Bringing up Autism to a GP? Am I faking?

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abearofverybigheart
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07 Aug 2019, 5:56 am

So for the past few months, I've been trying to talk myself into speaking to my parents about seeing a doctor about some issues I've been having regarding anxiety and depression, and I think I might want to bring up the possibility that I may be on the autism spectrum. This is gonna be kinda long, because I'm rambling. Sorry. I've just been thinking about this a lot and I needed to get it out of my head.

For the past I'd say year or so, I've been "researching myself" I guess? I graduated high school about two years ago, and with the loss of contact with my school friends, I've sort of been learning how to be myself again. A big issue I had with school was that I never felt there was anyone I could be honestly myself with, so within the group I'd forged, I would copy certain behaviors and habits to blend in more(which was, surprise surprise, really dangerous for my mental well-being).

I have a bad habit of getting really attached to one or two friends (one of them being my first and only boyfriend) and so most of my copycat techniques came from them. They turned out to actually be kind of toxic, in the sense that the friend has some emotional habits that weren't healthy for me to pick up, and my boyfriend (who I still clung to) never let me to talk about my friends (because he didn't like them anymore) and pretty much turned me against my parents, who, looking back, did pretty much nothing wrong and I was just being an ass.

What with my newfound freedom from school (and jarring loss of that constant routine, which took a little while to fix and replace) I relaxed, I started to let myself do the things I wanted to again, but with the resurgence of, y'know, my actual personality, I started to question why I felt like I needed to hide throughout high school, why it seemed like next to nobody at my school acted the way I did, why nobody else really was similar to me, and whether or not I was "normal"? So who did I turn to? Google.

I searched and am still searching a lot. I've had some varying answers to my questions but something that comes up quite a lot is aspergers/autism. So I started looking into that, and with a lot of things regarding it, I kind of just think "yeah that's me". I've read about other people's experiences, looked at what feels like a bunch of different symptom lists, taken the few seemingly reputable screening tests I can find. It's been months. At this point, I do legitimately think this could be a possibility.

My problem lies in the fact that I'm afraid to go to a professional with concerns. Somewhere along the line something in my head or someone I've seen convinced me that because I have a list of possible concerns/diagnoses/answers, I must be faking. That if I go to a doctor and say "oh well I have these symptoms so it could be this", it means I'm just faking it and it's some sort of ploy for attention through diagnosis (which sounds ridiculous, but the fear is still there).

Pretty much the whole point of this nonsensical rant is just: I want help. I'm at a point now where I know I am depressed. I know I've got really horrible anxiety. But I don't know for sure if I may be on the autism spectrum, and that uncertainty has me thinking 'what if I'm just faking it all' 'what if there's nothing wrong and it's all in my head'? Those thoughts are making everything get all knotted up in my head, and making me question whether or not help s worth it.

Okay. End rant. I don't think any of this really made sense, but any opinions or input would be helpful. Thanks.



GiantHockeyFan
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07 Aug 2019, 6:17 am

A lot of that sounds eerily familiar to me: it didn't help that the last time I saw a pediatrician in my early teens he wrote on this report that I was an "attention seeking class clown", which is probably the single worst possible description of my personality but my young naïve mind assumed that he was the expert so he must be right. Of course, as an adult I can safely laugh at it but at the time I went from practically mute to almost totally mute.

I recently spoke to someone who retired from a College disability office. I spoke along the same lines as you did (i.e. am I just faking or deluding myself for attention?) and she basically told me that you know yourself best and if you really believe you have Autism/ADHD/OCD or any similar disorder there is a very good chance that those hunches are accurate. She actually researched some names for me and I have an appointment set up this fall to get some definitive answers. By this point in my life if I was told that I was not on the spectrum I would question whether they should have a license as I am about as textbook as you can get.



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07 Aug 2019, 6:19 am

You will want to go speak to a psychological counselor, not a general practitioner. Autism can't be diagnosed by measurements of the cranium--phrenology is pseudoscience and if you are time traveling back to when it existed, take me!

You may have autism/Aspergers' or you may not.

Girls tend to "mask," or hide the symptoms, more successfully than do men. There is that to consider.

Behavioral stuff is not the only way to tell. If you're still self-diagnosing, see if there are certain physical stimuli that lead you to shut down--I don't mean things like "The vacuum cleaner is annoying" but "I literally cannot function with that thing on/the neighbors' EDM on the stereo/bright lights." Look up sensory overload in the context of autism, here on Wrong Planet.

Good luck and God bless you, whatever happens!


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abearofverybigheart
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07 Aug 2019, 7:15 am

I've read a few different posts on the differences in how Autism/Asperger's presents itself in both boys and girls, as well as "masking".

My mom actually talked to me recently about sensory overload, but not in the specific context of autism, because I've been to afraid to bring up any of this yet. I've had issues with it in the past in school, what with fluorescent lighting, crowded classrooms, and shouting teenagers being kind of a recipe for disaster.

I've never really had a job, so since I graduated I've been quite the homebody. The constantly being in my safe place has been good in the sense that I'm in control of the conditions (cold rooms, dim lighting, quiet sounds, all the soft textures and blankets I want and no strangers. Yay!), so major sensory overloads have actually been on the rarer side lately.

There is something I'm curious about that I haven't looked much into. The only way I can think to describe it is like an emotional overload? I'll go a while with just being like "fine" I guess? Like I can't place how I'm feeling but it isn't majorly bad or good so it's fine, but after a while it's like my mood crashes and I get horribly upset and cant control it even though I don't know what I'm upset about?

Back on the subject of sensory issues, is heat a problem with anyone else? I'm alright with being cold or warm, but if I get just a little too hot it's like my brain stops working and all I can think about is how dreadfully hot it is.



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07 Aug 2019, 7:20 am

Definitely look into it and do it now. Do not wait. The reason I am saying this is because of your age. If you are Autistic, you need to get your official diagnosis before you turn 21. That is super important. The reason is that you may need and want services as you get older or even now if you are Autistic but now you can no longer be eligible for waiver programs if you are not diagnosed before the age of 21. This is the devastating news that I just got yesterday. I was on a four year waiting list for an application for an Autism waiver for services that I desperately need. But the waivers were just amended and I was bumped off of the waiting list after already waiting a year and a half because I did not get my diagnosis until I was 47. The modern diagnostic which is required for waiver eligibility criteria did not exist before I was 21 so it was not possible for me to get diagnosed back then. But that does not matter. I am not able to get a waiver of any kind because I was not diagnosed as a child. So I suggest that you do this now because you might want or need services at some point in your life and you could lose the chance to get funding for them if you don't act now.

And no, you are not faking. You definitely sound like you need an evaluation.


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