I could really use some insight

E

egolego

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Joined
Sep 6, 2016
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3
Hi all,

I'm a student in my early twenties, and since I was about 15 I have struggled with various issues, quite a few of which persist still today.
I think this is going to be a long post, so I apologize in advance for this.

So a bit about my background first. I am an only child. My father has been diagnosed with ASD. I would say I have a close relationship with my mother. I don't have a big family. So I haven't got people elsewhere who I am close with. I have two friends but I don't really discuss personal issues with them. When we hangout it is something that for whatever reason doesn't happen, not too much I can say about that.

The relationship with my father is a difficult one, which I attribute to his ASD. He is quite a sociable person, he does not seem to have much in the way of social anxiety. Quite the opposite of what you would expect of someone with ASD, IMO. But it is pretty much impossible to have a personal conversation with him. He just can't. When you question him on certain behaviours he just gives you a one worded answer, changes the topic or says nothing. Also talking about feelings or more complex stuff is just not happening.
He has a dependency on alcohol but is almost fully in denial about this.
As such, he unfortunately has not been a very good role model for me, but from what I 've heard he's not the only one... :unsure:
Like I've already written, I did not and do not really have any family or other close people who could act as some sort of support or role model in any way.
The only person I really discuss my problems with is my mother. The thing is, I find it difficult to fully disclose about myself even with my mother. Not always but sometimes.

So to go in detail with issues I suffer from. Basically I guess I've always been a somewhat shy person right from the start. But when I was young, especially in late primary school I would not have considered it much of a problem at all. I loved computers, technology, games and cars from an extremely young age. My father showed me the ropes basically with computers and all the stuff and I just took off since then. I'm very proficient with computers, but funnily enough not in terms of programming or anything. I have only learned programming a little bit fairly recently. I like hardware more than software.
Anyway. My primary school was somewhat different than "regular" ones. You were given loads of freedom to do whatever you wanted. I absolutely loved that, and so did my friends at the time. But I think it didn't really teach too much in the way of discipline lol. When I got to secondary school, initially the transition was a little rough. BUT I did get a great group of friends, I can say that for sure in hindsight. We were "proper" friends, spending lots of time together, joking around, and being uninhibited and mostly unafraid to say whatever the hell you wanted to say. This made the transition very manageable for me. However, about midway my 15th year, I started to experience loads of problems. It pretty much coincided with puberty at that time.
Puberty changed me loads. I became extremely self conscious, I mean turn the dial to 10 and then turn it a little bit further than that: that was me. I felt all these typical teen pressures, you know of having to be cool and having to associate yourself with certain people, have certain interests, all of that funky stuff. Also, the classroom environment changed completely, completely different people, and much more people than I was used to. Slowly it turned into massive anxiety. I felt "small" compared to the others around me, altough there was nothing really inherently different about me (OK, so some people mature more quickly, some were probably already going out and experimenting with relationships and stuff, while I was just becoming aware of all of those things).
The relationships with my friends started to crumble. They themselves also changed and started being friends with different people. My anxiety skyrocketed. Then, my grades started to drop massively as well, because I basically could not function properly anymore. All the while I told nothing because I did not really understand what was happening it was just overwhelming. My parents knew something was off but I just made up shitty lies and just kept on going the same way. I failed that same year. Funnily enough I did not seem that bothered about this. After this I did pass the remaining years, although only just. I befriended people who did not suit me at all, the popular asshole type and got my ass proverbially kicked in the end. I got a bit of namecalling and other small stuff, not full scale bullying but my self concept and esteem was so incredibly fragile at the point that I could not handle this properly. After these events I started isolating myself, choosing only to really interact with 1 or 2 people whom I could still trust. All my previous friends I lost. I tried making new friends but I kept going to the wrong people and eventually gave up. Lot's of people seemed to dislike me for what felt like no reason at all. I still did not really talk much to anyone about what was really happening. I hit some reallly deep lows and combined with the massive stress of failing everything with low grades piling up, there were moments I no longer really wanted to continue anymore. Not suicide, but I said to myself I hope I don't wake up in the morning. This happened during the most stressed out times. When I could think more clearly, it did not happen much.

When I finished secondary school, there was a short lived feeling of absolute relief. But already I feared the next stage of my life, because I understood I now had deep rooted problems that I would still carry around with me for probably the rest of my life, unless I found a way to deal with them. I went to university, and I have to say looking back the first year was actually pretty good, I at least talked to quite a few people even tough I really only made one friend, and academically I did not do too badly. However after this initial year things went downhill. Mainly because I did not manage to improve my social life beyond what I achieved in my first year. I meet people but it feels now more than ever, that say I meet 1000000 people maybe only 1 of them becomes a friend. I'm not open. I never feel truly and utterly 100% present, as myself at any given time in any social situation. I'm never truly there. Only very briefly sometimes.
After a while I had to drop my first study because academically I nosedived and lost interest. I am studying something else now, but thats mainly because I can handle this better in my current mental state, and it is also related to psychology which obviously I am very interested in at the moment. I read up loads of articles and I am always trying to explain myself to the point of unhealthy overanalysis. I guess most people are kind of the opposite, they would rather go out saturday night and get wasted then be constantly introspective. Whatever.

