Autism and Depression

friends walking autism
Would you like to go for a walk?

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.

About Eileen Parker 100 Articles
Support a starving writer, by buying my current book, The Weighted Blanket Guide, on Amazon. I'm a writer working on my fourth book. I live in the Twin Cities with my husband. Between us, we have four children.

7 Comments on Autism and Depression

  1. After a diagnosis of Asperger’s in October 2010, and a lifetime of battling depression, I now identify more strongly once more with mental health issues. I’ve spent the last 18 months devoting time and energy to a group of adults on the autism spectrum (mostly Aspies). But lately I find less and less in common with others in the group and more and more in common with those who struggle with mental health issues. I managed to navigate the highways and byways of life keeping myself employed, doing my best as a single mom, and finally retired in November 2010 on a modest pension. So I am now turning my passion toward “Partners for Mental Health” a brand new action-based unit under the Mental Health Commission in Canada.

    So, in answer to your query, Eileen…. YES! you definitely should be writing about depression in your Autism blog. Who knows what leads to what? All I know is that the suffering and struggles are much the same and that the two conditions very often come together!

  2. It is sunny and warm here. 🙂 Just wanted to drop you a note letting you know that I really appreciate your blog. I never comment, but I read all your posts. It helps me to feel less alone. (I’m almost never actually alone, being blessed with a wonderful husband and four children – in fact I crave time alone like I crave breathing … I mean reading your blog makes me feel less like an alien from another planet.) Thank you. 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing, Eileen. Talking about it definitely helps. I have dealt with depression and anxiety, too. My son and husband both have OCD and my son is going to be tested for possible Asperger’s. It can be really challenging, but great to find supportive friends. I look forward to getting together for coffee soon! Have a fabulous day!

  4. Great post, I admire the writing style 🙂 A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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