I have always known I mentally struggle. Having been diagnosed with autism in January, 2019 confirmed I deal with anxiety and depression.
My book: Cerebral Palsy ‘A Story’ changed all that when a reviewer of my book observed that I had been dealing with anxiety and depression. She opened my eyes to something else that has never been aired or confirmed.
It is difficult to equate that you know nothing about yourself. I’ve literally had to work ‘me’ out as I go, so I can be forgiven for not understanding the signs, now made more difficult because I’m dealing with autism around a pandemic.
I never take my mental health for granted, because with autism good mental health is difficult to maintain, but I am lucky I have my writing and website to help me navigate my way through.
I am also not sure how many understand that autism is a mental illness. People just see it as autism, but I think if more people did understand, they would have more empathy and tolerance around how we present. It’s easy to see us as a nuisance, and it as an inconvenience.
But it is other people’s attitudes that make what we deal with harder. Imagine not knowing as a child you deal with autism and that the anxiety or depression you have is part of that. At 57, I have only now just made the correlation.