What to with possibly autistic sister?

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 3 years ago
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I live with my older sister. It's becoming my increasingly difficult. Her mental health has always been poor and I suspect she is autistic. Unbeknownst to her, I am going through depression and PTSD. It's challenging to hide this everyday, not only from my sister but my friends too.

My sister literally has no friends apart from me and my brother (and her "online" friends"). She spends all day on her computer and doesn't have any other hobbies.

She rarely smiles or even responds to my greetings. She has little insight into how her words or actions might impact on others. A few years ago she alienated her only small group of friends, and since then has been completely friendless.

I can't hold a conversation with her. She doesn't know what to say in response or either has a very limited range of topics. SEven on her group project, her team mates ignore her and don't want to work with her. She always appears grumpy, unenthusiastic and awkward. She is very quick to get angry and never takes responsibility for anything.

I have to walk on egg shells around her because she is so hypersensitive. If I tease her or challenge her behaviour, she flips out. I can't even tell her that I think she is autistic because she'll rip my head off. I'm already dealing with my own issues and having to tolerate her is making me worse. She thinks I am fine, partly because I hide it but also because she cannot read people and has little to no intuition.

She did do a short course of therapy with the uni counselling services few years ago. She became depressed after she alienated all her friends. However, she refuses to get further help for her obvious issues. Her behaviour/ mental health is the elephant in the room.

What should I do? Living with my sister is so difficult and making me feel worse. Any advice for challenging siblings?
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Rexar
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This sounds exactly like my brother, he has Asperger's syndrome. Maybe you could look into this and see if any of it relates to your sister, there may be some useful information
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Rexar)
This sounds exactly like my brother, he has Asperger's syndrome. Maybe you could look into this and see if any of it relates to your sister, there may be some useful information
Thanks for your reply! I have done some googling on autism and I think my sister is mildly autistic/ aspergers. However, I am wary not to "diagnose" her.

She would defo take it as a deep personal insult if I ever suggested it. Although I don't know if a diagnosis would help her. I've heard that adults with ASD don't get much support.
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Rexar
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks for your reply! I have done some googling on autism and I think my sister is mildly autistic/ aspergers. However, I am wary not to "diagnose" her.

She would defo take it as a deep personal insult if I ever suggested it. Although I don't know if a diagnosis would help her. I've heard that adults with ASD don't get much support.
That's true, my brother has people come and go but no one has really helped that much. However if you were to get a diagnosis I am certain that many people will try to help you, as with my brother, although I am not sure of its effectiveness
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Tiger Rag
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Although I don't know if a diagnosis would help her. I've heard that adults with ASD don't get much support.
You're right. There's no support for adults with Autism. It's assumed by now that they should have adapted.
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Lepidolite
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When there are difficulties understanding cause and effect it may help to learn this skill by communicating that cause and effect for her. When I'm feeling happy or irritated I don't always communicate this in language and might use body language instead and smile to show that I'm happy or scowl when unhappy without further explanation because I assume the other person understands this. If I thought that they didn't understand then I might say something like 'when you said asked how I was this morning I felt happy because it showed me that you care about how I'm doing'. If unhappy I might say something like 'when you don't respond to me it makes me think that you don't care about me and I feel really hurt'. When someone is withdrawing it can sometimes help to make gentle observations of what is being noticed, alongside some encouragement. This could involve saying something like 'I haven't seen you smile in a long time and I feel worried about you because I care about your wellbeing'. When someone is going through a difficult time and has experienced painful situations that haven't been dealt with pushing the issue could make things worse by resulting in them running even further and further away and inevitability making it take even longer to get the support that they need. Blunt approaches can work sometimes but it's certainly not for everyone.

Sometimes admitting that we need help and are in the wrong can bring up very painful feelings of shame and it takes courage to face those kinds of feelings.

It sounds like you're in a bad place right now. What kind of support do you have in place for yourself?
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