Depression / anxiety after recent Aspergers diagnosis

I was diagnosed with ASD about 18 months ago at the age of 49! Recently I have started having panic attacks which appear to be getting worse and now I’m starting to feel quite down. Does anyone have any experience with antidepressants as this is something that my GP has said might be an option. Also are there any counselling organisations specifically for autistic adults? I live in Sheffield. I’d welcome your ideas and suggestions 

  • Anti depressants never did me any good.  And also I can never remember to take tablets or whether I have already taken them.

    If you can, try to analyse what the panic attack.  And once you have found this out try to imagine what you can do to prevent it.  

    I always find a break from what I am doing, a bit of fresh air, a walk or even just a cup of tea works wonders.  People might think you should snap out of it it this is something that doesn't happen with me.  But fresh air in my lungs and wind in my hair is certainly far better for me than any number of anti depressants.  

    What causes it for me is that somehow I have lost control of what I am doing or someone is trying to take control from me.  I am never one to accept directions as to what I should do from others, I need to do things the way I feel I can do them best myself. 

     You might find a local autism support group or charity near to Sheffield.  If not there are a number of organisations on the internet who may be able to help you.

  • 49 also ,I tried antidepressants on the recommendation of my doctor but that was before my diagnosis, Now  i am no longer taking them ,

    I had panic attacks all my life and didnt know thats what they were until my psychologist explained that these could be meltdowns ,

    I have a service where i live called steps to wellbeing S2W

    , have you tried  :-  "    " obviosuly i missed out www,,,, as i found cbt very helpful , At first i was very suspicious as i thought they were trying to discredit my diagnosis ???  but now realise the meditation and grounding tools so helpful in stopping the anxiety which lead onto the meltdowns. 

    sorry to the mods if link is not allowed , it is a link to the sheffield nhs wellbeing service 

  • Thanks for your response. I definitely find being outdoors helps. I know what you mean about the sense of loss of control. I think that may be a big factor for me. I was going to a monthly Aspergers support group but that hasn’t happened since COVID and I don’t find virtual meetings easy to deal with. 

  • Hi Symon. Thanks for the link to IAPT. My GP did mention them so I might give that a try. What is Steps to Wellbeing? Is that a local service only? I think the biggest issue for me is knowing what to do when I’m having a meltdown and then finding strategies to deal with it. I had a major one the other day and it really upset my partner and now I feel guilty about it which is making matters worse. Sometimes I feel like the hardest part is actually recognising when the cumulative effect of a variety of stressors is starting to build up. Do you actively use the cbt tools in stopping meltdowns? 

  • Hi ,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm sorry to hear about what you've been experiencing. You may find the following link to counselling services in your specified area useful:

    I hope this helps,


  • Hey :) 

    Try to spot when and where your panic attacks happen, and maybe trace back to what causes them. Antidepressants can cause an initial dip in mood before it helps to stabilise things in the long run, but I'm not sure they'd be causing panic attacks themselves. Stay on the medication, try and identify the cause of your panic attacks, and communicate with your doctor so that they can support you through this x

  • Hi. I'm sorry you are experiencing these. I have what has been suggested as limited symptom panic attacks. I also do a lot of over thinking. Something which I have started doing is what I think might be called grounding.  Wherever I am I try to think of 

    1 thing I can taste, 2 things I can smell,  three things I can hear, 4 thjngs I can touch and 5 things I can see. Or switch round the numbers and senses. Today I was in a thinking frenzy and needed to stop, so I used this. I used it last week when i was having an "episode". 

    There's a really good website called  which has good audio for anxiety and panic. I found this website through the nopanic charity. I woukd recommend. Hope this helps.

    I am currently taking an SSRI - it was helpful at the beginning but I think long term isn't the right thing for me so I am in the process of coming off them.

    You have to find what works best for you. And the mental side of things takes practise.