My Autistic Experience: Socializing – an Intellectual Exercise

When I was little, I did not understand socializing. I enjoyed my own company and found less enjoyment in the company of others. My parents and teachers enforced upon me the need to be social, rewarding me with stickers. A smarter me would have asked for something more tangible and useful, but as a child, stickers were alluring enough to me to get me to play with other kids.

Very specific things were required of me. I was to ask a kid in my class if they wanted to play with me, and then I would play with them. Often I’d ask the same person every time. After all, it was easy to do that.

I did talk to other kids in my class, of course. It was expected of me. However, I never remember being included in the group camaraderie. I did not understand the group, filled with unspoken social rules like “don’t tell on people in the group.” It took me a long time to understand that one because even as a kid I held the truth in higher regard than the group.

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Sing It Out: Secrets

As I mentioned before in a previous post, students reach out to music for an escape. As I mentioned in that post, there’s some therapy that uses music to help people on their journeys. So, I did some research and realized some very popular bands/singers have used their music as an outlet when dealing with their own mental health issues.

Hence, Sing It Out was created.
The idea of this posts will be an in depth look into songs, the inspiration behind them, and which mental illness they are being written about. Not surprising, there are a lot of songs to take a look at.

To begin, I’d like to start with Mary Lambert’s song, Secrets.

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Exercise – Mental – Physical – Emotional

I have read the previous post about writing, art, music and poems to escape depression; however, I am surprised to see that no one has blogged about exercise.

Today I attended a presentation by Dr. Jonathon Fowles from Acadia University on Exercise Prescription in Primary Care. I have been a fan of fighting depression with exercise since a young age so it was an interesting opportunity for myself. It was interesting to learn today from Dr. Fowles that regular physical activity can decrease depression as effectively as medications or behavioral therapy. One initiative that Exercise is Medicine Canada is trying to implement is for Health professionals to give clients exercise prescriptions and referrals. I believe this medical care would highly increase health in Canada and would most certainly decrease depression and anxiety rates.

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Wear Your Label

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Wear Your Label created their own conversation starters to assist in starting a conversation about mental health.

“Mental Health is something very human.”

The insightful words of Kayley Reed, the co creator of Wear Your Label (WYL) based out of New Brunswick, speak to the knowledge and personal experience she has in regards to Mental Health. Along with Kyle MacNavin, Wear Your Label is roughly a year old with possibly a thousand orders.

The clothes, that have sayings such as Sad But Rad and It’s Okay Not To Be Okay, is helping to start the conversation and break down the stigma that surrounds mental health (in style!)

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My Autistic Experience

So let us begin.

I am an autistic individual who attends UOIT. Through this forum, I hope to share my experience with my condition and to provide insight to others. I am particularly lucky that despite my condition I am able to interact with people in a normal fashion. No one would be able to guess at my condition by observing me (the only way anyone would know is at my say so).

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Continue the Conversation: Ruby Wax

To start this new batch of posts off, which will have a weekly post if I have anything to say about it, I’d like to explain exactly what these posts will consist of.

In an attempt to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health, people have stood up on public platforms and spoken about their own experiences. These powerful messages, given through youtube videos, at TEDtalks just to name a few, are important to not only watch. But, to become informed on people’s stories and just how bad they’ve been treated. They’re informative about how we view people suffering from mental illness, and remind us how everyone is affected by a mental illness. (Sometimes, they’re even funny.)

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Tips for Friends: Anxiety

As 1 in 4 people have an mental illness, one of the ways people attempt to deal with them, and are encouraged to do, is reach out to friends and family for support. As one of the friends being reached out to, this may be overwhelming if you aren’t informed on the illness your friend is dealing with. This blog post, and the ones that will follow it, will be written with tips and information that can help someone when they are approached by a friend reaching out for help.

To begin, I’d like to talk about anxiety disorders.

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Happy Victoria Day Weekend!

From everyone here at UOIT Mental Health Services, and from the Student Learning Centre, we would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Victoria Day long weekend!!

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The UOIT campuses will be closed on Monday, May 18th for the holiday. But, will open again for regular summer hours on Tuesday, May 19th.

What’s Art Got to Do With It?

When I was a kid, I hated art & crafts and much preferred sports…the concept of sitting still and focusing on a single task was a challenge for me; specifically, having someone tell me to follow certain steps to produce a final piece was a huge drawback for me and I always felt more comfortable doing my own thing.  I thought ‘doing art’ was more about conforming to others expectations and less about personal expression; how I was mistaken for so many years is beyond me!

I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things and who isn’t, am I right? I love spending time outdoors and love the wide spectrum of colours displayed in nature; specifically I love sunsets and I’d probably enjoy sunrises too, but I don’t wake up early enough!

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