Page 1 of 2 [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

06 Mar 2024, 4:53 pm

Hello!

Anyone else have the dual diagnoses of PTSD and ASD? If so, have you found ways to help reduce the PTSD symptoms? I have considered EMDR and heard wonderful things, but after exploring the idea with my therapist I worry it would not be as effective for me, because of the way my brain works. Specifically, I know they will ask you to think about the traumatic event and then "describe the negative belief about yourself related to this". In my case, I don't have that. I didn't do anything wrong. I couldn't have avoided what happened realistically.

Reading up about managing PTSD is disheartening at times, and adding in ASD is another extremely complicating factor. So, have any of you found anything that helps you process/work through the PTSD to lessen the symptoms or their impact?

Thanks for reading. I wish you all well.



funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,052
Location: Right over your left shoulder

06 Mar 2024, 7:17 pm

There's several posters here, as well as threads discussing the combination of ASD and PTSD.


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

06 Mar 2024, 11:11 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
There's several posters here, as well as threads discussing the combination of ASD and PTSD.


I didn't see anything relatively new, and I also was asking for specific info related to managing the symptoms in an autistic person so I thought a new thread was acceptable...sorry.



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,847
Location: Hell

07 Mar 2024, 7:11 am

I have ASD and PTSD. It’s still a struggle for me. I just wanted to say that you aren’t alone here.

I was in CBT for a long time but didn’t find it that helpful. I’m fully aware of when my thoughts/thought patterns are irrational, but that knowledge does not help with my PTSD symptoms although it’s good for some people. Also, I have a really hard time talking about my trauma offline, but I’m working on it. I might look into other types of therapy in the future. Until then, I’ve found writing/journaling about my trauma, listening to music, going for walks (sometimes while listening to music), cuddling with my dog (deep pressure therapy), talking to other survivors online, breathing exercises, and medication for panic attacks and sleep helpful. If I could afford it, I’d probably do horse therapy, but I can’t.


_________________
"Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamias rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications." - Le Petit Prince


Blue_Star
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 3 Sep 2009
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 421

07 Mar 2024, 7:17 am

funeralxempire wrote:
There's several posters here, as well as threads discussing the combination of ASD and PTSD.


"Hey, there're people like that here! You might find something useful by searching older threads while waiting for new responses."

rocksteady85 wrote:
I didn't see anything relatively new, and I also was asking for specific info related to managing the symptoms in an autistic person so I thought a new thread was acceptable...sorry.



rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

07 Mar 2024, 1:59 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
I have ASD and PTSD. It’s still a struggle for me. I just wanted to say that you aren’t alone here.

I was in CBT for a long time but didn’t find it that helpful. I’m fully aware of when my thoughts/thought patterns are irrational, but that knowledge does not help with my PTSD symptoms although it’s good for some people. Also, I have a really hard time talking about my trauma offline, but I’m working on it. I might look into other types of therapy in the future. Until then, I’ve found writing/journaling about my trauma, listening to music, going for walks (sometimes while listening to music), cuddling with my dog (deep pressure therapy), talking to other survivors online, breathing exercises, and medication for panic attacks and sleep helpful. If I could afford it, I’d probably do horse therapy, but I can’t.



Thank you so much. When you write or journal about it, do you just thought dump or free write or do you have a structure to it?

I have a dog who naturally enjoys giving hugs so we have been rewarding that and training her to give hugs on command. She climbs on your lap and lays on your chest with a paw on either side of your neck and she just leans into it and hangs out there. It is so amazing how much those hugs help. It's like a nice little moment of "everything is okay in this moment" and the DPT aspect is incredible as well. I have also found that when my partner is laying in bed, I like to stand next to the bed and kind of just drape my torso over him like a blanket. He enjoys it as well, so it's a win.

My traumatic event was kind of specific so I have not really found a lot of people who have similar experiences, and to further try to find someone autistic who has been through it is REALLY hard. My therapist is wonderful and she recognizes the ways in which my brain is different and why some typical types of therapy don't work, and that has been helpful. But I have learned that in navigating this particular situation, in a lot of ways, I am going to have to get creative to find my way out of the woods, so I am just looking for input from others who have found things that helped.

