Tag Archives: Anxiety

Medical Cannabis & Autism – You Asked My Opinion (The Blog I’ve Been Avoiding)

Over the past year that I’ve had my blog people have been emailing asking for my opinion on the use of cannabis or marijuana as a possible treatment for Autism.

To be perfectly honest with you, all of my readers, I have been avoiding this topic.

Here is why – I don’t have first hand experience with this so I don’t feel like an authority on the subject. I don’t live in a state that allows Autism to be listed as a qualifying medical condition so this option is not available to me. I need to write about what I know and I don’t know enough about this.

What I would like to share is that parents have reached out to me to let me know that they have had some amazing results. Other parents email to ask if I know about this treatment but all I can say is this – I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice.

So once again, I am not a doctor and can not give medical advice so please do not take anything I say as such.

If you want my opinion on medical marijuana and Autism all you have to do is search “cannabis autism” on YouTube.

Watch the videos, especially the ones with severely affected Autistic children.

If you can not stop crying while watching those videos than you know exactly my position on this issue.

I am deeply troubled that there might be people missing out on one thing that might help ease extreme suffering, especially when many drastic things have already been tried.

Those videos may hook you in and after that you may find yourself watching the videos about medical cannabis and seizures. I can’t watch these videos either because I know many children with severe seizure disorders, who are not helped by mainstream medications, die at a young age.

I am also saddened by medical refugees and people stuck without access.

I can’t watch these videos any more. The truth in them is so penetrating that it makes me physically ill. People say Autistic people don’t feel things but as an adult I feel them more deeply than a lot of people. It is beautiful and painful all at the same time.

That is my opinion on medical cannabis for Autism – I am heart broken.

Heart broken about all the suffering that’s happened over the years in relation to this plant for no good reason. People are sick, dying, in prison, families torn apart. There has to be a better answer.

Can I advocate for medical marijuana as an Autism treatment? I don’t know. I am not a scientist or a doctor.

What I can advocate is everyone doing their own independent research. There is still a lot we do not know about this plant. One thing I can say is it doesn’t seem to be as dangerous as people wanted us to believe back when they made it illegal.

I know cigarettes kill people and alcohol is much worse but is a big part of our culture.

Just facts. That’s all I’ve got since I can’t make this one more personal.

The Secret to Fighting Anxiety (Now!)

Life is hard and I have pretty intense chronic anxiety. Still I don’t let that stop me from doing what needs to be done.

It’s funny to me when people praise me, call me strong, brave, and all these other names. I’m literally just doing what I have to do. I have to push myself or my life would be in a bad place. Always pushing even when my anxiety is nagging ugly words in the back of my mind.

So what is the secret? How do I stop the anxiety from talking over?

I stop and I breathe. I close my eyes and breathe while focusing on the darkness. I may put ear plugs in or have head phones on while I do this. I block everything out and am alone with myself.

Safe in the darkness I ask myself – are you safe? What is happening right now? Is your worry something that hasn’t even happened yet? Then stop it. What’s happening now? 

I push forward but keep asking – What’s happening now? How about now? Now? Now? Now? Right now.

Sometimes I may repeat the word now over and over again in my head. It is a reminder to stay calm and that now everything is alright.

 

Autistic Confessions – I’m Always Early

I try to make sure I arrive EARLY for everything even if that means I am sitting in my car for a half hour before I need to go inside.

Being early is good for my mental health. I have less stress when I give myself extra time for things.

Being late is bad for me. If I am late to thinks I get VERY anxious. I start to panic when I am driving so I always give myself extra time whenever I have to drive.

Some jobs are more lenient – my current one is very flexible and this helps to alleviate some of my stress. Still I have a strong desire to be early and a huge aversion to being late.

An anxiety driven monster – running from the clock.

That is why I am always early.

 

Autistic Confessions – Secret Anxiety

Do you know what it’s like to secretly suffer with anxiety because everyone around you expects you to be strong? I do.

You ask me if I am alright, and I nod and smile.

I keep it to myself, because bringing your attention to my anxiety only makes things worse. I need calmness to overcome the bubbling spiral within me. People worrying over me amplifies everything, preventing me from calming my senses.

