I have been struggling with suicidal thinking for a few years now and recognise it is part of the autistic brain as we tend to focus on a narrow area and miss out on much that is going on around us. Added to that we may not be good at socialising and can't easily let go of ideas or routines as we don't like change.
Added to this we don't respond well to treatments such as antidepressants and also psychological managements, so that leaves us having to tolerate ourselves.
We can learn a lot from others, but then may feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to others.
what do you think?
Has anyone found a good answer?
I know Blueray like forgiveness therapy, which I have tried but not been successful
Sorry that you struggle with this, too. For me, it's less to do with missing out on what is going on around me and more about the constant sense I have of feeling 'outside'. I've had this throughout life. Before my diagnosis, I made a couple of attempts. Since my diagnosis, and the greater understanding it's brought me, I haven't done anything drastic. But it's something, like with you, that's constantly in my head. Strange though it may sound, it's almost like it's a reassurance for me - to know it's there as an option, if I ever felt desperate enough. I sometimes think that anything could tip the balance for me. If anything happened to my cat, say, or I was forced to give her up for some reason. If I lost my home. If my creativity dried up. Those kinds of drastic things.
It would be worth checking out the information on the site. You'll also find plenty of information if you look at some of the 'Related' threads listed in the right-hand column.
Yes that sounds familiar.
Legal, financial, physical, traumatic, mental health, social factors may each play a part.
The mental tolerance of the problems is what I find so difficult as I worry about justice, regrets, shame, complexity, not enjoying myself, my effect on my family, isolation, lack of friends,not using/ enjoying my money. All seems ridiculous, but very real.
I would love to come up with a good way forwards, to help others
NAS51277 said:The mental tolerance of the problems is what I find so difficult as I worry about justice, regrets, shame, complexity, not enjoying myself, my effect on my family, isolation, lack of friends,not using/ enjoying my money.
I can certainly relate to this. I find the older I get, too (60 soon), the lower the tolerance gets. I think I'm pretty squared up with life now. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know that there's a Mr Hyde lurking not too far beneath the surface of my Dr Jekyll. I get enough social contact through work, and working with learning disabilities certainly plays to my strengths and brings out the best in me. It gives me a lot of personal fulfillment. I'm not bothered about money. And those family members who've distanced themselves from me because of my autism are people I'd sooner not have around me, anyway. I stick with what's positive for the most part. Where it gets dark is when I start thinking about the 'what might have beens'. It's ultimately pointless, of course - we can't change the past... but we can do things that affect the future. A lot of it is out of our hands, maybe, with social and financial circumstances, the need to earn a living, the need to keep some stability there. But we can still exercise choices, however limited they might seem. As the old saying goes: 'life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards'. Having said all of that. We're not robots. And we don't live in the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Stuff lives with us - trauma, abuse, opportunities missed, people hurt, etc. What BlueRay says about 'acceptance' is right. We need to be able to put it all into context, forgive ourselves as much as we can, make a positive effort to do better. Treat life as a learning curve - which, of course, it is. And learn, if not to love ourselves, at least to like ourselves more than we perhaps do. Love can follow on from that.
I find it hard to forgive myself for a lot of the things I've done. I find it hard to gain acceptance. But I'm working on it.
And I still have a desire, however tenuous at times, to see what life has in store for me. Ultimately, I can't know that unless I wait around and see. Give it the chance.
I’m really sorry to read you’re feeling like this NAS 51277. This is something which I’ve experienced periods of in times of stress for a few years, but unfortunately it seems to have ‘set in’ somewhat in the past year.
As I always say when posting at the moment, I’ve not been formally diagnosed yet so I feel a bit awkward, but I can certainly see many traits in myself and the forum has been a great help, so I hope it’s okay to contribute.
I find myself struggling with regrets and feeling as though I can’t forgive myself for certain actions/ inactions, this is what seems to trigger and maintain the thoughts for me, along with a sort of disappointment in myself for not feeling able to pursue any of the things I thought I might do in life. It feels like I’ve left it too late now, not so much in terms of age but in terms of all the metaphorical baggage I now seem to be carrying with me, so that even if I did suddenly feel able to do something different, I feel that I wouldn’t enjoy it. There is something in me though that really hopes that isn’t the case, and that at some point I may feel different.
