This will, hopefully, be the final letter I need to write; may the power of this message shine through, at last.
I was diagnosed with depression at 15; I was self-harming and have consistently done so since, including several suicide attempts.
At 26 I was diagnosed, at last, with AUTISM, ADHD and DYSPRAXIA.
It is quite obvious why I was depressed.
Since being diagnosed with depression I have received NO THERAPY, save Family Consultation, which my family decided they didn’t want to do, and three Counselling sessions, paid for by a former employer, following a breakdown at work.
THESE THREE SESSIONS REMAIN THE MOST USEFUL SUPPORT I HAVE BEEN PROVIDED (they were private).
Other than that, the only person I can say has helped me in any way has been Dr. Nikita Kanani, who has been an understanding ear. However, as a GP, her power is incredibly limited.
I am desperate for therapy. It was what I asked for at 15; I was told the wait could be long, and given some SSRIs, which are not intended for pre-adults.
That is ridiculous.
I have a degree and over the past 4 years I have worked, for a maximum period of up to 8 months, as: a teacher; a teaching assistant; a holiday club assistant; a nursery senior practitioner; a nursery assistant. I also lived as a homeless man for 8 months.
SURELY, this PROVES that I am intelligent, capable and willing.
I keep having nervous breakdowns as a result of my autism; meltdowns are a feature of autism but I receive no financial support at all, so every time I have one and have to take time off work, I end up with no money. Then I can’t eat or pay rent. Then my depression gets worse.
I keep having mental breakdowns as a result of my depression; these will keep happening until I have some sort of support that means it is recognized that I have the same level of disability as anyone else with a registered disability; I feel like I am being punished for having eyes and legs and sometimes I think the best way to prove how bad my mental illness is would be to cut these off.
Worst of all, someone prescribed me Diazepam, which has been immeasurably useful in massively cutting down all features of all conditions, keeping me calm and allowing me to slow down and think carefully about things that normally cause me panic. I also feel I can do basic day-to-day tasks better. However, despite this being the one thing, other than therapy, which has helped me in any way, I am repeatedly being told that I am not allowed to use it long term, and it is just an emergency while I wait (another 12 years?) for therapy. So, basically, when I finally get the help I have been asking for, it’ll be ten times harder because ‘they/you’ will take away the one drug I am willing to take, which actually helps, unlike the three different SSRIs I have taken, which are known to have dangerous side-effects and all of which made my life worse.
Yours in very little faith,
Jack Edward Cheal Baxter
PS: How many autistic people need to kill themselves or someone else before people realise how desperate life is for us right now?
That is neither a threat, nor a warning, just a damn good question.