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Thread: Dark feelings

  1. #1

    Dark feelings

    A big phobia of mine is thinking that Iím alone with a certain feeling, or fear. When Iím troubled with a bout of anxiety/depression itís like Iím the only person in the world who is feeling as bad as this and there is no help due to its severity. This makes me feel lost and very hopeless and itís the scariest feeling in the world for me, so I always like to see if someone else can relate!!

    Iíve suffered with anxiety/depression for as long as I can remember. I have high functioning autism too, so I tend to really delve into why Iím having a certain thought or feeling and wonít let it go. I can handle most of the things anxiety/depression brings. But every so often I get a feeling thatís deeper, Iím not sure if itís more depression than anxiety, maybe the anxiety is just because of how scared I am of it. Itís super dark and horrible and I cannot shake it, the best way to describe it is like when you would get that overwhelming homesickness as a child when youíd be away from your family or whatever, but the scary part is that Iím already at home around my family, but the feeling looms over me and itís not like the rest of the symptoms I get with my mental health issues, I canít handle this one. Itís attached to every thought I have, it even makes happy memories not seem happy anymore, like my whole life has, and is darkness, my house doesnít seem like my house, it feels like Iíve never been there before, everything familiar becomes unfamiliar and feels like Iíve run out of happiness forever and my life is over. Iím a very homesick type of person anyway, I donít like to be more than a few miles from my house, and that dark feeling often comes while Iím away and will go when I get back, but like I said, when itís with me constantly even in my comfort zone, itís terrifying. Iím not a suicidal person, but when Iíve got that feeling, I really donít think I could go on living if it persisted day in, day out without letting me have a little bit of light. Iíve had it the past few days and urghhh, so awful. So really hoping someone can relate. Thanks everyone, love you all and happy to be in this fight alongside you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by James88 View Post
    I have high functioning autism too
    Hi James, I'm autistic too (diagnosed 3 years ago) but I don't use the highly-functioning term as it gives people the impression that my problems are mild, and they're not.

    I tend to really delve into why I’m having a certain thought or feeling and won’t let it go.
    It's common for autistics to need to understand everything that happens to them, and why.

    I can handle most of the things anxiety/depression brings. But every so often I get a feeling that’s deeper, I’m not sure if it’s more depression than anxiety, maybe the anxiety is just because of how scared I am of it. It’s super dark and horrible and I cannot shake it, the best way to describe it is like when you would get that overwhelming homesickness as a child when you’d be away from your family or whatever, but the scary part is that I’m already at home around my family, but the feeling looms over me and it’s not like the rest of the symptoms I get with my mental health issues, I can’t handle this one. It’s attached to every thought I have, it even makes happy memories not seem happy anymore, like my whole life has, and is darkness, my house doesn’t seem like my house, it feels like I’ve never been there before, everything familiar becomes unfamiliar and feels like I’ve run out of happiness forever and my life is over. I’m a very homesick type of person anyway, I don’t like to be more than a few miles from my house, and that dark feeling often comes while I’m away and will go when I get back, but like I said, when it’s with me constantly even in my comfort zone, it’s terrifying. I’m not a suicidal person, but when I’ve got that feeling, I really don’t think I could go on living if it persisted day in, day out without letting me have a little bit of light. I’ve had it the past few days and urghhh, so awful. So really hoping someone can relate. Thanks everyone, love you all and happy to be in this fight alongside you!
    I experience this, but there is a history of abuse with me. My happy moments are almost always marred by darkness. It's like my brain doesn't want me to feel happy?

    Maybe research dissociation and depersonalisation and see if any of that resonates with you?

    What I know is that most autistics have suffered some kind of abuse, and this may well be where the darkness stems from. From a personal perspective, I have more experience of sadness, rejection, pain and humiliation than happiness. Happiness can seem alien to me. It's a flower in a garden full of weeds - it's soon overwhelmed by something that's ugly and suffocating. But I do have happy memories, underneath all the crap. I get a few seconds of joy before the clouds roll over again - but I'd take those few seconds over nothing any day.

    If, like me, you have been treated badly in the past - look to working through that.

    Hope this helps you.
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  3. #3

    Re: Dark feelings

    Thank you for your reply NoraB, itís nice to know that Iím not alone feeling like this, I havenít suffered any abuse growing up, but I think all the overwhelming factors of life that most people wouldnít really notice have just been a level of trauma for me. I find existence very, very difficult, but would much rather that I found it fun and enjoyable!!

  4. #4
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by James88 View Post
    Thank you for your reply NoraB, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone feeling like this, I haven’t suffered any abuse growing up, but I think all the overwhelming factors of life that most people wouldn’t really notice have just been a level of trauma for me. I find existence very, very difficult, but would much rather that I found it fun and enjoyable!!
    I understand totally. That's the problem with 'highly functioning' autism. It's perceived that we function really well, when in fact most of us struggle with the most basic aspects of existence that most people do without thinking. It takes a lot of mental effort and life can very quickly overwhelm us - which is why most of us have a string of mental health disorders and/or chronic illnesses.

