So I joined this forum to talk about my various mental health issues and try to find a solution or two with people who can relate. I been diagnosed with autism, clinical depression, and oppositional defiant disorder at various points in my life and I'm currently 16 years old at the time of this writing. I hope to have a great time with you guys.
Hi all. I wanted to attempt to create a thread for autistic members to come in and chat, give updates on their day to day lives, etc. This section of the board isn’t very lively, which I find to be a shame. Perhaps we can change that.
I’ll start. Today has been uneventful. Made some phone calls, fed some pets, did some chores. One incident of sensory overload. Have work tomorrow and an appointment after work.
[This post assumes that both genders can be victims of sexual aggression, and examples herein, while grammatically gendered, are not so to demonstrate a gender-specific point. Don't throw brickbats.]
I read in the news today that Neil deGrasse Tyson has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior by three women. I have no idea whether he is on-spectrum; given his fluency as a communicator, I doubt it. But reading the details got me thinking. One complained that he peeked under the covered part of the shoulder on her sleeveless dress to see a tattoo of the solar system that she had mentioned at a party of the International Astronomical Congress; while she apparently acknowledges it wasn't an assault, she says it shows he is capable of "creepy behavior". Another felt he had given her an "awkward and incredibly intimate handshake". The third, more serious, alleges waking up naked in his graduate student bed in 1984 after blacking out from a drink he had given her, with no memory of what had happened, but assuming he had drugged and raped her. She did file a police report years later, and began blogging about the incident in 2014, the year Tyson began hosting Cosmos on television, 30 years after the alleged event.
I detail these things because I can easily, easily imagine an Aspie committing either of the first two gaffes in utter and complete innocence, and a neurotypical losing his or her wig over it because of a whole suitcase full of assumptions. And then... OMG, #MeToo! The pile-on begins. The suspicion. The pre-judgment. The inquiry. The Trial-by-Twitter.
Is the Aspie, is the HFA, prepared, even equipped to contend with this? Hardly, because it is a social onslaught of NT making. It is warfare on the most hostile possible battlefield.
Now, this is not to say that autistics cannot be guilty of interpersonal offense. Delayed development of social skills may result in inappropriate expression - indeed, "creepy behavior". Auties may not have a neurotypical's appreciation of personal boundaries. Yet there must be some consideration for the difference between willful sexual aggression and aggression without intent.
For example: If a neurotypical 13-year-old boy walked up to a woman and openly touched her breast, there would rightly be consternation and outcry. That boy is old enough to understand that that constitutes a transgression. If an Aspie 13-year-old boy walked up to a woman and openly touched her breast, the degree of his offense would depend on the degree of his autism. He could very well simply be fixated on the shape, or the color of the blouse, or the fact that she as an individual differed from the individual next to her, in a tactile way, and did not process that an investigation was not in order.
A neurotypical bystander, however, would not draw this distinction. Both cases would represent sexual harassment, because the woman would have had the sanctity of her body violated, and her sensibility outraged.
And this is where my question arises with respect to the entire movement: Is there not some point at which a person's sensibilities - in essence, their feelings - must be weighed against other factors to determine whether an action rises to the level of an offense? The Universe is full of upsets; we are not guaranteed to be made constantly happy, not by events, and certainly not by one another. Indeed, that would be an impossibility, because it is seldom possible to make two persons equally happy in a single matter in which both are equally invested. At some point, the offended person must accede to accepting some level of annoyance, discomfort, embarrassment, shame or affront in situations, or we would all be constantly knifing one another for pounds of flesh (and then knifing one another over the knifings).
Was the woman harmed when Mr. Tyson curiously looked at her shoulder? She was not. Was she embarrassed? Possibly. Was she demeaned in front of colleagues? One would have had to be present to know. Did Mr. Tyson act out of salacious intent, or simply because he couldn't resist looking at an image of the solar system? One would have to know him well to say, but his body of public life and work suggests the latter.
Was the woman harmed by being creeped out by his handshake? She was not. Was she made to feel uncomfortable about further workplace interaction with him as a result? Ah! Here, one may come to differing views. In my view, she was not made to do so; she chose to do so. She did not address the issue in a positive-affirmative manner saying, "I'm sorry, that made me feel uncomfortable" and I would prefer to keep our relationship purely professional", thus giving him an opportunity to back gracefully away. She instead took the offense and ran with it, informing him that the next day would be her last day at work. She elevated the value of her own sensibility to a level higher than both the value of her job or the value of the fairness she owed to another human being. To my mind, she fails the test for sympathy.