Yes, I know it is completely illogical – that does not mean I can just make it stop.

 

Anxiety doesn’t have an off switch. I can shut it down but the decent is gradual and calculated. Nobody can help me, and I am better off on my own – me and my secret anxiety.

Social Anxiety & Late Diagnosis – Mental Health Week

How being diagnosed later in life can lead to mental illness.

In honor of mental health week I am going to talk about some of the darker corners of my mind.

My social anxiety grew out of repeated failures, confusing social interactions, and a life time of feeling out of sync with the rest of the world. It is the words of doubt – self questioning every interaction.

Did I say something offensive? Is she making a face? I can’t tell. (I have face blindness.) Shit! – Round and round in my head. So much work navigating interactions that others find pleasurable. I’m happiest at home with my husband and a good book.

In my teen years I learned to blend in with others around me by mimicking their behavior. I didn’t fit in naturally, but shallow teenagers were easy to copy.

Unfortunately adult humans are much more complicated and subtle. Non verbal communication skills are valued in society and employers want fast talkers who can read between the lines. I can’t do either of those things without great effort.

I don’t come off as smooth and slick in casual conversation. Often I play the fly on the wall in large group settings. It’s easier than talking and lets me pay more attention to the people around me (assuming the room is not too loud for me to focus).

Being put on the spot in an office meeting will cause me more stress than most people because words stop flowing ineligibly any time I am put under pressure or asked to speak spontaneously.

Naturally I am unfiltered, however, I have learned to cautiously monitor everything I say in certain environments (mostly at work). My opinions and humor tend to be a bit beyond what is culturally acceptable / office appropriate. Starting controversy in the office is not my goal.

Social Filter V1.0

When I was a young undiagnosed Autistic woman, who did not care what other people thought of her, I was happy. I offended people constantly and often had no idea. If I ticked someone off bad enough they would blow up at me and I would dismiss them as being an ass or too sensitive. People who could not handle me were kicked out of my life.

Burning bridges does not work in the adult world. If you want to get a good job you have to learn to play nice and “have good manners”.

Social Filter V2.0

When I was young and learning to hide behind a social filter it was easy to copy my peers. All I had to do was “hold all my weird in”. Social Filter V1.0 was fairly basic.

As an adult, developing new social coping strategies, more and more rules were added to my social program. Every time I have a social blunder I make a rule. There are so many rules in my head about socializing that it is difficult to filter through all of them in every social situation.

It’s a workaround, a patch designed to help my computer keep up with computers that were built for socializing. My brain was not meant to work this way, so it is running hot and fatigued, but somehow I am getting by.

Running Social Filter V2.0 on my computer is like trying to run Windows 10 on a computer built for Windows 95. The hardware was not made to handle so much data so quickly. I’m working overtime and still not keeping up with the expectations that society has for me as an “exceptionally bright young woman”.

Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I hold a conversation? What’s wrong with me? Am I antisocial? Why doesn’t my memory work? – Questions in my head before my late Autism Diagnosis.

The constant failures caused my self esteem to fall. I began to hide myself from the outside world. So bright but so rude. You should know better. – people would say. My best never seemed good enough.

Eventually a computer that was running happily with Social Filter V1.0 became overloaded and crashed due to the more complex Social Filter V2.0 software.

Suffering from Autistic Burnout, tired from constant unexplained social blunders, and feeling completely insecure, defective, and sick –  fearing the worst, and afraid of my own mind, finally I ended up speaking to a Psychologist.

What happened?

I ended up with an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis, started reading blogs and watching videos by other Autistic people online and eventually started my own blog and began virtually networking with other Autistic people.

Knowledge is power. Now that I know I am Autistic I don’t have to try and hide my little quirks. I do keep things to a minimum at the office, mostly for my own privacy.

Social Filter V3.0 is working well. I’ve designed to work in harmony with my brain. I keep stim toys in my hands and don’t try as hard to talk unless I feel like it. I wear hats and shades indoors. Sometimes I use ear plugs if I need a sound break.

I am kind to myself and explain Sensory Processing Disorder when appropriate. I speak up if I am confused and laugh at myself if I make a mistake. I forgive myself and accept myself. Other than trying to be kind to others, I try not to have a filter. That is Social Filter V3.0.

