I know there are quite a few people on here that have had struggles with mental health. I'm wondering if anyone could advise me from their experiences.
I've always had a slightly up and down mood, even as a child. But never to an extreme and never long lasting. I've always been easily irritated and angered which I would assume is my autism. The last few years I've noticed more and more periods of low mood. I think part of this may be due to lack of friends. But it tends to go away when I'm busy so I've never been too concerned.
At the moment my mood seems to be lower and longer lasting. It does still go away for periods when I'm at work and I feel fine. But I'm feeling like I'm more easily irritated by others at work at the moment and I'm worried about this getting work. In the evenings I do feel really quite low. It's a very heavy feeling and I have no idea why. Could it be depression? Or would I feel like this constantly if it were depression?
I know I should probably go to the doctors about this but I know I won't tell them. I don't know why but I've never been able to admit to low mood to an actual person. This is the only place I've ever been able to admit to it. I don't think I could even write it down and give it to them because I'd still have to discuss it.
The last time I went to the doctor they said to have a think about whether I wanted referring about my anxiety for a talking therapy or medication. I'm really not sure I want this either. But at the same time I'm not sure the anxiety and mood can carry on and I'm worried about it all getting worse.
Hi Binary, I’m really sorry to hear that your mood is low. Are you able to pinpoint other factors that may be causing your mood to be low? I can really relate to the up and down mood you describe as I’ve always had that too. Little things, such as perceived criticism or conversely a compliment, seem to trigger a big change in mood. I’ve suffered from depression a few times in the past and what you’re describing does sound like depression. It’s goid that is does go away for periods of time and isn’t constant, yet.
I know you would struggle to talk to your doctor about it but I really feel that you should see your doctor as I wouldn’t like to think of it getting worse and you having nothing to help you with it. Maybe write everything down including the fact that you don’t feel able to talk about it and let your doctor read what you have written. I have taken citalopram antidepressants in the past and have found them really helpful, even at a low dose. Talking therapy might not sound too appealing but if you also went on medication you would probably find that by the time you got to the top of the waiting list, your mood would have lifted enough for you to feel more able to talk about what is bothering you.
I’m here if you ever need to talk :-)
Thank you Kitsun. No I'm not sure about a trigger. That is what is worrying me little. I've always been easily annoyed and in this I can see the triggers- thinking someone is telling me off or having a go at me, things not being fair, people not following the rules etc. These things would put me in a bad mood but it would pass once I had calmed down again. I suppose a bit of a mini meltdown.
This is a different feeling. I'm not annoyed. I'm not sure I'm even sad. Just feel generally a bit rubbish. I can only explain it as my whole body feeling heavy. As I said it does lift but in the evenings I'm finding it difficult. Even if I do something to occupy myself.
I do think lack of friends and interaction is a little to do with it. But other than that I have no idea. It isn't helped by my anxiety which can be about anything and everything and very often a completely made up scenario in my head. I just want it to go away. It isn't helped by time of the month. My mood has always dropped at that time anyway but now it's dropping from low to lower.
I take on board what you say about the doctors and I know you're right but I just know that I will go in with the intention of telling them and bottle it.
It’s funny you have wrote this, I was about to post something very similar.
I’m getting sick of the mood swings and the lack of happy mood compared to being low or somewhat empty.
You say it’s due to lack of friends, I’m not sure it is as yes I felt like this most my life(32 and no friends) but lately I’ve been very social on twitch and have met people who are my friends and even though they enforce the fact we are friends my brain still thinks otherwise, anyway what I’m getting at is I feel exactly the same now, if not worse.
I say worse because when I had no friends I didn’t have the constant doubt of my friends not really being friends, if you know what I mean. I’m seeing things or picking up on vibes that aren’t actually they and even though my rational brain knows this, my autistic brain convinced me it’s not true.
Sorry I have no advice for you and I really hope you find a solution.
It's funny how that happens on here isn't it. That is the other thing that puts me off the doctor referring it on. I've read a lot on here about people being bounced between services because one says it's autism and one says it's mental health.
I think it probably is caused by autism. I naturally over think things and have quite a negative thought pattern so it's probably not that surprising that my mood can be low. I just worry about it getting worse.
Sometimes I feel like I get through life rather than enjoy it.
Ditto with the over thinking and negative thought pattern.
im just surviving mate too, not living.
There’s the crux of it ~ if you have negative thinking, you’ll have negative moods. If you have good thoughts, you’l feel good. Have you looked into ways of breaking the negative thinking patterns. I watched a great YouTube video that explained it in a way that I could understand it and I was able to put the strategies into practice and it made a huge difference to my moods. There are several videos on it but this particular one stood out for me.
