Hi - 26 year old woman with suspected autism

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purpletoupee
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19 Dec 2016, 4:21 pm

Hi everyone

As mentioned, I'm 26 and have been going through hell since early childhood feeling like an alien and that I just cannot function in the world. I was basically what I guess would be described as a selective mute as a kid and was badly bullied throughout the whole of school pretty much just for being me! I have picked up a whole array of severe anxiety disorders and depression along the way.

I'm currently housebound with agoraphobia from panic disorder and just generally in a really crappy place: isolated, unable to work and feeling like this is the end.

Recently a few people online (with direct experience of autism) have independently suggested to me that I almost definitely have this condition and that this may well be what has caused all my mental health conditions to develop. I'm pushing to get tested, but my care coordinator and support worker seem reluctant and convinced that I dont have it.

I know that autism presents differently in women, and so I don't know if they're looking for the more classic symptoms that are displayed more by men with the condition. I really feel like I need to at least rule it out, so I'm trying to be assertive about this, which isn't exactly easy when you're a social phobic with panic disorder.

It has always confused me that I have developed so many mental health problems stemming from this inexplicable extreme sensitivity, awkwardness and nervousness, when most people as ill as me have dealt with things that are universally recognised as traumatic such as abuse.

So yeah, I might find out that I don't have the condition, but I just wanted to join this forum as I thought it might be helpful.

Thanks for reading



ArielsSong
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19 Dec 2016, 4:57 pm

Welcome! :)



Hippygoth
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19 Dec 2016, 5:15 pm

Keep fighting. Some of the people around me were pretty sure I was wrong about being autistic but they don't know what it's like to be me, and they haven't read what I've read (regarding how it presents differently in females). As it turns out, I was right.

Good luck to you.



AnonymousAnonymous
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19 Dec 2016, 5:56 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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hannahjrob
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20 Dec 2016, 1:49 am

Hi there. I'm in a similar situation...25 year old female who has never been diagnosed, but I do really feel that i probably have some form of high functioning autism or Asperger's (leaning more towards AS since I didn't have any significant speech delays as a child). I do seem pretty "normal" to a lot of people (especially family members and close friends who are just used to me and my quirks) so I feel like if I told them that I believe I might be on the spectrum, they'll just dismiss it and say I worry too much or that I'm too critical of myself. But like you said...they don't live inside my head so they don't know what it's like to be me. But anyway, welcome! I hope that joining this forum will help you feel less alone like it has me.



underwater
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20 Dec 2016, 3:05 am

Hi, and welcome!

Sometimes the most clueless can be the ones who think they know something about autism. Keep pushing for testing. At least you will get some sort of answer. Just the fact that you were selectively mute as a child should be evidence enough that testing is in order.

If you are autistic, any treatment for agoraphobia, social anxiety or the like has to be tailored to autistic needs, which is why it is important to know, or the therapy might not work the way it should.

The goal is to get you back on your feet; you can't waste your life avoiding upsetting people who aren't actually helping you move forward.

I know the NHS deteriorating now, which is probably one of the reasons these people are holding back. However, that is not a medically valid reason.

Best wishes!


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RoadRatt
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20 Dec 2016, 12:50 pm

Hey purpletoupee welcome. :sunny:


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purpletoupee
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21 Dec 2016, 5:58 am

Hi thanks everyone so much for the friendly replies. :)

Sorry for a bit of a miserable first post.

Underwater: That's really helpful advice. Annoyingly I think I'm going to have to wait until after christmas to mention the having the test done again - although it's possible I could brave making a phone call to the office today and leave a message. These kinds of seemingly everyday things are incredibly hard for me.

I can't fault my care coordinator -- she is lovely and does absolutely everything she can to try to help people. I don't think she'd deliberately try to stop people getting the help they need -- I think this is just not her area. I do sense that some of the other people saying I don't have it might just going by stereotypes, though. I wear contact lenses but I bet if I wore my glasses out they'd probably have gone with it!

I'm hopeful now that things might finally change and I might be able to start building an actual life rather that this hidden hermit-like existence. If only I could have got help about 16 years ago...

Oh and good luck Hannah, by the way. :)



Auroras
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21 Dec 2016, 9:11 am

Welcome to WP!

I hope you have a chance to get tested! A diagnosis could be helpful with dealing with everything you're going through. Props to you for staying assertive! : )

There is a post on WP (Women's Discussion) about how ASD usually shows with females and differences between male/female Aspies. It also has a bunch of other resources specifically for females with ASD! It might be helpful? :> viewtopic.php?t=211004



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22 Dec 2016, 6:43 pm

I went through a lot of similar things. I was bullied in my childhood and early teen years. I always felt different, even though I got good grades in school. I always felt socially awkward and was somewhat klutzy.

Five years ago, I hit my lowest point. I suffered a string of losses, losing my mom and two cats within the space of a year. I thought I was just about done for.

Fortunately, the last three years have been pretty good for me. Don't give up. Please post when you are feeling low and talk to us.



purpletoupee
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23 Dec 2016, 8:00 pm

Thanks everyone. :)

Isotominfan: I'm sorry to hear about what you've been through, & glad you're in a better place in your life right now.

I always did well academically in school too, but all this has just ruined my whole life almost beyond repair. It's the extreme isolation which is so hard. But of course it's a real catch-22, and I've really internalised the shame from being long-term unemployed (despite the fact that I haven't been able to help it), which is another obstacle preventing me from trying to speak to people. Also, the second I get in close proximity to another person I completely shut down and freeze like an animal does in a fight-or-flight response. Every moment I leave the house (I can currently go to the park or the shop around the corner with a lot of distress but that's basically it) all these panic related/sensory overload symptoms -- whatever they are, are just endless torture. I have to cross the road to avoid passing people because it's like there's a force field around them that affects me and it can be agony sometimes. I literally have no contact with anyone in real life except from my parents who I can't even be at all comfortable with either. I just don't feel like a human being at the moment; I'm just a collection of illnesses and as you all obviously know society doesn't make it easy.

But anyway, just venting. I'm just holding out until I can get tested, and then I'll deal with the other hurdles as they arrive. :)



Glflegolas
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27 Dec 2016, 1:05 pm

I'm sorry that I'm a bit late, but as I once heard, "Better Nate than Lever!"

Welcome here! I hope you'll enjoy your time here.


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purpletoupee
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27 Dec 2016, 1:48 pm

Hi Glflegolas, thanks for the welcome :)



purpletoupee
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09 Jan 2017, 1:06 pm

An update (just to document it for myself if anything): I had another appointment with MH workers today. They're still essentially treating the whole autism thing as a ridiculous idea. They're saying they don't want me to go through a long-drawn out process then to discover that I don't have it. And they say I can discuss it with the psychologist when I see her in three months, no doubt so she can figure out how I got this apparently crazy idea into my head in the first place?! This is my life. I need things to happen much quicker if I'm ever going to be able to salvage this existence! I'm literally waiting on this stuff -- everything is on hold.

I'm generally convinced that I have a solid basis to suspect I have an ASC and it needs to at least be ruled out. So I'm confused. I think maybe I should make a list of possible evidence to support the idea? There's obviously no way in my current situation of being able to afford hundreds of pounds for a private assessment. I'll work out what I should do tomorrow as I'm tired of thinking about it today.



purpletoupee
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23 Jan 2017, 8:37 am

Well, I scored 4/10 on the AQ-10. So I guess I was wrong after all?!