Autism & Depression: Taking a Step in Knowing the Mind, Body, and Spirit


In the months that have passed since the start of this year, a lot has occurred. May is a matter of days away from us, the weather (here in Missouri) keeps swapping between bitter cold and summer-esque heat, and my understanding of the world around us has altered. As the days pass, as Winter slowly fades away, I work on my central goal: making positive changes in my life.

Change does not come easily.

Many of you are aware of the fact I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) last year. Before I found out I had PCOS, I had gone two years without the monthly menses all women typically go through. Towards the end of last year, and early into this year, I lost my uncle to Pancreatic Cancer, my mumma was diagnosed with the same type of cancer, and I started attending therapy sessions for depression.

It was this year I decided to take another leap. I went and got a psychological assessment for the possibility of having Autism Spectrum Disorder. For years, many people have asked if I have Asperger’s or if I’m on the “higher end” of Autism. I admitted that it was possible, but I have never been assessed and therefore could not say. Well, I got my results back yesterday.

And now I can say I have:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (without impairments to language or intellect)
  • Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent and Moderate
  • ADHD Disorder (ADD more than ADHD)
  • Binge-Eating Disorder

I was expecting the first one. Several people I know who have children with Autism have stated I am a grown version of their kids (or the friends of their kids who have Autism or Asperger’s), and it wasn’t all that shocking that I am, in fact, on the Spectrum. I have a hard time grasping, and understanding, social norms. Emotions are problematic, as I have a hard time putting a name to them or offering empathy/sympathy in regards to the hardships of others.

And, frankly, I’m not a social person. I’d rather be left alone, in my own corner, than deal with the people around me. My own sister once mentioned she worries about me being able to live a functional life outside of my mumma because of the troubles I have. Which, now that I think about it, is something I have to consider.

Depression? I expected that, too. I’m generally indifferent, most days.

ADHD threw me for a loop, but once the reasoning was put behind it, I understood why. I’m not an attentive person, I’m easily distracted, and I have a hard time focusing for extended periods of time if it requires strenuous mental activity. Which probably explains why I suck at math.

Maybe. I’ll bring that up to my therapist on Monday. If I remember.

Binge-Eating? Guilty as charged. Food is a comfort for me, and it’s one I’ve struggled with for a long time. When I’m upset, I eat. When I’m angry, I eat. When I’m bored, I eat. Food has been the answer to nearly all my problems, but it was an answer that was in the negative. A lie I happily ignored, more content on doing something than nothing.

Which brings me to the next part: I’m going back to therapy after missing for over a month (I refused to go until I got my diagnoses because I don’t like wasting my time treating something I may or may not have), I’m on a diet because I have an infection in my gut and an overgrowth of yeast in my body, and I’m getting ready to start finals in Massage Therapy for the second time.

Once this month is done, I’ll have one to go!

All the above made me realize this:

With Our Minds, We Think.
With Our Bodies, We Move.
With Our Spirit, We Live.

We depend on the three aspects of life: Mind, Body, & Spirit. Many doctors focus on one or two of the above (Mind or Body), but few have targeted all three at once. Which, when I start therapy again, that’s something I’m going to address. To heal, and learn to support myself fully, I have to address all three. I need to sharpen my mind to better tackle the world, I need a stronger body to support myself, and I need to nurture my spirit to help tie everything together.

Massage Therapy does this, actually. I’m constantly challenged to learn new things, which can be difficult when the subject we may be studying doesn’t interest me. I’m constantly moving when I give a massage, working muscles I may leave inactive otherwise, and this helps me get an idea what my body can, and cannot, do (at this moment).

And it addresses spiritual aspects of life because Massage Therapy is a holistic practice.

Part of my idea, from now on, is to try and utilize this blog as a place to put down my own thoughts and feelings (share my struggles so others may also learn from me), a place to further enhance my understanding of the subjects I’m learning, and a place to express myself. I’ll talk about anything and everything, as it comes to my attention.

Autism is a complex subject. There isn’t a ‘set’ explanation on what causes. Some say it deals with a leaky gut. I’m not entirely sure what a leaky gut is, at this moment, but that’s one thought. I do know, however, that the Mind and Body are targeted – and food and exercise can help manage it, to a degree. Can make it easier to focus, to think, when certain foods are eliminated.

Namely: Gluten and Dairy.

It’s been a few days since I saw the doctor on my stomach, and I do feel better now that I’m cutting back on both. My stomach’s gone down (it was bloated), I’ve been sleeping better (a rare thing, in and of itself), and my headaches aren’t as horrible (which is nice). I’ve upped my intake of water, something I’ve struggled with for a while. More water means feeling fuller, more alert, and not as hungry as often. From what I’ve been told, once I start drinking enough water more often, and regularly getting enough in my system, it’ll help me lose some of my weight and also promote hair growth. Also, acne is fading rapidly!

My biggest concern, I think, will be the ‘Spirit’ side of all of this. Depression makes it hard to be interested in anything, and ‘Spirit’ is a rather broad concept. Is this referring to the energy in our own bodies, the field of power which makes ‘humans’ human? Is it the force which drives the body, the entity behind our thoughts, the power behind our ability to think and strive and build upon ourselves in a world driven by instinct?

Or is ‘Spirit’ referring to God, to religion, to Faith, and all the things tied into it?

Honestly, I’m not sure. ‘Spirit’ is not a very clear term, when it comes to this. It’s something I’m looking into on my own, as is. And, with that said, it is time for me to end this post. I have a lesson in clean eating with my sister in the next half-hour, and I still have water to absorb before I go.

It is my hope to be here more often, and I hope this post has provided something useful to those of you who are reading this (or have reached this part, as is), and I plan to be back soon.


One Comment Add yours

  1. 19dlm94 says:

    Beautifully written, and changed is hard. But it is worth it in the end, keep your chin up and you can conquer anything!

    Liked by 2 people

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