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Copperpenny4
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28 Feb 2022, 6:24 pm

Hello! I’m new, and I’m not quite sure how this works yet, so I’m sorry if I’m using it wrong.
The thing is, I’m suspecting that I might be on the spectrum.
The thing is, I don’t really remember my childhood, so looking for early signs is not really possible. And while I am constantly trying to monitor myself it’s very hard to know which behaviors are genuine and which ones are ones I picked up because i think I might be autistic, like.. sort of subconscious displaying of the signs I’m looking for.
For the most part of my childhood and youth I have always put on an act, basically being who I thought everyone wanted me to be and completely losing touch of myself over it. This lead me into some very heavy problems and almost into death, but I got through it. Now that I’m 19 and trying residier myself, like who I even am, what I do or don’t enjoy and what I care about, it’s hard to discern between “real” or “not real” because everything is new. But I don’t know if I’m discovering myself or wether I’m deluding myself further, just finding a different role to play. I don’t know if this is the true reason for some of my past problems, or whether I am just a hoping for some mystical word that solves all my problems by giving me an “excuse”.
Am I going to live a more honest, happy and healthy life and learning to accept myself? Or am I going to change because of what I believe to be the truth and condemn myself to a life of belittlement and struggles that could have been prevented?
Do I stop suppressing my emotions and start paying attentions to my needs, or do I just put on a different act?
It’s all very hard and confusing, and I don’t really have anyone to talk about. I’m still in school and living with my parents, and I talked to the school social worker about it and she mentioned I should maybe get tested. But I’m afraid to tell my parents about it because I’m afraid that they won’t believe me and I’ll have to convince them, and if it ends up with the test saying I’m not on the spectrum I’ll be embarassed to death because I made such a fuss about “nothing”. I’m also afraid because if I want to get tested I’ll have to tell them all the things I have noticed about myself or that are bothering me to explain my choice, but if the test ends up negative it’ll be so awkward. Maybe they’d think I just invented it, or that I got obsessed with it over the internet or something similarly mortifying. Theoretically I could do the test without their knowledge but I don’t want to go behind their backs. If it ever came out they would feel so betrayed. And if I do end up being on the spectrum it’d be very hard to tell them about the test I took. And I’m not even sure whether it would do me any good, or whether it would just make my life harder because I would have to deal with stereotypes. But… I really want to know. It feels like I might be finding myself but I’m also really scared to lose that if it ends up being not true, which makes me feel so bad that I obsessively doubt every single symptom I do notice.
What should I do?



jimmy m
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28 Feb 2022, 7:15 pm

There are different test for Asperger's syndrome/Autism. Some are free and available on the internet. Then you can be officially tested and that might be a two day test by professionals.

I would suggest you take a free test to start with to give you an initial informal appraisal and then if you feel the desire to go further, you have a first step to know whether you are in the right ballpark.

https://psychology-tools.com/test/autis ... m-quotient

This link provides you with several different types:
https://aspietests.org/

So my suggestion is try several of the test and see if you are on the right track.

Others on this website can probably point you in the right direction of the best ones to take.


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ASPartOfMe
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28 Feb 2022, 8:53 pm

Welcome to wrong planet.

Yes, I recommend going for the diagnosis. You seem to be confused about who you are and need to figure that out to move forward in life. The goal is not to get an ASD diagnosis per se but to get an accurate diagnosis.

The tests recommended by jimmy m do have value in that they can indicate your suspicions have merit.

If you read the threads here and a lot resonates with you that is another indication.


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Copperpenny4
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01 Mar 2022, 2:39 am

First of all, thank you very much for the answer! I already took a load of tests, both the ones that seemed legit and the ones I wasn’t so sure about. Most, if not all tests supported my hypothesis. And that’s exactly what makes me anxious. Because I’ve researched so much that I know exactly which answers will lead to which results, and I fear that I’m being influenced by that knowledge to try and get a certain answer I think is true. But there’s no neutral options for questions I don’t think either are good, and I can pick between two wrong options, which has to make the result questionable. And I just don’t trust my own answers because they can never be free from the influence of hopes and beliefs, or the falsification my bad memory brings with it. The problem is that because I so often play a role and people still mostly see me like the kid who was playing a full time role, there’s no one that knows me better to help me find true answers.



r_omega
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01 Mar 2022, 6:10 am

I'm sorry to hear that for some reason you feel you can't be honest about this with your parents. I know what it's liked to be diagnosed and suddenly everything kind of makes sense. But I'm actually in the process of getting a second opinion, because I'm concerned that maybe I'm not, and if I'm not, I need to be ok with that too.

Above all, I sensed from your post that you feel your parents would not at all like the idea of you getting tested for some reason. But do you really think they would somehow be disappointed, disappointed in *you*, if you were diagnosed? You don't have any control over that so why would they hold that against you? Can you talk to another relative about it who knows your parents well?



