Tag Archives: ASD

More on Autism

11 Apr

So I’ve mentioned before that both my case manager and the therapist wanted to have me evaluated to see if I fell on the Autistic Spectrum.  This was due to a variety of issues including my Sensory Processing Disorder, issues with eye contact, problems with socializing, and falling a lot.  With Kaiser’s evaluation system that took like 3 months to go through I was found not to have an ASD because I did not present symptoms as an infant, though I met enough criteria currently and had since a child.  This has been upsetting me a lot.  Transferring to UC Davis, I still haven’t made any connections and while I don’t need to have a lot of friends and to be honest am not interested in having a lot of friends, I would like to have one or two.  I never seem to say the right thing and I can’t figure out people.  My case manager went to a training about a week ago now and she said a lot of females on the spectrum are misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar because Autism is about not being able to control your emotions.  I have both.  She said if it’s any something she thinks I’m somewhere on the spectrum and that they need to train Kaiser doctors better.

I know several autistic young adults.  I found this on the internet the other day:

What do you think the most common cause of premature death is among adults of typical or high intelligence with autism spectrum disorders? It’s suicide.

A large study was recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that examined the risk of death among the 27,122 persons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders in Sweden when compared to age-matched controls. One significant finding from the study is that on average, persons with autism die sixteen years sooner than would be anticipated.  The finding we’ll examine more closely is that adults with autism and no intellectual disability are over nine times more likely to commit suicide when compared to their age-matched peers. Unlike the general population, in which men are significantly more likely to commit suicide than women, women with autism were at higher risk of suicide in this study than men.

Last month’s study isn’t the only signal that persons with autism are especially vulnerable to suicide.

  • study of 10-14 year-olds with autism reported that 70% of kids with autism also had at least one mental health disorder such as anxiety, ADHD or depression, and 41% had at least two comorbid mental health disorders. Of those with ADHD, 84% received a second comorbid diagnosis.
  • Kids with autism were 28 times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than age-matched peers without autism in this study.
  • In a study of 374 adults with Asperger’s Disorder, 66% of 367 respondents self-reported suicidal ideation, 127 (35%) of 365 respondents self-reported plans or attempts at suicide, and 116 (31%) of 368 respondents self-reported depression. Adults with Asperger’s syndrome were nearly ten times as likely to report lifetime experience of suicidal ideation than individuals from a general UK population sample, and more prone to suicidal ideation than people with one, two, or more medical illnesses, or people with psychotic illness.

Why might suicide represent such an enormous problem among high-functioning persons with autism spectrum disorders?

They’re more likely to experience social isolation and lack social supports. In the fall of 2014, we shared this anonymous post from a college student describing her experience of trying to attend church as a person with autism. Imagine how the challenges she describes would impact her day to day life outside of church.

High-functioning kids with autism are significantly more likely to become victims of bullying when compared to their peers with autism and intellectual disability. It’s become socially inappropriate to ridicule persons with an obvious disability…less so when the disability isn’t so obvious.

They’re more likely to experience difficulties with executive functioning that may translate into a greater risk of acting upon suicidal impulses, more difficulty employing effective problem-solving skills and more difficulty self-regulating emotions. Learn more here about the challenges persons face with executive functioning challenges.

Their propensity to become very fixated on specific thoughts or ideas may intensify suicidal thoughts, or result in more difficulty letting go of feelings of hopelessness when they occur.

http://www.keyministry.org/church4everychild/2017/4/4/the-suicide-epidemic-among-high-functioning-persons-with-autism

PS I’ve been more suicidal with less friendship and more lonely lately.

The problems lack of memory brings

5 Mar

Today while driving back to my apartment from home, I was crying which is a pretty normal occurrence.  It’s a 40 minute drive, I’m alone and I don’t have to worry about anyone finding me or asking me questions.  As I was crying and thinking about my time here at UC Davis, my transition, and my lack of friends I was wondering if this was what it was like at the private christian college.  Of course I don’t remember!

With everything going on, I’m getting back suicidal again.  I think it might help if I could remember if this is what it was like before, because if it was- I either adjusted, quit, or got through it; because hey I’m here.

Again mostly annoyed by the lack of friends.  Which makes the thought of dying easier when there is no one to live for.  I got the few standard people but they are most distant with my school duties and their current life duties.

