Lika’s Crochet Mandalas and Autism/Depression Link

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Lika (@likalu on Ravelry) contributed these three crochet mandalas to Mandalas for Marinke – two made from Wink’s “crochet mandala for your home” pattern and one made with her 12-round standard crochet mandala pattern. She writes,

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“Marinke Slump, aka Wink; her death has affected me a great deal although I personally didn’t know her or have ever suffered from Depression myself. I just didn’t understand this illness at all. When I’ve heard others talk about it … I always asked myself, “What could be so bad in your life to be depressed about?” or “What could be so bad in your life that you would want to hurt yourself or others?” I’m sure there are many people out there that have felt the same way. I personally decided to look more into it and to educate myself.”

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“Now, changing the subject a bit …. What surprised me the most is that Wink also had Aspergers Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. My mother and I have cared for two kind and loving brothers since their births (friends of the family, now a teenager and a preteen) that both suffer from Aspergers Syndrome. There had been occasions when I’ve heard the boys comment about how depressed they were from time to time and how they hated school. It grabbed my attention, and I talked it over with their parents. Come to find out that they were being picked on by classmates at school. It broke my heart to hear that they were being bullied, but I was also afraid of their actions.

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So … I’m not an expert, nor am I a doctor to say that those or all that suffer from Depression also have an Autism disorder, but they both seem to go hand-in-hand to me.

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There is still so much to learn about these illnesses. I encourage all to educate yourself and learn more about them. Share this information with family and friends. Let’s take the time to help one another and be more considerate of each other! Listen, talk, and don’t judge; you may never know who is reaching out for help. For those that do suffer from Depression or Autism … there is help! No shame in this game! So please don’t be afraid to reach out.

RIP Wink – You will be missed.”

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We have seen several other Mandalas for Marinke posts that mention Aspergers / Autism:

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Some other posts throughout this blog that mention Aspergers / autism include:

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Science has shown that there is actually a genetic link between autism disorders and depression. And there are other reasons for the link as well; an autism fact sheet says,

“An adult on the autism spectrum may face a range of difficulties across three broad areas, sometimes called the triad of impairments. This means that problems will be experienced to varying degrees with social communication, social understanding and imagination. The person can have trouble in appropriate social interaction with others, establishing and maintaining friendships and being able to anticipate what will happen in given situations. Depression is an understandable reaction to employment difficulties, social isolation, relationship issues and problems with adapting to a non-autistic world.”

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Nomi Kaim has written an insightful article about the paradox of having Asperger’s and depression. She writes, in part,

“It seems that many of the thoughts, feelings and impulses associated with depression are practically incompatible with the definitive mindset of Asperger’s Syndrome. Depression arouses desires that the person with AS does not need or want–and vice versa. And yet the conditions do coexist, and often; so I, like many with AS, am forced to live the paradox.”

She goes on to explain the contradictions in more detail, something that could be really useful for anyone dealing with both conditions or living/working with someone in that position.

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See all Mandalas for Marinke

Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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