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Mental Health

Autism Mental Health

Learning to be Okay With Antidepressants

I’ve slowly been lowering the dosage of my antidepressants for over a year now because I no longer wanted to be dependent on medication. I no longer wanted the struggle of making sure I took the right brand of apple juice with me to wherever I had dinner so I could mix the 20 drops of escitalopram with the strong taste of Appelsientje. I no longer wanted to have to take it late in the evening — when my IBS is at its worst — because I forgot to take it during dinner, when I’m supposed to.
But most of all, I wanted to see whether after 4 years of taking this same antidepressant it actually made a difference.

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Autism Mental Health

My Eating Disorder

I have an eating disorder.

No, it’s not anorexia, or bulimia, or binge eating disorder. You’ve probably never heard of it. It’s called avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. ARFID for short. Also known as Selective Eating Disorder. It was first recognized in the DSM-5, the most recent edition, which came out in 2013.

ARFID makes me unwillingly restrict the types of food I can eat, based on the food’s appearance, smell, taste, texture, brand, presentation, or a past negative experience with that particular food. You could say I’m ‘a picky eater’. You could also think of it as a food phobia. It has nothing to do with body image and everything to do with anxiety and sensory sensitivity.

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Autism Mental Health Service Dog

Service Dog Update

A simplified version of this post was originally posted on Service Dog Nugget on November 12th, 2017.

As most of you know, I’ve been working on getting a service dog. Unfortunately my first attempt didn’t exactly go as I’d expected & hoped…

You may have already noticed a change: I stopped talking about training, I temporarily closed Nugget’s blog, and I included an emotional montage in my March + April + May 2017 Document Your Life video. I didn’t want to keep quiet, but I needed time to process things.

The Nugget you know from photos & videos has been rejected as a service dog and no longer belongs to me. Some dogs just aren’t fit to be service dogs. It was extremely difficult for me to let her go, but I’m finally at the point that I can live with it and focus on the future again.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten the diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder, which has luckily opened a lot of doors for me. I now have an autism coach who helps me with a lot of things I struggle with. I’m on a waiting list at an autism center for therapy.
Autism can’t be cured but there is a lot I can still learn, like learning to deal with sensory overload and meltdowns.

I started looking for a service dog organization specializing in autism service dogs, so I know for sure that they can take into account the difficulties of autism. I am now in contact with an organization to see if it’s possible to start working with them.

Your donations are safe & sound on Nugget’s bank account and will be spent only on the purpose you donated for: a dog and my mental health.

Thank you,

Lauren

Fitness Mental Health

Mud Masters With Depression

This post was originally posted on my Tumblr in June 2016.

I ran/walked/crawled a 10K mud run and obstacle course today.

When my friend asked me to come along, I was in a really bad place. Like, suicidal bad. Barely got out of the house. Had lots of trouble going to the climbing gym. But this was something that I really wanted to do.

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Mental Health

On Christmas, Grieving, and Growing Up

This post was originally posted on my Tumblr in December 2015.

ge·zel·lig·heid: an untranslatable Dutch word meaning something that’s a combination of coziness, warmth, good atmosphere, and an intimate time with friends and/or family.

The winter months: for some people it’s a time of family, gezelligheid, and gifts. For me, the period from November 29 (my brother’s birthday) to New Year’s Day, is a time of grieving.

You see, my brother passed away on December 27th, the day after Boxing Day. That year (2008), we didn’t have a Christmas tree, because we were too busy with hospital visits to even think about something as trivial as Christmas. He was far too sick at that point. But I wish we’d been able to celebrate it in a way. Our last one. It wouldn’t be about gifts at all, it would be about tabletop games and re-watching Harry Potter movies and enjoying each other’s company. I still feel like I didn’t get to spend enough time with him in those last 5 months, but I guess everyone feels that way when someone dies too young.

2000

 

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