For most of my life since being a pre-teen, I have had some involvement with mental health services. Some I have aged out, Some became no longer beneficial and some are expected to be life long or decades in existence. As such, dependance on the professionals providing us these services has to be a fine line of problem-solving that must be completed with what is modeled to us first before we have to go to them with some miniscule complaint that we have.
Being autistic, we can often have the mindset that we are the only one that matters in the scheme of those that work for us and only the issue that we have matters. When we become dependent on the professionals to be the constant solver of problems that are many times modeled for us so we can address them so we do not become constantly dependent on them to solve our issues that are at times very minor and are quite time-consuming to the already overloaded professional can be frustrating to them and defeats the process of the skills they are trying to instill within you so you can manage the situation on your own.
Please understand there are times you will need to reach out. In fact there were times that had to occur and it saved me from being dropped off at the emergency room and not seeing my parents in my absolute time of need. Yes, there are times that the services of a your assigned mental health professional need to be sought, especially when you are unable to properly regulate your emotions so you can properly function, as that has happened to me before.
However, it must be understood that these professionals have other individuals they work with and they also have the right to their personal freedoms, including their free time as their work can be daunting at times and they need to recharge. Some have it in their blood, and cannot give it up, but some have defined the boundaries necessary to properly maintain themselves so they can fully serve their caseload.
Services have changed immensely over the decades. As part of treatment, many are given tips and handouts to properly work out their issues in real life situations. Likewise, they have goals that they have to set and are to work on, and as such should want to try to meet those milestones in order to better their outcome of life. For instance, I would have never dreamed of even doing the things that I have been doing when I came of age nearly two decades ago. It has been through the provision of many mental health services that all realms of my life including my mental health journey have been vastly improved. It can be hard for me to see where I came from many times and realize that shy self from two or even one decades ago. Many have even seen my improvement over the years. It has been through the deployment of mental health services and while I am not totally dependent on the services of professionals constantly, there are instances where I need to reach out for support and I am not ashamed for that.
However, being autisitc it can sometimes be hard to prioritize the issue at hand as part of my inner workings of my brain and that I need to divert to the strategies that have been explained to me when I have previously addressed these issues and they are just recurring. Many times, it can seem redundant to keep bringing up the things that occur again and again when the skills have been properly modeled to me in a way that I can address them on my own. While I have made progress, it can be hard sometimes to accept the hard truth that I must employ the skills that I have been taught in order to manage the situation at hand so It does not get out of control.
It must be understood that although mental health professionals are meant to help us overcome the challenges we face, we mustn’t become overly dependent on them where we reach out to them constantly and they become a “crutch” to support us. We must roll up our sleeves and do the work to address the issues at hand and I can guarantee there will be a sense of pride and proudness when you are able to solve your issues at hand on your own.