Tag Archives: eye contact

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.

Out with it

22 Jun

Why I asked/my case manager pushed for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder evaluation:

  • I was just in October of 2015 diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, even though I have had sensory issues that have made functioning on different levels difficult for as long as I can remember.
  • Problems with eye-contact
  • Don’t shake hands or high 5 because I don’t like people touching the palms of my hands; I just kinda stand there if I don’t know them.  Backwards high 5 people I do know, and have recently became more of a hugger
  • Clumsiness/ motor skills; I fall a lot, and my case manager says I walk funny
  • Bad communication skills in general
  • Awkward social skills
  • Most my life have had one or two friends except high school
  • Will not use the phone, usually have my mom pretend to be me and make calls for me
  • Very small group of things I like to eat and places I will eat those food at and thats all I eat over and over again, don’t try new things.
  • Won’t eat yogurt, jello, cottage cheese, or things with a similar consistency (SPD)
  • Wearing same clothes, like smell and worn-out-ness of already worn clothes.
  • Won’t wear certain fabrics, closed toe shoes, socks, or gloves unless necessary (SPD)
  • Won’t wash, lotion, antibacterial soap, sunscreen or let most liquid touch my lands; occasionally lick them when they feel dry (SPD)
  • Loud music (like at clubs/bars) makes my eyes blink and head spin (SPD)
  • Flashing lights do the same (SPD)

Avoiding eye contact

22 Nov

So I’ve had this thing for awhile with avoiding eye contact with people. It makes me really anxious and feel funny inside. I’m getting better at it when I got to be. Also with physical closeness. Why do I have to be so weird?

A bit dead inside

11 Sep

I do not like how I woke up feeling.  It is a weird mix of emotions none of which are pleasant.  Some anxiety, dread, emptiness, confusion, apathy, and more that I can’t think of.   It started with a bad dream.  I woke up a little later than usual and got another call from the psych department.  They had called me last night at 5:15 pm on my way to Intro to DBT, it was the receptionist saying that my case manager wouldn’t be in tomorrow (now today) and my appointment would be canceled.  She also told me to call my case manager tomorrow to re-schedule an appointment, hello she wouldn’t be there that day.  Of course, I started freaking out normally my case manager calls me herself, the receptionist didn’t say she was sick or anything just that she was “out.”  I had been having a difficult time yesterday and needed the session.  Less than 5 minutes after I talked to the receptionist, someone else from the department called and made me a re-schedule appointment for Friday.  She mentioned my case manager was sick and that made me feel better and the fact that the appointment was re-scheduled.  Then this morning a receptionist called to make sure I knew my appointment for today was canceled, this wasn’t the same receptionist from yesterday.  No matter who calls from the psych department, my phone say’s Kaiser Incoming Psych and it always makes me anxious.   I don’t like the phone already and it”s usually a bad sign if they are calling me.

Yesterday, my brain was cloudy and fuzzy and my vision kept blurring in and out.  Those are some of my dissociative symptoms, I know what it was regarding but it still didn’t cause it to stop or be any better.  My thoughts were all messed up, going real slow and not connecting with each other.  I also had a headache most the day and was being overstimulated by lights and sounds.  It was my last night for Intro to DBT and we talked a little bit about the year long course.  I’m not sure if I want to do it or if I even can.  The prerequisites to get into the group are: attending all 6 of the Into to DBT groups, approval by your individual therapist, an interview with the two people who lead the group, as well as a serious commitment, and some forms you have to sign.  I have bad anxiety when having to interact with people, especially people I don’t know or when it comes to personal stuff.  The thought of having to have an interview is too much right now.  Also it is a weekly group and a year long commitment… so I gather you need to be relatively stable.  If I get through the end of this month it will be 1 year since I have been inpatient and 10 months since I last self-harmed.  I don’t know if that is enough to consider me stable, I wouldn’t if you told me to assess myself.  Also I have other diagnosis and they sometimes interfere with the groups.  Like last night with my thoughts slow and not connecting– I got very little out of the group.  Also issues with trust, which kind of goes along with BPD symptoms; the voices, eye contact, anxiety around interacting.

