing because you are more likely to do it when you are feeling low.
exercise is good, I agree, ...however.... I think getting autistic depressed people to get to do exercise can have it's own problems. The most obvious thing is that people with depression can feel exhausted all the time. So it is important to start with manageable things (like walking to the local park and back - whilst continuously focusing on the sensation of your feet on the ground - is a good one - as autistics tend to focus often on what is going on more rationally "in their head").I do have a caveat with tai chi and yoga and some other forms of exercise - bearing in mind that many people with ASD are very dyspraxic and can have poor proprioception and balance. What's more, they can find it very hard to follow instructions -as they interpret them slightly different to the mainstream and might be worrying about other things so they can't focus on the instructions. Also copying postures from what you see can be hard.
(the whole point of yoga is to be kind to yourself, to be nonviolent and non judgmental to yourself, not to compare yourself with others, not to want to want do do things "perfectly", not to hurt yourself... but this is often not explained or repeated well enough (for me often classes go much to fast... I need far more time per posture and a lot of explanation).That is why it might be good to follow a class especially aimed at autistics. Or, read a training yoga/mindfulness handbook on dealing with autistic clients yourself on training the trainers for these activities- because they will point out the likely pitfalls (but it is unlikely that someone severely depressed will have the energy to do reading etc, I know).
The problem is that the instructions (follow your breath down into your feet... kind of stuff... well - it might work for NT's, but I'm still wondering and get lost in my own body).
Yoga, mindfulness and probably tai chi can be wonderful if you have the right explanation, the right book, teacher, and surroundings (the yoga class must be kind to sensory sensitive people, no funny smells, sticky mats etc). If you just go to a regular "urban vinaysa flow class" for the first time as an uncoordinated autistic, Not quite sure what to do... I think it might just be one extra traumatic experience.
Having said all that, I do believe mindfulness and yoga are really super for us. It is just finding the right teacher/class!!!
And I think it is important to start small - like five minutes being aware of what your breathing is doing without judging every day - is an excellent place to start. The Insight Timer app - is super to motivate you to do this on a daily basis https://insighttimer.com
I have been trying to do guided breathing but when I need to do it i cant.
It is wonderful you have been trying it. Remember: "When you are falling out of the aeroplane is not the best time to start sewing your parachute". So, doing guided breathing at moments that are slightly better, is really positive and a good thing. And don't beat yourself up when it doesn't work yet when things are extra tough.I am curious what it feels like when you really need it and the breathing doesn't work. Can you describe what the reasons are it does not work?
There is always "noise" in my head, streams of information, if there is too much more of this noise added from the outside it upsets me. I misbehave, I don't know it's happening, I think I'm doing ok but I'm upsetting everyone or shouting or being rude to people or just crying for no reason. My husband and one of my children can see when I am losing touch and they tell me, but it's hard because I can't see it, then I know because they tell me and I need to calm down. The breathing doesn't work then.
I Dont Think I have described this very well, sorry
you have described it well. Probably when you are having a meltdown nothing wil help and that is okay. Before you get to top notch meltdown there are phases you go through. It is interesting to observe this. What do you feel in your body, when things are going that way. Is your throat constricted? Which bodily sensations do you feel?What works for you? You share a house with others? Do you need solitude? Are you able to withdraw from the noise and do you have a room where you can be alone for a while?When you have accumulated years of stress it becomes really hard to notice subtle signs. It would be nice if you had a room or place you could withdraw to when you need it. At that point of meltdown- I think you are right - that breathing (and feeling you have to do something, follow some protocol) can be too hard. What you can do is just feel what you feel. and feel where your body touches the ground. feel where your clothes touch your body. feel and don't judge. just observe your bodily self. It really takes time to get acquainted with your body as if it were an animal. And following your breath is just that. It is not that you should have "calm breaths" or "count to ten". No, it is about being aware that you are a mammal.
Like a hedgehog or little rabbit that has been caught and you are holding yourself in your own handpalm and noticing the breaths and the little chest going up and down. And just by the fact of noticing and paying attention to your animal self something nice might happen.