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jiklomiki83
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30 Nov 2020, 6:25 am

My s/o has (self diagnosed but it check out) aspergers and suffers from depression - recently it has been more and more difficult for him to get out of bed. He had to flee his country due to war and I can't even imagine the amount of pain he has to deal with every day, still, he's very strong and I'm proud of him. He's very affectionate and there is times when I see him genuinely happy but more often than not its the other way. He has troubles opening up and tends to shut down when I'm trying to find out what's wrong; it's understandable and I'm trying to be patient but I keep worrying and it's starting to be very difficult to handle for me. I'm giving him all the support I have in me but it's not enough. We live together and he told me a couple of times that he never thought he could live with another person and share so much of him, it gets difficult at times but I'm trying to be respectful of his space despite my awful need for attention and it seems to work. We made some changes around the flat so he has his space but we still spend most of the time in the same room because we're both at home atm. I try to arrange outside activities so l'm not constantly around him, but I'm really running out of ideas of how to help him otherwise. I tried motivating him to do more of his hobbies, make example out of myself, talk or hug it out but it seems to have less and less effect. I can't tell him anything he doesn't know already. I can't convince him to see a psychiatrist, I tried many times without a result and i don't think he is going to get better on his own without my help. I love him with all my being and there isn't much I wouldn't do to make him feel better. Here's where I need your help guys - speaking from your experience as someone with aspergers, what comforts you? If you suffer from depression, what helps you cope with it? What does your partner/friends/family do that helps you get through it? Please let me know your thoughts on this.



holymackerel
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30 Nov 2020, 8:01 am

Maybe if you took steps to get him a diagnosis of autism and explained he would have to see a psychologist and not a psychiatrist. I'm not really to say what causes his depression really, only he would know that and coming from a background of being in a war zone could definitely complicate things. Maybe if it is things to do with his autism though, getting a diagnosis and educating himself about typical things he wont handle well might make him understand things better. I had a really hard time going undiagnosed because I was blaming where I couldnt keep up in life on myself and it was pretty upsetting. It might not be the answer, but I think a diagnosis would be a step in the right direction. Depending on what country he is in, he might be offered therapy services as well which could help. That being said depression is a serious thing and it is a shame he is not willing to seek medical attention for that specific problem.



timf
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30 Nov 2020, 9:41 am

You might try using procedures that you agree upon but with humor and fun. For example, you might get him to agree that you get four hugs a day.

You might try to entice him into activities that do not have other people such as fishing.

There is some interesting research just beginning to be conducted on the relationship of depression and nutrition. It seems cutting back on sugar and getting more Omega 3 can be helpful.

You might invite him to play chess and offer to use only the king and queen and pawns.

Experimentation id going to be a key factor and involving him in the experimentation process can be helpful. If he recognizes his deficits, he may be willing to see if you guys can discover some tools to help manage things.



starkid
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30 Nov 2020, 11:04 am

Are you sure he is depressed? Maybe he has trouble living in close quarters with another person because it over-stimulates him.



Redd_Kross
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30 Nov 2020, 11:55 am

I find I have a fixed amount of energy to give to other people, over the course of a day.

Overstepping that limit regularly makes me very anxious, which in turn makes me defensive and withdrawn, which then messes up my work and my relationships and THAT makes me depressed.

Some of the best "ice breaker" actions that people have done for me, over the years, have essentially been gentle distractions from how I felt, nothing more. "Hey, let's do this!". Going for a walk, playing cards, watching a film, cooking some nice food.

Sometimes when people are depressed they lose the ability to make decisions, indeed pressure to decide even simple things can cause great anxiety. So a bit of deception is sometimes required, and a willingness to accept that it won't work every time. Saying "Can you help me mix this cake?" is better than asking "Would you like to bake a cake?", but you might end up baking it yourself, or you might not. "I'm going for a walk around the park, care to join me?" is better than "Would you like to go for a walk?" but you might have to go out on your own.

If nothing else, you'll get to do some nice things for yourself, but chances are you'll gradually see an increase in involvement from your OH.

The key is not to be too judge-y.



Double Retired
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30 Nov 2020, 2:54 pm

Giving him space is good! That is physical space and also time.

Beyond that I have to go on my inclinations.

Pointless activities are not as good as productive activities. And that is productive as in producing results, not necessarily useful results. For instance, I am scanning my old financial records so I can keep the records without keeping the paper (on June 26, 1973 I bought a belt in the Woolworth's in King of Prussia and now I have an electronic copy of the cash register receipt rather than a paper copy 8-O ). Scanning the old records feels good. It is relaxing even if is of questionable practical usefulness.

More useful productive activities might be organizing tax records or, for insurance purposes, maintaining an inventory of your music collection or books or whatever.

Might he be interested in building a complex Excel spreadsheet that you "want"?

Is there something he can research for you on the Internet? Maybe the Autism Spectrum?

On the other hand, maybe don't try to initiate many deep conversations with him. Let him do that. And even then, if he's like me, he might only be able to handle the discussion for a little bit at a time.

As far as getting a formal diagnosis...I can see cause for hesitancy to see a psychologist. When I did it I was doubly retired and happily married, and a hard-headed strong introvert. I did not have to worry about repercussions. In my 30s I would have been concerned about repercussions related to work and to my (admittedly limited) social life.

Oh. Some "obvious" things: Routines are good. Peace and quiet is good. Adequate sleep is good. Confidence that you are there for him is very good.

And thanks for caring about a (likely) Aspie. If you do Internet research, how about, for instance, "reasons to love an aspie".


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Double Retired
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01 Dec 2020, 1:30 pm

Double Retired wrote:
As far as getting a formal diagnosis...I can see cause for hesitancy to see a psychologist. When I did it I was doubly retired and happily married, and a hard-headed strong introvert. I did not have to worry about repercussions. In my 30s I would have been concerned about repercussions related to work and to my (admittedly limited) social life.
Oh. In case I've been misleading. I can see cause for hesitancy, not necessarily avoidance. Whether he goes for a formal diagnosis, or not, should be his decision...and rushing him or trying to pin him down is not necessarily a good idea.

My impression from what I've seen on WP, however, is a lot of folk seemed to be happy because of the diagnosis because it explained so much of what they had experienced in life. I saw my diagnosis as a good thing but, again,  I was in a position where I did not have to worry about possible repercussions from it.

And, other than the peace of mind, I can't say I've gotten any real, practical benefit from the diagnosis. I was the same person before and after the diagnosis. (My bride and I were both already used to her eyes rolling a lot. :roll: )


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Redd_Kross
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02 Dec 2020, 8:22 pm

A response from the OP would be nice.