I feel a bit dead inside and more so like I want to be dead.  Not suicidal, and not where I would do anything but just wanting to escape. Wanting for it all to be over with.  Today is going to be challenging with not self-medicating and just sleeping the day away; minus class of course.

Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out

18 Jun

WordPress Daily Prompt 6/17/13: Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.

Fear,

     A certain level of fear is suppose to be healthy, it prevents us from making stupid dangerous decisions and gives us adrenaline to get out of bad situations.  However, I think you are taking over and that is not healthy.  You stop me from doing little things in life that the average person has no problem doing… starting a conversation, looking at a stranger smiling and saying “hi,” talking on the phone, addressing conflict and therefore solving problems.  And that’s just the outward stuff, the behaviors I can’t do because you are so certain that they will lead to the end of the world.  People already can tell I’m fearful, anxious, on edge a lot just by my outward behavior.  But that’s not enough, you torment my inner mind as well; convincing me I said or did something wrong, that someone doesn’t like me or is going to leave me, that I can’t handle life on my own, that people are out to get me and conspire against me, that I should trust no one and always be on alert.  You take small experiences from my life and magnify them as evidence to all these fears.  You convince me that it is better and less suffering just to avoid and run away, than the possibility that history will repeat itself.  You are so ingrained that I have a fear of confronting my fears.

       -Your slave

Busy Sunday

18 Mar

Today I had two meal engagements which was a bit scary for a person who doesn’t get out much.  The first was lunch with one of my sister’s friends that is also one of mine.  It was okay, I see her a lot at group get togethers.  I was trying to keep some eye contact while she was talking but I have a real hard time.  When I make eye contact with people I fear they can see through my eyes, see who I really am.  I think they are judging me or pitying me.

The second engagement was with a book club I just recently joined.  The group is mainly made up from people who were my friends from high school.  I’ve rarely mentioned about high school days, I don’t remember all of it or people so sometimes it is little awkward.  It also didn’t end well.  I feel I have become such a different person and I’m not sure they will like this new person.  It went fine, I was anxious and some what quiet but it wasn’t that bad.  There is another comfort zone example.

Sun-Mon-Tue

1 Nov

I haven’t written an actual update blog in a few days, although I have been posting each day with the 10 day challenge.  So here is an update or at least what I remember of the last few days.

I believe I had mentioned that I wasn’t feeling well had pain in my chest, hurts to eat, swallow, and breathe.  Sunday night I ended up throwing up so I figured I would go to the doctors on Monday.  I already had a counseling appt Monday at 11:30.  I got a triage appointment for 2:10, they called around 10am and asked if I could come in early so I did.  The doctor made me stay in the building until results were back from an EKG, lab results, and a chest x-ray thereby making me miss my counseling appointment.  I was upset and angry but managed to get a new appointment same day at 4:30.  They say nothing is wrong and prescribed me an inhaler for the trouble breathing.  It still hurts and they said the same thing in January with the pneumonia, so I’m going to wait a few days and if it still hurts go back again.  My Monday appointment went okay had nothing real eventful to talk about,  the only thing really is that I went the whole month of October without cutting.  I’m trying to get some exercise 3 days a week, Mon, Wed, and Fri.  I though maybe I wouldn’t this week with the possibility of being sick and all, but the neighbors asked if I wanted to go trick-or-treating so I went with them for over an hour.  I have my next counseling appt Friday, which is good I like it switched back to Friday.  It’s also nice to have it twice this week, because no one else really listens to me.  My ‘homework’ is to make an effort to look at people and smile and engage in some kind of conversation when talked to.  I have the anxiety and try to just avoid or ignore these situations.  It’s just 4 days though, I did it Monday night trick-or-treating, not really today because class was canceled.  I went to DBT today and the topic was interpersonal effectiveness, we had 12 or so people, which is a lot for the class.  Topics of eye contact, facial expression, and body language came up.  I swear these therapists are teaming up and out to get me.  I’m sort of participating in NaNoWrMo (http://www.nanowrimo.org) although my novel will not be fiction.  The goal is to write a 50,000 word fictional novel in 1 month, it averages about to 1,700 words a day.  I started today, this morning and have 738; so I need to do some more this evening.