How do you tell your Therapist...?

I'm giving Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) another go - albeit again I'm becoming disheartened by the process. These so-called professionals really aren't geared to deal with an autistic perspective at all.

The Practitioner specialises in 'anxiety issues', and readily admits he has no idea about autism - saying I'm the 'expert' (god help me). He seems intently focussed on the issue of 'panic attacks', even though I say to him I don't consider myself as ever had one. Yet he focuses on anxiety issues with the attention worthy of an autistic! Okay, I do suffer anxiety with the best of Autistics, but for me (cognitive/sensory) overload is far more of a problem. If anything, as a defense mechanism (or attempt to redistribute internal resources) I tend to go into a catatonic state when suffering from overload (unless persistently exposed, whereby I can reach 'meltdown' and lash out), rather than the hyper-aroused state I would assume is a panic attack.

Part of the problem is that I'm having trouble explaining to him the difference between 'panic attacks' and '(cognitive/sensory) overload'. Indeed, I'm seemingly just not getting across to him just how complex and deafening the autistic mind can be, and how exhaustion results from trying to process the sheer volume of thought, rather than a build up to a panic attack.

Does anyone have a clear-cut and concise way for me to explain the difference between a 'panic attack' and '(cognitive/sensory) overload'?

Parents
  • I was in the same situation until they changed my psychiatrist. It doesn't sound as if this guy has much understanding of ASD. My last psychiatrist tried to put me on Seroquel again and again for 2 years. I got a new one and they referred me to a psychologist who had masses of experience with ASD. They said CBT wasn't really an option because my issues were part of my Autism and couldn't be treated with conventional methods. They set up a plan to navigate around my issues. Things are getting clearer......

    CBT didn't work for me (not saying it won't for you), trying to explain flourescent lights are "painful" and not a phobia was the point I realised it was pointless for me. My main issues are sensory and not social. I don't think CBT can do much if your brain is "hard wired", unfortunately ASD seems to be like this.

    Just my two cents, I hope you get a result CBT or otherwise. Good luck.

Reply
  • I was in the same situation until they changed my psychiatrist. It doesn't sound as if this guy has much understanding of ASD. My last psychiatrist tried to put me on Seroquel again and again for 2 years. I got a new one and they referred me to a psychologist who had masses of experience with ASD. They said CBT wasn't really an option because my issues were part of my Autism and couldn't be treated with conventional methods. They set up a plan to navigate around my issues. Things are getting clearer......

    CBT didn't work for me (not saying it won't for you), trying to explain flourescent lights are "painful" and not a phobia was the point I realised it was pointless for me. My main issues are sensory and not social. I don't think CBT can do much if your brain is "hard wired", unfortunately ASD seems to be like this.

    Just my two cents, I hope you get a result CBT or otherwise. Good luck.

Children
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