Are you self diagnosed or diagnosed by a mental health profe

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Are you self diagnosed?
yes 37%  37%  [ 50 ]
no 63%  63%  [ 85 ]
Total votes : 135

Liresse
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18 Mar 2009, 6:55 am

I completely agree with Fo-Rum.

Although I am officially diagnosed (only because my lecturers said I should, so I could get official university special conditions etc.), I voted self-diagnosed because that's when I view my true diagnosis (and consequent struggle etc).

Knowing how a few psychiatrists operate around here, I would recommend disbelieving an official diagnosis until/unless it squares with the truth of what they observe with their own eyes, of their own behaviour.


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Danielismyname
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18 Mar 2009, 7:04 am

Self, then by enough professionals (most of which were free, of course).

Was having serious problems with a personality and "autism" conflict prior to knowing the latter; personality wanted to do one thing, and kept on trying and then failing, trying and then failing, ad infinitum, and no one seemed to know anything, other than things like "OCD" and "Panic Disorder" (which may just be accurate labels, but they were only the effect of autism). Had to find it myself. Found it. Now know better. Now better.



Katie_WPG
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18 Mar 2009, 7:21 am

There are four simple reasons why I'm self-diagnosed, and will probably remain as such:

1) Too old
2) Wrong gender
3) No co-morbids that many assume are synonymous with AS (sensory processing disorder, dysgraphia, anxiety, celiac disease)
4) Too lucky/ambitious (whichever term applies more to the situation)

Face it: Most therapists/psychologists/psychiatirsts know dick-all about ASDs, unless it's VERY obvious. They are expecting a certain type of person, and if you don't give them that specific type of person, they won't diagnose you. And sorry, but I'm not into the idea of being some therapist's performing monkey, doing my best Rainman impersonation.

And for what? Pay all that money, doctor-shop for years, only to get an official diagnosis...and what would I do with it? I'm graduating with my B. Commerce next year. I've held a job for 4.5 years before. I already know that I have no intention of sitting on my ass, collecting welfare. Hell, if I did that, then I wouldn't even be able to look my grandfather in the eye, I would be that ashamed of myself.

And I know that I've progressed to the point that AS-specific therapy would come across as patronizing in the highest, and useless to boot. What would they do: "How to take turns while talking?" "How to make a grilled cheese sandwich?" "How to use a debit card?" No, thank you.

I know my own childhood history, and I'm much more likely to take my childhood history into account than some psychologist. A lot of psychologists have the attitude that "If I don't see it, then you're lying/a hypochondriac". And I would rather not deal with that hassle. I don't even have enough free time to go for my driver's license, let alone chase around an official AS diagnosis.



b9
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18 Mar 2009, 7:45 am

i was diagnosed as autistic at about 3 years old. i was suspected to be autistic long before that (at about 6 months). there are many signs that are obvious to a trained eye that indicate autism.

when i was a baby, my family noticed that i was not able to be engaged by their grimmacing faces or by any attempts to attract my affection. (i was told by my later psychiatrist when i was 12 about how i was as a baby (she got the information from my family in interviews)).

when they smiled at me and went "goo goo goo" i just looked at their shirt or something and i was not engaged in what they were trying to show me.

if someone picked me up, they often dropped me because i was a "limp" baby. most babies have an understanding of how they should contract their own muscles in order to facilitate someone else picking them up. i did not have that reflex and i remained limp and fell though their arms to the floor on many occasions.

i was told that i was very interested in flies flying around in the room when i was a baby (crawling age (about 1 or so)). my youngest sister (who is 11 years older than me) noticed that i was able to track a flies flight path accurately with my eyes. she did not see where the fly was flying, but every time my eyes stopped darting, she looked in the direction of my gaze, and there was the fly sitting still on the wall.

anyway, all that corroboration of accounts, as well as their own clinical tests, spelled that i was autistic to an unknown degree, but possibly to an LFA level.

their clinical tests consisted of tests like them looking startled, and staring in horror at a spot, and they monitored whether i looked where they were looking. (i did not). etc.