Now I have been to a few psychologists. In all honesty, the first time was very uneasy, and it still kind of is. The first one told me I have depression, and I should do CBT and go on an SSRI at the same time. Do this for short while and it should give me boost. But my parents did not agree with the SSRI, and truly, in my heart I don't either.
I went to another psychologist, they agreed with my about social anxiety, but they did not understand the other aspects of me such as the bad academic performance. I mentioned literally one time about my father having an ASD diagnosis and pretty much after that without much explanation that was what they thought of me as well.
The psychologist I am at now initially disagreed with the ASD idea. Thought social anxiety too. This experience overall was slightly better than with the previous psychologists, so I thought maybe this time it's different. I was supposed to go to group CBT. I had one last meeting before this group CBT with my psychologist, in which I was very stressed and spacey due to some events at the time. When this happens, sometimes I am not able to communicate very well and I actually stated this that I am not in the right headspace. But this was kind of ignored and I had to play along anyway. Later I got an email saying no you cant do group CBT because there is a possibility of ASD, and group CBT does not work for this. Kind of weird, don't you think?

I personally feel if all of this is ASD I must be right on the threshold, because I can't really relate to many of the supposed symptoms and life experiences of ASD people.

Because all of the above has taken years and years of my life, I have become slightly apathatic in a way. I am not sure that's really the right word. Because of all these differing ideas about me I am not really sure what the truth is anymore. Who am I now? Should I stand my ground and go along with the SA thing or go with the ASD or both? Most people don't really care about this stuff but for whatever reason it is really important to me. I know it is just a label but for me it is more than just that.


Also kind of random. I love music. Well I like a lot of music, but the music I really love, gets to the core is really quite specific.

Lately I love everything involving Maynard James Keenan. All of his work that is.
Before that NIN was a massive revelation for me. And before that during the most difficult time in high school I listened quite a bit of Type O Negative, especially when depressed obv. Always liked RHCP. Loads more but these come to mind first. I just wanted to share that. I am always very shy about sharing this interest, because it feels so incredibly personal to me. I don't really have other things in my life that are quite so personal. It is very much a part of my internal world if you know what I mean.
I often wonder if I should share this with my therapist.

I completely forgot somehow that I haven't ever been in a relationship either. Which I want very very much, but only with the right person. I had a crush on a girl in secondary school but I had a anxiety panic attack while having small talk with her. I still think about her sometimes. I have never had a crush after this really.

Also I have dealt with some addiction. In my most difficult time, I was 100% addicted to Call of Duty. Yes I know, sounds funny but I mean it was a true addiction, I did it whenever I could and when I wasn't doing it I was either thinking about it, reading up about it or talking about it. I quit cold turkey and havent looked back for years.
I do use the computer/smartphone way way too much still but who doesn't these days.

If you made it to the end reading everthing I cannot thank you enough for taking the time!
 
Last edited:
Kerome

Kerome

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It's a long piece egolego. I have a few thoughts I would share, although I'll first mention that we are not medical professionals here on the forum, just fellow mental health sufferers, and we can't diagnose anything.

A lot of what I read is not that unusual. If I think back to my university days I had maybe 1-3 good friends, and I often felt disconnected from what was going on, which I think was a defense against emotional over sensitivity. Turmoil during the pre-uni years was pretty much par for the course, I hid myself in books. So you can see a lot of it is pretty normal, people grow out of these things.

The other thing I would mention is you sound slightly speedy from the way you write. I think learning to meditate and spending time in introspection might be really good for you - learn to slow down, let insights come to you as you sit in silence. Read about mindfulness, and how it can teach you about the internals of your own mind.

Addiction to video games is usually a sign you are using the game to avoid thinking about your real problems, and that you have a personality type that is vulnerable to addictive behaviour, so I would be careful to steer clear of drugs, even marihuana, and I'd be careful with alcohol as well.

As far as ASD vs social anxiety is concerned, it does sound like it might be social anxiety. It's often a case of getting to know the triggers and then partaking of a judicious bit of exposure therapy. If it's mild, and it doesn't sound like it causes you that many problems, it could be dealt with without long term therapy.
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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Jan 4, 2013
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Hi,
I'm sorry you're going through such a lot, I hope it helps opening up on the forum. You've been through lots and this has affected your mental health. I hope things improve for you very soon.
Take care
 
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