Anyone been in this situation? Advice?

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Neutrino
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01 May 2012, 5:41 pm

Just thought I'd tell you I talked to my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend today. She's some sort of psychologist who gets to diagnose children, adolescents and young adults with autism, AS, personality disorders etc. She's one of the first people I've ever told about this whole situation. We talked for a while, she read my whole list of traits I've written down and she told me about things she noticed when she first met me about half a year ago. She said she thinks it's possible I have AS. She said that she's never really experienced anyone coming in with a list like mine and leave without a diagnosis. She said that she's not 100 % sure but everything I've told her about and everything she's seen points towards me having AS.

Even though I don't know for sure this is huge for me! To have someone, who is a professional, telling me that I haven't been imagining things feels great! She said it's definitely worth looking into and that I should see someone about it.

Thought you should know.



SpiritBlooms
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01 May 2012, 7:06 pm

Neutrino wrote:
I don't know what's "wrong" with me. I don't have an AS diagnosis and I'm not completely sure I have AS. A lot of the time I think I do, but sometimes I doubt. I don't know whether I have AS, OCD, OCPD, ADD, Social Anxiety Disorder or something else. Or some of it. Or all of it. Or none of it (that would suck as I would be back on square one then). I'm pretty sure I'm not "normal" though. Anyway, not knowing drives me crazy. I feel so agitated all the time and I can't stop thinking about this whole situation. I think I really need help with some things. Things such as my way of thinking, my social issues, my anxiety issues and my aggression issues.

For a while I've been identifying with AS and I want to try to get an official diagnosis but I'm quite scared they won't understand me. I'm scared of getting the wrong diagnosis as well. What if I've got AS and they won't see it because I'm female and I've heard it's quite difficult diagnosing women.

Not sure what I want to get out of writing this, but I think I'm wondering if any of you have been through the same thing? Have you got any advice? And is it really true that it's more difficult to diagnose women?

Maybe you're reading too much about various "conditions" and not doing enough to get in touch with yourself and what you're feeling and experiencing. Has something happened to bring you to question what's going on with you?

I felt not-normal all my life. But it was a particular crisis and my reaction to it that sent me in search of what was going on. I came across the term "meltdown" and felt that perfectly described various scenarios in my life. I started reading more, came across an AS description, rejected it. Later came across a description of Aspergers in females and realized that was it.

I've read a lot more since then and I'm pretty firm in my self-diagnosis, and relieved because now I feel that I have an explanation (finally now that I'm past 50) for this feeling of abnormality I've had all my life. I'm not really interested in a professional diagnosis - and couldn't afford to pursue one even if I was. But having done a lot of self-examination and going through childhood memories as well as looking at my own reactions to circumstances, I am certain the answer is Aspergers.

Is there some reason you're so anxious to know this? Do you think it will really change anything? Has something happened that makes you feel it's imperative to know right now?



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01 May 2012, 10:32 pm

Neutrino wrote:
Even though I don't know for sure this is huge for me! To have someone, who is a professional, telling me that I haven't been imagining things feels great! She said it's definitely worth looking into and that I should see someone about it.

Thought you should know.


It's really helpful when trying to make sense of everything. At the end of 2010, I talked to several people I knew about it (one professional and a few people who are autistic themselves) and they told me they had thought I might be. This was after I had exchanged several PMs with Pensieve asking her about it and finding a lot of what I experienced sounded like AS.

It helps to have that confirmation that something is there, and it helps so many things begin to make sense and coalesce into a sensible pattern, though. It's kind of a relief.



Neutrino
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02 May 2012, 1:43 am

SpiritBlooms wrote:
Maybe you're reading too much about various "conditions" and not doing enough to get in touch with yourself and what you're feeling and experiencing. Has something happened to bring you to question what's going on with you?

I felt not-normal all my life. But it was a particular crisis and my reaction to it that sent me in search of what was going on. I came across the term "meltdown" and felt that perfectly described various scenarios in my life. I started reading more, came across an AS description, rejected it. Later came across a description of Aspergers in females and realized that was it.

I've read a lot more since then and I'm pretty firm in my self-diagnosis, and relieved because now I feel that I have an explanation (finally now that I'm past 50) for this feeling of abnormality I've had all my life. I'm not really interested in a professional diagnosis - and couldn't afford to pursue one even if I was. But having done a lot of self-examination and going through childhood memories as well as looking at my own reactions to circumstances, I am certain the answer is Aspergers.

Is there some reason you're so anxious to know this? Do you think it will really change anything? Has something happened that makes you feel it's imperative to know right now?