Apparently again can’t be ASD because I care about having a friend or two.  Fucking ridiculous.  And these people are suppose to be professionals.  People annoy me to most an extent and I’m picky as hell about friends, but I want a couple.

Adults on the Autistic Spectrum

2 Feb

It’s been one of those days, one of those weeks.  Where I’m frustrated that I don’t have an ASD diagnosis because I didn’t fit the criteria as a kid.  It’s been fucking with my functioning this week.  I’ve messed up a few social cues.  And I’m curious.  I have some Aspergers followers out there or people on the Spectrum that “cope” and appear normal enough.  I don’t mean this to come off rude, I know they took aspergers out of the DSM5 thats why I want to cover aspergers and the spectrum but I’m mostly referring to more of the higher functioning people who for lack of a better word pass as normal most time.

That’s me.  And I know the goal after you get an ASD diagnosis is therapy to help cope with daily living and be able to live productively, get social skills, don’t have meltdowns, learn to deal with sensory issues, etc. etc.   I just don’t understand that if I was forced to do this as a kid because of a chaotic home environment how I can’t have the diagnosis.  I essentially learned most the skills they try to teach out of necessity.  Now on my own, I’ve regressed a bit plus I’m managing a bunch of other shit so honestly I don’t have the energy for all that normative passing stuff.  But I’m still upset that the doctor won’t give me the diagnosis because as a child I didn’t meet the criteria till i was 11 or so.

 

Thoughts?

Somewhere between anxiety and panic

16 Sep

I hadn’t thought about the ASD evaluation in awhile because right on it’s heels followed the gender issues. I was very upset that I didn’t get an autistic spectrum diagnosis pretty much because I didn’t meet all the symptoms when I was young and I was a helpful child; although I doubt my mom through in her drinking problem. But I was even helpful before then. It seems all my symptoms appeared in my teenage years and though they impair my functioning mostly social and like regular things since I wasn’t showing symptoms since a baby I’m not autistic. The evaluator said I should be happy, I think he’s an asshole. I’ve never prossessed how I really felt about it because of gender stuff pushing to the center. But when your body and mind don’t work like most of societies it’s hard.
Most the research in ASD is in children. I think that eventually there will be a delayed diagnosis or adult diagnosis ASD. Just like when society thought kids couldn’t have mood disorders and adults would grow out of their attention disorders. 
If any of my followers are on the spectrum or with mental illness in general. How do you cope with big transitions like moving out? Responsible for all your adult daily activities now (shower, teeth brushing, cooking, cleaning)? And scariest socializing?

Illegitimate 

29 Jul

Do you sometimes feel illegitimate or your diagnosis means less than because it isn’t paired with the typical diagnosis. Than your case manager tells you that you weren’t washing your hair just to act out and you know distinctly it was because of the sensory issues. If it was to act out, why would you allow family members to wash it in the sink. Would those be the people you were acting out against?

I feel without the comirbid ASD diagnosis my SPD is less legitimate especially as an adult. I know there are few adults with SPD. And I know I meet the symptoms and criteria. I just don’t have melt downs, I do shut down. I’ve found coping strategies. And I feel I have to ignore my issues and sensitivities because people will now say they are less legitimate. Family always has, except for knife sharpening; cuz they can see how that would bother almost anyone.

Another day in the life of a complexly mentally ill person.

Excited new opportunities

27 Jul

I feel like I’m beginning to start a new life coming up soon when I transfer to UC Davis.  Just today I got e-mailed my course syllabus for my summer session class that starts Monday.  Yesterday I selected my student housing apartment and found out who would likely be my housemates.  I’m looking into other therapists to see for the gender dysphoria and other blogs to follow, of people who might be like me.  I picked up my child and adolescent psych records yesterday and will bring them to my counseling appointment tomorrow.  I need to talk to someone about my social functioning and how to deal with that and transitioning at Davis especially since apparently I don’t have ASD, I’m suppose to broach the gender identity topic with the therapist but she will get the ASD evaluation, either way I don’t see her until August 28th.  I will see if my case manager can read the ASD eval and maybe that will help things; I know she doesn’t want to or doesn’t feel qualified to work on the gender identity stuff.  i wonder if the therapist will just refer to another person within Kaiser.  Sometimes A lot of times my health insurance is a joke.