so i went to a normal school from kindergarten to year 6 and i was in the "OL" class which had retarded people in it. i was always top of the class, but i was still considered retarded even though i demonstrated cognitive insight.

when i went to high school, it all fell to pieces and i was expelled and went to an adolescent unit for psychiatrically disturbed young people. it was a nice place and i had a doctor there who was very interested in the potential for "AS" to be included as a defined disability in the DSM. (this was 1984 when i was 12) she, and many student psychologists all had many meetings with me and they did many tests and stuff as they were convinced i was a poster child for what they wanted to establish.

anyway, i must abbreviate because i am tired and typing is soporific.

i was at the adolescent unit for 2 years and then was sent back to a normal school which i was expelled from and then the next school expelled me too, so i went to another adolescent unit for a year, and when i was released into the school system again i was expelled from 4 other schools in succession, and that is why i am not educated in a disciplined and orthodox way.

so in 1996 i was officially diagnosed. i had 3 drink driving charges all in close proximity to each other, and it was possible that i may go to gaol (prison).
my lawyer found my records (easily) and said i should get an official diagnosos as i now can get one (i was not able to when i was at the first adolescent unit because it was not recognized).
so i went to a psychologist who interviewed my parents and me separately over about 12 weeks.
he had full access to my childhood files (my psychiatrist who did the most study on me was marie bashir who is now the governor of NSW)

so it was then that i got my official diagnosis, but we decided not to use it as a reason for my stupidity for drink driving at the trial. i demanded that it was not used.



RandomKid
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18 Mar 2009, 7:56 am

I'm in between I have a official diagnoses of PDD-NOS but I suspect as well as my case manager that I have AS.


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ephemerella
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18 Mar 2009, 8:47 am

Professionally diagnosed, during a period of low functioning when I had allergies and rashes.

Anything that disrupts my mind or body sends me into very low functioning AS state very quickly, because I'm somatically systemizing synesthetic. I'm a systemizer, and I'm somatically synesthetic because experience sensory/affective crossover between my intellectual function and my sensory processing.

I was diagnosed as AS during a period of low functioning when I was overcome with allergies and rashes, and had difficulty talking, finding my way around, etc.

When I'm not sick, etc, I'm high functioning, but still have less obvious AS issues.



Stew54
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18 Mar 2009, 9:10 am

Liresse wrote:
I completely agree with Fo-Rum.


Me too. Those are good points.

I've listed myself as "unsure" in my profile in part because the very reason I'm haunting WP these days is to find out for certain whether I truly accept it's a fair self description. I'd vaguely heard of AS in the past, but until quite recently knew little about it, so I'd certainly never considered it might apply to me. The more I read and learn though the clearer I am in my mind that I am AS, or perhaps BAP (accepting that the diagnosis is a subjective one whoever does it and to some extent it's always going to be a matter of degree).

I'm quite unlikely to seek a professional diagnosis, at least as far as I can look forward at the moment. It would be quite a game at my age, and depending on which professional I consulted and how thoroughly I was prepared with historical information I might or might not have my self diagnosis confirmed. It's not an "aspirational" thing though, at least not for someone my age anyway. I've told precisely two people what I have come to believe: my wife who was a bit nonplussed (though she took the Aspie Quiz for me as a control), and also a friend at work who I know is mother to a "little professor" - it turns out she had assumed for years that I must be on the spectrum and was only surprised that I hadn't.

But there are lots of reasons why many people should get a professional evaluation. If someone is really struggling with traits they have self-ascribed to AS for instance, but in fact they have some other disorder, they might be missing out on treatment that could really help them. It's because I don't NEED a diagnosis for anything that I won't bother. In the future though (for instance if I have to change jobs) I might need a diagnosis to access help or to have new bosses make some allowances for me.

In the past here are certainly times when if it had been possible I would have gained a lot from having a professional diagnosis. Thinking back to university exams for instance, it's no wonder I finished up with a terrible degree after three years of successful courses. There was zero coursework involved, and the final exams (which covered two and a half years' work) were crammed into a week. They all began with hundreds of students, all dressed uncomfortably in unfamiliar formal suits and gowns, milling around in the central foyer of a building that none of us had ever visited before, then when a bell rang the exam was underway and you had to find the right room, track down your numbered seat and begin, all with the clock already ticking. That was horrific in retrospect even for the most robust and neurotypical of us. That was 1982 - I really hope they don't still do things that way, but if they do I expect that these days a professional diagnosis would get some allowances, even if it was just a chance to visit the room beforehand to understand the geography, and maybe to wait for the bell standing aside from the herd.



