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golden_gurl
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27 Oct 2011, 2:25 pm

Hi everyone,

Let me start with an apology: I'm sure this question has been asked numerous times before on these forums and I also know that probably very few, if any of you are able to give me a proper diagnosis but I just wondered about your opinion. For a long time I have thought I may have HFA or Aspergers. I have never really fit in, nor have I ever particularly wanted to. I am extremely sensitive about more or less anything to do with the senses. My parents tell me I'm intolerant but I don't mean to be, stuff just really affects me. For example, when my mum was cooking tonight, I felt like almost strangled by the smell. I also can't stand noise: the noise of the children next door is almost unbearable and when my neighbour plays music, I feel like I want to run away to a quiet forest and never return, it makes me feel extremely anxious. Noise is my main thing: if I can't control it, I feel like it's engulfing me. I live in a city and it often gets me down. I feel like I freak out about every little noise. I can't watch the news because any bad story sticks in my head for days and I feel like the world is doomed.

I have made it through university with good results, although I have trouble concentrating, and have few friends despite the fact that I *think* I'm a very kind person, although admittedly, I am a little afraid of people and love animals more than people generally. I was diagnosed with OCD a few years back when I was studying for my finals and tend to obsess about things a lot. I don't know very much about autism or aspergers I'm afraid, I don't even know how one goes about getting diagnosed. I don't know if empathy is anything to do with it but I do feel empathy for people, a lot, particularly my family. I cry a lot if I think they are sad or in trouble in some way. The main thing is, I have always felt like I couldn't understand people and I've been on the outside looking in. I suppose it's come to the stage where I feel like I need to find a reason for this and perhaps aspergers or autism is the reason, or maybe I'm just a social outcast who is undiagnosable!! Anyway, wondered what your take on it was? And also, how does one go about getting diagnosed? I live in the UK and not sure if a doctor does this kind of thing. Thanks guys xxx



Sparx
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27 Oct 2011, 2:37 pm

I'm not a doctor or nothin', but you sound a lot like me, and I've got Asperger's.



cathylynn
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27 Oct 2011, 2:59 pm

in the states, a psychiatrist would diagnose asperger's.

i don't particularly cared to have an asperger's diagnosis as i have others already. but i feel sure i have aspergers' based on descriptions at webMD and aarp.org and a test based on the manual doctors use to diagnose at iautisitc.com/test_AS.php



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27 Oct 2011, 3:05 pm

- Oversensitivity, common with autistics.
- Not watching the news because it gets you down - i do that myself.

"No Empathy" is a diagnostic criteria for Psychopathy - NOT autism!

If a psychologists say that "you have empaty = not autism", then that person is a blabbering idiot and probably got his/her degree free with a box of serials!


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btbnnyr
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27 Oct 2011, 3:13 pm

I can't tell from your description, OP. AS is a possibility, but there are others too, like an anxiety disorder or being a highly sensitive person. I would stick around WP to check out what people post about all kinds of issues and see if you identify with many of them.



dontslowmedown
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27 Oct 2011, 3:38 pm

I think to get dxed, judging by my experience, a lot of areas will have charities set up to screen and process people with autism. They're basically taking up the slack from where the system is failing. My first attempts of going through my gp just left me demoralised. If you suspect autism and want to know for certain your first step has to be with people that know what they're talking about.

If you give your general area there might be someone on here that has something more specific for you.



golden_gurl
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27 Oct 2011, 4:06 pm

Thank you guys. For the record, I have always thought people with autism/ AS were extra empathic but I read some book by Baron-Cohen that suggested people with autism couldn't put themselves in other's shoes which confused me a bit, and compared autistic people with psychopaths in this respect which was a bit shocking for me. I have always suspected I was a highly sensitive person (I have the book!) as I get easily depressed at sounds and am very affected by what people think of me. I just wasn't sure where the boundary between a HSP and aspergers lies. It's dreadful how difficult it is to find information, at least in the UK.



AdamDZ
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27 Oct 2011, 4:21 pm

Interesting. I've just posted a similar inquiry yesterday.

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt178560.html

I learned about Aspergers recently and it seems to fit me quite well. It answers lots of questions about my behavior and why I am so miserable. Two psychiatrists said I don't have it, but I didn't believe them and I continued digging. In USA most psychiatrists seem to be focused on anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD and PTSD. I've been suffering from extreme, disabling anxiety with periods of deep depression and so far no treatment and no drugs were particularly successful. I can barely function, in particular at work. It seems to me that my anxiety is not a problem in itself but a result, it has some underlying causes and I believe that I have AS which causes me to be miserable at work and induces anxiety.

I found an institution that specializes in autism spectrum disorders and claims to be up to date with latest research and development on Autism and Aspergers. I'm going to see them and undergo testing.

