How do I get help when I can't explain myself (long post)

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btbnnyr
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22 Dec 2013, 7:06 pm

Can you write down what your problems are and show that to the therapist?


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ASPartOfMe
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23 Dec 2013, 1:07 am

"I went to the doctor with a numb left arm, heavy chest pains (after physical effort),"

You should go to a cardiologist to make you you did not have a heart attack that day. If that happens again go immediately to the emergency room.


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tchek
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23 Dec 2013, 4:17 am

I could write my issues down, the problem is, you cannot imagine how incredibly arrogant and condescending the bureaucracy is in my country...

I stumbled upon a text written by an Asperger who live in my area, explaining how stupid was the administration about dealing with his issues.... I have the EXACT same experience!

Quote:
J'ai été particulièrement déçu par le FOREM. Cet organisme belge est censé aider les chômeurs "à trouver leur voie". J'ai eu beau étaler le contenu de mon site internet et expliquer ce que j'avais fait pour des entreprises... Lors de la première rencontre je me suis vu menacer de perdre mon chômage si je ne prenais pas rendez-vous dans une associations qui s'occupe de personnes ayant des problèmes sociaux. C'est dingue : je travaille comme un âne, je suis capable de comprendre la structure d'un Trou Noir ou de concevoir un système informatique complet à partir de zéro... tout ce que la Wallonie trouve à mettre en face de moi est un fonctionnaire qui a les yeux qui brillent de bonheur parce qu'il croit pouvoir me terroriser.


Translation of the bits: "I was particularly disappointed by the FOREM, this Belgian organism which is supposed to deal with the unemployed... in my first meeting, I was threatened of losing my benefit if I didn't seek out associations that deal with social problems... I work like a donkey, I'm able to understand the structure of a black hole or to conceive a computer system from scratch... and everything I'm shown is some civil servant excited to have the opportunity to bully and terrorize me..."

It's EXACTLY what I dealt with there!
I told the guy from the office that I had "school phobia", and I explained, for example, that the very thought of the peculiar "smell" of the school was enough to cause me anxiety.

He took the most condescending tone you can imagine and responded "Are you telling me... that you can't go to school because of a SMELL?!?"... I knew from that point it was useless explaining to him what Asperger could be... the further I tried to explain, the more condescending he became, the more I stuttered, then I shutdown, praying for the "interview" to end. The month after, I lost my benefit.

I was then bullied by my family and my surrounding from this moment, because they judged that if I lost my benefit, it must be because "I did something wrong".



btbnnyr
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23 Dec 2013, 2:00 pm

Can you use writing to communicate your problems to your therapist, then have your therapist write a list of your problems and reasons they prevent you from working for the govt unemployment agency?


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tchek
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23 Dec 2013, 3:40 pm

If only I had a therapist :lol:

I used to have one, and after 3 appointments, I was told that she is out of her job due to illness (cancer)... I have no therapist since then...



btbnnyr
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23 Dec 2013, 4:00 pm

Can you get a new therapist and write down your problems, starting with your speaking problem?


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tchek
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23 Dec 2013, 5:02 pm

Well, I could do that... the problem is the absolute incapacity in dealing with issues like mine in my country. I had a lot of therapists already, none were of any help. When they are not condescending, they just have a big question mark in their forehead, like "what the hell is he on about". I don't think they know what Asperger is.
I was diagnosed with "school phobia" 15 years ago. It's a ridiculous, meaningless term.



vickygleitz
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23 Dec 2013, 5:39 pm

legomyego wrote:
i find that i also bite my fingers when i have a melt down

usually the finger that you point with, at the second or middle nuckle of the finger

sometimes it leaves bruises...but this is the first time i've heard of someone biting their fingers and not nails as many people do.

i find klonopin taken at the time of shut down helps me to continue on with my day instead of descending into a dark hole...but its addictive and supposedly causes brain damage....so not a perfect solution...


OMG, me too! Only on my left hand [I am right handed] and they are so scarred and calloused.



tchek
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23 Dec 2013, 11:46 pm

vickygleitz wrote:
OMG, me too! Only on my left hand [I am right handed] and they are so scarred and calloused.

I wonder what causes this self injury...



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24 Dec 2013, 12:20 am

As I read this, theres similarities with me with the shutdowns, nail-biting and what not.

When I had days when communication was poor, I often am more quiet and stammer which it gets difficult to think/

In those situations though, someone else has to talk for me. Someone who knows me like a parent that can elaborate for you.

Otherwise when my mind is focused enough, I'm often an elaboriate speaker and able to describe most things in writing when given a focal point to work from. That was put to the test when facing a medical health tribunal judge in a court to defend my state benefit. Though I won, it sucks that the communication deficient lose out without having a spokesperson to talk on your behalf :(


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tchek
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24 Dec 2013, 5:43 am

PerfectlyDarkTails wrote:
As I read this, theres similarities with me with the shutdowns, nail-biting and what not.

When I had days when communication was poor, I often am more quiet and stammer which it gets difficult to think/

In those situations though, someone else has to talk for me. Someone who knows me like a parent that can elaborate for you.

Otherwise when my mind is focused enough, I'm often an elaboriate speaker and able to describe most things in writing when given a focal point to work from. That was put to the test when facing a medical health tribunal judge in a court to defend my state benefit. Though I won, it sucks that the communication deficient lose out without having a spokesperson to talk on your behalf :(


Exactly, that's my experience, except that I couldn't defend myself.

