Asperger’s Talks, but is all this Star Wars talk nothing? A note on how autism works for me.

Having Asperger’s has proven itself to be a challenge in my life. That might be the biggest understatement I have ever made, come to think of it. What happens when I talk though? When I usually stay quiet and do not voice my own opinion?

The thing that originally happened is that I lost my self confidence. I would talk even less than normal and the few people I talked to became worried.

They would inquire with me and try to see what was wrong, when in reality, there was nothing wrong. Except my confidence that is. Different post on that soon!

What happens now though? I talk about nothing. When I say nothing I don’t mean it as a negative. It is meant as a coping skill. Talking about nothing is very relaxing for me because I don’t need my filter running non stop. I can say what I want without fear of repercussions. Usually, this takes its form in Star Wars talk.

I like to think I know a lot about Star Wars, and it seamlessly transitions as a coping skill itself.Talking about Star Wars feels natural and I have done some pretty cool things talking about Star Wars. I would have probably failed my speech class at HACC if the speeches were not about Star Wars. The happiness I feel is genuine and enduring.

The sad thing about this though is that people sometimes get annoyed with me when all I talk about  is Star Wars. I have been told that all I talk about is nothing and it has no impact. There is an impact however. That impact is relaxing me.

The way autism plays into this is that I have a few coping skills, but they are really good, well-developed skills. I am obsessed with Star Wars so I will talk about it.

It is that way with most autistic people. We have tunnel vision on one very specific thing and we like to talk about it. A great example would be someone with autism obsessed with trains. That would be all they talk about because they are comfortable talking about it.

The take away here is that autism and obsession go hand in hand in my opinion. So, if you know someone with autism, let them relax with you by talking! It really helps us.

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Maintaining After Depression. How to avoid a relapse. Depression Rears it’s Ugly Head. Part 3.

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Just as Yoda said to Luke to clear his mind this is what must happen if you want to live a depression free life. Being realistic though, you cannot have a life without ups and downs, but maintaining a stable base of yourself can keep you anchored and make it easier for you to cope.

Depression is really hard to get out of. I know this for a fact, and I have lived with chronic depression almost my entire life. I have to calm myself down almost every day of my life due to anxiety and depression. There is a key to doing this for me. It is quite simple actually, but I think a lot of people overlook this and relapse back into depression.

The trick is to remind yourself that you got through it. You beat depression already and you can do it again.

To get out of depression the first time is harder then a reoccurring depression I think. All I can do to help in that aspect is to encourage you not to do it alone. Seek out help. I am not expert, but when I got to the point that suicide started looking like an option, which it is never an option, I got help from experts and they helped me so much. I am eternally grateful for the people in my life that have helped me with my mental health issues, but the initial group of people who helped me I give a special thanks to.

Anyway, I got a little side-tracked there. Maintaining yourself after depression is, like I said, really hard, but it is definitely possible. Coping skills are one of my best tools for maintaining. Another thing that I have found that helps me, it may or may not help you, is to write up a contract with yourself and sign it. Physically sign a piece of paper. It feels right for me and it bounds me, in my head, to the contract. You don’t even have to tell anyone about your contract, but it could definitely be an option.

Another thing you could do is be selfish. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. Be selfish for yourself concerning your mental health. If you cannot be happy those around you will not be happy, so my advice is this: take time for yourself, love yourself, and reaffirm yourself in you mind. Tell yourself good things about yourself. Surround yourself with your accomplishments. An example of this is my Keystone award. I have two copies of it. The one I keep in my wallet and the one I have on the wall at my parents house. It reminds me that I can contribute and that I am worthwhile.

Now, that is a personal example from me, but surrounding yourself with stuff that reaffirms you is a good strategy I think. Regardless of what it is. Keep that video game that you gained immense enjoyment from. Same for the camera you took that award winning photo in. Keep the original artwork! Do stuff that you love and you will continue to love yourself.

I really hope that my mini series has helped at least one person and I hope you can share this with others and spread the words I have typed up today. I really want to help and I think this is the best way I can. Thanks for reading. The next few posts concerning mental health will focus on anxiety and how to combat it. Hope to see you there!

 

Schoolwork! Again!? Doom was mad, but I Mr. Sinister will do something about it!

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For today’s project we had to do something called a visual hierarchy. We had to use set words so I didn’t get to do any really cool Star Wars stuff, but I think what I did is a pretty good representation of what the hierarchy is. Here part one:

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Nothing special, just the text that we have to change up eventually.

Here is part 2:

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This one is just changing the weight of the font. Essentially, I made the font bold.

Here is part 3:

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I got to play with the size of the text and the weight. This one seems boring to me personally, what do you guys think?

Here is part 4:

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Another boring one, but weight, text size, and leading and tracking were allowed for this one. The next one is much better.

Number 5:

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I had complete freedom on this one. I changed quite a few things and I think I made it pop pretty well. What do you guys think I should do to make it look better? Any feedback is appreciated.

Look out for more school stuff soon and the Depression piece ends tomorrow with, “How to maintain a healthy emotional life post depression.” Hope to see you guys looking at it. It’s important stuff.

Why do I hate myself!? Healthy ways to build up your self image. Depression rears it’s ugly head. Part 2

In the year 2009 I hated myself. I hated everything about me. What I looked like, my face, my beard, how I carried myself, my autism, you think it, I hated it about myself. 

All this hatred stemmed from severe depression. This one isn’t easy to tackle, but when is depression easy? I am tackling this one now because of particular events that have happened to me personally.

I am a student at Millersville University and I feel completely alone save my family and three people. This links directly to my unwarranted anxiety post. I created a false logic and have begun to believe it. 

