Officially diagnosed with Aspergers today at 38 years old

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raj74
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05 Nov 2012, 1:15 pm

Hi, i have only posted on here a few times previously, but now that i am officially diagnosed i feel i should try to be a bit more social and re-introduce myself agian.

As I’ve always struggled through life and known I am different. I’ve been told I’m bright and I am extremely talented in art and design, and managed to get a degree in product design 14 years ago. But since then I have had years of depression suicidal thoughts and attempts and chronic unemployment (8 years unemployed out of 14). And all my relationships with friends and family are problematic, which has left me with no friends for 6 years and no relationship with half of my family as they think I am useless and selfish.

I was told by a counsellor a few months ago that I should see a psychiatrist and to check out Aspergers syndrome. When I read the symptoms I thought they were talking about me literally. So I came on this forum and listed why I felt I had Aspergers and every response seemed to agree. The original post is here if anyone is interested http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt204292.html

I then decided to get an appointment with a physiatrist through my GP for cognitive behavioural therapy. As I 100% knew I had Aspergers, but did not tell my doctor as I realised it would be hard to diagnose when I am now 38 years old. So when I turned up to my initial assessment just for CBT therapy, I was surprised that during the first 20 minutes of assessing me they said they think I have Aspergers. I was relieved, but played ignorant for a while, so I could see what they thought, I later confessed that I already knew.

I was then referred to a physiatrist who I saw today. He was extremely arrogant and quite rude, but I bit my tongue as I can be argumentative. But luckily within 3o minutes of my hour assessment he was in no doubt that have Aspergers and officially diagnosed me. He was very surprised that I had not been diagnosed earlier, as he said I was a text book case for Aspergers.

Although I am relieved to know that the professionals agree with me and I have an official diagnosis. I still went home feeling very lost angry and confused, which i was surprised about as i thought i would have been happy to finally have a diagnosis. As I am not sure what steps I can now take to get some sort of normality to my life and find work and move forwards. I would appreciate if somebody could tell me what kind of therapy helps best (i'm from the UK)? And what they did when they were diagnosed so late in life? As I am now waiting to hear what the next steps are from the hospital, but am worried it will be far too little too late.



redrobin62
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05 Nov 2012, 1:57 pm

I was also diagnosed late in life. I didn't seek therapy, though, because it's expensive and I'm as poor as a church mouse. I'm sure I can benefit from it, but as no health insurance company will touch me with a ten foot pole (because of pre-existing conditions) I'm alone in that regard. At least for my own edification, as it were, I know. The next step is to be social. Hard for me because I'm such a recluse. Still, one step at a time, right?



raj74
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05 Nov 2012, 2:02 pm

Thanks alot for the advice it's really appreciated. Luckily i'm in the uk so it will all be free on the NHS (Thank god). But i'm not sure about being social as i am also very reclisive and have had friends in the past, but they were a pain in the backside. I think for now just posting on forums with like mindied people is the best way forward for now.



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05 Nov 2012, 2:23 pm

Welcome to the late diagnosis 'club'. I am a female and I was diagnosed this year at the age of 46. The only regret I have about the diagnosis is that it did not come earlier in life. That being said, re-contextualizing my life in light of the diagnosis has had some pain. Fortunately, it has also been liberating and reassuring and the pain is secondary to my actual experiences. I am fortunate to have experienced professional support on my side and I am, I think, beginning my life now. I don't know how, I don't know a lot of things. But, now I know 'why' and that is a good place to start. I, too, worry about the 'too little too late' - it's already been a long tough life and it feels overwhelming at times. I feel stuck. But, I am just breaking it down ( trying to get through day by day, but that isn't new) and just see what will unfold from here. I'd say: give it some time and see what happens, just stay open to 'whatever happens'. I think that is all we need to do right now - understand with the information we were never given, grieve what that information 'could have' done for you., and stay open to 'whatever comes'. Hopefully it helps to know you are not alone.

Best to you, LM



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05 Nov 2012, 3:13 pm

raj74 wrote:
Luckily i'm in the uk so it will all be free on the NHS (Thank god).


Good luck with that.

I'm in the UK and was diagnosed with an ASD at age 38 last year.

I don't know what "all" you are referring to... medication? yes. specialist help? no.
But maybe it depends on the area you are in.


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ScottyN
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05 Nov 2012, 3:21 pm

I agree with logicalmom. I was diagnosed later in life, at the age of 40. I was not aware of what kind of disorder it was at the time, so it kind of came out of the blue. Knowing has made some difference in my situation, and I also have good support systems, which also eases the difficulties.



raj74
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05 Nov 2012, 3:23 pm

Thanks again for the advice and support. I'm a little bit down today (family problems), so hopefully when i wake tommorow i will feel better and accept who i really am and move on. I've been told i will get some therapy, but they did not specify what, so i was curious.

