The sad truth is: In 2016 there are still very few mental health professionals with enough knowledge of autism, anxiety and depression, to administer effective treatment. In my experience, this is still a much overlooked problem. There is a knowledge gap between most mental health professionals and autism specialists. All too often, an autistic persons unhappiness or challenging behaviour, is attributed entirely to their autism. In fact, if people with autism are given the appropriate treatment to alleviate their depression and anxiety,
Today I realised, that my struggle with autism, is not the main thing that stops me from moving forward in life. Actually, it's poor mental health that creates the larger barrier to my happiness, success and overall quality of life.
Autism gives me the feeling of not being connected to the world. It makes me scared of meeting new people. I have to work really hard to understand what they are saying. It makes me tired and unmotivated.
Faced with these difficulties, it's really not surprising that it's common for autistic people to suffer with low self esteem. This in turn, leads to anxiety, depression and OCD. These mental health conditions create a sort of feedback loop, that exacerbates our autistic symptoms.
Without the assistance of a knowledgable mental health professional, the unholy alliance of autism and poor mental health, results in an increased level of challenging behaviour, reduced quality of life, and greater difficulty for parents and carers.
In some ways, we can make allowances for some of the everyday challenges posed by autism. For example, I can ask people to speak more slowly, and get them to explain things in a more straight forward, or less ambiguous way. I can avoid social situations that I know are going to be difficult. I can even lower my expectations, and not try to achieve greater success in life.
But in end, it's the constant battle with anxiety, depression and low self esteem.
That's the real killer!
Thanks for reading
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