One common set of symptoms that many Asperger's syndrome adults have is feelings of depression and anxiety...and a sense of meaninglessness in their lives. Since Asperger's adults have so much difficulty with social activities in their lives, as well as everyday activities and employment issues, sometimes it can seem like nothing ever goes right. Repeated failure leads to low self-esteem.
If you can't work, what do you do with your time? Even if you can work but you have no social contacts or friends to spend time with, nothing to do that interests you, how do you make your life seem worth living?
Asperger's adults may very well want to participate in all the social activities that the rest of us take for granted, but there is so much that they have to consider that the ordinary person would never consider.
The symptoms of those with Asperger's syndrome are familiar to family and friends. Many times, people with Asperger's syndrome are not comfortable being spontaneous or doing anything spur-of-the-moment; they need to plan ahead. Noisy, boisterous events are just too overwhelming. Just going out of the house can be a big gamble. Are the sensory aspects of the event worth it? Can I handle it? Will I have a meltdown? Is it worth it? Am I going to be able to seem social enough?
Asperger's Adults Can Be Smart But That Isn't Enough
These are very smart people, often with college degrees or even higher; but just because they can work their way around a textbook or a classroom doesn't mean they can handle the world outside it. Many, but not all, Asperger's adults end up living with their parents, and feelings of resentment build over this. It can be hard to compare yourself to others and not measure up. Depression can set in. Sometimes, it's hard to think of a reason to get up in the morning. If you are someone you know is in this situation, it may be helpful to follow the tips below.
How To Lead a Meaningful Life As An Adult With Asperger's Syndrome
Change your life in small but important ways. Shake it up a little bit. Find ways to deviate from your normal routine so you don't feel so stuck in a rut. Go out to lunch with someone you haven't talked to before. Join a club. Volunteer somewhere.
The single most important thing you can do to raise your feelings of self-esteem is to volunteer somewhere. It just plain makes you feel good about yourself! Volunteering can be a great way to meet others and gain some social contacts, and gives you a sense of connection and belonging in your community. When you are appreciated for a job well done, it makes you feel like you made a difference in someone else's life.
Think about what your interests are. If you like working with kids, you can volunteer at an after school program, or a mentor a kid who needs it. You could tutor someone in a subject you know well - finally all that academic knowledge you have stored away will be useful for something! If you like to write, you could volunteer to write for a local newspaper, or start a blog.
You can work in a soup kitchen, do some office work for a non-profit, or volunteer to straighten books on the shelves at your local library. If you like to garden, offer to help out an elderly person with their yard. The possibilities are numerous.
Another way to add some spark into your life is to try to take up a hobby. Something you can become enthusiastic about, something that you can look forward to. For example, if you like taking pictures, get a camera and start snapping shots of everything you can think of. Publish your best shots online. Learn how to cook, or get into reading. Start exercising; perhaps you could join others for daily walks or even join a sports team.
To get a sense of meaning in your life you must gain some feeling of social connection. To this end, it can be very helpful to join social groups centered around your interests. Maybe you enjoy chess? Writing? Photography? Try to find local groups that you may enjoy. One way that you can do this is to use the website Meetup.com. Or join an Asperger's group and meet people you can relate to.
The best way to make your life feel more meaningful is to work around the obstacles and limitations you have in your life as best as possible. If you think something is impossible, it may not be with a little accommodation. Don't be afraid to ask for help or modification of activities to fit your needs. Just try to get involved in something. You will find yourself looking forward to it, and it will get your mind off your worries. Don't focus on the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome or the treatments but focus your efforts on accomplishing something worthwhile.