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Autism, Ptsd, And Emdr

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by Chosen, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. Chosen

    Chosen Well-Known Member

    So, I have autism and am on the higher functioning end of the spectrum alongside having PTSD.

    I'm with a T now who can do EMDR. I'm kinda nervous, and I was wondering if anyone who has autism has also had EMDR and what they could tell me.

    Or if @anthony knows anything about it being a good or bad thing with autism.

    Symphony and Ronin like this.
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  3. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Well-Known Member

    I'm curious how this worked out for you...did you proceed with EMDR? Did it help?
    Abstract likes this.
  4. Freedomfighter

    Freedomfighter I'm a VIP

    Well, I am in the same boat. High functioning autism and PTSD can be a very rocky ride. For instance, when I tried a session of EMDR on You Tube with the visual and audio version I had intense anxiety the next day which surprised me. Since autistic people are much more fine tuned than regular people, have much more fine tuned sensory skills, it affects them much more strongly than other people.

    You can attempt to familiarize yourself with EMDR sessions at home, such as the ones found on UTube to get a better understanding of what effect such sessions will have on you. It may also help you to desensitize yourself a little before you see the T.
    DogwoodTree likes this.
  5. Chosen

    Chosen Well-Known Member

    @DogwoodTree, I did not proceed. I simply could not feel comfortable with the idea without knowing further information about how EMDR might impact my autism. Sometimes autism is much more severe than PTSD, and it's harder to get over a meltdown/shutdown than it is a flashback, so I decided not to, and switched to a therapist that I could go on hikes with. That's been very helpful, so much so, that I am transitioning to once a month appointments and may not need to come in much at all soon.
    shimmerz, DogwoodTree and Symphony like this.
  6. Eagle3

    Eagle3 Well-Known Member

    I have both ASD-1 (Asperger's) and PTSD, with MDD. My therapist does EMDR, but he also does a whole lot of other stuff. Which is good, because I seem to have a really hard time grounding during EMDR. He said he was going to try combing EMDR with energy work to see if that helped, but only when I'm better at grounding. The few sessions we've done the progress was good, I could actually feel my brain rewiring itself...
    DogwoodTree likes this.
  7. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Well-Known Member

    So when you're hiking with your T, are you able to work on processing the PTSD? Does that keep you from having a meltdown/shutdown at all, or is there something different you're able to do for handling those things?

    For me, it takes a tremendous amount of concentration to be able to "connect" with the parts of me that are so traumatized while in the presence of another person. Alone...no problem. But if someone else is around, sometimes I can't even remember what is so messed up inside. The emotions simply aren't available to me. So if I was hiking with a T, I think I would be so distracted with the process of hiking, and feel actually less grounded since we'd be moving, that I wouldn't be able to get in touch with that stuff at all.

    This is a big part of what concerns me. It seems I can appear to myself and to the T to be grounded and stable, but as soon as I leave the appt, my inner world caves in. And there's nothing I can do about it but wait it out.

    Plus, for whatever reason, I seem to be really resistant to following anyone else's guidance. So if a T is suggesting mental scenes or a thought process or whatever, I feel angry at them and afraid of being manipulated and ashamed of needing anyone for anything. It can be hours or days or weeks before I see the wisdom in what they were suggesting.
    shimmerz and Eagle3 like this.
  8. Chosen

    Chosen Well-Known Member

    Being outside in nature is my environment...it's very calming. And walking is almost a form of EMDR because I'm looking at the environment. There are two places where we stop and sit....right by the creek, so I watch the water flow while we talk. At this point there isn't a whole lot of processing EMDR; it's mostly about living my life and making my own choices.
    Currently I'm dealing with some PTSD issues, but I don't feel the need to discuss with my T; rather, I'm going to two of my trusted mentors to get help in handling it.
    PTSD, outside of the month of November, doesn't hit me as much....I don't think, anyway. I'm getting really stable lately, so maybe that's part of it.

    I just know that being outside in the nature=my most comfortable. I couldn't sit and process PTSD in an office....too enclosed and trapped-feeling.
    DogwoodTree and shimmerz like this.

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