Ye I have but things like that just don't work for me. Not on my own anyway. I just get annoyed with them and switch them off.
Yeah, I guess we just keep on searching until we find what it is we're looking for. Have you had any one to one sessions with an autism worker?
Keep searching, you'll get there, if you don't give in.
p.s. fridge magnet is coming along
No. I didn't even know there was such a thing as sessions with an autism worker tbh. What does that involve? And how do you find one?
I was referred to autism plus via the job centre, so I didn't have to pay. And fortunately, I've just been referred back again via another scheme the job centre put me on.
I had weekly sessions because I was living, at that time, from appointment to appointment, so I had them weekly as any bigger gaps would have been too long. But it was intensive, and although it was what I needed at the time, this time, I'll probably have the sessions every two weeks.
This time, I'll be using them for more practical reasons. For example, they're helping me to actually get my daily routines into place and get my house cleaned etc.
The first lot of sessions were centred on self awareness. For example, looking at how the traits related to me. For example, the trait that we are very self centred. Of course I could never see that, because it's who I am, I've never been any different and nobody thinks they're self centred. So she worked with me to show me how and where I am and then we looked at ways how I can highlight the positive aspects of each trait and base my life, and therefore routines, around them.
So it was like getting all the mental stuff clear, or at least clearer, in my mind, and now I'm working at putting it all into actual practice.
I didn't even have a clue about half the stuff I learned through her. Some of the realisations, were at first, humiliating, I was horrified. It was very intense but really good, it was worth it. I'm still processing stuff to be honest, so it feels like I'm still growing from those sessions even though they've finished.
You can pay privately but I don't know what the rates are because at that time, I didn't have the funds to pay but I've actually been referred back and this time, I can have more than 12 sessions.
I think they're nationwide but I'm not certain. My worker was a young girl and I did most of the talking but having somebody to hear you who understands, is very powerful. And because she did listen, she was able to spot things in me. For example, she says I'm very intelligent and she was able to show me why she came to that conclusion and I could see it. So it's like I grew in confidence because I started to see these different things about myself. I started to see if I could do anything about them and if not, how can I work around them.
It's on going and if I feel I need more sessions after this set has finished, then I'll pay as they're worth it to me.
If the help they have given me so far is anything to go by, I think I'll be back working by May this year, with their help.
I will have to have a look into it. No matter what this thing with my mood is at the moment, I do think autism is the route of it.
On the outside I look like a well functioning individual. I have a job and have few problems at work. But I struggle with my thoughts and things like housework are barely getting touched at the moment.
How you describe your experience with the girl sounds very much like when I was assessed. He picked up on loads of things about me and I was amazed as I was giving really short answers. But like you said it did make me feel better and more confident. But I only saw him the once.
Honestly, it's been life changing. The diagnosis saved my life but learning about it and how it applies to me and my life is giving me a life I never previously dreamed was possible.
The black and white thinking thing, for example ~ first of all, I didn't even know what it was but learning about it and how it applies to me and how it effects my life, in so many ways, has made me realise what a huge impact it has had on my life, in a negative way, because I didn't understand it.
The self centred one was huge as well. All of it. Autism effects our whole life and from my experience it can either make my life miserable (when I don't understand it) or it can make my life amazing, which it is now I'm beginning to understand it better.
Even the quality of time I spend by myself has improved tenfold.
My first support worker who wasn't from autism plus and who actually knew almost nothing at all about autism, was also really great at spotting things. For example, she noticed that on average, I'm ok for 3 weeks then I get tired. So we worked out that the best working pattern for me is to work for 3 weeks then have a week off and then have a month of every 3 months. I've also decided on a 3 day working week, but I only came up with that recently.
Not being able to see things from another person's point of view was another big thing. I mean, it's like, how the hell can you do anything about it when you don't even know you're doing it, when your brain is not wired to see things that way?!?
I learned a lot from watching YouTube videos and reading books but it's nothing like the support I got from autism plus and my psychiatrist. He's amazing, he usually just says one little thing that changes everything. For example, in terms of pathological demand avoidance, he says I'm not avoiding, it's self preservation and although I'm still not doing whatever it is I'm avoiding but I don't see it that way anymore. I see it as self preservation and just that slight change in the way I see it, changed everything.
It's been less than 2 years post diagnosis and I already feel I've got a good handle on it. I've changed my life completely and I'll be working for myself for the first time ever, giving up a career that I enjoyed and was very well paid, everything's changed, but I just take my time with it as I step into my new life, post diagnosis.
I will have a look into what is available in my area.