Autism / Aspergers Diagnosis & Mental Health support

Simon_7001

New member
Any other people with aspergers / autism experience this?

I just got off the phone talking with a friend about mental health support and the experiences we have had with the local health authority.

I was diagnosed with aspergers about 11 years ago, having been in mental health therapy for about 9 years previously with acute depression, stress and anxiety. During the course of “therapy” for these conditions, I happened to mention to the therapist at the time that they might like to see if I had aspergers. I had done my research about the condition and it seemed like a perfect fit for my experiences in life = deep interests, communication problems, dislike change, sleep problems and more.

After a lot of discussion the therapist decided that maybe I should be tested. The results were a diagnosis of Aspergers.

This though had a interesting side effect. The mental health unit in my town shut down and all cases were referred to a new unit some 5 miles away. In the course of this my case was shut down as the mental health team said there was nothing they could do for me. I complained stating that basically they were just wanting shot of me as they could not cure me and that they were just trying to increase their success statistics.

After a long period of discussion, it remained at an impasse. They kept saying “You have aspergers syndrome and we do not treat that or offer support for that.”
My continued argument against that was “Yes, I have aspergers syndrome. However, I have psychological problems independent of aspergers syndrome which I need assistance and therapy with viz depression, anxiety, stress and anger management. Thus you should be helping me out.”

Thus began the game of “tennis” between the mental health team and my doctor – with me as the “ball” I was batted to and fro – mental health team saying go see the doctor, doctor kept on referring me back to mental health team.

At the current time, I am not being seen by anyone in that particular mental health unit. After a lot of complaining, screaming and shouting on the phone, I am finally being seen by a psychologist on an infrequent basis. While this is not perfect, it is at least a step in the right direction.

Anyone else experience something like this?
 
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Margot

Administrator
I am so sorry to hear you had this experience. For me it was pretty much the same. A huge build up to the diagnosis amid a mental health crisis, deep depression and absolutely nothing after the diagnosis. I was assessed for talking therapy, but they concluded that I was not suitable (???). Probably it reflects the view that CBT doesn't work for autistic adults.
 

Simon_7001

New member
Still got acute depression, anxiety, stress. Having to cope with a few other problems which are private eg other family members not well. MH team not that helpful .

Mental health team "You have aspergers we don't treat aspergers go see your GP"
Me "I have depression anxiety & need help"
MH team "we only treat the suicidal"
Me "I feel suicidal"
MH team "You are just saying that for effect. Go see your GP"
 
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I was diagnosed a while ago. I had a surprisingly similar experience. I had a severe depression and anxiety due to having to go through the employment tribunal and loosing my job due to bullying. It was horrendous. Learning about Aspergers was a huge relief as it explained for me why things were happening they way they were happening. Still it does not justify discrimination, but I got an answer to the questions that I was asking all my life. Why is this happening to me.
I also expected some support but there was absolutely nothing besides the tablets. I was on medication for years. Now I am better.
 

Margot

Administrator
Simon, I am really sorry to hear that.
If you feel unsafe, please do call for help.
Do you have a care coordinator?

Please call your GP, your care coordinator or dial 111
In an emergency dial 999.
Samaritans www.samaritans.org or call 116123
 

Simon_7001

New member
I gave up taking anti depressants as I was going nowhere with them. I was needing therapy & that was denied over the last couple of years or so.
 

Simon_7001

New member
Talking with someone on regular basis would be an advantage, not just when I am up a certain creek minus paddle. i know I have all the emergency numbers & talk with some good friends on phone or on line when I need a friend so do not panic!
 

Margot

Administrator
I also find talking to friends online helpful.
Do you think there should be people with particular training or just people with whom you have a rapport. I find it easy to talk tosome people and difficult to others.
 
I find it easier to open up on th forum under cover of anonymity. I never managed to really open up to friends in real life. Maybe because they never opened up to me. They too have some MH problems but don't talk about them.
 

Simon_7001

New member
More people who SHOULD be helping ie mental health team. They cannot just state the mantra "You have aspergers we do not treat aspergers". I am asking for help for conditions outside of aspergers as detailed above. At the moment I do have a crisis line which offers support but this is not an ideal situation. It is not perfect, but it is better than the situation of NO help at all which I was experiencing in the last 2 years or so. There is one professional available in time of crisis. So basically now it is NO suicidal thoughts but on the other hand I am not coping well with life....
 
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Margot

Administrator
I think there is a need to develop talking therapies that actually work for autistic people. The reason they don't offer anything is exactly that CBT is believed to be ineffective in autistic people.
But there are other things, like being employed, being in a relationship help the mental health as well.
 

Simon_7001

New member
Over a few years previously, I had met with a member of MH team who was extremely helpful and progress was being made. Meeting every 14 days or so, talking over problems, ideas, strategies. He was moved on to a new post and another person took over the case ( number 11 I think dealing with my case ) Then the MH unit in my town closed & moved elsewhere as detailed above. MH team need to address the fact that people with aspergers are human and have problems which cannot just be dismisssed as a side effect of aspergers... they are real emotions and feelings, which we need help with, guidance with as any other person is given help.
 
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Simon_7001

New member
I am on the waiting list for therapy for almost a year now. I don't know how long it will take.
Be patient. It is not easy given the cuts in health spending. Chat with a few people on here. Have a list of friends or contacts you can trust to talk with if youre in a trouble spot.