Skepticism towards diagnostic procedure

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Myrsky
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01 Jul 2019, 6:38 pm

Skepticism towards diagnostic procedure

Hi everybody,

I’ll try to make this as short as possible. I won’t be making a list of why I think I have aspergers and why I think I don’t, as I know nobody online can replace an expert’s opinion, but I would like to know if this seems like a thorough diagnostic evaluation or if I should seek a second opinion.

I contacted a clinic specialised in ASD after being informed by my psychologist, after only three sessions, that I might be on the spectrum. Before my first appointment, the clinic asked me to write a text of about three pages describing my life. Obviously, I researched Aspergers like crazy to make sure I left nothing out. When my appointment came, the doctor asked me questions for about an hour. The next step would be a series of questionnaires that I would have to answer on my own. One of those questionnaires had to be filled out by someone that knows me well. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, I haven’t told my friends, family or partner about the fact that I was seeking a possible ASD diagnosis. I told the doctor that I was uncomfortable disclosing this to anyone and I would rather skip that part, if possible. He decided that, in my case, he was willing to make an exception because he could already tell, with absolute certainty, that I was on the spectrum. Even before I answered the questionnaires. Apparently, the text I wrote summed up the condition very well, especially in women.

Currently, I am waiting my follow up appointment, where we will go through my results and officialise the diagnosis. Considering that there is several weeks between both appointments, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on all of this, and I am starting to have massive doubts. Without going into the details of why I think the diagnosis might not be accurate, I am wondering if it is possible that I somehow conned the doctor with my text because I had done so much research about the condition and I put only the parts of my life I considered relevant to Aspergers, while probably leaving out any information that could prove otherwise. Should I be worried that he made up his mind so quickly about me? Can a diagnosis really be accurate without the input of someone that is close to me? I have no reason to doubt his expertise, considering he is fairly mature and has been working with people on the spectrum his whole life.

I don’t want to get a second opinion because it costs a lot and I already sort of have the opinion of the first psychologist, even if she’s not an expert on ASD. I will probably be discussing this further during the follow up appointment, but a part of me feels like I will always doubt the diagnosis, no matter how convinced the doctors are. It’s as if I have some sort of imposter’s syndrome.

Does anybody else experience this?



Mona Pereth
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01 Jul 2019, 7:36 pm

If you can think of any SPECIFIC reasons to doubt the diagnosis, besides a general suspicion of your own bias, perhaps you could write them down and bring them with you to the next appointment?

(No I did not experience any such doubt about my diagnosis.)

Anyhow, welcome to WP.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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01 Jul 2019, 8:53 pm

The psychologist that diagnosed me with Asperger's did not involve anyone except psychologist and me

(San Diego, can,USA, 2003)

Someones family could be dead, in jail, or not in contact

Someone might not have friends. Especially autistics

Your diagnosis could be correct or wrong, but your families' input has nothing to do with whether the diagnosis is correct or wrong



QFT
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01 Jul 2019, 8:54 pm

Myrsky wrote:
I am wondering if it is possible that I somehow conned the doctor with my text because I had done so much research about the condition and I put only the parts of my life I considered relevant to Aspergers, while probably leaving out any information that could prove otherwise.


Tell the part I just quoted to the doctor and see what he says.



Dear_one
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01 Jul 2019, 10:35 pm

Just doing the research is a major indicator. There are certainly a lot of sloppy, incompetent diagnosticians around, but AS is so easy to spot that I once correctly diagnosed a guy on a tech listserv who had a family and a business. Why do you want an official diagnosis? Professionals are no good at untangling the details of concurrent conditions and their complications. I recommend just refining your self knowledge to see what is relevant to your life.



squiggle7
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01 Jul 2019, 11:25 pm

I just got my diagnosis but the whole wait between the assessment and feedback report I was doubting myself and certain I was making it up. I was also like you in that a psychologist suggested I might have asd after just 2 meetings although it was a suspicion of mine for about 10 years. My assessment was basically just a chat with a psychologist, a psychiatrist, an iq test and a bunch of questionnaires like raads 10. I let the assessment team talk to my mum although I really didn’t want to and that turned out to be inconclusive. The psychologist assessing me said although my mum didn’t confirm much he could see from my description that I have it. He also said it was subtly noticeable in my body language which I had no idea about. I think you just have to trust that they’ve seen many cases and know what they’re doing.



boating_taxonomist
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02 Jul 2019, 10:08 am

I do think it can sometimes be easy to pick up on people on the spectrum due to very similar experiences. When I first began to seriously think I was on the spectrum (had some vague thoughts for years but never really pursued it) it was because I came across an article about autism in women and it was like someone had been taking notes of my entire life and put it on the internet for me to find (it was really spooky). I've since come across other people's experiences and again, the common themes are quite startling. That's obviously not enough to diagnose someone, but along with the other questionnaires could be enough to say you meet the criteria for a diagnosis. There really isn't a foolproof way to diagnose ASD though, it is largely it's down to observing and talking to you about your life experiences.

Input from someone else is something they prefer but it's just one part of the bigger picture and lots of people don't have input from anyone else (either because there isn't anyone or they don't want anyone else involved), there can certainly be enough evidence without it. My mum added some useful info to my assessment that corroborated what I'd said and what the assessor observed, but it wasn't a lot and I don't think the outcome would have been different without it. It might help you feel more comfortable when you have gone through the results with the psychologist?

I certainly felt like I had doubts and wasn't sure I could trust the diagnosis between getting a verbal diagnosis and getting my diagnostic report, with exactly the same thoughts-what if I'd somehow 'tricked' them into it by all my research and all the info I'd given them was biased? Or I'd given them the wrong impressions somewhere? My diagnostic report however, which outlined the results of my assessment and how I met each point of the criteria, was so recognisably me, that it helped resolve my doubts a lot.