100% sure you're an aspie one moment, doubting it the next?

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Fluke83
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23 Jul 2010, 2:22 am

Long story short, or actually not so much, I finally got up the nerve to make an appointment with my doctor...

Mostly because since stumbling across some info about Asperger's last Monday and the subsequent information hoarding, I don't think I've ever been so sure of anything as I'm sure I have some grade of it. Sure, you've all heard it a million times before, but suddenly "everything" fell into place, this was ME.

And I have no doubt you will believe me when I say I'd rather chew my arm off than going to the doctor, especially about something *psychological*.. Haven't actually been there in 5 years or so, and NEVER about something that wasn't bothering me physically to the point of extreme pain or fear for my life...

Problem is that while I'm quite sure about this one moment, the next (usually right before my few aborted attempts at calling to get an appointment, heheh) everything is screaming "no, this is just so silly, of course you don't have Asperger's! You're just going to make a complete fool of yourself, put the phone down!"

I seem to be going back and forth between these two modes at lightning speed... Only reason I managed to actually make an appointment is that I sort of strongarmed myself into deciding to JUST DO IT, don't think about it, during one of my sure moments... WITH the knowledge that I had some other valid reasons to get an appointment, in case I needed to fob the doctor off about why I came...

I guess the point of my rambling is... Did anyone else feel like this, prior to getting diagnosed? Anyone still feeling like this, and putting off getting a diagnosis because of it? Anyone who can offer anything relevant to this?

Oh, and hi, my first post... :)



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23 Jul 2010, 3:24 am

I doubt it often. Getting a dx seems like a waste of effort to me, that's why I don't do it. No one ever disputes it when I tell them I think I have AS. But I often do.

And welcome to WP.


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Fluke83
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23 Jul 2010, 3:42 am

Heh, I've only told two people about my suspicions yet, my mom and my older brother, which incidentally is TOTALLY out of character for me, since my family is preferably the last people I talk to about ANYTHING, especially something personal. Don't really know what happened..

And, funny enough, the reason for that is because they never tire of labeling me, anything of mine or anything about me as sick, stupid, useless, childish, retarted, there must be something wrong with you, you're insane, you're sick etc etc etc.... The source of many violent meltdowns over the years..

Oh, and guess what they said!

"No, I would never believe you'd have something like that, you shouldn't worry about it"

I mean... WTF?!?



DogDaySunrise
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23 Jul 2010, 4:19 am

This sounds frighteningly familiar to me, although my timeframe is more like 6 months - the pieces come together so quickly, the realisation dawns, the doubt settles in and then it's back & forth every day :(



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23 Jul 2010, 4:40 am

Yes, I feel exactly the same way. I am probably going to go back on medication in the near future and I've thought about it mentioning it to the psychiatrist. I don;t think I'll be laughed out of the office or anything but I know that the process of being diagnosed will be likely be arduous and frankly I'm tired of talking to doctors about my REAL issues. They never seem to understand them, they only understand me when I tell them what they want to hear, and I know exactly what they want to hear but the only time I told doctors these things was when I was in the foster care system and had to be mentally sound in order to GET OUT OF IT. lol.

Anyway, I am not a qualified professional and cannot say for sure if I have AS. I do know that I have many of the traits and that my ADHD diagnosis doesn't fit me as well as AS does. I've learned to deal with most of the negative aspects fairly well and I also believe that I am a borderline case. I don't feel like I should have to revert back to my childhood behavior to prove something just because the doctors didn't catch it then. They knew SOMETHING was going on with me, I feel like they never really took the time to figure out exactly what it was and I don't want to be put through the wringer again only to come out with a standing diagnosis of atypical ADHD because one doctor sees mild AS and another doesn't. I will probably end up doing it eventually, not having a label sometimes drives me nuts, but for now I am just very tired of explaining myself to these people

I also go back and forth about being certain, because most of the time I relate to the Aspies here like NOBODY else on the planet, and sometimes I really don't. It just goes to show you that Aspies come in many different forms and that the disorder probably isn't as cut and dry as many people think it is, and that it is still in the early stages of being understood. Hopefully the more cases that get DXed will help spread awareness about AS and show people that it isn't as scary as many people think it is.



