My son feeling Negative!

Has anyone experienced... how negative a person is with Aspergers? My son is finding it hard atm with college work, it’s hard actually to put into words! He’s so negative. But he knows he is different to others and started crying to me about it, he’s frustrated and I just don’t know where to turn! He is 20 years old in June. I get scared of how is mind is set, as I remember him telling e he wanted to die in his twenties and it plays on my mind. 
I feel like I need to go away and look up what to say to him, as he is so intelligent but his way of thinking is different. As we all have our own experience of depression and anxiety. I feel Aspergers is in another level totally! 
thanx for ready hope you can advice ;) 

  • Depression and anxiety are common in aspergers (or those of us on the spectrum). Some of it I think is the difficulty in functioning in the social world which seems to come much easier to other people which is a pretty difficult thing to be constantly aware of, others is a more intense reaction to stressors. I get very overwhelmed if given too much novel information too quickly or if discussions aren't had in a structured way. If I get stressed over something which I think it was preventable I do find it difficult to psychologically move on from it - so I can find it difficult to move out of a negative frame of mind.

    All through my formative years I had the sense of not coping, or I wasn't coping well - but neither the language or information was available back then to help me make sense of it all so depression and anxiety were close friends of mine.

    If there's disability services at the college then has your son tried accessing them? (I know the disability term doesn't sit well with those who prefer the neurodiverse paradigm but we work with what we have).  There may be adjustments they can make to help with the college work.

    There's the NAS helpline too which may be able to offer some advice

    If it's a case of coping with the social demands that'll take some time to work out what works best for him. I'm not saying to avoid all social things - it's college after all - but there may be things he needs to do to make things easier. Linking in with other folk on the spectrum may help... that does make a huge difference just to know there's other people out there with similar experiences. 

    Best wishes


  • I can only guess but I imagine he feels like he is wrestling with the world? A world not set up to give him a place to be himself.

    He is perhaps turning the world over in his mind like a rubixs cube wondering how to solve it. How to make it fit himself, or maybe wondering if he can some how learn to fit it? I find the former more likely. His depression and anxiety don't exist in a vacuum there are tangible things driving them even if you don't understand why they do.

    You can try to understand why, to map all the ways in which the world he lives in digs into him making him feel dreadful ... but even when you do you may end up just facing the same set of knotty problems he feels he can't solve on his own. But at least you could face them together. But be warned trying to fix the world to make it give a place to some one it doesn't want to give a place to can effectively feel like declaring war on the world. Still if you're going to go to war better to go with an ally than on your own, which is where your son probably finds himself now.

    ... but what do I know I'm extrapolating a lot.

  • Thanx E 

    the college I find is that helpful! :( but I will

    email them and his tutors and get in touch with the Aspergers centre. I just find my mind goes blank when he starts telling me, when I suggest things to him how I cope it’s just not what he wants to hear and is so negative and finds things to stop the suggestions straight away by looking at the down fall, if you get me :( 

  • That’s a good way of looking at it. “Wrestling with the world” 

  • Critical thinking, analysaing is a gift. We need humans who contemplate the dimensions of reality, the physics of matter. We need humans who can weigh out comes of steel frames, the elements and think of all the possible things which could go wrong when constructing aeroplanes, bridges, tunnels, ships to forge the arctic. We need humans who can think of what can go wrong in surgery, who can weigh all the possibilities of external problems to make sure a thing isn't cancer but a dietary issue. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is often termed 'negative'. Yet it is necessary for the most basic survival. 

    When I was 2-3 I started thinking about infinite space. I was plagued by nightmares of the eternal expanse of the universe. That's some deep thinking at too young of an age to contemplate. The philosophical constructs that I tried to work out when young - well before I had life experience or all the basic knowledge, caused a great deal of tears and frustration. I really admire that young me now. She simply lacked all the knowledge that comes with proper intensive study and learning and growing and becoming. She needed to sit in a library for 10 years. :)

    I would've loved to be able to unload all of that on a parent! Luckily, as I got older, my father has been better at just letting me vent. He listens, doesn't judge, typically says he feels helpless and doesn't have answers but goodness, it's so helpful he just listens and says I love you. If I go extremely dark, just knowing he's catching all the words on the other end of the phone make me feel like I can let go of them.

    That's taught me that as a parent, and my son is in his 20s, that I can be a "container" for my son as well. He doesn't always need answers, just some imaginary containment unit to offload all his philosophical inquiry or problems regardless of how grave or morbid. And since I'm maybe a little wiser and not his 'friend' but a mentor, I can just allow him to feel heard and sometimes ask "How can I help?" 

    We all need to grow into our intellect. And those who are free to openly discuss a thing are less likely to suffer from it. Therapy can offer some practical help. But having a parent who is willing to listen, not fix, just be available, can make a world of difference. It is the secrets, the things not said one should fear.

  • I'm Aspie - I've always found NT management will call me negative.    It's their way of saying "I don't want to hear reality, only ever good news".         When we talk to doctors, we are labelled as depressed and medicated.

    The other way of looking at it if I drive an old car, I don't need to worry or think about the bits that are working - I only need to think about the dodgy things and my workarounds if things go wrong - same with life - we concentrate of possible failures all the time rather than just pushing through to success.

    Our fight-or-flight is set to 100% all the time so it's natural that we are looking for doom, danger and escape routes as an ongoing process.

    What college course is he doing and for what reason?    If he's feeling he's been railroaded, he'll be approaching the buffers and questioning what he's doing.

    If he understands himself, he may be realising that he doesn't want the NT rat-race lifestyle.      If he's surrounded by useless NTs, he may have reached his social overload limit.

    Are you able to talk to your son about life, the universe and everything - how he feels?    His thoughts, plans, ideas?    Things he wants to do, places to go, experiences to share?

    You might be surprised.

  • I have to wonder though. What if its not existential angst. What if its very tangible things many teens struggle with. Things an autistic person might still be strugeling with in their 20s. Less 'what is the nature of reality' more, 'why don't I have any friends?' 'why can't I get a girlfriend,' 'why do I never get invited to join in things.' Some autistic people get a fresh revelation of how much society is treating them differently from others around the transition from school to adult education.

  • Oh absolutely. Hoping to help a mum see the upside of her hyper-analysing son. But if this is the case, he might want to have a go at contacting the community board direct?

  • Maybe. but what advice would we give him? I've still not got any of that stuff figured out. My best advice would be try and find friends who'll help you make more friends and look for active out going interest groups that align really well with your interests ... but that's not always posable, and even when it is it only takes you so far in my experience.

  • I do, A lot depends on what he finds frustrating - it may be he literally needs to offload which will help him work stuff through. So rather than hear a suggestion on how to fix things he just might need space with you to explore how he's feeling and what's going on through his head with you - without moving onto how to fix it too quickly. 

     Reading the posts from     I think they kind of got this more than I did. So if you're already making suggestions and he's shutting them down that could be the signal that isn't what he needs and that he needs something else.