I don't know what it was that triggered all of this. I mean, I've felt abnormal my whole life and I guess I've just been searching for an explanation. A couple of years ago I heard about AS and I felt that it was somewhat of a description of myself. Not all of it, but a lot of it. The reason I'm so anxious to know is because I want to be able to understand myself and I want others to be able to understand me as well. Also, I want to learn how to handle certain situations which I just don't know how to handle right now. So for me, knowing/getting a diagnosis would change a lot. I'd be able to accept myself and not just ponder this whole thing all the time but I could actually do something about it. I don't know if that makes sense?



Neutrino
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02 May 2012, 1:45 am

Verdandi wrote:
It helps to have that confirmation that something is there, and it helps so many things begin to make sense and coalesce into a sensible pattern, though. It's kind of a relief.


Exactly. Also, now I don't have to wear my "social masks" when meeting my boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend. Not that I've been acting like someone else but I always feel like I've needed to keep myself from doing certain things. Now I don't need to hide that. Do you know what I mean?



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02 May 2012, 1:57 am

Neutrino wrote:
Verdandi wrote:
It helps to have that confirmation that something is there, and it helps so many things begin to make sense and coalesce into a sensible pattern, though. It's kind of a relief.


Exactly. Also, now I don't have to wear my "social masks" when meeting my boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend. Not that I've been acting like someone else but I always feel like I've needed to keep myself from doing certain things. Now I don't need to hide that. Do you know what I mean?


I believe I do know what you mean. Lots of people have described similar. I've done similar, although not so much anymore. I am not sure it helped all that much because I wasn't aware of all the possible things I could mask in the first place.



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02 May 2012, 2:03 am

Verdandi wrote:
I believe I do know what you mean. Lots of people have described similar. I've done similar, although not so much anymore. I am not sure it helped all that much because I wasn't aware of all the possible things I could mask in the first place.


Well, I didn't manage to mask things that well anyway since my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend picked up on a few things when she met me. She said that she had noticed I didn't have a lot of eye contact, that I took jokes literally, that I needed certain structure and that I liked doing things over and over again. She also noticed I wasn't comfortable around groups of people.



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02 May 2012, 2:53 am

Yeah, I knew I was doing some fronting a lot of the time (like, I tried to really get the idea of "expressions of sympathy and compassion" down for some reason, and those are actually really hard a lot of the time). Anyway, I was talking to an acquaintance I've known online for the past four years, and he said he kind of figured I was on the spectrum because I would take his jokes literally and because of the way I would say things or ask questions.

An autistic woman I have interacted with via blogs and e-mail told me I had a way of writing that she pretty much only saw in a certain subset of autistic people.

Someone I chatted with frequently who is also diagnosed with AS, said that they figured I was on the spectrum all along because of the way I phrase things - like I prefer concrete over abstract, for example.

I told my mother, and she said one of her ex-husband's friends told her that I was probably autistic when I was 10 or 11.

All of these were really validating because it meant I wasn't just imagining things.



Neutrino
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02 May 2012, 3:54 am

Verdandi wrote:
Yeah, I knew I was doing some fronting a lot of the time (like, I tried to really get the idea of "expressions of sympathy and compassion" down for some reason, and those are actually really hard a lot of the time). Anyway, I was talking to an acquaintance I've known online for the past four years, and he said he kind of figured I was on the spectrum because I would take his jokes literally and because of the way I would say things or ask questions.

An autistic woman I have interacted with via blogs and e-mail told me I had a way of writing that she pretty much only saw in a certain subset of autistic people.

Someone I chatted with frequently who is also diagnosed with AS, said that they figured I was on the spectrum all along because of the way I phrase things - like I prefer concrete over abstract, for example.

I told my mother, and she said one of her ex-husband's friends told her that I was probably autistic when I was 10 or 11.

All of these were really validating because it meant I wasn't just imagining things.


I wasn't even aware that I take jokes literally. I've always know I don't really understand jokes, but I didn't know I take a lot of them literally. So when she told me yesterday that I do, I asked my boyfriend if he's noticed that as well. He said yes.

What do you mean by "I had a way of writing that she pretty much only saw in a certain subset of autistic people"? I mean, what way of writing is that?



Verdandi
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02 May 2012, 4:05 am

Neutrino wrote:
I wasn't even aware that I take jokes literally. I've always know I don't really understand jokes, but I didn't know I take a lot of them literally. So when she told me yesterday that I do, I asked my boyfriend if he's noticed that as well. He said yes.

What do you mean by "I had a way of writing that she pretty much only saw in a certain subset of autistic people"? I mean, what way of writing is that?


I knew I took things literally as of years ago, because people would point it out to me, especially , when I would miss jokes. After I got into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I started calling myself "strangely literal" because of it.