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23 Jul 2010, 5:12 am

I felt kind of like that before i got diagnosed. I have a bad habit of over-analyzing everything, and as soon as i started looking into AS it became sort of a special interest for me... so i couldn't stop myself from thinking about it in every way. It was pretty obvious that i matched the diagnostic criteria, and my mom had been telling me for years that she thought i had it(a therapist brought it up when i was younger, but i never got evaluated for it or anything.. and i never really thought much about it until later.. my mom used to bring it up now and then, when i pulled away from a hug or whatever, that she thought that therapist back then was right about me having AS).

For the most part, it made the issues i've had all make sense. Throughout my life, some of the most noticeable things about me have been social issues and obsessive-ness. I was usually "the quiet girl," some kids at school even asked me if i could talk sometimes. Then even when i was comfortable around neighborhood friends as a kid(they were mostly different ages than me, so it was easier than school socializing), i would be bossy, would get frustrated when people didn't do things the way i thought they should, and ended up starting lots of arguments. Then i always had to have a main thing i was obsessing over. Even as a small child i would get focused on a particular tv show or movie more than a regular kid. My family always commented that i got obsessive over things and took my interests to extremes. Then even with most of the other traits common to AS, it all seemed to make sense. As a kid i had major sensory issues with different clothing(i still do to an extent, but i've gotten used to a lot of things), plus various other sensory abnormalities i still have. I also have a diagnosis of Inattentive ADHD, so the executive functioning issues and trouble regulating my attention are definitely there. Then when people frustrate me, there's too much expected of me, or there's just too much going on i've been known to get to a certain point and kind of explode.. So, i've got the meltdowns.

But then i'd think about certain things that don't apply to me as much. People with AS are generally very clumsy, and many seem to have dyspraxia.. I can be very clumsy when i'm not paying attention to what i'm doing and i'm not good at most sports, but i always had decent balance, was able to ride a bike well, and when i was very young i was like a monkey on playground equipment. I'd climb ON TOP of the monkey bars, and i remember teachers telling me at recess not to hang upside down from my legs(like a bat!) on the bars. I can even catch things when people throw something at me. Then again, i've been told that i look stiff when i move. Physical clumsiness is normal with AS, and even part of the Gillberg criteria, so this made me question it... Because even though i may move a bit awkwardly and bump into things all the time when i'm thinking about something else, i don't think i have very significant physical issues.

Then there's also the fact that i didn't noticeably stim much as a kid, and the fact that now i don't have much routine. Those two things have kind of flipped around on me as i've gotten older. As a kid everything was predictable and i had my little routines(some were almost OCD-ish), and now i still like predictability, but i don't really have routines or rituals... i stim a lot now, though.

I also don't mind being around people to a certain degree. I have a job in retail. A lot of aspies would avoid this kind of thing, so that was something else that made me question it... Of course, a big part of wanting that kind of job in the first place was so that i could interact with people in a safe way where the expectations are clear, and all i really need to do is answer questions. And even then i have had a lot of awkward moments and misunderstanding at work, and i need very specific instructions in order to do anything. I pretty much get treated like a kid. I've also had some of the worst meltdowns of my life while at my job.

So... Those things made me doubt it. After i got diagnosed i stopped questioning it so much, realized that everyone with AS if different, and since i have all the traits requires for diagnosis and my psychologist is sure of it that this must be it. I've looked into all sorts of "disorders" and nothing comes close to explaining me like AS. I even match the proposed DSM V criteria for ASD very easily, and i hear a lot of people complaining that it isn't broad enough or doesn't include females(i'm female).. So that reassures me even more that AS/ASD must be a very correct diagnosis for me if i even match criteria that people think aren't inclusive enough.. lol.

Anyway, that's me. Now you. Do you match the current DSM criteria? Have you taken any online quizzes such as the Aspie quiz or AQ test? Those aren't going to give you a definite answer, but there might be some things on there you can talk about with with a professional.. You could even print out a copy with your answers and see if it helps them get an idea of the way you are. You should probably also look up all the Personality Disorders, Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, and such and see if your aspie-like traits could be better explained by something else.



