Identity

I have a mental illness, I’m autistic and proud by Jeanette Purkis

June 13, 2018 Spectrum Women

This is a piece about mental illness and autism. It was quite difficult to write as it looks at issues of discrimination and exclusion from some parts of the autistic community. While it may be uncomfortable, issues like this need to be raised so we can address them. The name of my personal blog is Jeanette Purkis: Thoughts on All Things Autism and Mental Health. Occasionally I get a comment saying ‘Autism is not a mental illness.’ Cue someone very carefully and painstakingly setting me straight on something I apparently don’t know — that autism and mental illness are not […]

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Anxiety and Depression — A Spectrum Women Collaboration for Mental Health Awareness Week

May 18, 2018 Spectrum Women

Anxiety and depression is a common factor for many of us on the autism spectrum and something we battle, struggle, tussle, manage, and cope with most days. Many of us have our own strategies to manage the difficult times that consume us, and some of the Spectrum Women wanted to share with you their personal insights into how they tackle anxiety and depression. We also want to highlight for Mental Health Awareness Week just how important good mental wellbeing and self-care is, especially for all of us on the autism spectrum… Lisa Morgan… I often get depressed over how much […]

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Mental Health Care and Gaming — The CheckPoint Organisation

April 30, 2018 Spectrum Women

Interview by Spectrum Women feature writer Renata Jurkevythz Video Games are a common special interest among autistics. They provide experiences and teach tools in a safe environment ruled by logic, where you can fail and retry as many times as you need without getting hurt, or can simply enjoy a beautiful world that is not governed by confusing social rules. Especially for autistic minds, that must bear a never-ending flow of thoughts and emotions, they can provide a moment of focus and immersion that silences the brain while entertaining. Video games have been one of my major interests since I […]

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Stess: Anxiety, Perfectionism, Black and White Thinking and Catastrophising by Jeanette Purkis

April 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

This article focuses on the stresses which are more likely to be the domain of autistic people: what they are and some strategies that can help address them. Social anxiety While this is not exclusive to autistic people, it is a very common occurrence for us. We might think that other people don’t like us or are judging or discriminating against us. This often comes from being bullied or invalidated in other ways in the past. We end up second guessing ourselves or being either way too trusting or, alternatively way too cynical, assuming that behind any kind gesture there […]

Refelection

The Best Version of Me by Lisa Morgan

March 11, 2018 Spectrum Women

I am an autistic adult who lived undiagnosed through the sixties and seventies in a school environment where differences were not accepted and teachers thought quiet, bright, students could be left alone in favor of the more vocal, struggling ones.  I fell through the cracks and landed in a no-man’s land of bullying, rejection, sensory assaults, and pervasive loneliness. As I think about those early years, my mind wanders back to a typical day and I visualize one of the most important conversations of my life. In my mind’s eye I see her sitting alone in a room full of […]

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Affliction or condition? Battle or journey? by Christine Jenkins, SWM Correspondent

February 16, 2018 Spectrum Women

I compare and contrast my discovery of breast cancer with Asperger’s (ASD Level 1) My 50s have been a tumultuous time; I’ve dealt with the unfolding realities of separation, eventual divorce, menopause, gynecological issues, self identification on the autism spectrum, then official ASD diagnoses from 2008 onward. Then the bottom fell out of my world in Spring 2016 when I had two abnormal mammograms, swiftly followed by a very painful stereotactic biopsy of my left breast in early May.  Due to our wonderful Canadian healthcare coverage, I went from that to lumpectomy surgery in five weeks, then on to radiation […]

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Family Dynamics – Jeanette Purkis

January 22, 2018 Spectrum Women

Next week I m going to visit my parents. Despite having a difficult relationship in the past between us, I now love seeing them. I’m thinking how my mum will have a mango ready for my breakfast that she has specially bought and that Jalna yoghurt I like too. She has been telling me all about the shops in Beechworth that she wants to show me and the weekend will be spent just with family and friends I grew up with. Everyone will be happy to see me and ask me about what I am doing and it will be […]

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With a bit of luck… Jeanette Purkis

January 5, 2018 Spectrum Women

This post is about the idea behind ‘luck’—the impact of people’s attitudes, motivation and aspirations. It is first and foremost my own experience of these things. I will preface the piece by stating that your attitude is not a determinant of good or poor character, that it is never OK to blame someone for not managing adversity well and that different people can respond vastly differently to similar things. Autistic people often find they have a negative attitude and / or a pessimistic view. Sadly this is often due to the horrors which other human beings put us through, particularly […]

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The Big Sigh by Becca Lory, CAS, BCCS

November 27, 2017 Spectrum Women

This is one of those days. I feel it the moment I open my eyes. I instantly loathe that I am awake. I fall into an old habit of calculating how many hours I will have to reasonably be out of my bed before I can crawl back into it without having to feign illness or apologize for not returning a text. Twelve? Maybe if I stay in bed a little longer I can make it eleven. As I close my eyes, hoping for a lessened sentence, the dogs start to rouse. I hear the shuffle of early morning stretches, […]

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The women who don’t know they’re autistic

July 21, 2017 Spectrum Women

Fabienne Cazalis, École des Hautes Études en sciences sociales (EHESS) This article was co-written by Adeline Lacroix, who works with Fabienne Cazalis and was recently diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. A second year master’s student in psychology, she is working on a scientific literature review about the characteristics of high-functioning autistic women. Let’s call her Sophie. The description we’ll give could be that of any woman who is on the autistic spectrum without knowing it. Because they’re intelligent and used to compensating for communication impediments they may not be consciously aware of, these women slip through the cracks of our still-too-inefficient […]

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