Do you have somewhere in particular you like to walk? Or just anywhere?

I have medicine I can take to prepare if I know I might be having an extra hard time - like if I'm going to be leaving the house for a group activity of some sort, or around the anniversary of the incident. It works great to try to prevent myself from getting to that level, but for the unexpected triggers, I have to try to recover.

I have heard about horse therapy but I have never really looked into it. Do you know any specifics about how it works? Is it just essentially spending time with huge animals and building relationships?



rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

07 Mar 2024, 2:03 pm

Blue_Star wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
There's several posters here, as well as threads discussing the combination of ASD and PTSD.


"Hey, there're people like that here! You might find something useful by searching older threads while waiting for new responses."

rocksteady85 wrote:
I didn't see anything relatively new, and I also was asking for specific info related to managing the symptoms in an autistic person so I thought a new thread was acceptable...sorry.



I am unsure of the tone of your comment, but I just want to say that I wasn't being intentionally flippant or sassy with my response. Just still unsure of a lot of the etiquette here. I can appreciate that it gets really old seeing the same threads pop up over and over again, with people not doing the work to see if things have already been addressed or answered. So I just meant that I had tried to make sure I didn't do that lol I wasn't offended or upset about the comment from funeralxempire. :D



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,847
Location: Hell

07 Mar 2024, 2:58 pm

rocksteady85 wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
I have ASD and PTSD. It’s still a struggle for me. I just wanted to say that you aren’t alone here.

I was in CBT for a long time but didn’t find it that helpful. I’m fully aware of when my thoughts/thought patterns are irrational, but that knowledge does not help with my PTSD symptoms although it’s good for some people. Also, I have a really hard time talking about my trauma offline, but I’m working on it. I might look into other types of therapy in the future. Until then, I’ve found writing/journaling about my trauma, listening to music, going for walks (sometimes while listening to music), cuddling with my dog (deep pressure therapy), talking to other survivors online, breathing exercises, and medication for panic attacks and sleep helpful. If I could afford it, I’d probably do horse therapy, but I can’t.



Thank you so much. When you write or journal about it, do you just thought dump or free write or do you have a structure to it?
It depends on my mood. I tend to free write on my computer, save, write some more, edit, etc. about an experience over the course of a few days as details, thoughts, and feelings come to me. Sometimes I’ll write it like a story in the third person. It depends on what I feel like doing with that particular experience. This has really helped me remember details, make connections, and organize my thoughts in a meaningful way. My PTSD wasn’t from a single experience. It was due to a few things but especially to a long-term abusive relationship, so my thoughts are pretty scattered which has made it difficult to make sense of them. Writing has certainly helped with that.
Quote:
Do you have somewhere in particular you like to walk? Or just anywhere?
I go for walks anywhere, but I’ve found hiking in the woods especially therapeutic for me personally. Hearing the leaves rustle on the trees, water gurgling in streams, birds singing, feeling the wind, rain, and sunshine, and smelling pine trees is all very grounding. It’s a safe space to remember something that I need to and then come back to the glorious present. The woods have always been a special place for me. For a long time, I wasn’t safe in my own house, so my experience might not be relevant to someone else’s.

Quote:
I have heard about horse therapy but I have never really looked into it. Do you know any specifics about how it works? Is it just essentially spending time with huge animals and building relationships?

It’s largely about empowerment through building trust with a large animal that’s free of judgment and language. It’s hard to explain what I mean by that. It’s also a grounding sensory experience. Perhaps the main appeal for me is that I love horses and find being around them comforting. The entire experience of being in a stable, grooming, and riding feels a bit like coming home. I never owned horses, but I rode a lot when I was a kid because my best friend had horses.


_________________
"Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamias rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications." - Le Petit Prince


Last edited by TwilightPrincess on 07 Mar 2024, 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 39
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 26,052
Location: Right over your left shoulder

07 Mar 2024, 5:52 pm

rocksteady85 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
There's several posters here, as well as threads discussing the combination of ASD and PTSD.


I didn't see anything relatively new, and I also was asking for specific info related to managing the symptoms in an autistic person so I thought a new thread was acceptable...sorry.