I'm quite an elaborate speaker as well when I'm calm, but I wasn't when I had to defend my state benefit... I stuttered, couldn't prove my point, and in front of the growing condescending attitude of the judge, I became mute. So they stopped my benefit.

My mother was with me but she didn't understood me back then; she is very submissive to authority and she figured that if the judge decided something, then it must be The Truth. I fell into a deep depression from then on, could barely get out of my house, and the worst aspect is that I was judged by my entourage instead of helped; it shattered my self confidence too.



AJH91
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24 Dec 2013, 6:40 am

I have a friend who is French and I was talking to him about Asperger's, but he had no idea what it was and when I explained he said something like, "well, most of these psychologists like to throw labels around but they don't mean anything". I was quite shocked because I am at a university where most people are familiar with the condition, so I looked up Asperger's in France and realised that there is no general acceptance of the condition within psychological communities. When diagnosing children with Asperger's they will use terms like 'neuroticism', 'hyper-active emotional defiancy' (I am making these up a bit, the actual terms used are far more obtuse and vague). I am absolutely appalled by these standards within psychological communities in France and wonder what there attitude is to other conditions such as bipolar, down syndrome and tourettes. I also wonder what cultural attitudes are like with regards to mental health issues and mental illnesses and whether psychological communities are reflecting these norms or if it is the other way around.



tchek
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24 Dec 2013, 6:58 am

That's right, in the French sphere, the Asperger syndrome is not well known. Even today, I'm seen as a lazy ass or a weirdo or what not due to my condition. I'm not considered as someone who has a legit concern.

I've got a friend, one of my best friend actually, who has a degree in psychology, is now studying "orthophonia" which is speech therapist. His psychology studies focused on Freud and Lacan, very ineffective as far as understanding autism is concerned.

Now that he is studying speech therapy, he deals with autism. When I asked him whether the autists he dealt with were Aspergers or Kanners, he acted pissed off and said "an autist is an autist!". I realized afterward that he had no clue what an Asperger was and what a Kanner autist was!

When you realize that most social workers who are supposed to judge whether you deserve benefit or not are less qualified than my friend, it's pretty scary...



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25 Dec 2013, 1:52 am

whirlingmind wrote:
Vomelche wrote:
The problem is that there are a lot of people who really do complain over things that are not serious, and are just seeking attention, so it gets hard telling the difference.


What do you base this comment on? Going to see a psychologist etc. is stressful, means talking about difficult issues, and clearly someone would only do this if the issues were bothering them enough to do so. You have to potentially lay bare your life and your soul, in some instances spend money, waste time out of your life/work/away from loved ones. I seriously cannot believe anyone would do that 'for attention'. If they are delusional about having a problem that warrants a psychologist then that in itself is a mental health issue. Why would someone do this for no reason? It must be affecting their quality of life in some way, and everyone deserves peace of mind and a reasonable quality of life.

It's this type of attitude that contributes to false beliefs in society and makes things hard for people to seek the help they genuinely need, whether it's for AS or mental health issues.


It's called malingering, and people do it a lot. There are any number of reasons why a person would seek treatment. There could be some secondary gain that the person hopes to receive. As people with AS, we tend to be straightforward because we are not very good at deceit, but you would be surprised at what people do. Some people just want someone to talk to. They enjoy being heard. Others might want medication to numb the pain of living. Maybe someone wants government benefits or doesn't want to work. Maybe someone wants to blame bad behavior on being crazy. I base my comments off of working in the mental health and substance abuse field for 6.5 years. I've worked with hundreds of patients in different settings.



livethedream94
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25 Dec 2013, 2:55 am

@tchek

I think you might want to try to search around and seek treatment/therapy with different providers/persons. Sometimes a therapist and a client just can't connect and you need to try someone else. If you don't feel comfortable with your therapist you should ask them if they might be able to refer you to someone else, if you do so politely they don't really take it personally!

Writing what you want to discuss or even writing a letter sounds like a good idea! If I don't see my therapist without knowing what I want to discuss in advanced I will just tend to talk about something irrelevant, or ask her what's going on in her life. If you feel uncomfortable or your therapist said something that you didn't like don't be afraid to let them know. Especially since you're on the spectrum you're therapist might have a hard time noticing that you're feeling uncomfortable.

Another point to make is that psychologists and mental health professionals really don't like it when someone comes into their clinic having self-diagnosed themselves. Although it might seem simple, diagnosing psychopathology is something that takes years of education (In the US, a PhD) and it can aggravate professionals sometimes when they have a client who has already diagnosed themselves. The best way to phrase things would be to let him/her know what symptoms you have, how they are like ASD, and what impact they have on your life.

It depends on where you're living, but often there are many local support groups for things like ASD and there are people there who could also give you good advice and give you a chance to meet other people who are going through some of the same things. Often there are also resources (such as case management) that are available for people in your position, and will provide you with an advocate to help you setup different things and take advantage of resources in the community.

Hope that helps!



tchek
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26 Dec 2013, 8:41 am

Thanks for your post.

It's true, the biggest challenge for me is to communicate the idea, or to direct the therapist toward the idea that I'm far in the spectrum WITHOUT actually saying the word "Asperger" (which is almost fashionable these past years). That's the challenge. I've seen so many people proclaiming themselves as "Asperger", and who aren't, just because it conjures the image of the "smart geek" that so many hipsters wish they were :lol: that's unfortunate, because those who really are, and who are invalidated by it, are completely discredited.

The only visible symptoms I have are my heavily damaged fingers due to self injury.