Succeeding in College with Asperger Syndrome: A Student Guide

By John Harpur; Maria Lawlor et al. | Go to book overview

8 Managing Anxiety
and Stress

AS and mental health problems

No one is immune to stress and this chapter describes some of the commonest mental health problems that people with AS experience. The chapter builds on the work in Chapter 5. It gives guidance on coping with and minimizing stress, and seeking help. The most important lesson in this chapter is learning that help is available. Sometimes we can be so upset as to believe that no one can help us. That is not true. Believe this.

Stress is a part of everyday life for everyone. Stress is a reaction to pressures, to demands being made on you. Stress is not an abstract reaction, but something that you feel, that your body feels (e.g. increased muscle tension). A small amount of stress can be healthy and motivate people to constructive action and achievement. For instance, completing coursework on time, exam preparation and thesis work will involve some amount of stress. In many instances, this is motivating stress. However, at times when more seriously stressful events occur (e.g. losses, frustrations, failures, rejections, disappointments), these can result in feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, depression, and a sense of being overwhelmed. The coping demands being made on you are too great. Here we have manifestations of stress leading to despair. Bad forms of stress (and anxiety) often

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