Find someone who specializes in recognizing and diagnosing Autism and Aspergers, not juts any psychiatrist. Do some research before seeing someone. If you're not comfortable with the psychiatrist, find another, get a second and third opinion. Research facilities often offer testing as part of the research. I was told there was a program once at one of the NYC hospitals, run by researchers and funded by grants that offered testing but the grants run out and they shut down couple of years ago.



golden_gurl
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27 Oct 2011, 4:42 pm

Thank you Adam, your story sounds similar to mine although I have avoided working and have been a student for the last 10 years as I find the idea of working full time overwhelming. I think psychiatrists here are similar to the UK in some respects. I have previously been diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, depression and PTSD as a result of childhood trauma. I'm not collecting diagnoses but I just feel that none of these really fit or are not the whole picture. I feel like, for example, OCD covers only one aspect of my life but there are so many other things it leaves out. Also, my depression is very transitory and is usually instigated by being overwhelmed in some way. Learning about aspergers seems to have struck a chord with me. I thought my not fitting in in childhood is something I'd outgrow but I never have: if anything, I seem to fit in less in adulthood and have trouble understanding humanity, animals are so much more simple and enjoyable to be around! I will seek out a psychiatrist who specialises in this area but, I'm afriad I may not be able to afford it, being a perma-student and all!



AdamDZ
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27 Oct 2011, 5:16 pm

golden_gurl wrote:
Also, my depression is very transitory and is usually instigated by being overwhelmed in some way.


I can go from extreme anxiety to bottomless depressions and back to anxiety in a single day. The transition can take sometimes literally seconds. I think anxiety leads to mental burnout and then depression. When I'm away from work and the city I can relax and my anxiety disappears in 2-3 days. Just like that. Gone. No anxiety.

The way I understand depressed people are always depressed. Anxious people are always nervous and can never relax even in ideal situations. If you have both anxiety and periods of depression you don't suffer from neither. They're just symptoms of something else. That something else could be PTSD, OCD or AS. If you don't have fears and phobias then PTSD is out. Like me. None of these fit me as well as AS. It literally answers 90% of my questions.

As you grow you start seeing the world in different ways, you become educated, wiser, more experienced. I've read that many undiagnosed Aspies learn to deal with their condition, sometimes instinctively, and compensate by adjusting their environment, picking the right field of work, but for many - maybe like myself - it gets worse with age as you start analyzing the world around you, get stuck with a wrong job, etc. Yeah, full time work is overwhelming. I'm thinking about switching to part time.

I also know a researcher who works on the possible connection between childhood trauma and PTSD and how it's linked to anxiety in adulthood and he told me it's a very controversial research field and nothing has been proven so far. Yet, one of psychiatrists I saw speculated that my anxiety can be caused by miserable childhood, not even traumatic, just miserable. He was trying to diagnose me based on something that has not been scientifically proven yet. I called him bullshit on that.

By the way, the same goes for connection between serotonin deficiency and anxiety/depression. There is no scientific research that ever proved the connection. It's just based on statistics of SSRI effectiveness that is being propagated by pharmaceutical companies. According to NIH data only 25% people recover after taking SSRIs.

So, I stopped trusting psychiatrists.



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27 Oct 2011, 5:57 pm

golden_gurl wrote:
Hi everyone,

Let me start with an apology: I'm sure this question has been asked numerous times before on these forums and I also know that probably very few, if any of you are able to give me a proper diagnosis but I just wondered about your opinion. For a long time I have thought I may have HFA or Aspergers. I have never really fit in, nor have I ever particularly wanted to. I am extremely sensitive about more or less anything to do with the senses. My parents tell me I'm intolerant but I don't mean to be, stuff just really affects me. For example, when my mum was cooking tonight, I felt like almost strangled by the smell. I also can't stand noise: the noise of the children next door is almost unbearable and when my neighbour plays music, I feel like I want to run away to a quiet forest and never return, it makes me feel extremely anxious. Noise is my main thing: if I can't control it, I feel like it's engulfing me. I live in a city and it often gets me down. I feel like I freak out about every little noise. I can't watch the news because any bad story sticks in my head for days and I feel like the world is doomed.

I have made it through university with good results, although I have trouble concentrating, and have few friends despite the fact that I *think* I'm a very kind person, although admittedly, I am a little afraid of people and love animals more than people generally. I was diagnosed with OCD a few years back when I was studying for my finals and tend to obsess about things a lot. I don't know very much about autism or aspergers I'm afraid, I don't even know how one goes about getting diagnosed. I don't know if empathy is anything to do with it but I do feel empathy for people, a lot, particularly my family. I cry a lot if I think they are sad or in trouble in some way. The main thing is, I have always felt like I couldn't understand people and I've been on the outside looking in. I suppose it's come to the stage where I feel like I need to find a reason for this and perhaps aspergers or autism is the reason, or maybe I'm just a social outcast who is undiagnosable!! Anyway, wondered what your take on it was? And also, how does one go about getting diagnosed? I live in the UK and not sure if a doctor does this kind of thing. Thanks guys xxx


Perhpas PDD/NOS - by the description I did not see any reference to routines or obsessive interests (and, if you don't refer them unprompted, this probably means that, even if you have them, they are not strong).