The philosophy and language of Buddhism I have always found helpful to manage many Aspergers (ASD) symptoms, especially dealing with change, anger and overwhelm.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s no such thing as a silver bullet, but listening to a Dharma talk or even an emergency Buddhist phrase when I feel myself slipping, can sometimes be just enough to ‘create the gap’ for a less damaging course of action before the cork pops.
If you’re new to Buddhism and this kind of stuff, I’d urge you to push past the pan pipe intros and american accents which I know some of my UK compadre may struggle with, and just focus on the content – see if it helps.
I’d probably class myself as a spiritual atheist – I’m not a religious person – and the thing I love about the Buddhists is you don’t even have to believe the Buddha even existed!
These are super smart, often funny people, and many of them also have qualifications in neuroscience too.
Below is an example of a podcast to try out and see if it helps. If you like it, I’ve started to list other podcasts I’ve found helpful on the ASD resources page.
Budberger podcast #1. Equanimity: a wise and balanced perspective. Useful for #overhwhelm, #change, #balance, #theory of mind #dealing with difficult people
This is a podcast from Oren Jay Sofer on ‘a wise and balanced perspective’ which I found helpful for managing some of the extreme mood swings and ‘theory of the mind’ issues (difficulty seeing things from other people’s point of view) that many ASD people suffer with.
Why I found this podcast helpful
When I ‘came out’ to some old friends about the Asperger diagnosis recently, they just smiled and said: ‘oh, we always just thought you were bipolar!’ Having since read up on this, apparently, it’s common for people with ASD to be misdiagnosed as bipolar with ‘yo-yo-like mood swings.’
As such, the idea of equanimity – an ‘even-mindedness’, a wise and balanced perspective – I’ve always viewed as a highly desirable quality. But is this quality something you’re born with, or is it something you can train and develop?
In this podcast, Oren suggests that neuroscience proves the neuro-plasticity of our brains makes it possible to ‘redirect the river’, if we are prepared to put in the work of retraining our brains.
Reflections on this podcast – a chat with Juzza and Juliann Hall
Here’s a section of a longer chat with me and my pal and colleague Juliann Hall discussing Oren’s podcast. Juliann is Director of Care and Wellbeing at South Yorkshire Housing and spent the majority of her career working in the field of Autism.
We’d love to know what you thought of the podcast and the others on the resources page. Feel free to drop us a line to let us know!
To listen to more Budberger podcasts and resources, check out the ASD resources page. It features recommended podcasts to help with many ASD issues including:
- Dealing with change and uncertainty.
- Communication – Dealing with difficult people, difficult conversations and criticism
- Building ‘resilience’ to deal with #overwhelm and #anger
*Budbergers is the copyright of Justine Gaubert