The Autistic Perspective: Autism and Mental Health

In this Series on JT, Jordan Dodds talks candidly about topics from the perspective of an autistic adult, how he sees the world every day and the little or big things that may be barriers or obstacles. In this entry, Jordan Talks candidly about the mental health issues he has battled with his autism.

Autism and mental health go hand in hand together, it’s a well-known fact that people with autism are more prone to suffering from mental health issues, through the stigma still held by a sway of the general population through to the communication issues that can occur due to the nature of autism.

when dealing with autism, every day can be an uphill battle, the socialisation with the population can lead to overstimulation and meltdowns, in some cases the smallest change or disruption can make the person feel that the world is imploding.

Factor in the mental health issues and it can be worse, conditions such as anxiety, Low Mood, Poor Self Esteem and even depression are common with those with autism and because the population allows bullying to happen to people with autism.

Going through both Primary and Secondary School, I’ve been riddled with bullies attacking me for my Asperger’s.

In primary school, instead of encouraging me to talk about my feelings when I was being teased and threatened  I was told I was immature and ended up being isolated in a quadrangle where I was watched by everyone. Made to feel like a freakshow act because I was autistic.

And in Secondary School, Every thought I ever conceived was gaslit underneath me, I would try something new and be punished for it. Yet the bullies who phycological tortured me with threats of violence and destroying my work and assets did something new, they were applauded.

Both times I descended down a dark path, I withdrew from everything. I wouldn’t talk at all, I would punch and attack myself when something went wrong and at one point, tried to suffocate myself with a pillow.

In the two years of bullying at primary, I tried on two occasions to end my life and in the years at secondary school, my self-esteem had crashed so far that even the littlest thing made me attack and punch my self.

It took a lot of counselling to put everything in the past, although I managed to bounce back and become myself now, I’ll never fully heal the mental scars, but I can make a difference and that what I do.

Just by Sharing my story I can encourage others to be open about mental health, Why is there such a taboo when talking about mental health? its no different from a physical injury. The stigma is poisonous and especially to those with autism, this poison can be deadly.

Don’t ever suffer in silence. Don’t be afraid of what the world thinks, as RuPaul always says “Unless they pay your bill, pay them, bitches, no mind”. if we are open then we can learn to love and if you can’t love yourself, how the hell can you love someone else?

 

 

That was the Autistic Perspective for Journaling Thoughts, Written by Jordan Dodds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun, Welcoming and free of Judgement, The Y-ASC Group Art Exhibition

Just days before the Lumiere Festival in Durham, another event has stolen the spotlight. The Old Cinema Laundrette played host to the showcase of Y-ASC (Young Adults Support Café). A Mental Health peer support and art group.

Run By Investing In Children and Partnered with Waddington Street Centre. The Event showcases the young people’s mental health state through their art, whether it’s physically done or digitally.

The group meets every Tuesday evening from 17:00 to 20:00, the group is run for the members and by the members. The session is broken into two halves, the first being a café (17:00 to 18:00) and the second half being an optional art session.

It’s by far nothing like after-school clubs, the members are free to participate in anything they wish.

Surrounded by the nostalgic atmosphere of old-school washing powders and machines. The art takes centre stage. Postcards designed by the members greet us at the door, from pop art inspired to the freehand creative mind. Every card a picture of the mind.

Speaking of the mind, the centre stage for the exhibition, every member was asked to design what was on their mind. Cup as raig Rundle, the art support tutor described the work done by the members “talented group who have produced high-quality work showcasing different mediums and subject matters around a learner’s interest”

Bethany, A founding member of the group described the group as “A community we have built up and a family where we are all family and sit outside nattering about relationships, stress and Rupaul’s Drag Race”

Bethany also talked to me about her work, Describing the art work done as “deep and meaningful work with philosophical meaning, like my octopus which is enriched with meaning and complexity”

Abbey, Another Member of the group told me how the group has built up her confidence, that the group has “given me chance to break out my shell” and her artwork was “”terrifying and gory with a dark tone to it”

I also talked with jack, A now volunteer at the group, Told me About how to get involved with the group, “”all you have to do is drop in on a Tuesday night, or be refers through CAMHS (Children and adolescents mental health service)”

Chris Affleck, the facilitator of the group described Y-ASC  as “a safe space to express yourself without judgement and to be who you want to be” Chris described the work as “individuals and amazing and a great way to express creativity”

Overall A brilliant night of artwork, and if you’re interested in the art work pop down the Old Cinema Laundrette at Gilesgate 38 Marshall Terrace, Gilesgate Moor, Durham, DH1 2HX. If You want to know more about Y-ASC just pop into Waddington Street Centre Every Tuesday Night from 17:00 to 20:00

For Journaling Thoughts, Im Jordan Dodds