As for the writing, she described it as an "uncanny clarity," and that this type of writing almost invariably comes from people who are somewhere on the spectrum, but that there are other autistic writing styles unlike hers (or what she perceived as mine). Mostly it's just how I write and explain things. It's a large contrast to how I speak, which tends to be circuitous and often fails to get to the point, or takes a long time to get there.



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02 May 2012, 1:16 pm

Neutrino wrote:
SpiritBlooms wrote:
Maybe you're reading too much about various "conditions" and not doing enough to get in touch with yourself and what you're feeling and experiencing. Has something happened to bring you to question what's going on with you?

I felt not-normal all my life. But it was a particular crisis and my reaction to it that sent me in search of what was going on. I came across the term "meltdown" and felt that perfectly described various scenarios in my life. I started reading more, came across an AS description, rejected it. Later came across a description of Aspergers in females and realized that was it.

I've read a lot more since then and I'm pretty firm in my self-diagnosis, and relieved because now I feel that I have an explanation (finally now that I'm past 50) for this feeling of abnormality I've had all my life. I'm not really interested in a professional diagnosis - and couldn't afford to pursue one even if I was. But having done a lot of self-examination and going through childhood memories as well as looking at my own reactions to circumstances, I am certain the answer is Aspergers.

Is there some reason you're so anxious to know this? Do you think it will really change anything? Has something happened that makes you feel it's imperative to know right now?


I don't know what it was that triggered all of this. I mean, I've felt abnormal my whole life and I guess I've just been searching for an explanation. A couple of years ago I heard about AS and I felt that it was somewhat of a description of myself. Not all of it, but a lot of it. The reason I'm so anxious to know is because I want to be able to understand myself and I want others to be able to understand me as well. Also, I want to learn how to handle certain situations which I just don't know how to handle right now. So for me, knowing/getting a diagnosis would change a lot. I'd be able to accept myself and not just ponder this whole thing all the time but I could actually do something about it. I don't know if that makes sense?

Well that makes sense. I remember - in fact I just recalled this the other day - that when I was about 22 I went through a period of really looking at my life and myself and trying to figure out what was going on, why I'd always felt so different. I didn't hear about Aspergers at that time, in fact didn't learn what it was until my 50s, but I got a lot out of that period of self-assessment, intensive journaling and just looking inward. Maybe it's something everyone does at that time of life, and if we have differences than the average person, it's a time to look at those differences. I hope you find the answers you're looking for. I don't have a professional diagnosis, so I can't offer advice as to how to get one, but I wish you all the best. I did get a kind of validation from some of the online tests, which show that I'm from borderline to moderately on the spectrum. I know those aren't conclusive, but I tend to doubt my own self-evaluation, so even those surprised me as showing I might be looking in the right direction after all.



Last edited by SpiritBlooms on 06 May 2012, 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Neutrino
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03 May 2012, 1:23 pm

SpiritBlooms wrote:
Well that makes sense. I remember - in fact I just recalled this the other day - that when I was about 22 I went through a period of really looking at my life and myself and trying to figure out what was going on, why I'd always felt so different. I didn't hear about Aspergers at that time, in fact didn't learn what it was until my 50s, but I got a lot out of that period of self-assessment, intensive journaling and just looking inward. Maybe it's something everyone does at that time of life, and if we have differences than the average person, it's a time to look at those differences. I hope you find the answers you're looking for. I don't have a professional diagnosis, so I can't offer advice as to how to get one, but I wish you all the best. I did get a kind of validation from some of the online tests, which show that I'm from borderline to moderately on the spectrum. I know those aren't conclusive, but I tend to doubt my own self-evaluation, so even those surprised me as showing I might be looking in the right direction after all.

I also have an acquaintance, a mother of an Aspie boy, who once suggested my SO and I take some of the online tests. I didn't at the time get it, what she was even talking about. I only recalled the conversation after I started seriously looking at Aspergers. She not only has a child with it, she assists in the special needs class that he attends so she sees others on the spectrum as well. So I guess she saw something in me that fit. My SO tests as Aspie as well, and I can see it clearly in him after all my reading. It really has been an eye opener.


Thanks you. I just need to gather enough courage to go see a professional about it. A bit scared of that.

Also, all of the tests I take online say I'm on the spectrum. But yeah, I don't know how much you can trusts online tests. I guess they do give a vague picture of what reality might look like though.



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06 May 2012, 12:00 pm

I didn't get an AS diagnosis but I still believe that I have AS. The doc that I saw said that he couldn't rule out AS, but he believes that it's my past that cause me to show the symptoms that I have. I've thought about getting that second opinion, I just haven't as yet.