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Old 01-27-2014, 10:29 AM
 
15,764 posts, read 14,188,344 times
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Went over 40 years of life without knowing I had Aspergers. Only recently diagnosed. Along with this, I also have PTSD from things I experienced in the Navy. Took around ten years before the nightmares subsided. Though I left the Navy over 15 years ago, I still occasionally have dreams of being on the ship. At least I don't jump up gasping for air (almost drowned in the bilges). What's frustrating is thanks to Hollywood movies and TV shows, some people think military veterans suffering from PTSD means the veteran goes through a combat flashback and might go on a killing spree. Each veteran's PTSD is different, even among guys who served in combat together. The closest I came to a "flashback" was when I had chemicals get in my eyes and had my eyes flushed in the ER. When the cold water was flushing across my eyes and face, my heart started racing and my muscles tensed up ready to run. I was the small guy sent into the bilges to disconnect a pump for repairs. We didn't know the valve (located between the pump and the ocean) was broken and never shut. It took me ten to fifteen minutes just to get into a position to turn wrenches. Once in position, I could only move my head a few inches. When the flange separated from the pump, I had a solid spray of ice cold sea water spraying on my face and body with such force that I couldn't use my hands to stop the spray from hitting my face. I couldn't breath. What saved me was a policy of no one working in the bilges without a safety watch. The guys lowered a heavy steel plate between my face and the water. I still had to stay there with ice cold water still hitting my chest so i could tighten the bolts to stop the engine room from flooding.

As for Aspergers, people think I'm anti-social because I don't make eye contact or give casual greetings. It really is a challenge to force myself to even give such greetings and make eye contact. Large crowds closed in is a big no no. The only way I could deal with such crowds was with plenty of booze. I've given up drinking alcohol and can't go to such large gathering events. If I'm not prepared, loud sudden noises startles me and puts me on edge. Before finding out about Aspergers, I never understood why I would mentally fixate on a particular topic/subject for months or years and then suddenly loose interest until another topic/subject catches my attention. Conversations are also a challenge. I don't always know whats appropriate to say during conversation. Sometimes I'll suddenly blurt out whatever is in my mind that has nothing to do with the current conversation. Through education, I've learned to think before I speak. I've held back things I know would have been pretty embarassing. Depression is a big part of both Aspergers and PTSD. I've thought about committing suicide since around age 10. Came close to trying several times but didn't due to my consideration of my parents and later due to duty and responsibility towards my ex-wife and daughter who rely on my child support. When my child support was over, it was my current wife's medical problems that prevented me from committing suicide. I reached a point that I had my entire suicide planned out and I sought counseling. That's when I found out about Aspergers. Through counseling and medication, I've gotten much better. I still have trouble in social situations, but the worst part of my symptoms are lessened and are manageable.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
8,690 posts, read 13,710,376 times
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Depression is a normal part of everyone's life. We can all point to times when we were depressed. I don't really see the need to label ourselves for occurrences that are a normal part of personality.

As far as being in the military, your stress is quite understandable. Anyone experiencing the life and death trauma you did would be affected afterward. A near drowning would sure give me nightmares. PTSD is an aspect of military life that is downplayed to get people to join up. I'd be much more worried about ex- military who had no qualms about their experiences- especially combat!

It's good that you've gone to counseling and it's good that you understand yourself better. You should continue to learn to manage your stress and back off from putting yourself in overly stressful situations if you don't have to. You know what is best for you and it sounds like you have a good conscious and a good sense of responsibility.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:12 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,864 posts, read 9,933,999 times
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Sounds like social anxieties and a certain level of mental "noise" bring up similar feelings of being 'trapped" and overwhelmed/"drowning", just like when you were working in the bilge, which BTW, is also a good metaphor for emotional 'leaks' and 'overflows' in general. But through focus and discipline, you've managed to deal with it, both then and now…. which is no small accomplishment (so give yourself some credit)! And not to push the 'metaphor' too much, but perhaps part of the key is to also monitor your emotional life and stress levels, just to make sure your emotional "bilge" doesn't unexpectedly "fill up"!

Since you're susceptible to depression (which everyone deals with in some way, as Hollytree mentioned), have you tried any sort of light therapy especially during the winter months to compensate for S.A.D.?

TED Talks: Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:50 PM
 
15,764 posts, read 14,188,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollytree View Post
Depression is a normal part of everyone's life. We can all point to times when we were depressed. I don't really see the need to label ourselves for occurrences that are a normal part of personality.

