Ever since I was 12, I have tried therapy, however because no one really understood my PDA it was very unsuccessful. Only when I became 17 did I find an amazing psychologist who helped me significantly.
By Ida Anderson
When I was 12, I was diagnosed with OCD and was taken to a psychologist to help me. She would work on one bit of my OCD but then all a sudden another OCD ritual would pop up. It felt like an endless loop of OCD routines and she didn't know how to keep up with it. After 6 months of going to see her, she then told my mum that she didn't feel like she could help me. So, we stopped, and I didn't have therapy again for a few years.
When I was 14, I started self-harming and shortly after I got to see a new therapist who was based in the town centre. After a few weeks of going, my fear of leaving the house shot up and I could no longer see the therapist. I was too scared to leave the house so my mum would go to the session for me. Later on, that therapist left.
When I was 15, I had a psychologist who came to the house every week. This lasted for a whole year and it helped a bit at the beginning because it was nice to talk about things. However, the progress then stopped when she put too many demands on me.
Eventually I was referred to a specialist place to help with my OCD. It was called cognitive behaviour therapy and it looked like it was going well at first. Suddenly my OCD got extremely bad around food so then they put the demand on me that I had to eat and put on some weight. They gave me all these strategies that might help someone with Asperger's, like setting a timetable and having goals and just telling me to eat anything. However, this was a big demand and put a lot of pressure on me. So, I almost stopped eating altogether and because I was so underweight, they refused to see me.
My mum gradually tried to increase my food intake, without putting any demands on me. For a whole 9 months I did nothing, besides getting my weight at a healthy-ish level. I then got introduced into exposure therapy and it was from a team that particularly specialised in PDA and all types of autism. It was extremely successful and I am so thankful for having such a nice psychologist.