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Dazamu
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Joined: 28 May 2017
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Posts: 3

29 May 2017, 12:06 am

Hello, I am currently suspecting I may have Asperger's. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to seek out a professional opinion. I've taken online tests and they usually indicate a low probability of it.

I think I have a lot of the symptoms: I used to pace a crazy amount when I was younger, although I have that sort of under control now, I'm very picky with food because some textures make me gag, I get fairly intense with my interests, I have bad motor skills, so on and so forth.

As a child, I had a lot of trouble getting along with other children. I spoke very little, and would often just stare instead of responding when they talked to me. In middle school, I decided I wanted to be more normal so I tried “studying” the way other kids spoke. The next year I started trying to imitate them and to integrate myself within social groups.

By this point I think I can pass as almost normal (enough that my boyfriend doesn't think I'm on the spectrum) but I'm coming to realize I can't do a good job long-term. I can handle meeting people, but not really making friends. And I just feel very exhausted from all the effort I've put in.

I don't know if it's worth trying to get professional support though. I had a psychologist a few years back for depression, but she told me to “get over it”. I've known other people here with a bad experience with psychologists, plus, as far as I can see from an online search, the only autism specialists here are for children. I'm also concerned about the money, and I don't have a family doctor to refer me. I have no idea where I'd begin if I wanted to pursue this further. My parents could probably advise me, but I'm uncomfortable talking to them about it.

What do?



B19
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29 May 2017, 12:46 am

Over the years I've been here, I've seen many of the female new members who arrived with the same suspicion go on to obtain a formal diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. Also, for many, it was far from a straightforward process to find a clinician with an accurate knowledge of what AS actually is, and competence in this field of diagnosis. You can read many such accounts in older threads here on Wrong Planet. Websites like Austistic Women's Network (and others) are a mine of information for too.

However, if you decide to seek a diagnosis, circumstances and practice differ from place to place and country to country; lately we have had a lot of reports from UK members about diagnostic agencies increasingly restricting services to "severe case" only - that term generally means "excluding people at the Asperger's end of the spectrum". This apparently increasing trend is a result of political and economic decisions by the providers of service delivery and their political masters.

The last barrier for women seeking an Asperger's appraisal is gender. Many clinicians (perhaps most) have an old and erroneous idea of AS a primarily male condition, and this gender bias has caused many women to be misdiagnosed with other conditions - it is not uncommon to hear of these accounts.

Read all you can; have a look at the resources listed in the Women's Forum here on Wrong Planet; notice what rings bells for you; take some of the tests available in stickied threads on Wrong Planet. All this effort may clarify for you whether you are possibly on the spectrum or not; many of us go through this initial stage to a self-discovery process.

There are many threads of book recommendations here and elsewhere. You might be interested in "Pretending to Be Normal" by Lianne Wiley at this stage.

To find earlier threads here on WP, I find it easiest to google the topic, combined with the words Wrong Planet, for example: "woman unsure about seeking diagnosis Wrong Planet" should return some instant hits.



Dazamu
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Joined: 28 May 2017
Age: 22
Gender: Female
Posts: 3

29 May 2017, 3:30 pm

Thank you for the response.

I actually have a sister who was misdiagnosed as bipolar at a teenage age and later in adulthood was identified correctly as Asperger's, so I'm not surprised to hear that. I may discuss the issue with her in the future, but she lives elsewhere and we communicate fairly little.

For now, I'll simply continue doing research. I hopefully will be moving to a bigger city in a year or so, and I may look into finding a therapist at that point.

A question for the self-diagnosed: how open are you about it? I've often wished I had an excuse for my odd behaviour before, but I'm concerned about being dismissed due to the lack of formal diagnosis. There's also always the chance that I'm wrong.

I plan on keeping my suspicions a secret for now anyway, simply because of the uncertainty.