Autism masking or complicating other illnesses?

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C2V
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03 Jul 2016, 3:49 am

I find this potentially confusing. Autism seems to account for many symptoms, both physical and psychological, that could easily be something else - and most importantly, something else that could have a treatment and a cure, which an autistic may dismiss and continue to suffer undiagnosed and untreated, because it's "just autism."
Example when do you assume a stomach problem is just typical autism-related gastrointestinal complications, and when do you become aware it is actually an ulcer, allergy, GERD, or worse?
When do you assume constant tiredness is just sensory overload or common autism sleep problems, and not anaemia, hypoglycaemia / diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or something more serious like chronic fatigue syndrome or a treatable sleep disorder such as apnoea?
How do you know your distress at routine changes is just autism, and not OCD or an anxiety disorder?
How do you know your withdrawal and preference for solitude to disappear into your own world is just autism, and not clinical depression?
For myself, with little faith in the medical profession, I have had so many chronic debilitating illnesses in life that actually turned out to be something other than what they told me, and often, something that had a direct treatment and a direct cure, which people dismissed and told me to "just live with it," because of the autism.
Autism, it seems, is the great scapegoat. Like "stress." Everything that is ever wrong with you can be explained by just being autistic, and thus needs no further investigation. And I think autistics do this to themselves just as often as doctors do it to us.
It occurred to me because I've been unwell since last surgery and caught myself thinking just this - it's just some autistic crap that I can ignore and it will go away. When anyone in their right mind would be in an emergency room, and doctors would be taking their symptoms seriously and testing for possible causes. Plus others have basically said it to me - it's just caused by "stress" which I am supposedly more susceptible to because I'm autistic - and couldn't be anything more serious worth looking into properly or treating to cure.
Thoughts?


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HisShadowX
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03 Jul 2016, 4:33 am

You don't know, that's what the problem is. For example, I am tongue tied. The first tier of baby boomers stopped have their kids tongues snipped calling it "Inhumane" and thus when anyone mentions being tongue tie they think of it as a joke and something that's not actually real.

I didn't know sometimes was different about me till the age of 25 when I finally figured out not everyone tongue is attached to the bottom of their mouth.

I also have low blood pressure which causes me to pass out I didn't know this was a problem until four years ago.

With low blood pressure you feel weak sometimes it feels like your getting sick but your not actually getting sick.

So my problem when feeling sick is wondering if I am actually sick or is it the blood pressure.

Your best bet is to have an annual check up with your doctor.



Trekkie83
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03 Jul 2016, 5:36 am

This is something that seriously concerns me and makes me wonder if getting an official diagnosis might have some negative effects. Over the last few years I've developed some health issues that I'm convinced have some physical cause and aren't just "all in my head". Even without an Autism related diagnosis I can't get some doctors to take me seriously. I had one specialist tell me flat out that I was too young and that they never *find* anything wrong in people my age (early 30's). (I will note that I did get a little stuck on his use of the word "find".) And this was on the very first visit, before examining me or running any tests.

Of course he did order some tests to be sure. After the first test, which didn't find anything, he seemed to rub it in that there's nothing physically wrong with me and it's all in my head. After that I didn't even bother with the rest of the tests. Part of it was because I was absolutely disgusted with how they treated me. The other part is that I was kind of terrified of having some of the other tests done. (I do have serious anxiety issues.)

It's been a couple years since that experience. Whatever is going on hasn't killed me yet but it sure makes my life miserable. I now have a new primary care doctor who really seems to understand me and I'm hoping we can make some real progress on getting my health issues under control. I recently discussed with her the possibility that I may be autistic and she seemed to agree. She gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist about this, as well as my anxiety issues. I'm currently torn on whether or not I should try to get a formal diagnosis. I seriously worry that an Autism diagnosis might make other doctors take me even less seriously than they do now.



HisShadowX
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03 Jul 2016, 9:35 am

Trekkie83 wrote:
This is something that seriously concerns me and makes me wonder if getting an official diagnosis might have some negative effects. Over the last few years I've developed some health issues that I'm convinced have some physical cause and aren't just "all in my head". Even without an Autism related diagnosis I can't get some doctors to take me seriously. I had one specialist tell me flat out that I was too young and that they never *find* anything wrong in people my age (early 30's). (I will note that I did get a little stuck on his use of the word "find".) And this was on the very first visit, before examining me or running any tests.