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23 Jul 2010, 5:40 am

Nope. I've read too much about AS and has had two psychiatrists do an initial eval on me (going for the DX plunge after this summer), and i'm pretty sure. I even remember asking my father about if i was Autistic when i was a teenager, because i had always been feeling alienated in school.

But like so many other adults, he assured me that i was normal and there was nothing wrong with me - so i believed him and all the others. I wish they had not dismissed it so easily and that someone had taken a more scientific viewpoint.


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Fluke83
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23 Jul 2010, 5:53 am

Wow, ColdBlooded, I feel like *I* could have written that..! I mean, the things you mention about yourself typical of AS and, most importantly, the things you mention that made you doubt it. Freaking EXACT.

I'm a female too btw, and I've been working as a security guard the last 5 years, meaning I am expected to interact with people quite a lot.

It was a nightmare when I manned an information/security station at a huge public building, begged to get another assignment within a year, mostly got through it because an information desk is a GREAT place for canned responses.. :D Oh, and I can see it now, but I didn't think it was strange at all that I often had to go find an empty classroom (the bulding housed a university too) and sit there, in the dark and quiet..

I work at a much smaller place now, still at the front desk though, but with only the same group of people, and I still sometimes have to go and hide, especially after I think I've given a huge display of foot-in-mouth syndrome or behaved awkwardly... :lol:

One absolutely great thing about working as a security guard is that we have VERY clear work instructions. Even apart from the actual written instructions (If A happens, you do B etc.) the unwritten rules are also absolutely cut and dried. I have often reflected over how pleased I am with that, it makes even more sense to me now why I have always liked that aspect of my job so much.. :)

I feel I match the current criteria, I believe the ones here in Norway are the same as the DSM, and I've taken a number of online tests. Everything I learn and every test just makes me more and more sure.

Still scared out of my mind about the upcoming appointment though, I even have 12 days to REALLY work myself into a state about it... :lol:



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23 Jul 2010, 6:08 am

I did, many times before I got dx'd - what helped me is doing a lot of research, though AS has become an obsession so this part was kinda fun. It also helped writing things out - I took the DSM criteria and listed all the things in my life that applied to each category and then made a list of reasons why I don't think I have it and that really helped me organise my thoughts. Also, my thinking is, if you have doubts, having a professional opinion should help you alleviate them.



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23 Jul 2010, 6:21 am

You should be aware that unless the doctor you made the appointment with is an AS specialist, he/she may not be able to diagnose you and may even tell you flat-out that you don't have AS, especially since you are a woman, since women's AS traits tend to be less obvious.

This is not to discourage you, and I completely sympathize with your anxiety about doctors. Trust in what you know and what your gut tells you, and don't let other people discourage you. If the first doctor doesn't understand you, keep trying.



Fluke83
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23 Jul 2010, 6:39 am

bee33 wrote:
You should be aware that unless the doctor you made the appointment with is an AS specialist, he/she may not be able to diagnose you and may even tell you flat-out that you don't have AS, especially since you are a woman, since women's AS traits tend to be less obvious.


Oh, I know, and honestly I don't know what scares me more, going to my family doctor to bring up AS in the first place, or the chance that in addition to that I may even have to try to convince him.... 8O

On the other hand, I'll only have to convince him enough for him to refer me to some kind of specialist. That's how it works here in Norway, anyway.



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23 Jul 2010, 7:17 am

Ooooh, we should be internet friends then :D

I was pretty lucky. When i started looking into AS, i was already seeing a Psychologist. She's not an ASD specialist, but she'd worked with some kids with AS before.. and so had another lady there who did most of my testing. I told her i had read up on AS and it described me very well, and she didn't challenge me about it or anything. She pretty much said right then that i was right and i did seem like i had a lot of AS traits. On the next appointment we went through one of the questionairres she had about it and discussed the answers, and she was completely convinced of it before i was even completely sure(i had been seeing her for a little while, so this wasn't a snap judgement.. she already knew me, but i had never mentioned anything about thinking i had a disorder before the AS thing, except mentioning the anxiety and depression i already knew about). Then later i did the testing with the other lady there, she wrote up a diagnosis along with a long report(along with ADHD, which was a surprise, because i didn't know anything about ADHD), and that was it.