As far as being in the military, your stress is quite understandable. Anyone experiencing the life and death trauma you did would be affected afterward. A near drowning would sure give me nightmares. PTSD is an aspect of military life that is downplayed to get people to join up. I'd be much more worried about ex- military who had no qualms about their experiences- especially combat!

It's good that you've gone to counseling and it's good that you understand yourself better. You should continue to learn to manage your stress and back off from putting yourself in overly stressful situations if you don't have to. You know what is best for you and it sounds like you have a good conscious and a good sense of responsibility.
Clinical depression is different. Even at my happiest, I still considered suicide and was depressed. I made Eore (donkey from Whinnie the Poo, seem cheerful.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:58 PM
 
334 posts, read 556,250 times
Reputation: 746
I hope you feel better. Don't ever chide yourself for being down or having Asperger's. Hold your head up. You are you and that is good enough. One thing, when you are even thinking even one second of suicide, please call the suicide hotline. Do not chance that thought growing. Call the hotline. Also, when these thoughts come up, ask yourself, "How would I counsel someone JUST LIKE ME, a nice guy, if he expressed these thoughts?" Ask yourself, "What would I tell some nice person who was troubled?" Well, treat yourself as kindly and nicely and apply the good thoughts for this "other person" to yourself.

Take care of yourself, and be kind to yourself, thank you.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:18 PM
 
355 posts, read 1,195,416 times
Reputation: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Went over 40 years of life without knowing I had Aspergers. Only recently diagnosed. Along with this, I also have PTSD from things I experienced in the Navy. Took around ten years before the nightmares subsided. Though I left the Navy over 15 years ago, I still occasionally have dreams of being on the ship. At least I don't jump up gasping for air (almost drowned in the bilges). What's frustrating is thanks to Hollywood movies and TV shows, some people think military veterans suffering from PTSD means the veteran goes through a combat flashback and might go on a killing spree. Each veteran's PTSD is different, even among guys who served in combat together. The closest I came to a "flashback" was when I had chemicals get in my eyes and had my eyes flushed in the ER. When the cold water was flushing across my eyes and face, my heart started racing and my muscles tensed up ready to run. I was the small guy sent into the bilges to disconnect a pump for repairs. We didn't know the valve (located between the pump and the ocean) was broken and never shut. It took me ten to fifteen minutes just to get into a position to turn wrenches. Once in position, I could only move my head a few inches. When the flange separated from the pump, I had a solid spray of ice cold sea water spraying on my face and body with such force that I couldn't use my hands to stop the spray from hitting my face. I couldn't breath. What saved me was a policy of no one working in the bilges without a safety watch. The guys lowered a heavy steel plate between my face and the water. I still had to stay there with ice cold water still hitting my chest so i could tighten the bolts to stop the engine room from flooding.

As for Aspergers, people think I'm anti-social because I don't make eye contact or give casual greetings. It really is a challenge to force myself to even give such greetings and make eye contact. Large crowds closed in is a big no no. The only way I could deal with such crowds was with plenty of booze. I've given up drinking alcohol and can't go to such large gathering events. If I'm not prepared, loud sudden noises startles me and puts me on edge. Before finding out about Aspergers, I never understood why I would mentally fixate on a particular topic/subject for months or years and then suddenly loose interest until another topic/subject catches my attention. Conversations are also a challenge. I don't always know whats appropriate to say during conversation. Sometimes I'll suddenly blurt out whatever is in my mind that has nothing to do with the current conversation. Through education, I've learned to think before I speak. I've held back things I know would have been pretty embarassing. Depression is a big part of both Aspergers and PTSD. I've thought about committing suicide since around age 10. Came close to trying several times but didn't due to my consideration of my parents and later due to duty and responsibility towards my ex-wife and daughter who rely on my child support. When my child support was over, it was my current wife's medical problems that prevented me from committing suicide. I reached a point that I had my entire suicide planned out and I sought counseling. That's when I found out about Aspergers. Through counseling and medication, I've gotten much better. I still have trouble in social situations, but the worst part of my symptoms are lessened and are manageable.
there was a study done showing that people with aspergers, more than likely had a vitamin defiency. b-complex vitamins, fish oil and magnesium has been talked about in forums as being used as a vitamin-cocktail to reduce or even eliminate symptoms of aspergers. The b vitamins is good for the nervous system and can also help with PTSD (along with chamolile tea). Fish oil is good for the brain when it comes to memory and cognitive ability. You will also be less stressed in social situations and able to give eye contact. The magnesium is good for helping you relax and/or for facial twitches and strange movements that most people with aspergers do (especially when uncomfortable or in a social situation). I hope this helps.
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