My son is 18 years old. He was first diagnosed with AS (aspergers syndrome) when he was 3 and 1/2. A couple of years ago he started thinking about it and did some research. He asked me if I had AS. When I told him, he thought it sounded weird because he felt he didn't really fit a lot of the basic symptoms. He got a little depressed about it but he eventually, seemingly got over it.
He also suffers from clinical depression, social anxiety, ADHD, and complex PTSD. Like 8 months ago, he started freaking out about it again. All of a sudden he wanted to see like 5 different psychiatrists or psychologists and get different opinions on whether or not he had ASD. He felt misdiagnosed, but a part of him was really worried he had it. I told him he was fine, and probably overthinking it but then he told me "this was potentially his life at stake, and he needed to explore every possibility with the greatest accuracy in order to determine if he had AS or not" and he "needed several opinions so possible inconsistencies can be sorted out in order to create a logical consensus". So me and my wife, and him went through that process 5 different times. 4 out of 5 said he fit the basic criteria as a child, and diagnosed him with level 1 autism/ASD but only one thought he still experienced mild social impairment and other autistic symptoms that should provide services.
Now he's freaking out about it. I tried talking to him the day he found out he really had it, but he trapped himself in his room for 2 days. Then he started talking to me but looked really sick, especially in the eyes. He doesn't believe he no longer has most of those symptoms, he thinks they're "part of a series of flawed algorithims permanently intergrated in his brain and will come back to bite him in the *** at a later point in life". I tell him he's acting paranoid, but then he suggests maybe I'm "ignorant and not looking at the potential deeper meanings behind this" He told me he thinks all of his hopes, dreams and goals are much harder to accomplish and could be impossible because of his autism. He doesn't want to learn how to "cope", because "it sounds depressing and agonizing learning to cope with your own mind" He thinks he'll never marry the girl of his dreams, a huge goal of his (which I never even knew prior) because of his autism. I remind him that his younger brother of 2 years told me that some girls seem to like my son with ASD. Then he tells me "they really aren't his type, girls that he likes are never into him, and there really aren't that many girls in general into him, so it doesn't matter". He says he's dangerously idealistic and that is a curse if you are autistic and idealistic simultaneously. He feels like a "hopeless romantic soul forced into binary codes", or he thinks he's a computer rather than a human. And most of all! He doesn't think he'll ever be understood because of it, and that will affect his confidence. He then tells me that confidence and comfort with himself is the only way for him to succeed. Autism makes him feel inferior, and ruins his confidence. So he thinks he'll never get anywhere in life, because he has no confidence and isn't comfortable with himself. Being the near-nihlist that he is, he doesn't believe there is any definite meaning to life, but the meaning is held by the person. He thinks autism destroys his meaning because he says he probably won't reach his goals, which are getting married to the "perfect girl" and becoming a doctor, or psychiatrist, all which seem to require some sort of social intelligence which he persists he severely lacks. Therefore he feels life has no meaning to him. I try to get my wife to talk to him as she is a woman and she could provide an insight that I can't give to him as far as trying to approach women, but he brushes everything she said off, and thinks she's just trying to make him feel better. Especially since she tries to tell him having ASD is a "gift" to which he responds "that's a massive ignorant misconception and people are confusing people with ASD as 'savants' and not everyone with it has intelligent and healthy cognition" He seems to find a way to resist and put up an argument with whatever we tell him.
Then about two weeks ago, I go on our home computer that he sometimes uses. I see on his google search history there are certain sites that he was visiting. I go on those sites which are mostly mental health and autism forums, and I see is logged on. I check what he's posting and I see certain things like this:
"Life is complicated, and a system, you have to figure out the system in order to find your place, or manipulate it, or just ride it full force, either way you deal with it, it can be a real pain in the ***. What's the point of dealing with the system of life and it's coincidences if you have a mental impairment that will make it much harder to bear this system of circumstances, consequences, and coincidences or even prohibit access to the deeper, magical meanings of life? What's the point if you can't easily do simple things like, ordering a table at a restaurant? If I want to be a famous musician, how am I going to schedule a gig, if I can't f*cking schedule an appointment at a doctor's office without looking awkward as f*ck? If I have anxiety over sh*t like that, who knows what kind of anxiety will breed inside of me if I need to do an important favor for my high school crush, with precision? What if I can't drive? Wouldn't that f*ck things up? Who knows how much of my income will be depleted trying to get around by paying for public transportation which CREATES MORE anxiety and distress since I look awkward getting on and don't know what to expect? Who knows how much money I could have saved if I driven instead? Why subject yourself to hypersensitivity to this system? What's the point of living in the world if you're living inside yourself? Why suffer through a more dramatically enhanced version of life...a life that is already f*cked up beyond words?"
"Feelings are full of ****. In the most severe cases, you cannot control them. They can control your perceptions. They can mindfuck you. They can cause you to overthink something, or be overly and unnecessarily sentimental. They can give you an impression that could last a lifetime. **** them."
"Why is it okay when an animal, say a dog, is suffering, somebody can put that organism down, just for the sake of giving it piece of mind because of innate suffering - but when a HUMAN is likely going through innate suffering, for probably more complex reasons than the animal, it is NOT okay for that organism to put themselves down? So, you would want that person to continue living even though that person simply does not want to live anymore? Why? Because it is inhumane? Against the Christian beliefs? You just WANT that person to be alive because it makes you happy? You know, IT IS that person's life after all, that person can choose to do whatever they want if they truly believe it is necessary (and of course if that person was being completely rational about it, I'm all for preventing suicide for someone that clearly doesn't have a good reason). I mean, what if I had cancer, chronic depression and a missing arm? What the **** would the point of my life be, then? Would there be any chance of obtaining piece of mind again going through those permanent circumstances? How ******* selfish."
Then 4 days ago I caught him watching childhood tapes in his bedroom. I saw his face while watching, which looked really pale, eyes bulging with fear, trembling and he looked like he was going to throw up. I said something to him while watching them but he was too in shock to respond. 30 mins later I heard smashing and banging sounds. He ended up smashing the tapes into pieces and his plasma TV and VCR and threw them out his window, which he also broke. He didn't wake up until 7:30 pm the next day, and he looked like a zombie, not looking or speaking to anyone and only came out to get a glass of water. He went back to bed. He has stayed in his room since then only coming out for water or food and hasn't spoken to anyone, even when we initiate.
The worst thing is I got a hold of his phone 2 days later (yesterday). I found text messages to his friend. He told him he was "seriously contemplating suicide since he didn't see the point of life anymore" and apparently that was the only person he told. Then, late last night I go on his computer to check his web history. Over the past week, I see a TON of autism and ASD resources. I also see google searches like "harmless ways to commit suicide" "quick suicide methods" "suicide philosophy" "life is meaningless" "autism life is meaningless" "aspergers life is meaningless" "aspergers suicide stories" and multiple pages on mass murderers that apparently had AS or autism. Which makes me wonder if he's just entertaining the idea or if it's a sign of a mastermind plot.
Now I and especially my wife have no idea what to do. I don't know if I should get him counseling for the second time which apparently "didn't work for him", put him on medication again, send him to boarding school, or put him in some mental institution. This is a serious situation. My son is becoming emotionally unstable, and I'm seriously worried he will severely harm himself or others. We know he is a really smart guy and very passionate, but he is in the wrong place in his mind and we can't get him out. He is convinced he is screwed.