NAMI National Convention 2016

7 Jul

Today was the first Official day of the convention although there was an extra track yesterday about first episode psychosis that was rather interesting. The convention this year is in Denver, Colorado last year it was in San Fransico, California. I live in California  so last year me and mom drove to the conference and while she didn’t go, she stayed in the hotel with me. This year I flew by myself and am staying by myself for 4 nights. The night before I chickened out, was really physically sick with stomach issues, and if my dad wasn’t home would have just not gone. But he’d ridicule me and not understand so I sucked it up and went on little sleep and little faith.
The first day was just registering, checking in to hotel, the one track, and I went to sleep early. I liked the talk. I was proud I was able to fly, get a cab, and check in to the hotel without having a melt down. I went to bed as soon as the program was over and my sleep was weird with bad dreams. There’s no bath here and I forgot my hairbrush. So I just called the front desk (hardest thing so far) and asked for a comb) I combed my hair and put on my hat. The other hotel has a hair brush I bought so I’ll try to shower tomorrow. 
The one good talk yesterday was about getting people with psychosis to engage in treatment. It talked about the negative symptoms of those with psychotic disorders like: lack of motivation, isolation, lack of interest in things, flat affect, monotone/don’t respond much. Yet there is still the need to belong and the desire for connection.  Sometimes the problem goes to we can’t do what we use to do.  Example when I had to stop working I never talked to old boss till years after though we were very good friends and went to the movies a lot. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do at points of illness, like attend school or social events so I just lost everything related to that. When nothing feels great you stop trying because you don’t expect it to and why put in the effort. We prefer hobbies to people and don’t engage in the community. Sometimes we are protecting ourselves but sometimes it holds us back.   In order to help these negative symptoms which have underlying problems such as defeatist beliefs you need to let the individual set the goals for therapy.  No ones life’s goals. Is to get up and shower. To make their bed. To take their Meds. As the speaker humoursly suggested maybe your ambition is to live independently with a soda machine in your apartment? 

  • Then ambitions are broken down.  Steps are concrete. 
  • Action towards the goal is the therapy target 
  • Obstacles are addressed as they impede action
  • Conceptualization is the key to the obstacles
  • Achieving the ambitions reinforces the curative beliefs

That was yesterday. Today talked about policy and government. A good workshop on peer workers though there were two VOCAL audience members who should’ve been kept in better check. I’ll scan the awesome resource document when I get home. I also attended another sessions  on first episode psychosis programs; there was a lot of that at the NAMU National Convention 2015, so no real new info. 

I hope I sleep better tonight. I can take a quick shower in the morning without my sensory issues going crazy. And noticing my interactions with people vs the rest of the convention the more likely I fall on the ASD spectrum.  I’ve talked to one person since I got here. Most have depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, or are a family member of someone who does. There are board members and stuff too but even them usually have some relation. 

All over the place

30 Jun

My mood has kinda been all over the place lately and mostly reliant on other people or me level of boredom.  Which isn’t healthy.  Sometimes it’s not.  I’m kinda excited about starting summer school and the whole transition of moving out and transferring to UC Davis, but I try not to think about it to much because I don’t want to get overwhelmed.  Since I’m only taking one class this summer and it doesn’t start till August 1st, I was thinking about delving into some help type things I’ve been avoiding like maybe looking into talking about gender identity (though it isn’t bothering me too much right now) or looking into ACOA groups, again it’s not bothering me too much.  I guess things don’t have to be really difficult at the time to bother you, if you still know they are an issue.  I know when school starts up, it will be too crazy.  I’m interested to see what this ASD eval has to say.  I was talking to 20 something friend today about relationships and meeting people and how I don’t have skills and sometimes no interest and he was talking about like an ASD group or something.  I don’t know if that exists and technically I don’t know if I have a diagnosis or will.  I know in the past from being friends with others with BPD it was a mistake and caused a lot of drama.  I know I was trying not to look up info on ASD until I heard from the doctors, but I wanted to know what the new DSM5 had to say about it as I heard they were doing away with Aspergers and that’s most likely what I think I would be diagnosed with.  I was not surprised to find I met most the criteria but then that it said it had to be ruled out for schizophrenia, so I wonder if they will roll all the “social functioning” issues I have under the schizo in schizoaffective and then have the sensory issues in the Sensory Processing Disorder and just kind of ignore the other weird quirks like delayed sexuality, poor motor skills, my fixations, routines and problems with change.  So many questions and probably few will get answered.