    I realised recently that I was happy until the age of 5. I was in my own little world - nobody bothered me - and aside having to go to the sensory nightmare that was the hairdressers with my mother or sit on crowded buses which made me feel sick and relatives coming to the house - I was happy. Then I started school and it went downhill instantly. I was in the wrong place with people who didn't understand me, nor I them. But it was the 70s, and there was no autistic spectrum - me, and children like me, were punished or ignored.

    It is what it is, James. You cannot change how your brain is wired. My son is autistic too, and I am encouraging him to be authentically 'him' - not a second rate NT version so other people feel less uncomfortable around him. He's starting high school now. He just learnt to tie his shoelaces. It's been an awesome week. He teaches me a lot too, and he is the happiest child that I know.

    I go through dark phases, but it's predominantly anxiety - always has been - but I have been clinically depressed and I'd take feeling 'plugged into the mains' any day over the feeling of 'nothingness'. At least with anxiety, I feel alive. But it is exhausting, and my body agrees - which is why I have the biological age of 209.

    Have you looked into dissociation and depersonalisation?

    Things are less scary once we understand them and the one thing that most autistics do well is to research!
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  5. #5
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Both my adult children are supposedly "high functioning" autistic..Both my children suffer from severe anxiety, depression, OCD and social anxiety. Asperger's (no longer used) is described as "mild" autism..What a joke! It's a highly complex and much misunderstood condition but a lot is still expected of you..which can be so challenging.

    I admire you both..

  6. #6
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Both my adult children are supposedly "high functioning" autistic..Both my children suffer from severe anxiety, depression, OCD and social anxiety. Asperger's (no longer used) is described as "mild" autism..What a joke! It's a highly complex and much misunderstood condition but a lot is still expected of you..which can be so challenging.
    I was diagnosed with 'social anxiety' when I was 14. I also had an eating disorder at the same time. My GP was so dismissive it was unreal. 'Take these tablets, make some friends'. Yeah, right! As you see with your kids, there is no such thing as 'mild autism', and it's the mental disorders and chronic illnesses which are proof of the struggle it takes to be here. You seem to have an understanding of this pulisa - which is really good to hear.

    I admire you both..
    Thanks. I'm really glad your kids have you in their corner.
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  7. #7
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Both of you are strong
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  8. #8
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by NoraB View Post
    I was diagnosed with 'social anxiety' when I was 14. I also had an eating disorder at the same time. My GP was so dismissive it was unreal. 'Take these tablets, make some friends'. Yeah, right! As you see with your kids, there is no such thing as 'mild autism', and it's the mental disorders and chronic illnesses which are proof of the struggle it takes to be here. You seem to have an understanding of this pulisa - which is really good to hear.



    Thanks. I'm really glad your kids have you in their corner.

    Thanks, Nora..I'm certainly not free from my own MH issues and have had a lifelong eating disorder and OCD. I've been told I'm not on the spectrum but it's so much more complex with female ASD so who knows..

  9. #9
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by pulisa View Post
    Thanks, Nora..I'm certainly not free from my own MH issues and have had a lifelong eating disorder and OCD. I've been told I'm not on the spectrum but it's so much more complex with female ASD so who knows..
    Generally, where there are autistic children, there will be at least one autistic parent. The autistic gene is predominantly on my mother's side (I think she was autistic too) but there is some on my dad's side too.

    You are right. Females are a lot more complex and harder to diagnose because the basis for assessment is still focused on how males present with autism. My son was diagnosed at 4 and it was obvious. I was diagnosed at 47. Your mental health issues (OCD and eating disorders) have my autistic radar twitching. Show me an autistic female who doesn't have a string of mental health disorders? We develop coping skills. We learn to camouflage who we are, and some of us are better than others, but it all comes at a cost to mental health - which is why I can no longer mask.

    Can I ask, who told you you're not autistic?

    Do you think you are? Because, in my experience, we know we're autistic based on our children. As soon as my son was diagnosed, I knew I was autistic too. Before that, actually. I knew by the questions they asked during the assessment. I have always been trying to 'find myself' in self-help books, and I came close with The Highly Sensitive Person - I resonated with a lot, but many questions remained unanswered until autism - which explains it all.
    __________________
    There is a light. There is. Look for it. Look for it shining over your shoulder, on the past. It was light where you went once. It is light where you are now. It will be light where you will go again. ~ Jennifer Worth

  10. #10
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    Re: Dark feelings

    Every psychiatrist/psychologist I have seen has said that I'm not on the spectrum but that's not to say that they are right. I know I don't meet the criteria for an assessment anyway. Whether I am or not doesn't really bother me as what matters is that I am able to anticipate my children's complex needs and always be one step ahead!
    When my son was diagnosed formally I didn't feel that any of the questions related to me..I'm more the sixty-something stuck in a young person's ED rituals which is really shameful and embarrassing but my way of coping with a challenging life. I'm sure you'll understand, Nora..It could be worse!

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