I really don’t know if I should be writing about this, but I rarely see it online, and plenty of people with autism experience it. I have depression. It’s not every day or even every month. A few times a year it sneaks up on me.
What spurred this post is an article, “How to Fight Depression and Anxiety,” I read on the Psychology Today site. As you may have surmised, I was reading online because I am going through a bout now.
What caught my eye was, “Often enough, a lack of social skills is at the root.” I wonder then if this is more pervasive in the autism community than I thought. Another passage, “Some types of anxiety—obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia—are particularly associated with depression.” OCD is often co-occurring with autism, as is anxiety, which I also have. Are all these in some sort of horrible mixture that feeds on itself?
For example, I have never been good at social interaction. When I screw up, and I know about it, I feel crushing embarrassment, and I feel like crying. Repeat that over the years, and I have grown to be horribly scared of social situations, so I avoid them. Over that time, I have often suffered from crushing loneliness even though I had two children and a family. I wanted friends and a boyfriend.
The anticipation of social contact has me ruminating about it creating ever higher levels of anxiety. It gets hard to think, and my world feels like it’s spinning out of control, so I spend great energy getting control of my life and stimming.
See how horrible this downward spiral sounds! While depressed, I live in it.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
I went from crushing loneliness to dating and now, having a hubby. I have a couple of friends. My kids became social, so I was around teenagers at least. I got used to having two step-children, and now I feel relaxed around them and glad they came over. They’re used to me the way I am.
This past weekend, hubby and I went to the bike show, and chatted fairly easily with hubby’s friend and his friend’s girlfriend. Granted, after the show got really busy my sensory issues kicked in, so I went home. But I did it! Was I socially adept? No. I was just me.
Thank you for listening
I am talking with you, let I likely don’t know you, but having talked with you, I feel so much better. I’m not un-depressed, but I’m working on getting exercise so I can get out of it. Wanna go for a walk? Hopefully it’s sunny and warm where you are.