Diagnosis: Murder. Or actually: just regular diagnosis.

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extarbags
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04 Sep 2006, 10:33 pm

So, I've been aware of Asperger's for a few years now, but I didn't know that much about it until today, when I stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry on it. After a little bit of reading, it started sounding all too familiar, so I began to delve deeper. As it turns out, I evince nearly every symptom of the condition that I've come across, big and small, and I meet both sets of criteria that I've found (DSM IV and... another one that I can't find again). In fact, I meet more of the requirements given by the DSM IV checklists than necessary, and as far as I can tell, the only one I can't judge on my own is the one about not having any other PDD's or schizophrenia. Barring those, which I don't think I have any symptoms of, it seems pretty clear that I have Asperger's. What sealed the deal for me, though, was this quote from a random news headline from the WP.net main page:

Quote:
Marc explains: "This is a very important point and can often be overlooked. If I put an object on the edge of the table, so it may or may not fall off, an autistic person looks at this object, and sees that it might fall on the floor and make a loud clatter. Many autistic people are susceptible to loud sounds. So they will look at this object, and it will be illuminated in their mind."

He compares this to a person knowing a loved one was far away hanging off a cliff, and that they had to make it there to save them. When the autistic person makes it to the precarious object, he says: "The incredible relief and the happiness, has exactly the same intensity of feeling as (rescuing a loved one from falling off a cliff)"


I read that, and my eyes just shot open, and I thought "Man! I do that!" Prior to reading that, I was pretty much convinced, as I seem to meet the clinical criteria and exhibit the documented symptoms. But that just hit so close to home that it instantly became much more real for me.

So, is this really the checklist for diagnosis? If so, is my self-diagnosis reliable? Most of what I can find on the internet regarding professional diagnosis seems to deal with children, and this never came up until now (I am about to turn 24). So can I trust myself and what I've read? How confident should I be that I have this syndrome in the abscence of professional diagnosis? Is a formal diagnosis even worth seeking out?

Thanks in advance for your advice and input on this.



Callista
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04 Sep 2006, 11:20 pm

In my mind, anyone who sees themselves in the descriptions of AS they read is very likely to actually have AS. If they don't, then they are probably pretty close to it. The difference between those diagnosed and not is that, if your AS-like symptoms aren't causing you any problems, they'll usually say "quirky" and not diagnose you. If they're causing difficulties, though, they'll say "AS".

The thing about AS is that you tend to be very objective; and if you have AS, you are likely to see yourself in those symptoms. Barring hypochondria, I'd say, yes--you probably do have AS. You can't tell for sure until you've gone to a professional (who actually knows about AS beyond the DSM-IV) and been evaluated for it; but until then, you can be pretty sure.

Put it this way: If your symptoms match the textbook definition of AS, then the solutions to the problems they cause are probably the same solutions used by people with AS. So it makes sense to act "as if you've been diagnosed", and see whether what helps us, helps you...

Getting a professional diagnosis has some benefits:
--Accomodations at school and work become possible
--Peace of mind, as in "Now I know why I don't fit in"
--Professional counseling can focus on difficulties caused by AS
--Knowing about AS may help you find out how you think


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extarbags
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04 Sep 2006, 11:33 pm

Thanks for the post, Callista. I will mention that what I'm now going to start referring to as my AS has caused me problems for many years. I'll go into detail if you like, but I suspect you already know what problems I mean. As far as your list of benefits goes, this:

Callista wrote:
--Peace of mind, as in "Now I know why I don't fit in"


is actually what I'm after with this thread. When I first started seeing myself in the descriptions of AS, I didn't feel scared or upset or any other negative thing that you might expect from someone who has just learned they may have an uncurable condition. Rather, I felt... liberated. It actually felt/feels great to have a little bit of context to help me understand why I am the way I am. My concern, then, is that I could be wrong. But I had my girlfriend read the Wikipedia article, under the guise of "check out this interesting thing I came across," and, after reading it, she came back with "do you think you have this?"

Quote:
So it makes sense to act "as if you've been diagnosed", and see whether what helps us, helps you...


This rings true. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...



rpm2004
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05 Sep 2006, 2:32 am

Pertaining to the title of this thread:

Dr.Mark sloan can burn in hell!! !


(obscure refferences are my forté)


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superfantastic
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05 Sep 2006, 3:59 pm

I was actually kind of upset I didn't meet even more criteria! I guess I was so glad I found the cause for my nonfittingin that I wanted to be reassured, lest it slip away.

Sometimes I still worry I'm just a troubled NT :(