Undiagnosed Females or males - anyone relate? very rambly.

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CrabbyHermit
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29 Apr 2021, 10:33 am

Hello

I'm a female in my early 50s, undiagnosed. I've always had a few 'issues' throughout school, "lacks confidence" "very quiet" "immature" "doesn't try" "won't join in" "easily confused" etc etc. I hated school so much, everything about it, sometimes I ran out of lessons and hid in the cloakrooms just to get away. I avoided certain things, as much as I could. I avoided PE, Drama, reading aloud in class, answering questions in class, group work, asking for help. I got bullied but I had a few friends.

Going to work was much better than school but work has its own set of issues as you'll probably know.

All this lead me to believe I had Social Anxiety, I saw a psychologist at one point I think I was mid to late 20s they diagnosed Agoraphobia with panic attacks, I had some counselling (useless) and I don't think I've ever had a panic attack so no idea where that came from!

I never really spoke to my GP about that kind of thing again. I put it down to social anxiety, about 3 yrs ago I started reading up on overcoming social anxiety as I'd started a new job which was causing me a few issues. I came across ASD which I've been 'researching' ever since. I did the online tests which strongly pointed me in that direction, I booked an appt with my GP as I was going to ask for a referral for assessment but cancelled it as I'm not sure I want or need to go down that route. I'm not self-diagnosing, I just can't it'd have to be official for me to use that term. I do know I have quite a few traits though - I can accept that.

I've always been in work when I've wanted to be, I only lasted 8 weeks in one job and had a few 'warnings' in other jobs but on the whole its worked out, its always hard though, I'm sure it should be easier. I'm married with kids. Life is good, I don't feel depressed but I feel hugely frustrated with myself at times, anxious about different things, I avoid a few things and some things I do slightly differently - that doesn't bother me too much now. For so long I wanted to be 'normal' I tried to succeed up until very recently I was still trying everything I could think of to be 'normal', I really really wanted to be like everyone else, even in my 50s I thought perhaps with a bit more effort I can achieve it. I think I've finally accepted that's not going to happen - Which brings me to here!

Is it OK for me to be here?



funeralxempire
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29 Apr 2021, 10:40 am

Yes, there's other people here who suspect ASD but haven't received formal diagnosis. My dad probably qualifies for diagnosis, but has no interest in pursuing it; at his age he doesn't think it would make a difference to have confirmed. He'd be welcome to post here (not that he does).


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Mountain Goat
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29 Apr 2021, 10:45 am

Yes it is fine that you are here. Welcome to Wrong Planet.

About a decade ago before I knew about autism, I gave up trying to be like everyone else as I came to the point where I realized that I can't be like everyone else.
When I stopped trying to "Fit in" and be like others, I had a relief. I still did not know why I was different, but I said to myself "I am me and if others don't like it, then tough!" It took me most if my life to rech that point.
Finding out about autism came over a series of co-incidences (God incidences as I had prayed to God and asked "God... What's wrong with me?")
I am still awaiting an assessment. It is important that I am assessed as I am trapped in a situation where I can't move on until I am assessed, and it is a situation that I can't ignore anymore.

Anyway. Welcome. :)



Last edited by Mountain Goat on 29 Apr 2021, 10:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

CrabbyHermit
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29 Apr 2021, 10:49 am

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, there's other people here who suspect ASD but haven't received formal diagnosis. My dad probably qualifies for diagnosis, but has no interest in pursuing it; at his age he doesn't think it would make a difference to have confirmed. He'd be welcome to post here (not that he does).


Thanks that's good to know. Its kind of how I feel about it, I've got this far being me!

Being able to share experiences would be useful now though and definitely finding coping mechanisms for the tricky bits - I really need to work on that.



IsabellaLinton
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29 Apr 2021, 10:55 am

Welcome, CrabbyHermit. You're certainly welcome to stay, learn from us, and share your own perspective. Many people here didn't self-identify or pursue formal diagnosis until middle age and we understand that the system wasn't designed to detect us in our formative years.

I also had a diagnosis of anxiety, agoraphobia, social phobia, etc., in my 20's but I didn't realise that my stims and Sensory Processing Disorder (neither of which I had a name for at the time), were related to the condition. No one connected the dots for me to see it was all connected or relevant. I had my formal diagnosis three years in spring 2018 and I actually feel very glad for the experience and comprehensive report it provided. It just seems to clarify a lot of issues for me to understand my development in different ways, and to know it's valid rather than my imagination (I tend to self-doubt). I'm not suggesting you need to get a diagnosis but I'm just curious why you cancelled your GP appointment?

I hope you enjoy your time with us. Let us know if you need any help navigating the site or finding your way around.



CrabbyHermit
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29 Apr 2021, 10:57 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
Yes it is fine that you are here. Welcome to Wrong Planet.

