Life on the Autism Spectrum
Autism, health & depression
When Alex is unwell, she withdraws from everyday life significantly and watches DVDs for 10 hours...
I couldn’t follow my routine that I, you know, I’d get up and turn my computer on, because I get up quite early and usually sit on my computer for an hour before I do anything. But usually I keep an eye on the clock and think alright, you know, you know, it’s half seven, that I need to go and have a shower and do this and do that, but when I was ill, it was just like, I kind of like sunk back into a world of my own and just did things that made me feel comfortable like repetitive watching of DVDs and stuff like that, whereas normally I would limit myself to watching the DVD once. When I was ill, I just used to, I just obsessed over them. And because I obsessing over them, I was ignoring eating and drinking and talking to people and I just got into kind of like a vicious cycle, and once my chest infection had clear up, I really struggled to get back into the habit of going to like my day service every day. And I was like, I’m coming today I can’t be bothered and then when I did go, I was like staying for a couple of hours and then going home again, because I just, I was out of my routine and I was finding it really hard to get back into my routine. And just the pressure I was putting on myself, meant that I couldn’t concentrate on things like cooking or, you know, reading a book or anything like that. It was just beyond me.
Miranda has an intolerance to eggs and yeast and so finds it difficult to eat out.
And this is where I find it very, very difficult, to actually go to places because also I have, I don’t know whether it’s because I have this disability, but I have a lot of serious dietary problems. I’m gluten I’m wheat, I’m diary, and I’m lactose and I’m yeast and I’m egg intolerant. So I find it very, very difficult to go out and have something to eat somewhere, because nobody caters, and in this day and age I think it’s wrong because you should be able. I mean I could understand if it was five years ago, or even longer. But I mean in this day and age I should be able to get a gluten free diet anywhere. It’s just ridiculous. You just can’t walk into any café, or any food establishment and get something to eat, because they don’t cater for you.
“Loneliness, anger and frustration and, just unhappiness really. Just all of those into a big searing stew pot of despair.”
James became significantly depressed as a child and ended up in a psychiatric ward.
John became depressed when he stopped working and felt that everything was pointless.
“I was very good at hiding depression from my mum and dad. When I was bullied at school I used to always come home happy or that’s what they thought”.
Harriet talks about taking an overdose and self harming during her adolescence.
Catherine wrote a letter to her mum saying she wanted to kill herself and had years of therapy...
“What am I going to do? You know, I am not working. I am not possibly having an income. How am I going to occupy my time? I won’t be able to live the way I have lived up till now on retirement money and so on. It all sort of came together and the last thing I thought of is sitting down and saying to [wife] “Look, I have been a stupid so and so. I have spent our money and what are we going to do now then? Let’s work it out”.”
“It never really clicked with me, I could actually go and see dad and say “I’m in a lot of trouble here”. And then everything just built up.”
Margaret constantly worries about Daniel killing himself after he took an overdose a few years ago.
Mark describes how he resolved to do 'normal people things' after taking an overdose during the...
“And so I was quite depressed and that is maybe when I got onto risperidone. They didn’t agree with me. I can’t remember. I have got so much stuff. I could set up my own chemist.”
An expert in autism has helped Simon deal with his depression.
Russell would prefer a cure for his depression rather than daily medication.
John has concentration problems that have been eased with antidepressants but he would like...
Christopher says finding a decent mental health service is like trying to find the Scarlett...
Oh everything really. Everything bad is like a little, I don’t know it’s like, ingredient into a cake, everything’s an ingredient and it makes some kind of evil cake that’s trying to kill me, kind of thing. It’s not very good imagery, but, that’s how it supposedly feels. It feels like they are two people inside of me. One is, both are intelligent, but one’s kind of evil and angry and delights in pain, and is a bit of a sadist, but, and the other’s like all sweetness and light. I think they kind of fight and that’s what makes me like I am. Very strange.
Learning to understand what needs to happen to keep himself happy and healthy has been important to John L.
Last reviewed July 2016.
Last updated July 2016.