This sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Well, not to me…
Please read this with an open mind, I hope to provide as much clarity as I can at this point in time. It does have a happy ending 🙂
I was admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital on Sunday 14 June 2020 after a failed suicide attempt. I was also surprised!
After consultation, the past two weeks, with the Psychiatrist and Psychologist it turns out that I am on the Autism Spectrum at Level 1. I always knew I was a bit different, but never suspected this.
In addition, after days and days of psychotherapy it was revealed that I also have:
Allow me to explain.
Theory of Mind in Specialized Treatment Programs for Level 1 Autism
One of the most effective ways to treat level 1 autism is through utilizing the Theory of Mind. Theory of Mind and adaptive skills-based treatment that targets executive function, emotional regulation, cognitive flexibility, social communication skills, and anxiety reduction. These are all critical aspects in the field of Level 1 treatment.
Theory of Mind is the ability to accurately predict or attune to the thoughts, intentions, feelings, and perspective of another person. Individuals with autism have delays in this particular development. As a toddler, a neurotypical child will transition into a phase of cooperative play in which theory of mind begins to develop. Ideally, the child begins to be aware of the needs and feelings of those around them. When theory of mind does not develop, early adolescence is marked with delays in social maturation, social/emotional problem solving, and cognitive flexibility all of which play a crucial part in adaptive function.
It came out that I have a rather high IQ, and started to develop my own Theory of Mind from a very young age when I noticed that I didn’t fit in. It was my coping mechanism for my survival. I would study human behavior and emulate the behavior of others in social interactions in order to fit in. I would learn to memorize various acceptable responses to millions of social ques that others were sending in order to map the correct response in each situation. I managed to create a public persona over the past 3 decades in order to live my interesting life. However, this public persona started to drift away from my own personality. I also started to ignore ego-states that were detrimental, malevolent or hampering my social standing and success. This caused these ego-states to dissociate from my personality, be destructive and almost form their own personality. They started surfacing when I consumed alcohol. I started losing the ability to recall certain memories over the past couple of months, and I was about to split up into various personalities and ego-states.
The battle for control between my public persona, the good me and the bad others in me ended up with an attempt on my life by myself?!
Apparently, people with similar symptoms to mine don’t often make it past 15 years of age and die by suicide.
It is astounding that I have made it this far in life without ever being diagnosed or without any medication.
My intellect and creativity helped me in laymen terms to recognise that I was different and figure out quickly which skills I needed to function as a human. It also assisted me in using my afflictions to my advantage.
My ADHD assisted to help me pick up multitudes of social cues and map them to acceptable behavior patterns. It also kept my serotonin and dopamine levels in check by figuring out how to self-regulate and top-up these chemicals in my brain until I couldn’t anymore.
My Obsessive-Compulsive disorder helped me with understanding order and hierarchical structures and using them to my advantage in order to reach high levels of accomplishment.
My depression gave me the darkness and hopelessness to activate my fighting spirit which I used to slay all these dragons. Again, I just thought life was one big adventure! Never knew others didn’t have it this bad.
My left and right hemispheres are both dominant. I am as analytical as I am creative. This probably saved my life!
I am extremely relieved that I am sitting here typing this e-mail to you, where there is life there is hope.
I am thankful that I have answers to questions I have been asking since childhood.
I am not a danger to myself or others. I am now only one person and a better version of me.
I am on chronic medication for:
- ADHD so that I can focus at work.
- Anti-depressants to regulate the serotonin in my brain.
- Anti-psychotic mood stabilizers to regulate the dopamine in my brain.
I am in therapy to reintegrate all the ego-states into my one personality.
I am high functioning with Autism (previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome) so I can cope with a healthy balanced life.
I am not allowed to have alcohol ever again.
I have a scar on my wrist that might freak people out, but I am comfortable to explain the significance.
I have mental illness and I have received help.
I am okay.
This is the beginning of a whole new adventure!