Tag Archives: therapist

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.

It’s time for an update

4 Apr

A lot has gone on since the last update.  I have decided to change from identifying as gender variant to gender queer, as I learn more about the community and more about what terms mean I learn more where I fit.  Since my sexuality is no where near heterosexual and is shifting with my gender identity as well as still staying somewhat on the asexual spectrum, I decided to go with gender queer.   I talked to the therapist yesterday AGAIN about being referred to the gender specialist and I think it’s finally going to happen!  At least she thinks I’m stable enough.  I’m not going to mention the last bout with the voices to the therapist or my case manager for a couple weeks, just in case.

I plan on getting my hair cut to look more masculine and also because it gets super hot here in California in the summer, and it’s already starting to warm up.  My roommates don’t keep the apartment as cool as my parents kept the house and next year it will be harder as we will be paying utilities.  I know people will have a problem with my hair cut, but I hope they will adjust.

I got accepted to go to T-Camp which is a retreat for people under the Trans umbrella at colleges in northern California; it’s two days and coming up next weekend.  I’m not sure what to expect but I’m excited I got accepted.

I’m also starting NAMI’s Peer to Peer class in mid April and I’ve been trying to get into that for like 2 years.  It’s either been in the wrong county or interfered with my school schedule.  It’s 10 sessions, twice a week.

So lots of exciting things coming up!

Presidency- Fears- Holocaust Remembrance Day- Stonewall Riots

28 Jan

Lots of stuff going on in my head lately.  Not sure how much I can trust to the mental health professionals as I fear they will block my transitioning goals, which is sad.  Means I have to deal and stress alone, which I know isn’t good for my health.  The other day was Holocaust remembrance day and it was also the day our stupid president decided to ban refugees to enter our country.  Many don’t know/forget that gays were targeted during the holocaust too.  Yes, i know the president hasn’t done anything yet to target the gays.  I was also thing about the Stonewall riots that were not that one ago and how the police arrested people who were wearing a piece of clothing of the opposite sex, this would be everyday.  Will the US come to this again?  So many things to stress about.

A needed update

11 Jan

Things are going well.  I’m into my 3rd day of the new quarter here in college.  I already like it much better than last quarter.  Taking more classes I thrive as the structure helps keep me accountable and busy- last semester there was just too much down time.  I bought a binder to begin wearing this year, when it came in the mail and I saw it I was like “Yikes!” it looked so small, especially around the stomach area.  I’ve been wearing it for 4 days now; usually only the first half the day while I’m in my classes.  There is some discomfort when walking and I can’t slouch, which may be a good thing.  But I really like the way I look.  I want to buy a few more, as I just bought one since they are sort of expensive and I wasn’t sure how I’d take to it.  The thing is it’s really hot, which is fine in this rainy wet weather we are having now, but what happens once hot summers come?  I also found new boxer briefs that don’t ride up and practically become like woman underwear.  I bought 4 more mens shirts and my dad just gave me some more money for the month.  I think I’ll buy another couple shirts.

 

My classes this semester are 2nd quarter Greek, 4th quarter Spanish, New Testament in Greek, Upper Division Writing, and Gender, Language and Society.  There are 5 classes but the New Testament class is just one hour, once a week.  I also have an ungraded connection that meets once a week around the common interest of being a Future grad student.  I’ll be pretty busy this quarter.

Counseling will probably be cut to every other week so I can go to gender group, also because I’m doing well right now.  If I start to have problems we may change apps to Friday or I may go later on Wednesdays and skip Gender group sometimes.  When I see the therapist at the end of the month I’m going to ask her AGAIN about when I will have a consult with the gender therapist, I know I was in crisis in November and then in December she had to cancel because she was sick but I’m running out of patience.  I just found out today my psychiatrist has a reminder set to have a phone appointment with me on the 20th, then we will talk about reducing the Latuda we had to increase at the end of November because of the psychotic symptoms.

Safety plans in place

20 Nov

Safety plans in place, and I guess I got my psychiatrist all worried.  So I saw my case manager on Friday and told her legit what was going on, and also that I was NOT going to go to the hospital.  I told her I told the therapist what was going on but not how bad it was, because she doesn’t know me as well and probably would’ve hospitalized me based on my symptoms.  I wrote my psychiatrist a message earlier in the week about my symptoms and he talked to my case manager and the therapist and he’s all freaked out and made an appointment for me next Friday.  My case manager was talking about how he was invested in me and worried, lol.  I think he’s just frustrated we found some meds that finally worked and now they’re now working again.  My sister is holding on to my extra pills, so I don’t have them at my apartment- I’ve been extra suicidal so that’s part of me trying to be safe.  I also put a Trans crisis line in my cell phone.  My case manager reminded me she’ll be off this week for thanksgiving, but to feel free and call for an emergency appointment the next week and she’ll get me in.  Although I gave my sister the extra pills, I put in my chart some extra PRN of Latuda (my anti-psychotic) and Valium in case the voices get to bad and I need to calm down.  Just 3 more weeks of school to get through.  Then 5 weeks of vacation, and I don’t care if I have to go to the hospital then- I mean I prefer not to but it’s a hell of a lot better than missing finals.  Hopefully during winter break the symptoms let up, or I can adjust.