Don't be sorry, I wasn't intending on being critical, I was trying to tell you that you'll find people with worthwhile insights. :oops:


_________________
“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas, this is part of our strategy” —Netanyahu
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う
GOP Predators


rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

07 Mar 2024, 11:09 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
rocksteady85 wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
I have ASD and PTSD. It’s still a struggle for me. I just wanted to say that you aren’t alone here.

I was in CBT for a long time but didn’t find it that helpful. I’m fully aware of when my thoughts/thought patterns are irrational, but that knowledge does not help with my PTSD symptoms although it’s good for some people. Also, I have a really hard time talking about my trauma offline, but I’m working on it. I might look into other types of therapy in the future. Until then, I’ve found writing/journaling about my trauma, listening to music, going for walks (sometimes while listening to music), cuddling with my dog (deep pressure therapy), talking to other survivors online, breathing exercises, and medication for panic attacks and sleep helpful. If I could afford it, I’d probably do horse therapy, but I can’t.



Thank you so much. When you write or journal about it, do you just thought dump or free write or do you have a structure to it?
It depends on my mood. I tend to free write on my computer, save, write some more, edit, etc. about an experience over the course of a few days as details, thoughts, and feelings come to me. Sometimes I’ll write it like a story in the third person. It depends on what I feel like doing with that particular experience. This has really helped me remember details, make connections, and organize my thoughts in a meaningful way. My PTSD wasn’t from a single experience. It was due to a few things but especially to a long-term abusive relationship, so my thoughts are pretty scattered which has made it difficult to make sense of them. Writing has certainly helped with that.
Quote:
Do you have somewhere in particular you like to walk? Or just anywhere?
I go for walks anywhere, but I’ve found hiking in the woods especially therapeutic for me personally. Hearing the leaves rustle on the trees, water gurgling in streams, birds singing, feeling the wind, rain, and sunshine, and smelling pine trees is all very grounding. It’s a safe space to remember something that I need to and then come back to the glorious present. The woods have always been a special place for me. For a long time, I wasn’t safe in my own house, so my experience might not be relevant to someone else’s.

Quote:
I have heard about horse therapy but I have never really looked into it. Do you know any specifics about how it works? Is it just essentially spending time with huge animals and building relationships?

It’s largely about empowerment through building trust with a large animal that’s free of judgment and language. It’s hard to explain what I mean by that. It’s also a grounding sensory experience. Perhaps the main appeal for me is that I love horses and find being around them comforting. The entire experience of being in a stable, grooming, and riding feels a bit like coming home. I never owned horses, but I rode a lot when I was a kid because my best friend had horses.


Do you just get the experience out in story format and that's helpful? Sorry if I sound obtuse, just trying to get a mental picture of something to do.

I actually had PTSD prior to the big event, but the symptoms I experienced were a lot less intense. After the big incident, it became 100x worse. I think I also struggle with elucidating just how bad it is when speaking with my therapist.

I love walking in the woods. I grew up spending a lot of time outside and to this day, sometimes I still just wanna go be in the woods. It's harder now though because with the PTSD, I can't leave my house alone most days. :( I am sorry your childhood home was not safe. I hope you are building a better life now, as much as possible.

When I was younger, I spent a great deal of time with horses, too. Never owned any, but I took riding lessons and also volunteered at a stable, just so I could spend more time around them. I miss the smell of them. I wonder if there is anywhere local to me where I could volunteer to do some brushing or something occasionally....maybe I'll hit the lottery and be able to buy a nice house in the country with a barn, and I can get myself a nice big draft horse. Big puppies lol

Thank you so much for taking time to reply to me. I hope you have a wonderful day/night



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,847
Location: Hell

08 Mar 2024, 4:54 pm

Sometimes I write my experience in story format. It depends on my mood and the experience. Some experiences were like a mini story or movie that seemed to contain an overarching theme/meaning which impacted my perception of things in some way. That sounds very vague, but I’ll explain with an example.