About a decade ago before I knew about autism, I gave up trying to be like everyone else as I came to the point where I realized that I can't be like everyone else.
When I stopped trying to "Fit in" and be like others, I had a relief. I still did not know why I was different, but I said to myself "I am me and if others don't like it, then tough!" It took me most if my life to rech that point.
Finding out about autism came over a series of co-incidences (God incidences as I had prayed to God and asked "God... What's wrong with me?")
I am still awaiting an assessment. It is important that I am assessed as I am trapped in a situation where I can't move on until I am assessed, and it is a situation that I can't ignore anymore.

Anyway. Welcome. :)


Thanks for the welcome.

Its a good way of looking at it. Its hard sometimes though as deep down I'd love to fit in more easily and be more natural around people, I don't see why it doesn't happen and it really frustrates me.



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29 Apr 2021, 11:36 am

CrabbyHermit wrote:
Is it OK for me to be here?
When you edit your WP Profile the pull-down for the Diagnosis field offers the following choices:

          Have Aspergers - Diagnosed
          Have Aspergers - Undiagnosed
          Not sure if I have it or not
          Family member with Aspergers
          Other autism spectrum disorder
          Neurotypical

If you fit into any one of those categories (and follow the rules) then it would seem you are the kind of person WP is setup for.



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And here comes the nit-picking, only partially serious aside...                   

Pity those poor Neurodiverse folk who are not on the Spectrum. They know they also belong here because the WP landing page says so:
Quote:
Wrong Planet is the web community designed for individuals (and parents / professionals of those) with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, PDDs, and other neurological differences.
But none of those pulldown choices are correct for them...I guess they just have to skip that field.


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CrabbyHermit
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29 Apr 2021, 3:21 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Welcome, CrabbyHermit. You're certainly welcome to stay, learn from us, and share your own perspective. Many people here didn't self-identify or pursue formal diagnosis until middle age and we understand that the system wasn't designed to detect us in our formative years.

I also had a diagnosis of anxiety, agoraphobia, social phobia, etc., in my 20's but I didn't realise that my stims and Sensory Processing Disorder (neither of which I had a name for at the time), were related to the condition. No one connected the dots for me to see it was all connected or relevant. I had my formal diagnosis three years in spring 2018 and I actually feel very glad for the experience and comprehensive report it provided. It just seems to clarify a lot of issues for me to understand my development in different ways, and to know it's valid rather than my imagination (I tend to self-doubt). I'm not suggesting you need to get a diagnosis but I'm just curious why you cancelled your GP appointment?

I hope you enjoy your time with us. Let us know if you need any help navigating the site or finding your way around.


Thank you for the welcome.

You sound similar to me. I'm glad your diagnosis clarified things for you, that counts for a lot.

I cancelled my GP appointment as I really didn't want to go through the long process of trying to get an assessment, I questioned myself was it worth it for me? Do I really need or want to know? The same issues would still be there, knowing wouldn't make them vanish. I thought I'd be better off learning to accept myself for 'me', learn coping strategies to get me through the things I find difficult. I've made a good positive start but I know its not going to be easy. I know I'm going to struggle but I've got to keep trying. The hardest bits are yet to come which is why I thought I'd join this community as trying to talk to anyone else about it is extremely difficult, very awkward, it gets me nowhere. Actually, I have had an old online friend that has helped me hugely and got me to this point.



CrabbyHermit
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29 Apr 2021, 3:28 pm

Double Retired wrote:
CrabbyHermit wrote:
Is it OK for me to be here?
When you edit your WP Profile the pull-down for the Diagnosis field offers the following choices:

          Have Aspergers - Diagnosed
          Have Aspergers - Undiagnosed
          Not sure if I have it or not
          Family member with Aspergers
          Other autism spectrum disorder
          Neurotypical

If you fit into any one of those categories (and follow the rules) then it would seem you are the kind of person WP is setup for.


Thank you, I've gone for "Not sure if I have it or not" although I'm probably around 75% sure that I do, but even that can vary depending on what kind of day I've had.



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29 Apr 2021, 3:59 pm

CrabbyHermit wrote:
Mountain Goat wrote:
Yes it is fine that you are here. Welcome to Wrong Planet.

About a decade ago before I knew about autism, I gave up trying to be like everyone else as I came to the point where I realized that I can't be like everyone else.
When I stopped trying to "Fit in" and be like others, I had a relief. I still did not know why I was different, but I said to myself "I am me and if others don't like it, then tough!" It took me most if my life to rech that point.
Finding out about autism came over a series of co-incidences (God incidences as I had prayed to God and asked "God... What's wrong with me?")
I am still awaiting an assessment. It is important that I am assessed as I am trapped in a situation where I can't move on until I am assessed, and it is a situation that I can't ignore anymore.

Anyway. Welcome. :)


Thanks for the welcome.

Its a good way of looking at it. Its hard sometimes though as deep down I'd love to fit in more easily and be more natural around people, I don't see why it doesn't happen and it really frustrates me.


