I had a bad year last year (depression, loneliness etc) and ended up with an Asperger's diagnosis. I'm still coming to terms with it and it's really messing with my head. I'm 34. I had shingles over Christmas which may have permanently damaged my eyesight and I have also developed some kind of acne on my face. I was just prescribed an SSRI but I've just found out I can't take it because of the problem with my eye.
I really don't know what to do as I am in the middle of a funded PhD. My partner is also 8 weeks pregnant. Should I take some time off or ask for an extension of my studies? Should I just quit altogether? I can't claim benefits because I'm too high functioning and I need to do some kind of work because I enjoy it.
I'm a bit worried I'm just running myself into the ground and I genuinely don't know what to do. I don't know if I can approach the university about this at the moment - I was thinking of contacting my local autism charity to see if they could offer any advice or advocate to the university on my behalf.
Hi, I'm really sorry to hear that you've had so much happen in such a short space of time. It all sounds quite overwhelming!
Finally getting an ASD diagnosis can be a lot to take in. I find that chatting with people on here is really helpful and good source of support. I'm also thinking, because it sounds as though you are already seeing a GP for your depression, that it might be worth asking the GP to refer you to your local Autism services to see what support you can get?
The shingles sounds painful! Has it damaged both eyes or just one? The acne could be a stress reaction but it might be best to get your GP to check that it isn't anything more serious. It must be frustrating that you can't take the SSRI's. However, there are other types of antidepressants. Your GP should be able to advise on which of these would be most appropriate for you.
It's a long time since I was at University but I seem to remember there being a student support service or somewhere that you can go to ask for support and help if you have a diagnosed disability, which you do have. I think it may be worth paying them a visit to see how they could help. It sounds like a month or so off might help you to level your head out a bit. It might be better to get student support involved with this so they could help if you need to apply for an extension to your studies or anything else.
Congratulations on your partner's pregnancy! How are you feeling about that?
I think that contacting your local Autism charity is a great idea or as I said earlier, get your GP to refer you.