Therapy 11/14/16

14 Nov

I had an appointment with the therapist today.  It went okay I guess.  I looked presentable and I didn’t get hospitalized.  I didn’t tell her how bad things really were but I did tell her all of my symptoms.  She asked if the gender specific therapist contacted me and I said no; she said she’d follow up again and I should get an e-mail.  That will let me know what I will need to do in order to get top surgery.  Looks like I’m going to have to play the game.  I mentioned my dislike of the idea of binding and the likely possibility it will trigger dysphoria and the therapist just made some comments about having to do it.  Maybe when I see the real gender specific therapist I can explain to her what I want and how I identify.  I didn’t go to class today.  I need to get a paper done, that I haven’t started that’s due Friday.  It’s okay I work best under pressure.

Gender identity changes made so far:

  • No longer carrying a purse
  • No longer getting toenails painted
  • Wearing all male clothing
  • Got rid of all female clothing other than bathing suit
  • Got rid of make up
  • Got rid of jewelry other than class ring and sentimental stuff

Quiet

7 Nov

It’s been interesting lately.  And of course by interesting I mean a combination of hard, no one knows what is going on, and yet I keep my head above water.  I’ve given hints, but some family reads this and I worry what they will think- but I started this for me.  About a week ago my nephew was born, about a week and three days ago I started to transition in wearing male clothing and bought boxer briefs and switched my jeans into male ones (though I’m still having trickiness with sizing.)  The voices came back soon, they said the baby was going to die unless I went back and stopped making my changes.  The voices were the back 1s, the voices that used to be the constant companions, not the episodic side voices like usual.  Also the back 1s in the past have been positive, negative, neutral, or narrating so this was interesting that they came back for this to take a stance.  I didn’t listen and added coping skills and increased my anti-psychotic.  Unfortunately it was during midterms, otherwise I may have just went into hospital for respite/relief.  I had actually taken extra Latuda the night before and morning of a Greek midterm and managed to still get a B, with double dose in me and active voices.  My case manager thinks the voices are back because of my sister having the baby and that they want ME to hurt the baby and that’s not the case, that’s probably come from side voices.  All my midterms are done, 2 B’s and an A; I didn’t try hard so I’m happy with my grades.  I’m not very motivated, when not in class, at a club or workshop; I’m usually sleeping.  I’ve been home weekends a lot, I don’t know if that’s better or worse, it prevents me from sleeping the weekend away.  This weekend is my birthday, most my family is gone anyways, so I’m going to visit 20 somethings friend.  Since I told my case manager about the voices I know it’s going to slow down transitioning, medically wise and I really don’t want to tell the therapist because I don’t have as good a relationship with her and it’s harder for me to tell her this is two separate things- even though I’M SURE they are.

Holding On

3 Sep

I wonder why I am so insistent (at least right now) to hanging on to some of my female gender identity. I don’t like being a girl.  Is it because it’s so familiar?  Because I’m so resistant to change in general and this will be a BIG change.  Scared of what people will think, especially how the family will react?  I’m not sure what it is in me, but it’s worth exploring.  I think that’s what I should talk to the therapist about in two weeks.  I also worry with what my gender identity is and how that will play out along with my sexuality and I’m trying to work them both out in my head at the same time.  I know this is bad for me and I should let the identity figure out first and then sexuality next but I feel like i’m losing time and like most people I want all the answers NOW, lol.

Therapy- Gender Identity

26 Aug

What I’ve been waiting for.  Since my case manager told me over a month ago that she wasn’t really qualified to handle the gender identity issues and to talk to the therapist I was angry.  It seems everyone defers to the therapist that I see once every 6 weeks.  (I see my case manager once a week.)  I had also just gotten my ASD evaluation back and we were suppose to go over that.  It seems everyone passes the buck to her and I have a harder time opening up to her as I don’t see her as often and haven’t developed as much trust.

Surprisingly things went very well.  She has training regarding gender identity issues and is seeing other people with in Kaiser (my insurance.)  My fears about not being taken seriously because I don’t fully identify as a trans person were unfounded.  She let me know what my insurance covered and was okay with what I said I wanted to pursue, didn’t want to, and was unknown at this time.  We talked a little about why it is coming up now, pretty much because I have the independence to be out of my parents house and I don’t plan on moving back.  I don’t see my dad taking this well and knowing I won’t have to be around him while doing this transition and adjusting myself makes me able to pursue it.  Also now being in the LGBT community I have names and real things attached to feelings and thoughts I’ve had for a long time, since puberty.  The therapist is going to see me in a little over two weeks instead of the typical 6 weeks, which is much of an improvement and practically unheard of wishing psychotherapy in my insurance.  She also suggested I check out a support group for trans and gender non conforming people and a local gender center.  My first step is to e-mail them and find out times and dates.  I hate group things and with my social and awkward problems this will be hard.  At least for now it’s just finding out when they meet.

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.