You can use the time to figure out what you want to say. Maybe write down a list of points to bring up.



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23 Jul 2010, 7:48 am

I often go through that, even after having received a diagnosis. Of course, part of the problem with receiving the diagnosis has to do with the fact that I received it from someone I firmly believe has much less knowledge about AS than I do. It's like being a professor in quantum physics and having an engineering student walk up to you and say that your latest theory is indeed correct. It just doesn't have the weight to it that I would like.

What nearly always send me into an episode of doubting that I have AS is how well I can handle social situations at times. I can chitchat with people about the weather and current events even though they are of no interest to me, look them into their eyes, read and use subtle body language, change the tone of my voice to get unsaid points across, use various sorts of humor, listen to people and not go on a monologue about my interests etc. Surely I can't have AS if I'm capable of all that?

But all that comes at a heavy price. It tires me out to the point where I have to avoid people because I can't do it when I'm not fully charged, nor can I do it for the amount of time that NTs are capable of. It tires me out to the point where I end up with a depression if forced to or otherwise unable to avoid social interaction (such as when working) for the time it takes me to recharge. As a result, I've been constantly fighting against recurrent depression since '95 and haven't been able to hold a job since '96. That's pretty disabling if you ask me.

Before AS entered the picture, I constantly had the feeling that I was in a giant improvised stage play. I always had a feeling that I was playing a character rather than being me. It made me feel alien. I still do, but now I know why. My brain constantly analyzes everything. Every move. Every word. Every twitch of the eye or flare of the nostril. Sentences have to be picked apart not just for their literal meaning, but also what is being said between the lines. Everything I do in return has to be carefully calculated against a database of appropriate responses, then somehow carried into action by making sure the right thing is said at the right time in the right way while being aware of my body and facial expressions. I constantly have to fight against who I am by not doing socially inappropriate things such as rocking, fiddling with something while talking or going on about the differences between how you use the autopilot and flight management system in a Boeing versus an Airbus or why I think point based RPG systems are superior to level based ones. Things that would be of no interest to the average person.

The thing is, I learned at an early age how crucial this sort of social faking is when it comes to avoiding the worst of the bullies. At some point I became so good at faking that I no longer notice this going on for most of the time. Yet the effect of these tasks going on in the background are obvious. My mental capability drops drastically when around other people. Nearly all my brainpower gets directed towards pretending to be normal and keeping up the act when other people are around. The only thing I've been able to do really well in a social situation, is playing pen and paper roleplaying games. That comes as no surprise to me since my life is basically just one big act and when playing roleplaying games, I get to combine this with a special interest in playing these games, so the drive and passion to perform is there. I'm pretty sure this has helped me even more in becoming proficient in faking and pretending to be normal. But at what cost?

So when I take all that into consideration and look back at my childhood where the symptoms of AS are so very clear, all doubt fade away. Yet despite all that, I still go through periods of doubt. It's weird because I have no problem with having the AS or even autistic label applied to me. It explains me in so many ways and fits me so much better than anything else. So why do I still doubt at times? I have no earthly clue :?


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Fluke83
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23 Jul 2010, 7:57 am

Faelan wrote:
I often go through that, even after having received a diagnosis. Of course, part of the problem with receiving the diagnosis has to do with the fact that I received it from someone I firmly believe has much less knowledge about AS than I do. It's like being a professor in quantum physics and having an engineering student walk up to you and say that your latest theory is indeed correct. It just doesn't have the weight to it that I would like.


Before I do anything else I just wanted to let you know how hard I LOL'ed at that!! So true! :lol:



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23 Jul 2010, 8:22 am

Fluke83 wrote:
Before I do anything else I just wanted to let you know how hard I LOL'ed at that!! So true! :lol:


I'm glad that it made you laugh. It's one of those things that are kinda sad yet so funny at the same time :)


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