Following on from Yesterday’s Wellness Wednesday blog post with understanding the effects of mental health. I want to continue this week’s feature of understanding when it is necessary to get help. As I always say, there is no shame in getting mental health help or just talking to someone such as a therapist. Even if you are autistic, it is encouraged as we oftentimes experience the comorbidity of mental health alongside our autism needs. Insurances understand this and will many times ensure that you get the care you need.
I am not ashamed to say I am a high utilizer of services. It is what I need to be successful. The last two years have been one wild ride. There were times that I thought that therapy was useless and worthless. However, one thing my therapist said was that I usually said that when I was off my medication. First and foremost, medication isn’t for everyone and that must be understood. However, for individuals such as myself, it is what is considered the foundation to my life. That, alongside with finding a good therapist, as I have had for the past two decades has been successful for making my life be the fullest potential.
I also utilize the services of psychiatric rehabilitation, both in the Clubhouse (vocational) and Boston (Mobile) models. Having these services, I have accepted as additional helps and they have proven well because they brought me out of a dark place and made me see that some of the feelings, I have been feeling are valid. As far as the vocational component, I have always wanted to learn skills to be independent hand in hand with getting a having meaningful employment. It is part time, but it is what makes me feel as a contributing member of society and giving back some of my talents.
The Clubhouse gives me the space to discover myself and meet others who are in their journey of mental health recovery. I have ben there for 17 years this week., however I haven’t seen the fruits of my labor until recently, like the past five or six years. For over the first decade, I was pretty much a wallflower, clinging to the professionals and doing behind the scenes things. However, and I am still trying to figure it out, five or six years later, something clicked. I don’t know what it was I became more social and with my fellow peers. Sometimes reflecting on this with the people that I have now developed friendships with, they say I was an arrogant jerk, to put it nicely. Over the past six years I have developed socially more by interacting with my fellow peers. It has made the ability to perform the duty of my employment, which mostly involves the interaction with others much more successful.
By doing this, some of the signals that would once say that I was autistic have diminished. I now make eye contact with others; I am outward and outgoing. I care and empathize with others. What the tale-tale sign is that I am very intelligent, but we know that it isn’t the specifically linked to autism as it is a spectrum event. By developing these skills and discovering myself more of all the years of living, my therapist and I realized that I needed to bring services to more of a home and community level. It too has helped to some degree, although COVID has put a hampering on it as all mental health services have become needed and taxing, but I am thankful for the services all my providers provide.
In closing, I want to remind the readers that are on the fence about wanting or needing mental health care. I encourage anyone to be active and take time for them by taking care of their mental health in whatever means they see fit. Because we have no health without mental health and even as those that care for autistics, you need to be there for those you care for. You are not selfish of seeking out the methods of taking care of yourself There’s so many avenues of ensuring that the care you need is delivered to you in the manner that works for you. Don’t be ashamed, you are not alone in this world!