Something very important to us here at County Behavioral Medicine is being able to help people feel empowered. We are here to help our community and the people who live here with us feel like they can change – however they feel is best, in order to live more fulfilled, healthy, happy, contented, complete, (insert goal here), etc. lives.
So what do we mean by empowered? Empowerment is a state or a feeling that we experience when we have the authority, power, ability, strength, and confidence to do something – to choose something - to change something. For so many of us, when we don’t feel empowered in our lives, we feel stuck, lost, scared, angry, frustrated, worried, powerless, (insert feeling here), etc. Those aren’t great feelings to have, and we all experience them in one way or another. So how do we go from those feelings to the other ones, the empowered ones that feel like strength, confidence, courage, etc.?
One way of getting there is through understanding. Understanding ourselves, our feelings, our experiences, our relationships, our thoughts, our community, our lives, etc… Like we said in our last post, and we’ll end up saying again because we believe in this so much, understanding and awareness is power. When we understand something, there is great potential for us to be able to accept it. When we accept something, there is great potential for us to be able to provide support, however it may be needed. Now this something can be anything, whether it is anxiety, depression, addiction, Alzheimer’s, etc.
Whereas it is still Autism Awareness month, we’re going to talk about how increased understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can help us feel more empowered to help support people who are experiencing ASD, however they would like support. By being there, willing to see or hear what someone who has ASD experiences, we are helping people feel more empowered themselves! Can you imagine what a chain reaction of helping eachother feel more empowered would do for our community??
In our last post, we talked about what ASD is, how common of an experience it is, what some experiences are that people who are diagnosed with it may have, and what some options are for people who are diagnosed with ASD as well as for their families, friends, loved ones, etc. What we’d like to touch on now is how learning from people who are experiencing it, or who know people who are experiencing it, can really help us with understanding what is going on and feeling empowered as to how we can be there too.
As you may find, the more you learn about something, the more you may notice that people’s thoughts and opinions may disagree with one another’s. That’s OK. We are all individuals. It is by hearing and learning about various people’s thoughts and opinions that we are more clearly able to understand situations and make well-informed choices.
I have included this link in this post because it is a video created by a woman named Amythest Schraber. Amythest is a peer-advocate for people who have ASD as well as their families. She encourages all of us to try to better understand what people experience, so we can be there for them however is best for them. We highly recommend you take the time to watch it - it is an informative video, in so many ways!
If you have any questions or concerns about diagnoses or treatment options, please contact a professional. We encourage everyone to reach out to one another, to ask questions, to learn, to grow, to make change!