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18 Mar 2009, 10:23 am

I wonder how many self-diagnosed here have Munchausen Syndrome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome



phil777
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18 Mar 2009, 10:25 am

I've been officialized since i was already under observation from my ADD.... <.<



andantespianato
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18 Mar 2009, 10:35 am

Im neither self diagnosed nor professionally diagnosed but score highly on every online aspergers test out there and have had other people point out to me that they think its very possible I may be on the mild/borderline end of the spectrum.



Stew54
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18 Mar 2009, 10:36 am

Mage wrote:
I wonder how many self-diagnosed here have Munchausen Syndrome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munchausen_syndrome


Not many, surely, since it is of the essence of Munchausens that the affected person morbidly (and sometimes dangerously) seeks out treatment, diagnosis and therapy regardless of whether it's needed, or even knowing that it isn't.



Mage
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18 Mar 2009, 11:20 am

Not always, since the main goal is "to draw attention or sympathy to themselves". This could be achieved through other means such as online attention-getting.



ephemerella
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18 Mar 2009, 11:30 am

Mage wrote:
Not always, since the main goal is "to draw attention or sympathy to themselves". This could be achieved through other means such as online attention-getting.


Firstly, I assume that we are talking about Aspergers because low-functioning AS or other variants have some striking symptoms that aren't likely to escape professional diagnosis at some stage in life.

With the self-diagnosed Aspergers here, I think a lot of NTs who strike out in life would like to believe they have Asperger syndrome. They think of Asperger syndrome as "the loser's syndrome" and exploit self-diagnosis to justify their lack of social skills or failures in life.

I think that these wanna-be AS are some of the self-diagnosed on this site who argue jealously with anyone who has some kind of autistic talent, and who resent the "elite" AS. What real AS person would get jealous and offended by some AS person taking pride in their talent or I.Q.? Real AS people aren't naturally inclined to have that kind of interpersonal jealously and social ranking fixation. So I think they're wanna-be-AS NTs who are "elite-AS" bashing, because it's hard for me to see real AS people having kind of interpersonal motivation and social agenda to go around "elite-AS" bashing.

The need to draw attention to oneself is kind of a variation of wanting to latch onto AS as a way to justify failures and beautify their faults as some kind of special medical problem.



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18 Mar 2009, 12:35 pm

Originally self-diagnosed and then officially diagnosed by an Autism specialist.



Stew54
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18 Mar 2009, 1:42 pm

ephemerella wrote:
With the self-diagnosed Aspergers here, I think a lot of NTs who strike out in life would like to believe they have Asperger syndrome. They think of Asperger syndrome as "the loser's syndrome" and exploit self-diagnosis to justify their lack of social skills or failures in life.


I think that's only going to work to a limited extent for people. You might be able to make yourself feel better if you can "blame" a condition for the fact that you can't manage things that you ought to be able to. But outside your own head, if you were inclined to tell people in your daily life you have AS as means of excusing yourself I think you'd have to have secured a professional diagnosis to be taken seriously, woudn't you? Presumably that's where the Munchausens-like activity would come in?

Following Mage's wikipedia link took me to another page which describes something I'd not previously heard of as a defined syndome (albeit not defined for the purposes of the DSM or anything), but which I have actually witnessed at another board I visit. Munchausen by Internet might be applicable. In the example I witnessed, the person seeking attention developed a really elaborate life story of someone with a tragic past, coping with a terminal illness, and developed this legend painstakingly for months with hundreds of posts using at least three different accounts. Only towards the very end of her "life" did the story grow so elaborate that there would be bound to have been evidence of her situation in the general media, and when there wasn't the edifice began to crumble. Someone might fake ASD online to get attention like that I'm sure.