That being said, i'm a little bit miffed as my doctor said that the diagnosis of 'aspergers' will be changed to something else i think 'asd'. I know this sounds weird but i really liked the word 'aspergers' and 'aspie' but i don't want to get used to using it, as there changing it anyway. But i don't like refering to myself as autistic either as that still has alot of negative stereotypes. Does anyone know the reason why and what the new official name is.

But i think the first step for me is to become a bit more vocal on here, and try to communicate with like minded peole. As i just end up arguing with all the 'so called' normal people (which i have to admit i enjoy).



Steven_Tyler77
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05 Nov 2012, 3:55 pm

Getting a diagnosis of Asperger's means shedding away your old identity, that of a seemingly NT person, in order to embrace an Aspie identity. You were never an NT to begin with, but you identified with being NT, just like everybody else. We all do. We are born in an NT world and people expect of us to become NT adults. Now that you know you're an Aspie, you can no longer hold to the NT label anymore. So it's a feeling of loss you experience. It's okay, it'll pass. It's normal to feel it. I was happy when I was Dx'd as an Aspie, but by that time I already knew I wasn't NT, since I had ADHD. However, when I discovered I had ADHD, I felt a strong feeling of loss. You just grieve a bit for it and let time pass. Don't worry, it will not only be all right, it will be better now.

They're changing the terminology in the DSM-V, in order to encompass all autistic people under the same term. I do not agree with it, but it's not my choice. I for one will still use the word Aspie to describe myself. It's an identity label, not just a diagnosis. I think of myself as being autistic, of the Aspie kind... When I first got diagnosed, I was reluctant to use the word "autistic" about myself. It felt a bit strange, so I clung to the "Aspie" one. However, after spending time in this community, I slowly found myself embracing the "autistic" label as well. So it's ok, acceptance comes with time.


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quaker
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05 Nov 2012, 4:26 pm

Hi raj74

I was dx at the age of forty. For first four years I was totally obsessed with AS, but these days I hold my autistic identity much more lightly. I have autism, but autism does not have me.

You might find the link below of interest. It's all about greif and post dx experiences.

I would like to say that I have never regreted all my suffering, even the suffering of ignorance and of the pain of living in the shadowlands of the unknowing of AS, for it has taught me many gifts.

If your open to your greif you will find great freedom and peace.

http://aspergeradults.ca/asgriefstorm.html



gretchyn
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05 Nov 2012, 4:27 pm

quaker wrote:
http://aspergeradults.ca/asgriefstorm.html


FYI, Google detected malware at that address.



OJani
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05 Nov 2012, 5:21 pm

Congrats, I was also diagnosed at age 38, last year, with an ASD.


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"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam." (Hannibal) - Latin for "I'll either find a way or make one."


JRR
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05 Nov 2012, 5:59 pm

Find your special interest. Make it a career. Read up on coping mechanisms and apply. That's what you can do with this.



CockneyRebel
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05 Nov 2012, 6:06 pm

The best thing that came out of this is that you now have an answer.


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05 Nov 2012, 6:34 pm

Hello Raj74,

Welcome back to the forums and I hope everything works out for you OK.

Personally I absolutely hated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy because it seemed to consist of being gradually coaxed (and then forced) into doing things that upset me and made me anxious. It seemed to just consist of brainwashing/forcing me to do things that are unnatural to me, and re-programme me to be somebody else.

But a lot of people seem to love CBT, and highly recommend it, so if it works for you, great.

(At the time they were trying to treat me with CBT, they didn't know I had Asperger's. I don't know if the ignorance of that fact had anything to do with my bad experience with CBT or not).

As for calling yourself an Aspie: the terms autistic / Aspie / person with AS / person with ASD all seem to be equally valid, since Aperger's falls into the category of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Personally, I refer to myself as either an Aspie or an autistic person. If you like the term Aspie better, go ahead and use it. You don't have to use the term your doctor uses.

I hope your family problems resolve themselves and some cheering, happier events happen in your life soon (including finding work again if that's what you'd like). I know what a shock it is adjusting to the realisation that you are autistic. Maybe now that you understand yourself better, you can sort out your life in a way that will work for you on your terms, not everybody else's.

What part of the country are you from?



JRR
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05 Nov 2012, 7:30 pm

BTW...

<=Diagnosed at age 35.