The night of my first major trauma I checked myself into the hospital - the only time before or since I’ve been there. When I told a fellow patient what I experienced a couple days later, she said that her mom was sneaking in drugs for her to get high with and offered me some. I turned down the offer and was so concerned that she could overdose on the pills or that they could impact her health in some way with the current meds she was on I decided to secretly notify the staff. I was young and very naïve at the time and maybe should’ve handled the situation differently. I don’t know. Anyway, it was very obvious to her that it was me who told the staff since she hadn’t confided in anyone else.

The consequence was that her mom wasn’t allowed to visit. When I was in my room, I overheard her tell the nurses that she wanted to room with me because the bed was uncomfortable in her room. When they said no, she stated that she wanted to kill me. The story of my life. Nowhere is safe, and when I try to do the right thing, it always backfires. Yeah, that’s not true, but it’s how it feels sometimes. Anyway, making those connections/recognizing patterns of why I feel or think the way I do is helpful. It’s my way of giving myself therapy. I like writing on the computer so I can easily add, edit, and modify stuff I’ve already written. It helps me to precisely describe my internal and external experience. It’s difficult for me to clearly put into words times of utter chaos and despair with free writing alone.

On the other hand, I know that some people find it empowering and cleansing to just free write. My writing process typically starts with free writing.

rocksteady85 wrote:
I actually had PTSD prior to the big event, but the symptoms I experienced were a lot less intense. After the big incident, it became 100x worse. I think I also struggle with elucidating just how bad it is when speaking with my therapist.

Yeah, I can certainly relate to this. Most of my abuse happened in adulthood, but I experienced traumatic stuff in childhood too. Some big incidents in my adulthood seemed to change everything. My life was broken into a before and after.

I have trouble talking offline about my trauma at all. My therapist wanted to do a trauma narrative with me, but I was obviously so uncomfortable she gave up on the idea. I ended up doing it on my own which has been really helpful. Ideally, I’ll get to the point where I can share stuff with people I care about offline. Some of my difficulty with being open is that there were consequences the couple of times I was.

rocksteady85 wrote:
I love walking in the woods. I grew up spending a lot of time outside and to this day, sometimes I still just wanna go be in the woods. It's harder now though because with the PTSD, I can't leave my house alone most days. :( I am sorry your childhood home was not safe. I hope you are building a better life now, as much as possible.
Living with PTSD is so hard and a lot of people don’t even get it. I feel like there’s some awareness regarding veterans but not so much towards people who’ve experienced other traumas.

rocksteady85 wrote:
When I was younger, I spent a great deal of time with horses, too. Never owned any, but I took riding lessons and also volunteered at a stable, just so I could spend more time around them. I miss the smell of them. I wonder if there is anywhere local to me where I could volunteer to do some brushing or something occasionally....maybe I'll hit the lottery and be able to buy a nice house in the country with a barn, and I can get myself a nice big draft horse. Big puppies lol
Yes! Big draft horses are my favorite! :heart: Volunteering at a stable might be something to consider.

I actually have a service dog for my PTSD, but I found that she made things worse. People constantly asked to pet her or they would just come up and pet her without my permission when I needed personal space and to be left alone. Maybe I’ll try again in the future with a dog that looks more intimidating. :lol:

rocksteady85 wrote:
Thank you so much for taking time to reply to me. I hope you have a wonderful day/night

You’re welcome. It’s always helpful to chat with people who have had similar experiences. Trauma does seem to impact people in similar ways even if it isn’t the same exact trauma.

I hope you have a wonderful day too.


_________________
"Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamias rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications." - Le Petit Prince


autisticelders
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2020
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,063
Location: Alpena MI

09 Mar 2024, 8:18 am

yes, ptsd, cptsd, anxiety, depression , and diagnosed with Autism at age 68. Learning about my autism really helped me see how much of the trauma happened and how my sensory processing/autism worked behind the scenes in all of it. As time goes by, I am sorting the worst stuff from the past finding I can understand "why" and "what happened" much better now. It has not gone away, but it has got better. I let the thoughts and memories come, sort through them in as much detail as I can remember and then I look to see how my being autistic might have given me more trauma, distress, etc than "normal". Then I file the memories that have played over and over in my mind for years and years in a "finished business" file in my mind. If those painful memories come up again, I tell them they belong in "finished business" and file them again as quickly as I can. Little by little all the painful past memories are staying filed, although new ones keep coming, they don't appear as often. I am still hypervigilant and sometimes super anxious, but overall , things are getting much better. As mentioned before, writing it all out sometimes helps, too. Studies are being done on the frequency of ptsd and trauma in autism, and it seems we( autistic folks) are perhaps more prone to experiencing events as trauma, and the statistical incidence of trauma is about 9 percent in the general population but up to 30 percent in those with autism. Studies vary, but the evidence is that being autistic somehow may predispose us to processing events in our lives as trauma.


