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Self Harm and Autism

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Self Harm and Autism

Postby anon47 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:25 am

I'm 24, technically female and officially diagnosed with bipolar, borderline and PTSD. From an early age I was moved (due to eviction) frequently, abused emotionally and at times physically by my mother, amongst other things. These incidents make it difficult to determine if my traits are environmental or autism based. I will try and keep this short.

I was talking with a close friend (a bit older with a lot more life experience) about strange Mental health issues. I told her how I do meet a lot of criteria for borderline, but the cause for certain traits are different than the status quo.

I mentioned how self harm is a hallmark trait of borderline, and how it annoys me that self harm is almost always explained as either a way to break "numbness" or to quell extreme emotions. Whenever I have self harmed through out my life, it has ALWAYS AND ONLY been as a form of self punishment. The first "self harm" method I used was biting my arm whenever I "failed". I kept this secret from everyone (I recall doing this at the age of five for a short time). I have always thought this was due to my mother constantly yelling at me over every little thing, whether or not I was guilty. She would go as far as to hit me over ridiculous things that didn't warrant hitting at all. Both of my parents constantly rode my ass on being the "perfect little girl" and went to great lengths to ensure that. So I consciously continued that cycle of abuse by abusing myself whenever I struggled in school, lost a video game, etc.,

My friend said that it sounded more like a trait of autism. I drove the point home that I only did it to learn from my mistakes, and that I did not enjoy the pain or get any relief from it. She continued to say that due to some "sensory issues" I have mentioned, and now this, that autism could be in fact, the underlying issue. I came to the conclusion that my hypersensitivity to senses was bipolar based (this is proven) but now I'm doubting myself. I know that I have other traits that "mimic" autism, but I realize the root cause of the "trait". For example, when people "give me a hard time" I understand it's a "joke" but it's triggering to me due to my strict upbringing.

Or maybe I'm just in denial :/

I'm also very lost on how to get an official diagnosis. I have spoken to it about therapists and they won't do much for me.

Does anyone have any input? I appreciate any responses......
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Re: Self Harm and Autism

Postby WhatsMyDxAgain » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:29 am

Hey, I feel your pain. Can't help you with the self-harm questions but as far as getting a diagnosis, try this link.
https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-ser ... urce-guide

Choose your state and go to the bottom of the list where it says "Where to get an autism diagnosis ". I don't know if it's their site or my phone, but if I just tap on the link it just takes me to the top of the same page; so what I do is press on the link until an option to "open in a new tab" pops up.
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Re: Self Harm and Autism

Postby ProudAutie » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:34 pm

i know this is an old post but in case you are still around,i think you really need to be looking specifically for a pyschologist who works with adult females on the autism spectrum.
ive known quite a few high functioning autistic females [diagnosed as teens or adults,including my sister] be told they cant have autism because they dont present like the agressive/much more communication and socially stunted male stereotype,although some do,the belief is that females present quite a bit differently and most research has been around males.

you can self harm in autism for any reason,i have always self harmed as a way to communicate,for emotional regulation [i dont have BPD],and sensory-i have no concept of flesh pain so i did anything to get some feedback.

more aspie females than males have been diagnosed as bpd before coming to the right diagnosis,so this is why you really need to see someone who specialises with adult females.
main dx; moderate & lf classic autism,mild intellectual disability,severe epilepsy,spinal nerve damage.
MH dx; bipolar,[paranoid] pyschosis NOS,panic disorder,extreme anxiety.
behavior/MH meds: abilify,haloperidol,diazepam,carbemazepine,sertraline.
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