Of course he did order some tests to be sure. After the first test, which didn't find anything, he seemed to rub it in that there's nothing physically wrong with me and it's all in my head. After that I didn't even bother with the rest of the tests. Part of it was because I was absolutely disgusted with how they treated me. The other part is that I was kind of terrified of having some of the other tests done. (I do have serious anxiety issues.)

It's been a couple years since that experience. Whatever is going on hasn't killed me yet but it sure makes my life miserable. I now have a new primary care doctor who really seems to understand me and I'm hoping we can make some real progress on getting my health issues under control. I recently discussed with her the possibility that I may be autistic and she seemed to agree. She gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist about this, as well as my anxiety issues. I'm currently torn on whether or not I should try to get a formal diagnosis. I seriously worry that an Autism diagnosis might make other doctors take me even less seriously than they do now.


Here is the problem. The doctors you went to see do they have the power to diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder? If not then you need you call your insurance company and get a referral to see a Clinical Psychologist and when you call and speak to schedule your appointment remember to ask if the Psychologist you're going to see has the power to diagnosis.

Some people mistakenly get advice from the General Practitioner whether or not they have Autism. The only thing your GP Doctor can do is give an opinion about the subject sometimes they might say "you seem like you do" which doesn't mean you've been diagnosed but this sometimes let's people on.

If you come from a country with free health care which means you have to wait for years and go through the proper channels unless you pay a lot of money, I don't know what to tell you. We have something similar happening here with Obamacare with that they are pushing Walgreen Clerks and even a new field the 'Nurse Practitioner' do try to do the job as a doctor but it puts people with less qualifications than a doctor in the field. Even still with Obamacare if you have that there should be a mental health line to get a referral. If you live in the U.S and don't have insurance than Barrack Obama will fine you since the fines started and if you don't pay the fine you eventually will go to jail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6cKd3WCIU



ToughDiamond
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03 Jul 2016, 5:45 pm

I wasn't diagnosed until late. Before that, on the few occasions I'd visited NHS doctors I was mostly been fobbed off with nothing except when diagnosis and treatment was clear-cut and inexpensive. I would also get a stressful prelude in the waiting room with screaming kids, uncomfy chairs, and receptionists who often didn't communicate in clear English, so by the time I got to see the doc I was in no fit state to be assertive. So I was treated properly for warts, a lacerated finger, and sciatica, but fobbed off for alopecia, stress, and a suspicious soft lump behind my ear. I had (and still have) a few odd things such as a strange sensitivity to heat and cold, mysterious itching, and minor gastro-intestinal discomforts which all come and go. I never had them looked at - what's the point in going through that waiting-room experience just to be fobbed off with nothing?

Post-diagnosis (which I had done privately rather than wait ages for the probably cheapskate NHS version), nothing has changed, except I'm less worried about those weird sub-clinical symptoms now I know they're likely to be ASD-related. Having heard how severe the "Aspie physicals" can be in some people, I count myself lucky.



Trekkie83
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03 Jul 2016, 11:03 pm

HisShadowX wrote:
Trekkie83 wrote:
This is something that seriously concerns me and makes me wonder if getting an official diagnosis might have some negative effects. Over the last few years I've developed some health issues that I'm convinced have some physical cause and aren't just "all in my head". Even without an Autism related diagnosis I can't get some doctors to take me seriously. I had one specialist tell me flat out that I was too young and that they never *find* anything wrong in people my age (early 30's). (I will note that I did get a little stuck on his use of the word "find".) And this was on the very first visit, before examining me or running any tests.

Of course he did order some tests to be sure. After the first test, which didn't find anything, he seemed to rub it in that there's nothing physically wrong with me and it's all in my head. After that I didn't even bother with the rest of the tests. Part of it was because I was absolutely disgusted with how they treated me. The other part is that I was kind of terrified of having some of the other tests done. (I do have serious anxiety issues.)

It's been a couple years since that experience. Whatever is going on hasn't killed me yet but it sure makes my life miserable. I now have a new primary care doctor who really seems to understand me and I'm hoping we can make some real progress on getting my health issues under control. I recently discussed with her the possibility that I may be autistic and she seemed to agree. She gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist about this, as well as my anxiety issues. I'm currently torn on whether or not I should try to get a formal diagnosis. I seriously worry that an Autism diagnosis might make other doctors take me even less seriously than they do now.


Here is the problem. The doctors you went to see do they have the power to diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder? If not then you need you call your insurance company and get a referral to see a Clinical Psychologist and when you call and speak to schedule your appointment remember to ask if the Psychologist you're going to see has the power to diagnosis.