_________________
https://oldladywithautism.blog/

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” Samuel Johnson


TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,847
Location: Hell

09 Mar 2024, 9:28 am

We seem to be more likely to experience traumatic events. The stats for experiencing sexual abuse are really high among the autistic population. I bet it’d be similar with other abusive situations since we may struggle to recognize red flags and abusers often target people who seem vulnerable.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 52203/full

https://autism.org/sexual-victimization ... %2C%202018).


_________________
"Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamias rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications." - Le Petit Prince


rocksteady85
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

22 Mar 2024, 6:42 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
We seem to be more likely to experience traumatic events. The stats for experiencing sexual abuse are really high among the autistic population. I bet it’d be similar with other abusive situations since we may struggle to recognize red flags and abusers often target people who seem vulnerable.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 52203/full

https://autism.org/sexual-victimization ... %2C%202018).



I also recently found that, for people who menstruate, there are certain times during the monthly cycle when a traumatic experience is more likely to result in PTSD. I forget specifics but it was something to do with the luteal phase.

I definitely think we are more likely to be traumatized by traumatic events, just because of human nature and the ways in which we experience the world. Also I would not be surprised to find that autistic people are more likely to develop PTSD from those traumatic events, ALSO because of how we experience everything. Every memory is like a re-experiencing, instead of just a memory. That makes it hard.



TwilightPrincess
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,847
Location: Hell

22 Mar 2024, 7:08 pm

It could be. I think most people would have PTSD with my particular combination of traumas. Some things didn’t phase me which my former therapist said would bother most people, like a serious car accident. It reminds me of how some on the spectrum are hypersensitive to pain and others are hyposensitive. For me, every memory isn’t like a re-experiencing. It depends on the memory and how important it was. I think that, even if we’re autistic, we’re all different in how we see, feel, and experience things.

People on the spectrum often seem to have less support and more trouble finding appropriate support, so I suspect that could be a factor in a lot of cases.


_________________
"Les grandes personnes ne comprennent jamias rien toutes seules, et c'est fatigant, pour les enfants, de toujours et toujours leur donner des explications." - Le Petit Prince


Fenn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Sep 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,546
Location: Pennsylvania

23 Mar 2024, 10:34 am

I once read an article explaining the reasons for overlap with ASD and PTSD. I can try to find it.

I have found some DBT therapy to be helpful. Both one on one therapy and group therapy have a social aspect. My difference in social interactions affect my ability to benefit from such therapy. CBT treats emotions as output and thoughts as completely under one’s control. DBT recognizes that some people feel emotions more strongly than others. Autism is typified by hypersensitive senses (touch, hearing, taste, sight, smell) and hypo-sensitivity. Some experiences are magnified and others are minimized. Similarly emotionally Autism can be both bigger (melt-downs) or smaller (socially mind-blind, parallel play) than typical.
Special interests are another example of a hyper sensitive.
PTSD is also has hypersensitivity. Hyper-vigilance for example, or environmental stimulation triggering flashbacks.
DBT is willing to directly accept and address hypersensitivity for any reason PTSD or ASD or others.
You can google or check youtube for more. Marsha Linehan created DBT and has published some books.
I’ve found it helpful.
I don’t seem to have a specific “event” in my past but I can over react to present experiences that connect with past hurts in a way that is atypical. I suppose CPTSD might apply. Brians are complicated. People are complicated.


_________________
ADHD-I(diagnosed) ASD-HF(diagnosed)
RDOS scores - Aspie score 131/200 - neurotypical score 69/200 - very likely Aspie