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Autism and Depression

autismismeautismisme Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello all, I have Autism but throughout my life I've had self doubt, feelings that I'm not the same as everyone else.  I have dreams to be an MP in Westminster and the reasons above really hold me back.

Any questions or advice would be appreciated.  Thanks

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    HI @autismisme welcome to the community! 

    I think most people have levels of self doubt and low self esteem, it is easy to imagine that everyone else is super confident but the truth is that most people worry.

    I do some public speaking, if you saw me talking you would think I was the most confident person in the world... but if you saw me shaking and feeling sick before I went on you would see a different side to me!

    I overcame my confidence issues whilst speaking publicly by filming my talks and watching them back.  In my early talks, you can see my nerves and it is quite distracting and so I spent time in the mirror practising how I could come across more confident.  Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it!

    There is some great advice on the NHS website, including:

    To boost your self-esteem, you need to identify the negative beliefs you have about yourself, then challenge them. You may tell yourself you are "too stupid" to apply for a new job, for example, or that "nobody cares" about you.

    Start to note these negative thoughts and write them down on a piece of paper or in a diary. Ask yourself when you first started to think these thoughts.

    Next, start to write down evidence that challenges these negative beliefs: "I am really good at cryptic crosswords" or "My sister calls for a chat every week". Write down other positive things about yourself, such as "I am thoughtful" or "I am a great cook" or "I am someone that others trust".  Also write down good things that other people say about you.
    Aim to have at least five things on your list and add to it regularly.

    Then put your list somewhere you can see it. That way, you can keep reminding yourself that you are OK.

    Other ways to improve low self-esteem
    Here are some other simple techniques that may help you feel better about yourself.

    Recognise what you are good at 
    We are all good at something, whether it's cooking, singing, doing puzzles or being a friend. We also tend to enjoy doing the things we are good at, which can help to boost your mood.
    Build positive relationships
    If you find certain people tend to bring you down, try to spend less time with them, or tell them how you feel about their words or actions.
    Seek out relationships with people who are positive and who appreciate you.

    Be kind to yourself
    Professor Williams advises: "Be compassionate to yourself. That means being gentle to yourself at times when you feel like being self-critical.
    "Think what you'd say to a friend in a similar situation. We often give far better advice to others than we do to ourselves."
    Learn to be assertive

    Being assertive is about respecting other people's opinions and needs, and expecting the same from them.
    One trick is to look at other people who act assertively and copy what they do. "It's not about pretending you're someone you're not," says Professor Williams. "It's picking up hints and tips from people you admire and letting the real you come out."

    Start saying 'no'
    People with low self-esteem often feel they have to say yes to other people, even when they don't really want to. The risk is that you become overburdened, resentful, angry and depressed.
    "For the most part, saying no doesn't upset relationships," says Professor Williams. "It can be helpful to keep saying no in different ways until they get the message."

    Give yourself a challenge
    We all feel nervous or afraid to do things at times. But people with healthy self-esteem don't let these feelings stop them from trying new things or taking on challenges.

    Set yourself a goal, such as joining an exercise class or going to a social occasion. Achieving your goals will help to increase your self-esteem. 
    Where to find help for low self-esteem

    Help is available if you feel you need support to start seeing yourself in a more positive light.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
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