im a young mother of 21years old who has 5 year old autistic boy carlos.i been having alot off anxiety attacs because alot of personal issues im going thru .i can hardly put up with myself ..i know i need therapy ...i been ignoring my son alot .but its not because i dont love him ..there is just so much going on .my mom is extremly attached to him ...and i feel bad because im not trying to be a bad mother . my mom also makes me feel bad . but she dosent understand what im going thru ....how shouls i handle this situation ? ...pls any suggestions?

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Pamela - posted on 10/24/2013

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I'm a 43 year old mom of an 18 year old son with autism. I understand. Anxiety attacks are a biochemical reaction, not a choice. They are often triggered by stress, and the fact is that you are a young mom (which is stressor #1), with a child diagnosed with autism (stressor #2), and you are not feeling supported -and instead are feeling judged- by your close family (stressor #3). You are dealing with three anxiety-provoking issues, and we are not even addressing anything outside of what you've shared in this post. While you may need therapy, you certainly need to speak with a doctor about getting your body's chemistry under control. It would also help to find some kind of local support group or a social media support group. You may be surprised to find that studies show that parents of older children with autism have levels of stress hormone in their bodies that is similar to soldiers in a combat situation, because the stressors are so many and prolonged. This is commonly known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and anxiety attacks are one of the things experienced by those with PTSD. Depression is also common among parents of autistic children. Your mother can be supportive, even if she doesn't know what you are going through... but you need to find some other forms of support from those who can relate to you as the mother of a child with autism and as a sufferer of anxiety. I would suggest facebook groups such as Autism with a Glass of Wine and/or Stop Discrimination Against Special Needs... You'll find some like-minded people there who have walked the walk, and some who are able to support you in the way you need. Good luck.

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