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Brainiac42
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27 Jun 2021, 4:31 pm

I have been experiencing burnout the last few days, where I’m incredibly anxious, don’t want to talk much, and constantly feel like breaking down.. I seem to be having trouble masking lately as well, and have pretty much stopped entirely due to the effort is too much.

I am thinking about seeking an autism diagnosis, but I have been internally denying this for so long, and I feel like a diagnosis will make it real... but I also feel like it may help me..

I’m also wondering if workplaces in the future will see this diagnosis, and think of me differently. Do I have to disclose this to places of employment?



Mountain Goat
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27 Jun 2021, 4:41 pm

In Britain you do not have to disclose, but if you live in Britain, I advise to put your name down early as there are waiting lists.



Brainiac42
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27 Jun 2021, 4:44 pm

I live in the US.



Double Retired
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27 Jun 2021, 4:50 pm

I can't address the workplace stuff. I completely retired in 2011 and did not get a diagnosis until 2019. You noted some very real concerns about what might be (or not be) real problems but with respect to them: I've got nothing. Just as I don't know the legal implications. Sorry.

I do have observations regarding:

Brainiac42 wrote:
I am thinking about seeking an autism diagnosis, but I have been internally denying this for so long, and I feel like a diagnosis will make it real... but I also feel like it may help me.

(1) "...a diagnosis will make it real..." Nah. You already are or you already are not. The diagnosis will just confirm which. (Though, is there a chance a diagnosis would come up with some third alternative that you've missed? Some other named condition?)
(2) "...it may help me." OK, what did you have in mind? My diagnosis gave me peace of mind, I finally understood so much more, but...for me...I can't say there's been any practical benefit of making it official. If you think it will give you leverage for accommodations at work, maybe (being retired, that did not apply for me). But, other than that, is the "help" things you could do without a formal diagnosis?


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


Brainiac42
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27 Jun 2021, 5:28 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I can't address the workplace stuff. I completely retired in 2011 and did not get a diagnosis until 2019. You noted some very real concerns about what might be (or not be) real problems but with respect to them: I've got nothing. Just as I don't know the legal implications. Sorry.

I do have observations regarding:
Brainiac42 wrote:
I am thinking about seeking an autism diagnosis, but I have been internally denying this for so long, and I feel like a diagnosis will make it real... but I also feel like it may help me.

(1) "...a diagnosis will make it real..." Nah. You already are or you already are not. The diagnosis will just confirm which. (Though, is there a chance a diagnosis would come up with some third alternative that you've missed? Some other named condition?)
(2) "...it may help me." OK, what did you have in mind? My diagnosis gave me peace of mind, I finally understood so much more, but...for me...I can't say there's been any practical benefit of making it official. If you think it will give you leverage for accommodations at work, maybe (being retired, that did not apply for me). But, other than that, is the "help" things you could do without a formal diagnosis?


Thank you for your response. I’ve dealt with issues for as long as I can remember. I had many meltdowns as a kid, and my mom used to make me do deep breathing exercises. My sibling growing up had a serious illness, and with no ill intent, my parents I believe overlooked my issues as they were no where near as serious. They were indeed issues though, issues socially, sensory issues from a young age, flapping my hands when over stimulated, meltdowns where I could not calm myself down without help.. my mom has told me about all of these things and I remember them, from when I was young. She laughs at the fact that I used to flap my hands as a child.

1) I feel like I could be diagnosed with OCD/anxiety, but that may be in addition to HFA/Aspergers.

2) I was thinking more along the lines of socially. If people knew I was autistic, they may understand more about why I am the way that I am. I will not have to worry so much about pretending to me neurotypical (which has never 100% worked for me anyway), because it will no longer be a secret that I am not..



IsabellaLinton
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27 Jun 2021, 5:59 pm

Would you actually tell everyone you are on the spectrum, if you get formally identified?

I've told a few people but it's not like everyone in society knows. When I'm in public no one knows why I'm having a meltdown or acting the way I act, so it doesn't make a difference in that regard.

With your close friends and family, I think it's reasonable to assume that they already know your unique personality whether it has a label or not.

In my case, I wanted to know. I needed to know. It was the missing piece which helped me make sense of my life. It helped me to stop blaming myself, or feeling guilt / shame about my trauma years. It explained why I had been so vulnerable, and allowed me to find some closure. I've found some incredible therapists via my ASD diagnostician as well. I don't think people need to be autistic to have these services, but I wouldn't have found them otherwise. I'm referring to a trauma psychologist who specialises in ASD / ABI, an Occupational Therapist for SPD, an ADHD diagnosis and therapy from a Neuropsychiatrist, and now a Speech-Language pathologist for mutism / alexithymia.

I left work prior to my diagnosis so I didn't have to deal with professional disclosure, but I've told my disability insurance people and they have access to all my medical information. I like having it on record in case I ever need accommodations in the future, and to help doctors understand me better.

It's totally up to you whether you want to be tested. I think your examples sound compelling and if you could put together a developmental history with anecdotal evidence it should be fairly straightrforward to find a diagnostician. I found mine through the Neuropsychology department of my university.

Good luck!



Minuteman
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27 Jun 2021, 6:12 pm

My experience is similar to Isabella's. When I was diagnosed three years ago, it actually brought me inner peace. Many of my problems in high school, college and work now make perfect sense to me. I no longer have to ask myself why I melt down so much and can't make or keep friends or carry on a conversation, among other things.

I don't think you have to tell your place of employment (I didn't). I'm not an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act but it might actually help you if they have to make reasonable accommodations for you; definitely look into that.



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27 Jun 2021, 7:32 pm

With respect to Brainiac42's post: Trivia--my Dad is still alive (and very old) and one of my sisters lives near him. She works as a nanny for special needs children and happened to have one with her once while visiting Dad in 2018. I later learned that Dad several times said that kid was "weird" like me and was doing the same "weird" things I used to do. When I heard about this I'm sure I looked surprised as I thought "But, isn't that kid Autistic?!" That is the clue that caused me to learn about Autism and lead me to my diagnosis. (I suspect my whole extended family has always thought I'm a bit weird. But as the decades rolled along, within my family I made "weird" look good!)

I still don't know exactly what that kid was doing but, gee, I must have made a heck of an impression on Dad. This kid was doing those "weird" things in 2018--and I would've been doing them in the 1950's! (Oh, yeah. Apparently Dad likes the kid. He says that kid can come to his house any time.)

With respect to IsabellaLinton's post: Yes and no. Even before I was diagnosed I asked my doctors to put things in writing for me. And sometimes they did. Sometimes they didn't. My insurance forced me to go to a specific hospital for medical care starting in 2014. Yuck. I asked for stuff in writing and didn't get it. After I was diagnosed in 2019 I told them my diagnosis and asked for stuff in writing and still do not get it.

2020 was medically "interesting" for me. Last June (2021) I went to the hospital records folk and asked for a copy of everything about me they had for 2020 and so far for 2021. WOW! They sent me 300 pages of stuff I had not received in writing before!

So far, the happiness of understanding, and a bit of additional understanding from my bride, are the only benefits I've gotten from my diagnosis. However, I will continue pushing my medical providers to write things down!


_________________
When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.