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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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Joined: 30 Dec 2012
Gender: Female
Posts: 61

29 Jun 2020, 7:59 pm

I would say autism is a brain hardware issue
And anxiety/depression/ptsd etc are treated as software issues
But when your mental health problems are so intrinsically linked to your autism, surely it takes more than conventional methods to fix them? The only thing that has helped me with any of my issues in a noticeable way is medication (antidepressants and antipsychotics). No kind of therapy has helped me. Surely it’s not just me. It sometimes feels like I’m so broken I’m the only one none of these methods will help, but it’s obvious to me that the autistic brain should be given an entirely different approach when it comes to therapy.
I’m so frustrated, I’ve seen psychologists, counselors, psychiatrists, they tend to be good at digging up my painful stuff but their advice has never helped. I still struggle as much as every with severe anxiety, bipolar swings, trauma and deeply entrenched self esteem issues. I don’t want to struggle my whole life with these things instead of being able to pursue my dreams and goals.
Is there any unconventional or autism-tailored approach to treatment or therapy that actually helped you?


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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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Location: Queens, NYC

30 Jun 2020, 8:22 am

I wish I could offer good advice for you.

I feel like you really want to rise from how you are feeling at present.

What actually makes you happy, and keeps you from thinking about how you are feeling?


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Joined: 25 Oct 2013
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30 Jun 2020, 8:35 am

The "hardware" "software" distinction has some validity. However, I would quantify a little more in the hardware category. I consider Aspergers (now swept into the miscellaneous category of autism) a neurological variant. I suspect that neurological speed, intensity, or complexity combine to produce the symptoms observed. This would favor a greater "hardware" component to things like anxiety.

For most, coping becomes better with age. This gives the appearance that symptoms diminish. The neurological variant that presents as ADHD is "treated" with amphetamines. It may be that the dissonance between hardware and software is reduced by accelerating the hardware. I assume that there would be a price to pay physiologically.

Since there is significant variability with neurological issues, it is incumbent upon the individual to experiment to find techniques and strategies that provide greater function. It sounds like you are encountering the limits of what "experts" can provide. You may actually be set back by some of these encounters. For example, if you are approached to dig up parental trauma, you may begin to follow a path of excessive self-focus that can exacerbate problems.

It might be more helpful to consider one element that you would like to have improvement with and work to experiment with things to see what works.


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Joined: 2 Feb 2008
Age: 71
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Location: Where the Great Plains meet the Northern Pines

30 Jun 2020, 12:33 pm

Have a look at the new science of neuroplasticity - how the brain can re-wire itself. It is so good that the pons device, which helps the process, is being kept off the market.

jimmy m

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Joined: 30 Jun 2018
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Location: Indiana

30 Jun 2020, 11:14 pm

Aspies experience significantly more stress than the average NT. So much so it should almost be our middle name. Stress energy is cumulative. Unless it is vented properly it will over time produce distress (such as anxiety/depression/ptsd).

There are two ways to treat the state of distress. These are a psychological approach or a physiological approach.

The psychological approach, sometimes called talk therapy generally attempts to uncover the root cause of the traumatic event(s) and often leads to the prescription drug route to normalize behavior.

The physiological approach is a completely different approach. It looks at the problem from a chemical approach. Stress instead of viewed from an emotional level is viewed from chemistry (hormones), animal behavior and how the brain operates.

The human brain consists of many components, which are layered like an onion. There is the core, which is similar to the brain of an infant. It resides in the Vagus Nerve and Dorsal Vagal systems and is responsible for “Immobilization” or “Freeze” response. There is the middle layer within the Sympathetic Nervous system that controls the “fight or flight response”. And there is the outer layer, within the Myelinated Ventral Vagal system, the social brain.

Stress can be vented in the core by using techniques that produce neurogenic tremors.

Stress is also part of the middle layer, the fight or flight response. This stress energy is also stored in the body, in the limbs (the arms, legs and neck). Exercise is the key to venting this stored chemical stress energy. But it is a very specific form of exercise called Maximal or Supramaximal exercise, interspersed with passive recovery intervals.

If these stress chemicals are properly vented from the body, the body will reach a state of homeostasis and the effects of reduced emotional stress loads in my humble opinion will make panic attacks, trauma and PTSD symptoms less frequent and less intense.

If you are interested in learning more about the physiological approach, I would suggest a book by Peter A. Levine titled "In An Unspoken Voice".

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