I spend a lot of time comparing myself to others; I know I shouldn’t, but I seem to be increasingly affected by this. As I’m so good at masking outside of home, I know there are people who probably think I’m a sort of sweet shy person, but I constantly feel like I want to tell them everything I’ve ever done wrong/ failed at as I feel like they wouldn’t want to know me. I feel increasingly ‘outside’ of things as I see friends (who I haven’t kept up with well as they often meet at places I can’t deal with) moving on with their lives.
I have a very poor tolerance for problems, everything feels like the end of the world.
I have often thought that after my parents and pets have passed away, assuming I live longer, that I would take my own life, as my family and pets are the only things that I feel really make my life worth living. Ironically I am also aware I’ve not always treated my family well during times I wasn’t coping, and that I’ve let them down in a number of ways, so that adds to my feeling of not wanting to carry on.
Somewhere in me though there is a tiny, tiny fragment of hope. I’m much more self aware now and have been working on this over the past couple of years, so I am taking more responsibility and reacting to things more calmly (though it’s not easy) which helps my self esteem a little bit, at least then I can feel like I’ve learned from things a bit. It’s a double edged sword though, I then feel frustration with myself in the form of thinking ‘why couldn’t I make these changes before, when it might’ve been more use?’
I can definitely identify with the concept of the Autustic brain focusing on a narrow area, I’ve spent as long as I can remember being obsessively focussed on one thing or another to the extent that nothing else has particularly mattered; good things like interests and bad things like emotional distress, and at the moment I feel like I’m very, very focussed on the distress and not seeing a bigger picture.
I’m seeing a therapist at the moment and certainly finding I’m not responding well; I do try but just find myself frustrated and confused at times by what she is asking me. I really want it to help but I’m not getting my hopes up. Tried antidepressants once (one tablet) and felt so awful that I gave up, so I feel like I’m very much just having to tolerate myself.
I too would love to come up with a good way to move forwards and help others. I think I have a way to go yet before I could contribute much, I’m very up and down, but as I say there is this tiny bit of hope in me. I try to think that instead of clinging to an idea of how things ‘could’ or ‘should’ have been, that things were the way they were/ are the way they are, I need to accept that. I just wish acceptance was easy!
Exactly my thinking. Resilience seems to be the only way with acceptance, unless anyone has another idea that has not been tried by me?? I've done loads of things and even got arrested for one of the things I tried to try and help. police didn't even try to understand my thinking and I was convicted for asking for help...malicious communication implied suicidal threat ... seems a cruel decision
I think you're both right with 'resilience'. It's hard to build up. Some people seem to naturally overcome it. Or rather, they can set it aside somehow and get on with life. Which doesn't mean it isn't always there. And who knows when it might come back? Success, achievement, wealth, etc - none of them is an insulator, necessarily.
I've also had some brushes with the law and been Sectioned over behaviour-related issues, all pre-diagnosis. One of my problems is self-medication. It can and has led me to some very dodgy places. I know that every time I drink, I'm playing a potentially dangerous game. I've stopped for long periods, and have definitely felt that sense of resilience building up in me. But it still falters. Mindfulness, meditation, talking therapies - these can all help. But sometimes unpicking a lifetime of stuff to get to a point where you're making some headway is like trying to climb a mountain - and every small slip can feel like you're going right down to the bottom again, even though in reality it was just a few feet or yards. It takes a long time - longer for some than for others. And it's hard work.
This paper, published in The Lancet in 2014, may be of interest...
Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger's syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: a clinical cohort study
Yes I am aware of that paper and have been in touch with the authors, but no good ideas for treatment/ prevention
I haven't had suicidal thoughts in a long time, counselling at the Maudsley Hospital really helped me.
Please do not hurt yourself, forgive yourself its not worth it to dwell on the past like that.
Try talking to a special friend such as a pet about this they give unlimited love and dont judge you. If you dont have a pet how about you adopt one from a shelter? There are plenty of cats and dogs that need shelter. Therefore you would not be lonely anymore and nor would the cat or dog. Its nice when you have someone to share life with...
My daughter's dog stayed with us last week, but I wasn't very interested in him and nice as he is, I think he wasn't very fond of me.