A different view is developing, about Autism highlighting the prevalence in women and girls which can be harder to spot due to females learning to mimick social skills.
You can do an NVQ2 in Autism through Skills Network, I completed mine.
Re-assessing the condition by Sophie
My first experience of mental illness was at the end of my degree when I didn’t seem to be able to make progress on the dissertation. I came back to Bristol to have some support from my parents. It was the first time I experienced a loss of identity, which was that I was no longer a student heading towards a great career in the entertainment industry.
At home I later was given several diagnoses, a support plan which included mediation and I tried to resume my life by getting some manageable work opportunities.
Now ten years later I am exploring my own identify further and am on the waiting list for an Aspergers assessment through BASS. I don’t know what the outcome will be but with the research I have done I understand that there is so often an overlap in mental health and autism. Maybe I was struggling in my degree because I felt disconnected from my peers.
I reviewed opportunities to study in Bristol this year and courses have a lot more focus on wellbeing and student welfare. I even asked….’well when do you teach the course?’ I can look back at my experience with kinder eyes knowing that my university experience was one where very little was said to students about maintaining good mental health.
I hope anyone who reads this who is experiencing mental health difficulties can ask themselves these things: have I lost something that I identified strongly with (I may be grieving)?
Am I being too hard on myself? Have others let me down but I’ve failed to ask for what I need?
What can I gain from the experiences I have had in my life both good and bad?
What’s my next step? Probably some musical relief.