๐‘จ ๐‘ฉ๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’‡ ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’•๐’“๐’๐’…๐’–๐’„๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’

Autistic people often have other mental issues that they are having to live with. Iโ€™ve personally suffered with my mental health since I was around 13 years old. A sudden dip in mood was all it took to cause me to go through a bout of depression that is still ongoing until this day. Now I understand that any initial mood swings I had could have been attributed to undiagnosed ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and so a lot of missing puzzle pieces from my past are finally starting to fall into place since my diagnosis.

I do however feel a sense of frustration about the fact that my autism went unrecognised for so long. The many medical and mental health professionals I have seen over the years surely should have picked something up in my opinion and if they had done so a lot of personal pain and anger could have been avoided, but no, it was an episode of โ€œThe Undateablesโ€ on the television that first aroused my suspicions that something other than depression was going on in my head. Seeing people on that show with an ASD diagnosis who suffered socially is what really hit home.

I have never really had many close friends. I just never really felt I โ€œfit inโ€ with people in my own age group. They were busy playing imaginary games in the playground while I focused on my interest in the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. I can count on one hand how many birthday parties and sleepovers I was invited to, but although it feels quite saddening now, I didnโ€™t even notice at the time. I was quite happy playing outside for hours by myself or with my dog Duke, or Iโ€™d be inside reading books about ghosts or watching horror movies I loved even though I was meant to be too young for them.

I loved (and still love) collecting things I have an interest in. When I was young it was Yu-Gi-Oh cards and football stickers, then as I got older it was DVDโ€™s and Books, now itโ€™s Vinyl Records and CDโ€™s. They may all take up a lot of space and cost money, but I thoroughly enjoy it and am very proud of my collections. I now understand that collecting is a big trait of ASD and Iโ€™m sure these obsessions went a long way into deciding my autism diagnosis.

I may have felt uncomfortable and embarrassed at the time, but now I am glad I was diagnosed and Iโ€™m not ashamed of it. Over the years I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, clinical depression, reactive depression, social anxiety and PTSD, and although I do still suffer with those, it is definitely the autism diagnosis that has somewhat put my mind at rest the most. It answers many questions Iโ€™ve had about myself for years regarding my mental health and explains why I act the way I do sometimes.

Sometimes I may be unpredictable, reclusive, obsessive, repetitive, unsociable and sensitive but please understand that this is just who I am.

Iโ€™m not rude. Iโ€™m not insensitive. Iโ€™m not crazy. ๐ˆโ€™๐ฆ ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐œ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ.

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