This filter, made out of self love and knowledge, will allow me to defeat my social anxiety. Now that I know I have nothing to be ashamed of. If only I had found this information years earlier – perhaps I never would have developed social anxiety.

This is why we need awareness – but not just awareness. We need understanding and acceptance. Being aware of something and having compassion for someone are two different things.

Remember that this week as we write about Mental Health Awareness.

#WorldMentalHealthDay #invisibledisability #Glitch #mentalhealth #iamwhole#WMHD

 

This post also can be found on The Mighty here.

Aspie Sean Week 6: “Aspie’s & Sensory Issues”.

Sensory overload and sensory problems can be one of the most disabling aspects of being an Aspie. For me avoiding social situations is necessary for survival. Being constantly overloaded is stressful and bad for our health.

Apparently I am not the only person who can not handle a crowded restaurant, club, or other loud busy venue. If I force myself into these situations I can sometimes survive them but by the time I get home I implode into myself.

If I get overloaded it can take me hours to decompress. I have to remove myself from all sensory input and people the frustrating thing is it takes me a long time to recover once I’ve been overloaded and once I have one overload more overloads become more likely.

Life with Aspergers: Burnout

Some of my readers may remember that I mentioned not too long ago that I was going through an Autistic Burnout (sometimes called Autistic Regression).  Burnout is hard to cope with and it feels like your life is falling apart.

For some women Autistic Burnout may be what eventually leads them to a late life diagnosis. Psychologists like to call it a depression or say we are depressed and I see why they say that but I think they misunderstand the cause.

My burnout came from “passing” and faking it and than I fell apart when my efforts to blend in were failing despite putting in all my energy.

There seems to be a link to passing and burnout. Maybe it is just the amount of energy passing takes or maybe there is more to it. I would love to learn more about the connection.

This is also why I am so opposed to the “High Functioning” and “Low Functioning” labels. I am “High Functioning” but if I am going through burnout – I can tell you that I am VERY low functioning at that point.

My functioning ability varies from day to day. I can be high, low, and everything in between.

These are not the things that I admit to most people, even those closest to me, but I can relate to every single thing OriginalRetrophiliac has to say in her emotional video about dealing with Autistic Burnout.

I can take NO credit for OriginalRetrophiliac‘s content. Please subscribe to her channel on YouTube for more great videos.

Asperger’s Girl- Stress, How to Manage it & Sensory Toys

Autistic people are marked by their adherence to routine and resistance to change. We find comfort in familiarity.

I like to have a plan and know what is going on also I always try to have stim toys handy.

One of my favorite YouTubers – Anja Melissa has a new video talking about how she manages stress and will deal with transitioning to a new part of her life.

10 Things NOT to Say When Someone Comes Out as Autistic

I mentioned in a previous blog post that coming out as Autistic can be just as hard or harder than coming out as gay or bisexual.

Coming out as Autistic is hard. So hard that most of the time I just stay anonymous. Below are 10 REAL comments that I have heard first hand when trying to “come out” as Autistic.

Maybe if Autistic people stop getting comments like the ones below more Autistic people would come out of the closet.

  1. You don’t look Autistic.
  2. Autism is just a result of bad parenting.
  3. You just need to learn to grow up.
  4. There is nothing wrong with you.
  5. If you tried harder you could over come your struggles.
  6. You just want attention.
  7. You are just delayed.
  8. Everyone has a little Autism.
  9. You must be high functioning.
  10. Autism is just a different way of thinking. Its not really a disability.

Stupid Comments Made To Those With Disabilities and Illnesses

I really needed some humor today but Shabaz Says‘s YouTube video, although funny, hits very close to home.

I have an invisible disability. I am Autistic and have sensory processing disorder and an additional diagnosis of Social Anxiety disorder. Nobody can see these things but people often are dismissive and tell me to “get over it”.

Take note of the message in this video and remember that these are things you don’t say to or about ANYONE Autistic or otherwise.

I can take NO credit for the video below. Please subscribe to Shabaz Says‘s channel you YouTube for more great content.