I find I can be treated like a family pet dog who has to sit there looking cute and is ignored or disscouraged if it wants to try to speak, and it is told off if it tries to leave out of sheer bordom of not being part of the conversation...



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29 Apr 2021, 8:51 pm

Welcome! I can relate to your story as I was never told of a childhood diagnosis. I think my autism has been both blessing and curse because my stubbornness has carried me further than expected.



CrabbyHermit
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30 Apr 2021, 4:05 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
Welcome! I can relate to your story as I was never told of a childhood diagnosis. I think my autism has been both blessing and curse because my stubbornness has carried me further than expected.


Thanks for the welcome. You sound like a strong person, I wish I was!



Something Profound
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01 May 2021, 12:30 am

I too am new here, and at 38 I am undiagnosed, and in discovery of what ASD means for me. I learned through growing up with abusive step-fathers that it was best NOT to behave certain ways, and as I grew (thankfully they were not in my life for long) I continued to learn how to bury a lot of my quirks and oddities down under the surface to avoid the social consequences that came from them. Even to the point now where I come off as NT... I don't stim in public often (or those stims I do are ones I can do without being obvious) and I can socialize pretty well (I dislike it tremendously and feel uncomfortable in doing it).

In retrospect the practice of pushing down most of my quirks lead to a lot of misery. When I became an adult I embraced my quirks to a degree and just accepted that I was "Strange," "Weird," "Odd," or whatever label fits. For a long time those labels were meant by peers to be really hurtful. But I decided I would rather be weird than normal if "normal" meant being like the bullies I had to deal with.

I never imagined that there might be a reason for my weirdness, until about a year ago when my mother commented on teaching autistic teens in her special education class, and remarked that I used to do (still do) some of the things that Autistic kids do, and that I may be undiagnosed.

For me that put a lot of things into perspective for me. Like, I can't think of a single moment in my life where my behavior couldn't be explained by Asperger's or other high functioning Autism. And while it doesn't realistically affect who I am and how I turned out, I kinda want to know because it fits so well.

So to summarize: Yes, I can relate. Not specifically to your experiences, but enough of your story has similarities that I can understand to a degree.



CrabbyHermit
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01 May 2021, 4:15 am

Something Profound wrote:

For me that put a lot of things into perspective for me. Like, I can't think of a single moment in my life where my behavior couldn't be explained by Asperger's or other high functioning Autism. And while it doesn't realistically affect who I am and how I turned out, I kinda want to know because it fits so well.

So to summarize: Yes, I can relate. Not specifically to your experiences, but enough of your story has similarities that I can understand to a degree.


Thank you, its always a relief when people understand.

Do you think you'll go for an official diagnosis?

Would you feel happier knowing for sure?

Or do you feel you know enough to accept yourself as different but its actually fine?

I change my mind back and forwards, I don't know if I'd be happier knowing for sure. I'm not sure I agree with the labelling as such, as yes we may fall in to a particular category but not sure labelling is necessary (as an adult) a bit more help & understanding might be nice though!

Personally I think I'm working towards accepting myself as maybe slightly different but fine, only downside is its incredibly hard work.



PseudointellectualHorse
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01 May 2021, 2:59 pm

I'm skeptical of any "diagnosis". Seems to me we've got to figure out our personal "owner's manual" as we go along, and it's a terribly painful process, but there's no other way. I found it useful to discover that autism was "a thing", in that it allowed for a possible explanation that some of my issues weren't due to failure of character or will (got told this a lot growing up, with counterproductive results), but were simply part of the human package and the only thing to do was accept oneself and make the most of it (and there are some advantages). Beyond that, I don't know that "experts" offer any useful specifics. I'm not saying I'm right about that, it's just my opinion. For anyone that feels they benefited from expert assistance, go for it!



CrabbyHermit
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01 May 2021, 5:12 pm

PseudointellectualHorse wrote:
I'm skeptical of any "diagnosis". Seems to me we've got to figure out our personal "owner's manual" as we go along, and it's a terribly painful process, but there's no other way. I found it useful to discover that autism was "a thing", in that it allowed for a possible explanation that some of my issues weren't due to failure of character or will (got told this a lot growing up, with counterproductive results), but were simply part of the human package and the only thing to do was accept oneself and make the most of it (and there are some advantages). Beyond that, I don't know that "experts" offer any useful specifics. I'm not saying I'm right about that, it's just my opinion. For anyone that feels they benefited from expert assistance, go for it!


Thank you :D

This makes absolute sense to me and I was hoping someone would have this kind of opinion as it makes my similar opinion feel more valid, if that makes sense. Most people seem to want the diagnosis as they'd then have an answer for the 'weirdness' I can certainly understand that feeling. I'd like an answer but I don't necessarily want the diagnosis, I sort of need some direction I suppose, ASD kind of fits but I don't want it, obviously I know it doesn't work like that - I realise this post isn't really making much sense. But yes, thank you. I feel I have more to say about this but I can't think how to word it just at the moment.