Anxiety and Depression Support
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Wondering if my friend is having a negative effect on me and making my anxiety worse?

Hey Guys....Hoping someone can advise...My anxiety levels are chronic and having panic attacks in the mornings..I try to meet up with my friend every Saturday when hes off work ...I have Aspergers Syndrome and socializing is very difficult to maintain..mainly due to anxiety and exhaustion trying to process the conversation...but I have noticed that after I have been out with him..i feel really stressed and anxious...takes me ages to calm down...I don't have any friends that I see apart from him and I feel very isolated...When I meet him..I would like to just have a bit of a laugh but he is always talking about his work and all the negative stuff that he deals with and when were in the car...hes constantly irritable and shouting about all the drivers on the road and pointing out their mistakes...I have told him his angry tone makes me feel anxious due to my sensory issues in Autism...he apologises but then does it next time....I wonder sometimes if I'm meeting him due to being isolated...or Am I being unreasonable as he has a lot of stress at work? Appreciate any help :) x

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I am so sorry Aspergirl47...but it just seems sometimes we grow away from some people in our lives for what ever reason, not always good or bad. But in this case you did try to talk to him about his anger stressing you out, and that it is just effecting you not in a good way lately. You have a tough choice to make, I know you say he's your only friend, but maybe you could reach out to some sort of local group of like minded people, or a group that does something like art or gardening, or going on day trips to museums and stuff that is calming and positive. I always see groups that meet on-line for stuff. I want to someday go on a field trip with this mushroom club. Something that is calming and makes you happy.

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Thanks...Good advice as always :) He told me hes always been too quiet with people and then has aggressive outbursts.....so I guess..Passive-Aggressive type....I know that's not good and strangely my own Father was the same...There is an Autism meet up group here in Scotland but I have such severe social anxiety I never get there...I have trouble travelling far from home and it would be maybe 45mins away...I like the idea of the on-line groups..I will look into that :) I love painting and music mostly....I hope u get to go on that field trip...would be a good experience for u...I think I seriously have to think about cutting ties with him...ive been anxious all day ...heart pounding...not in a good way lol he has no friends either really and maybe that's been our only connection really....Appreciated fauxartist :)

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It sounds like he might have something going on too, maybe some stress issues.

However, if he's causing you this much upset It's probably best to avoid it. It doesn't seem like he can control his anger even when he knows it upsets you.

Does your community have any places where people on the spectrum can go? A community center or an in-person support group? It would benefit you to make some friends who understand (albeit to an extent) what it is you're experiencing. Or even if there isn't an ASD specific place, a community center in general where you might be able to engage with someone, and maybe make some friends. It would be a good thing if it's something you feel comfortable doing.

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Hey...Yeah, he gets easily stressed and I'm sure he has Ocd issues....I have tried to help him with the anger issues...meditation, and going on walks that are calming..it only lasts a short while and then the anger starts again...he definitely doesn't seem to be able to control his temper...and when I point out to him how it affects my Autism..he apologises but then gets moody and hardly speaks...I would love to go to the Autism meet-up group but have severe social anxiety and travelling is a problem unfortunately...there is online Autism forums but it would be good if I could have a friend I could go out with who had a calm personality....I don't think its going to get any better if I'm just around him...Appreciate your help...:)

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:/ It sounds like you're being treated like a garbage bag. If this is an ongoing problem and he says he's sorry, then does the same behavior again, then "I'm sorry" is basicly a lie, whether he knows that or not. It may be as much if not more, a lie to himself than to you, but in either case, if he were actually sorry and valued yohr friendship, he would find a way to respect your needs.

Asking someone not to shout at you is a very reasonable request, whether you have Aspergers or not. I certainly don't want to be a dumping ground for someone's frustration and anger.

If it were me, I think I would consider writing down what you've shared with us here on a *real* piece of paper, and when you normally go out next Saturday, meet him and give him the note. Tell him you need to take a week off, and that you hope he will read your note, and give it some *real* thought.

If he has to say he's sorry, he has already caused you discomfort, and saying "sorry" doesn't un-do it. Perhaps a broken record technique where every time he says, "sorry" you respond by simply saying, "please don't tell me your sorry, show men by keeping your temper under control."

He gets to yelling again, tell him again, "don't tell me, show me."

One of two things will happen. Either he will respect your needs and stop treating you lime a trash bag, or he will not. What you do from there is up to you in either case.

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I agree old-soul....If it was the other way around..i can honestly say I would try anything to help my friend...I asked him to read one of the books on Aspergers that I have at home...so as to get a better understanding of how his behaviour affects me...especially hearing an angry tone all the time...it affects the sensory badly and I almost have a panic attack if its loud enough...but he never did read it...I like the idea of the note....I will do that....as they say..Actions speak louder than words...if it doesn't work then I know what I need to do now ..like u said...no-one should be treated like that...Aspergers or not...you've been really helpful...Appreciated :)

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I appriciate your kind words. I have not been here long, but I see you around a lot, and really appriciate how genuine you are.p

I hope your friend can turn himself around. I honestly think taking a week off may also help him to see that this has grown serious. If he values your friendship, he will respond to your absence for a week by making more effort to act right. If he does not value your friendship, well, you'll find out soon enough.

I am glad your here with us at any rate. Still, having friends that are local and you can do stuff with is so important. I really hope he figures this out.

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Thank u old-soul...Glad youre here too :) Ive always been a caring person...hate people/animals being hurt....but unfortunately, ive always attracted people who abuse ...I seem to attract people who see my caring side as weak/easy to manipulate....My friend I now know would be called Passive-Aggressive type....he came round to see me today and brought chocolates for me and said he appreciates my friendship!!!!! This really confuses me old-soul....it messes with me because yesterday I spent all day anxious/angry at his behaviour..then today couldn't be nicer.....but I'm not being fooled...I'm going to take that week off and see what happens....You people on here have been so kind and helpful..i really mean that...:) and I hope I can also help anyone who needs it....if I can ever travel to my closest Autism group once a month ...I will try that and hopefully have a friend or two who value friendship :) and talk to u lovely people....Chat anytime x

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Because you are feeling isolated and afraid you will end up alone. I have been there. I finally had to end a friendship with someone that I had known for over 20 years. I just could not deal with it any longer and the negatives outweighed the positives. If you are in therapy seek your therapists help on dealing with this situation. Your friend may benefit from therapy himself it sounds. Wishing you the best in resolving this matter.

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ABSOLUTLY!!!!!!!!! my boyfriend gets frustrated with me and tells me to take walks...my best friend sends me long positive text messages, has told my kids, then their trying to get me to SNAP out of it...and their way also to deal with me is to isolate me...so YES family and friends can make things WORSE,,,best to NOT tell them how your feeling...PRETEND and if they ask...say your GOOD

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