Late doagnosis- telling parents what I need

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Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 8 Mar 2015
Posts: 37

04 Mar 2017, 6:20 pm

I got diagnosed at 21 and for me it was a really positive thing because I had been in and out of mental health care for nearly 10 years, had issues with self harm, ended up having a full on breakdown towards the end of my schooling and beginning of trying university. I've been doing really well- I'm nearly 24, in my final year of my degree, no self harm or medication etc., but
I am having some issues explaining stuff to my parents.

Because I was a 'good' child and I've never been that good at talking to them I don't think they have ever understood just how much I surpressed growing up. I have a younger brother with severe learning difficulties and I've helped care for him for a long time, and got very good at being no trouble to anyone because I recognised that made people happy. As such, sometimes it is hard to explain to my parents accomodations I need, or at least it feels so to me.

Like I said I'm in my final year of my undergraduate degree. It's taken me a bit to get here but I'm donig really well and if I get a 2:1 I have a place on a Masters course for next year. I've been having a lot of anxiety attacks lately because of stress and I've found I can be okay about my work and uni and stuff, as long as I can do things my way, which means I'm getting bad with people. For example, today I got up early, walked the dog, had breakfast and went to the library to get some work done when it would be really quiet. I was in a super good mood, relaxed, I even tried a new place to eat on campus I felt so good. I got home and my mum was kind of in a bad mood I think. I'd sat down to watch a programme on tv to relax before trying to work again and she started cleaning the room and was in the mood where she grumbles about how our house is black with dust-when it was more just due a normal clean not filthy- and I am bad with that because it feels like she's blaming me even if she isn't. So I left the room and had a cup of tea in the kitchen withthe radio on, but then she was moving my stuff which really annoys me and I was trying to stay calm because I didn't want to cause an argument- but my dad was in the study and my brother in his playroom and then m dad agreed to let me have the study but mum always leaves her laptop on and it's really loud- and it took me quite a while to realise the headache I had developed was actually and anxiety attack. I was fine once my mum and my brother went out, I was able to sit quietly with hot chocolate and watch a nice film. But I've realised my capacity for coping with people is really low right now, except I don't know how to tell my parents that.

How do I explain to mum that when she rants like that it can give me an anxiety attack, when my anxiety attacks are pretty invisible and I've never really indicated a problem before?

My mum is currently having mood swings (she's menopausal) and I'm finding it really hard and I have no idea how she would react if I like wrote down some of this stuff to give her. Sometimes she can be fine, sometimes she seems to get annoyed even when I am trying not to make it sound critical of her, and sometimes she just ends up treating me a bit too much like I'm not capable of anything really and about to collapse at the slightest hurdle.

Any late diagnosis people- how did you handle parents/family who already had a preconceived idea of how to behave around you, now you have a credible reason to ask them to behave more sensitively?


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Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 800

05 Mar 2017, 10:08 am

How's your relationship with your dad? Would it be easier to have a "heart-to-heart" talk with him and let the news be passed along through him?

Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 15 Feb 2017
Age: 26
Gender: Female
Posts: 7

05 Mar 2017, 10:28 am

I'll first say I can't help, sorry. But I can relate. I'm don't have a diagnosis yet and I'm going for one but it seems pretty undeniable, anyway. Part of my problem is I've always had trouble putting my emotions/feelings into words and telling people, so if I do get a diagnosis how can I tell my family things that have always happened around me have always bothered me, sometimes intensely? Often for sensory reasons, I'm realizing now. But I withdraw when it happens so no one notices, like you said. Things like crowded/big social events. I think I learned to just do what people wanted me to because it's considered rude to not want to go on a family shopping trip in a city, or attend a party or something. Even though I hate these things, ugh.