Some people mistakenly get advice from the General Practitioner whether or not they have Autism. The only thing your GP Doctor can do is give an opinion about the subject sometimes they might say "you seem like you do" which doesn't mean you've been diagnosed but this sometimes let's people on.

If you come from a country with free health care which means you have to wait for years and go through the proper channels unless you pay a lot of money, I don't know what to tell you. We have something similar happening here with Obamacare with that they are pushing Walgreen Clerks and even a new field the 'Nurse Practitioner' do try to do the job as a doctor but it puts people with less qualifications than a doctor in the field. Even still with Obamacare if you have that there should be a mental health line to get a referral. If you live in the U.S and don't have insurance than Barrack Obama will fine you since the fines started and if you don't pay the fine you eventually will go to jail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6cKd3WCIU



I'm in the U.S. and Obamacare is why I now have a new primary care doctor. My previous insurance dropped me last year, after having that policy for a decade. I'm now on Medicaid, which my previous doctor doesn't take. Maybe this change will turn out to be a good thing. My previous insurance specifically EXCLUDED any mental health coverage. Also, so far, I'm quite happy/impressed with my new primary care doctor.

Most of the things you said are correct. My primary care doctor didn't diagnose me with anything. She simply agreed that it seems very *possible* that I am Autistic. As such, she gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist.



HisShadowX
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04 Jul 2016, 1:00 am

Trekkie83 wrote:
HisShadowX wrote:
Trekkie83 wrote:
This is something that seriously concerns me and makes me wonder if getting an official diagnosis might have some negative effects. Over the last few years I've developed some health issues that I'm convinced have some physical cause and aren't just "all in my head". Even without an Autism related diagnosis I can't get some doctors to take me seriously. I had one specialist tell me flat out that I was too young and that they never *find* anything wrong in people my age (early 30's). (I will note that I did get a little stuck on his use of the word "find".) And this was on the very first visit, before examining me or running any tests.

Of course he did order some tests to be sure. After the first test, which didn't find anything, he seemed to rub it in that there's nothing physically wrong with me and it's all in my head. After that I didn't even bother with the rest of the tests. Part of it was because I was absolutely disgusted with how they treated me. The other part is that I was kind of terrified of having some of the other tests done. (I do have serious anxiety issues.)

It's been a couple years since that experience. Whatever is going on hasn't killed me yet but it sure makes my life miserable. I now have a new primary care doctor who really seems to understand me and I'm hoping we can make some real progress on getting my health issues under control. I recently discussed with her the possibility that I may be autistic and she seemed to agree. She gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist about this, as well as my anxiety issues. I'm currently torn on whether or not I should try to get a formal diagnosis. I seriously worry that an Autism diagnosis might make other doctors take me even less seriously than they do now.


Here is the problem. The doctors you went to see do they have the power to diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder? If not then you need you call your insurance company and get a referral to see a Clinical Psychologist and when you call and speak to schedule your appointment remember to ask if the Psychologist you're going to see has the power to diagnosis.

Some people mistakenly get advice from the General Practitioner whether or not they have Autism. The only thing your GP Doctor can do is give an opinion about the subject sometimes they might say "you seem like you do" which doesn't mean you've been diagnosed but this sometimes let's people on.

If you come from a country with free health care which means you have to wait for years and go through the proper channels unless you pay a lot of money, I don't know what to tell you. We have something similar happening here with Obamacare with that they are pushing Walgreen Clerks and even a new field the 'Nurse Practitioner' do try to do the job as a doctor but it puts people with less qualifications than a doctor in the field. Even still with Obamacare if you have that there should be a mental health line to get a referral. If you live in the U.S and don't have insurance than Barrack Obama will fine you since the fines started and if you don't pay the fine you eventually will go to jail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6cKd3WCIU



I'm in the U.S. and Obamacare is why I now have a new primary care doctor. My previous insurance dropped me last year, after having that policy for a decade. I'm now on Medicaid, which my previous doctor doesn't take. Maybe this change will turn out to be a good thing. My previous insurance specifically EXCLUDED any mental health coverage. Also, so far, I'm quite happy/impressed with my new primary care doctor.

Most of the things you said are correct. My primary care doctor didn't diagnose me with anything. She simply agreed that it seems very *possible* that I am Autistic. As such, she gave me a referral to see a psychiatrist.


Awesome, just so you know you can call your regular insurance company that you have through the Obamacare marketplace whomever they might be and the number for referals for mental health providers. You no longer need to go to your doctors specifically for a referral for mental health issues. It should save you a lot of time, they should give you a couple of numbers so you can shop around and see what the wait time is.