Because autistics so frequently are unable to relate to neurotypicals on an emotional level - i.e., the level of sensibilities - the possibility of negotiating understanding in this sphere is limited. That suggests the likelihood that autistics may tend to stumble more frequently in this arena of social conduct, and to fare poorly under a neurotypical lens when confronted.
Perhaps, #MeNToo would be more accurate?
Edited to add: Never mind the #MeNToo idea - I can already hear the fits being thrown because it looks like “men too”.
Had a tiny fight with my psychiatrist, he seems to be dobuting my diagnosis. In the hospital they tried to say i was bpd with bipolar, but my psychologist says i cant be bpd and even my psychiatrist used to think im not. I dont have any bpd traits other than emotional inestability. Anyways im mad bc people dobut my psychotic symptoms he thinks is just something from my imagination or something "typical" from me. Im mad bc the new medication is not working and now i have panic attacks i didnt had before. The hospital kinda helped kinda made things worse. I feel like my doctor has left me behind, he doesnt care anymore, if he had answered or seen me 15days before when i asked, before i had my big crisis i wouldnt had ended in hospital. Im scheduling an appointment with a new doctor. But i feel so lost, so sad, like no one can help me, not even doctors. Its not fair. This illness is destroying my life. Has anyone ever had this kind of problems with doctors? Have you had a moment where medication made things worse?
I am having a lot of problems. I am enrolled in a mental health program, and I (finally) see the psychiatrist in 2 weeks, but I am basically holding on my a thread until then, because it feels like my only hope.
I'm 34 and I still have no real diagnosis, because I've never been able to access medical care for long enough to get one. The current tentative one is Bipolar II with Eating Disorder in remission, but I've been given ADHD, GAD, OCD, OCPD, MDD in the past, plus Gender Dysphoria and some autoimmune activity as well. Also pretty deep poverty.
I am cripplingly depressed and dysfunctional. I've had repeated "bad periods" of my life, where I'll be previously be "neurotic but stable", but then start slipping downwards into complete non-function. When this happens I usually lose my job and my partner, and more than once my home and most of my personal possessions -- this has happened over and over. This current "bad period" started last summer, where I just started to feel a little more tired, but now I've had to drop out of everything in life since can barely leave the house, am increasingly suicidal. The only reason I'm not homeless this time is a family member stepped in to help my bills (which no one has ever done before). And the ED is starting to resurface after many years in remission because I literally can't afford to buy food and don't qualify for state assistance.
Some days I have overwhelming depression and hopelessness and can barely get out of bed. Some days I feel constant looming terror like something bad will happen and I'm afraid to leave my room. Some days I seem to be emotionally all over place. Some days I feel completely groggy, like my head is in a fog, and have difficulty making sentences or even playing solitaire. As far as I can see all of this is totally random and happens for no reason. However -- and this is big -- from the outside most people see nothing wrong. I'm never "sick enough" to have an "excuse" for my problems.
I've had several different brief periods with talk-therapy, usually 6 months max, and I hate them because they've never seemed to do anything beneficial. I talk about my feelings and do whatever little "tips" they tell me and then go home and nothing is changed. Currently I'm supposed to be doing "affirmations" (yet again) but I simply cannot -- they say that negative self-talk is "a self-fulfilling prophesy", but the fact is I didn't have negative self-talk when I was younger and first having problems. Every evidence of my adult life shows that I fail out of everything and can't function as an adult. I have zero confidence in myself because I have zero evidence of capability. I feel defective.
My mom and some other people are pushing me to get disability, but I've tried to tell them I don't even have a diagnosis -- being a dysfunctional loser isn't a legal disability. They are also pinning a lot of hopes on the Psychiatrist, as if taking a pill is the solution to all problems instantaneously. I know it doesn't work that way, because even if they put me on the "right" meds the first time around, they don't start working right away anyway. I'm enrolled in college but I am barely hanging on, and I don't know if my problems are going to get better fast enough to avoid getting kicked out. And if I lose that, I have absolutely nothing left in life.
I just wish I had an "explanation", and some "validation", but it feels like most people think that even if I do have genuine problems, they aren't actually bad enough to explain my dysfunctional life.
So I don't know what I'm asking or what kind of support I need right now.