With that being said it is now compounded by self-loathing. The hole is really deep and I will need help to get out, but I took a huge step in healing myself: talking about it in this blog. The reason this blog really exists in this moment is to help me. It is not selfish to want to heal yourself. I want people to know that fact . Being proactive in your emotional happiness should be your number one concern. If you are happy, those around you will sense it and they will be happy too. 

Self-loathing is something all people with depression have to deal with and we are not fair to ourselves. We are not fair because we have expectations of ourselves, but I think if you are realistic with yourself you avoid the pitfall of self-loathing. Avoiding this is a key to happiness. 

It is different in many ways and all of us go through it. Personally, I let myself feel the pain then I let it go. Think back to my anxiety post and imagine that with depression. It works for me, and it might work for you. Please let you help yourself. 

Unwarranted Anxiety. What I do that might help you.

I know some people get anxious about common things. Large crowds, public speaking, and so on, but what about that anxiety that you, as a person, come up with? The anxiety you create for yourself?

For example, say you think someone dislikes you. You come up with all these reasons why they dislike you and eventually you begin to believe yourself. You actually believe that the person dislikes you. When it sometimes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sometimes that person might even love you! Who knows? This logic that you created for yourself becomes your reality eventually.

The problem with this is that it is a logical fallacy. Mainly because there usually is no supporting evidence. Lets look at the dislike you example. What if there was no evidence that the person dislikes you? What if there is no event, or conversation, or situation that would lead you to believe that the person dislikes you? Then it becomes illogical that the person dislikes you.

If there is an event that occurred that makes you think that the person dislikes you, look at the event itself. Maybe you are over exaggerating the event? This is the time to really look hard at the event. If you look back and be truthful to yourself most times you will see that there is nothing there. It may have just been the other person having a bad moment themselves as well. It is important not to judge people too harshly. They might be going through something as well.

That doesn’t excuse rudeness, however, and, if possible, you should talk to that person and make them aware of how they made you feel. It doesn’t feel good to feel bad because of what someone might have said.

I think it is important to shield yourself at all times though.Even though most people are good, nice people there are some that are not. Those are the ones to watch out for and shield yourself from when your around them. When I say shield yourself I am bringing logic back into the picture. You know who is saying the things and sometimes you know they specifically say things to hurt others. Use the idea that if that is what they have to do to feel good you shouldn’t waste your time concerning yourself with what they think.

I think it is impossible not to create your own anxiety. What I do believe, however, is that we, as humans, can control what gets to us. The mind can be a great thing, but at the same time it can be dangerous to us as well. Use your mind, but use it well.

Sorry for breaking from the depression series so early, but I feel this is something that people need to know. I will continue the depression series tomorrow with isolating behavior.

 

I find you lack of interest, disturbing. Depression rears its ugly head! Part 1

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As most people who have ever met me know, I am absolutely obsessed with Star Wars. It goes beyond merely liking it. I memorized the scripts of all seven movies so far. I am working on the Clone Wars currently, and do not doubt me getting there.

That being said there might have been a time where I didn’t like Star Wars. I do not remember this part of my life well with the exception of a couple of instances. These instances were when I was severely depressed and very hard on myself.

That is the actual point of the post. Not to lament over Star Wars, as much as I would love to, but to focus on a specific part of being depressed. The lack of interest in something you really enjoy can be a sign of depression in my eyes. It might be scientifically backed or something, but I don’t really think I need to prove it to you. Mainly because all of us have experienced some form of depression in varying intensities.

When you lose interest in something you love; it really sucks. Not only for you, but for those around you. At least that is how it was for me. People around me always ask me Star Wars questions. They try to stump me. No one ever has by the way, but when I lost interest I stopped doing what I loved. Researching Star Wars and reading Star Wars books. As a result of this I didn’t even answer Star Wars questions posed to me. I just ignored people who asked me the questions.

I know depression sucks, and losing my love of Star Wars was one of the most heartbreaking things about it. I couldn’t stay interested. I really wanted to, but I couldn’t. It really sickened me inside that the thing I loved wasn’t able to help me. I grew to resent it while I was depressed and soon hated it. When I climb out of the hole that is depression I quickly reconnected with Star Wars and it once again made me happy.

Loss of interest is just one of the symptoms of depression and for me it was one of the hardest parts. There are a lot more reasons that depression sucks, but this is a series so check in tomorrow for some more symptoms and my take on them.

 

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. How this book saved my life.

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Not many people know this about me, but I have been admitted to a mental hospital six times in my life. I feel it is important to tell you guys that because it provides context on the story that I am about to tell you.

I was suffering from a well of depression for about six months. I was right in the middle of it too. I was attending HACC Lancaster at the time and I was taking a Philosophy class. The professor talked to me one time at length due to a reason I would rather not disclose yet. He recommended a book that was very old, but helped so many people who took the time to read it. That book was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

This books insight’s on life were just what I needed. I won’t bore you with the details. (I want you to buy it for yourself!) The book gave me a new insight on life in general. I was able to appreciate life. Not just material goods or statues, but the miracle that life is. I am not going religious on you don’t worry, but whatever started all of this made sure the human mind was capable of finding this everlasting peace.

That peace that I have has helped me drastically. I am able to approach people and talk to them. I know a lot of people take that for granted, but imagine waiting in line at the galley, for you Millersville University students, or any line for that matter. When your in line and approach the cashier your barely able to talk to them and it makes everyone feel really awkward especially you.This is how I was for a very long time.

After reading Meditations ten or so times I began to become better socially. Which is really hard for someone with Autism. I playfully refer to myself as an autistic extrovert. That aside, I think that anyone suffering from mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, should really get this book. It helped me a lot and I hope it can help you!

Here is the link to the Barnes and Nobles website if your interested at all!

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meditations-marcus-aurelius/1116748287

 

 

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