I was pleasantly surprised that Pathological Demand Avoidance was mentioned on Holby City (BBC 1) this evening. The storyline of the homeless girl that knew the character (Jason) who has Asperger Syndrome (both in the programme and in real life). PDA has a major impact on abilities to function. Those that have this form of Autism feel like they are in a bubble with the outside world coming inwards on them. Many of those with the condition react rather intensely to what others would see as something insignificant. On some occasions it can appear that the person is just rather highly strung and quite arrogant (especially PDA adults). Meltdowns also happen due to the constant high anxiety aspect of the condition. There are ways to avoid meltdowns but each individual has different triggers. The key is finding those triggers. These are the things that cause the individual with PDA overwhelming anxiety.
In my own case it is being judged negatively by others and feeling criticized. This is hard for me to avoid but I’ve had to learn not to let my anxiety build up to the level where I ended up having a meltdown – which normally got me into trouble (both socially and legally). It still can be hard but it took me 30 years (my whole life) and a month in Prison to really try to deal with my issues. I’m not quite there yet but I’m much better than I used to be. There isn’t any help out there for this type of Autism in most of the UK. Most children with the condition end up permanently excluded from education. There are many adults, like Bethany (high profile case recently), stuck in ATU’s (Autistic Treatment Units). I’ve been through all that in my earlier life and I’d just like to state that it adds to PDA issues. These experiences, as well as my son’s forced adoption (due to my PDA autism) has traumatised me. This has led to other mental health problems on top of the PDA.
I have an avoidant side to me which has prevented me from experiencing everything that life has to offer. I’ve NEVER had any sort of romantic relationship. I wanted my son. I planned my pregnancy but if I hadn’t gone down that path then I guarantee that I’d still not have lost my virginity. I haven’t even kissed another in that way. I’m that avoidant of romantic encounters and I do not think this will ever change. If I’ve had enough of interacting with people for one day I even get passive aggressive because I like my own space … a lot. I do care about others but mostly on my own terms which others don’t seem to understand. I also find that I’m quite avoidant of getting tasks completed, for instance, trying to sort out my flat (see previous entries).