I don’t know how to get help but I know something is wrong. I recently stopped using drugs and am determined to deal with things I use drugs to cover up. I have social problems, I’m very uncomfortable, I can’t make eye contact, I don’t understand socializing or talking. I have just forced myself to copy how other people act and I watch and remember and say memorized lines or actions in social situations. I use drugs because I feel so out of place and I’m scared because I don’t get it — I don’t get why I’m so different than everyone else seems. When I get too frustrated I completely shut down, I can’t talk or react or anything — I just shutdown and there’s nothing I can do to come back from that. I want help but I don’t know what to say to a therapist. I am very bad at telling this in person. (age 27, from US)Potential Undiagnosed Asperger’s, ADD, and Drug Abuse
Potential Undiagnosed Asperger’s, ADD, and Drug Abuse
A: Thank you for writing in with your question. It took courage and was your first step toward getting the help you need. I’m glad that you have recognized that taking drugs isn’t solving anything and might even be making things worse. It can be difficult to feel like you don’t fit in, but there is also nothing wrong with being unique. However, seeing a mental health professional for a diagnostic evaluation would be a good idea. Not only to get an accurate diagnosis, but so that you can get help with your social interactions and feel more comfortable and confident with others. If you aren’t sure what to say, print your letter (and any other written descriptions you may have) and take it with you to the first appointment. It might also be helpful to take a family member with you to help explain the issues from another perspective.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts