Shattering Stigmas: Autism and How It Intersects My Chronic Depression and Anxiety Disorder by Mina from Bookish Enby

Welcome to the twelfth day of Shattering Stigmas! From now until October 22 I’ll be highlighting voices from the book community on mental health. I’m co-hosting this event with Taylor from Stay on the Page, Shannon from It Starts at Midnight, and Amber from YA Indulgences so make sure to check their blogs out each day to see different content.


I’m always having a break though/ Break down/ or Blackout; I don’t need anyone/ I just need everyone

halsey – clementine (manic cd)

Autism is a tricky thing to label. Some call it a learning disability. Some call it a development delayed disorder. Some call it Neurodivergent. Others tie it into their religious beliefs. Calling us Indigo children, Rainbow children. I personally feel the label doesn’t matter. I’m obsessed with labels but this one is just too tricky. 

Right now, the big face of Autistic people is Greta. She didn’t want it that way but it happened anyway. You won’t really see us on TV or in Movies. We’re not as easy to twist as those with bipolar or schizophrenia. There is no medication for us, so horror movies can’t have any fun with us. 

We’re in the news nearly every mass shooting. The Newtown school shooting really made autism mainstream news. It wasn’t that he never got help, that his mother allowed him guns nor that he hyper isolated himself. It’s that “Autistic people have no empathy”. We’re said to be violent mute robots.

Instead people miss out on our unique beauty of our community. Studies have shown we have a higher amount of Transgender people. More Autistics are Aromantic Asexual and Agender than the regular population. 

I got my papers in 9th grade, this was before 2006. Nobody knew what to do with me. I was just so weird. My mother held me at a distance, Step-dad just shook his head at me. They had a wordy answer back then that basically meant “we have no clue what your issue is but you’ll never be normal so don’t bother”. 

I’m now 32 but my mental age is a spectrum of 13-16 depending on how I am feeling. Matching my fluid gender nicely. I’m disabled and will be the rest of my life. You can’t see my disabled mind. You just see a 32 year old non-binary person with a stuffed animal talking with a 12 year old sounding voice that either over shares or under shares.

Adding to the mix of chronic depression and anxiety. I’m forever sad and scared 24/7. I can’t really seek help as my parents have deemed me emotionally stunted as they feel Autism means a person has no emotions, is slow stupid and can’t do anything right.  I feel too much at once and due to autism, I can’t filter it to more manageable flow. 

Some days I’m too scared to leave my bed, others my own apartment. Simple tasks are so scary and tiring. The hardest part is, its so hard to ask for help. Social media is all about the positive. Everyone posting only the best moments like a highlights reel. Those that post raw tweets about how it really is, is often told to stop being “so damn negative!”. We’re never allowed to publicly deal with our traumas. 

In-between all that, I’m always one election going badly to I’m on the streets. My whole life is currently tended to by various government programs that some want repealed due to “That’s socialism!” or “That’s entitlement!” My Mom swears I could go back home with her, my Step-dad has stated he won’t stand for it.

I’m lucky in some ways however. My local Unitarian Universalist church has said they would provide me any aid to keep a roof over my head. I’m Pagan, Transgender (Genderfluid), Queer (Panromantic Demisexual) and they accept me fully. Not everyone has a rich religious community to lean on. 

Another new link, studies are proving the mind + gut connection. Often those of us with mental illness also later on have some gut issues. In my case, I have IBS. So on top of my brain not working like it should, so many foods make me sick. I’m constantly drained. Often, I have to cancel plans last min on my friends or even miss out on church events.


Mina is agender, asexual, and aromantic. You can find them on their blog, Twitter, and Instagram.

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