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01 Mar 2022, 6:25 am

Do you have a counselor or a therapist? Next visit to your GP, you could also ask for referral so that the suggestion comes from a professional instead of you attempting to approach your parents on your own. I understand the reluctance to talk to parents about this, and there are many other ways to get some answers. I found about my autism late in life and there has been so much to sort out. What really helped with the idea of "masking" or pretending to be somebody I was not was to figure out what caused me the most distress every day and figure out how to make adjustments so I did not have to deal with that any more. Doing daily makeup and hair styling took an hour or more of nothing but distress for me, so I got an easy "brush and go" hairstyle and began to use only minimal makeup for special events. I began to dress for comfort instead of trying to keep up with styles, ditched dresses and high heels along the way. Little by little I began to unmask. I stopped accepting invitations to things that were super hard for me like movies and malls. Instead I was able to do pizza and board games or shopping online, visiting little shops or open air flea markets and the like. You get it, make small changes that make life easier and better for you. Start with the hardest to perform rituals and make them more comfortable. Over time those adjustments make a huge difference in quality of life. Do your best self care. If you have a hard time saying no and spend all your time trying to please others, ask for therapy to learn healthy self assertive communication. It doesn't all have to be done at once, little changes especially focused on alleviating difficult daily experiences can move mountains. If diagnosis is not possible at the moment, there is time to plan how to get there. Sending best wishes.


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Copperpenny4
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01 Mar 2022, 8:11 am

Once again, thank everyone for giving me tips and sharing experiences, that’s very kind. And yes, I do have a therapist it counsellor (I don’t know the difference), but…. I don’t know. She is very old, and I often feel like she doesn’t take me seriously. I originally there because of my panic attacks. I did try to breach the subject once, but she just laughed at me and told me that it couldn’t be “because I have friends” and then went on a rant about how ridiculous she finds it that so many people are getting diagnosed these days, that she thinks it’s treated like a cool trend instead of the horrible sickness it actually is. I didn’t dare breach the subject ever again. I have talked with a school counsellor though (because I don’t like it trust my real therapist, also because of other reasons) who i talked too earlier in my life when everything was very very bad for me, and who helped me get out of the whole and was the one that recommended me to get a therapist in the first place. She said that yes, she did have that suspicion before about me and that she noticed some behaviors, but that she didn’t know me well enough to tell me about her suspicion. We had a phone call where she told me about some things and I told her about some things and some resonated very strongly, others not as much, like that I do understand sarcasm and don’t always tell people what I think. But she said that we could maybe meet up and talk some more, and that she could talk to my parents if I do want the test. But that’s exactly the problem, because I am terrified of opening up about my experiences in case there’s no medical reason backing my claim. They know about my panic attacks, but they don’t know about my phase where I had depression and almost k*lled myself. They know that some sounds and textures and situations bother me, but they don’t know that I suspect a reason for it. And I am worried that what I’m currently getting therapy for, an anxiety disorder may not be right. Because me and my therapist often end up coming short for fears or thoughts that may have triggered my panic, but I am starting to suspect that the reasons may not be that I’m stressed about failing a class, but instead that everyone is talking at the same time.
Once again, thank you all for your time and advice! It’s much appreciated



ASPartOfMe
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01 Mar 2022, 11:04 am

Copperpenny4 wrote:
Once again, thank everyone for giving me tips and sharing experiences, that’s very kind. And yes, I do have a therapist it counsellor (I don’t know the difference), but…. I don’t know. She is very old, and I often feel like she doesn’t take me seriously. I originally there because of my panic attacks. I did try to breach the subject once, but she just laughed at me and told me that it couldn’t be “because I have friends” and then went on a rant about how ridiculous she finds it that so many people are getting diagnosed these days, that she thinks it’s treated like a cool trend instead of the horrible sickness it actually is. I didn’t dare breach the subject ever again. I have talked with a school counsellor though (because I don’t like it trust my real therapist, also because of other reasons) who i talked too earlier in my life when everything was very very bad for me, and who helped me get out of the whole and was the one that recommended me to get a therapist in the first place. She said that yes, she did have that suspicion before about me and that she noticed some behaviors, but that she didn’t know me well enough to tell me about her suspicion. We had a phone call where she told me about some things and I told her about some things and some resonated very strongly, others not as much, like that I do understand sarcasm and don’t always tell people what I think. But she said that we could maybe meet up and talk some more, and that she could talk to my parents if I do want the test. But that’s exactly the problem, because I am terrified of opening up about my experiences in case there’s no medical reason backing my claim. They know about my panic attacks, but they don’t know about my phase where I had depression and almost k*lled myself. They know that some sounds and textures and situations bother me, but they don’t know that I suspect a reason for it. And I am worried that what I’m currently getting therapy for, an anxiety disorder may not be right. Because me and my therapist often end up coming short for fears or thoughts that may have triggered my panic, but I am starting to suspect that the reasons may not be that I’m stressed about failing a class, but instead that everyone is talking at the same time.
Once again, thank you all for your time and advice! It’s much appreciated

You do need to get rid of the therapist with the dated understanding of autism. She can only plant doubts and convince you on a certain level your issues are a result of character flaws. It is not that she is intentionally trying to harm you. In her mind she thinks she is helping you. She, as are your parents to some degree are a product of an era where one was expected to not make excuses and deal with problems on your own.

The more up to date and understanding school consoler is probably correct in not diagnosing you because she does not have the qualifications to do so. What she may able to do is direct you to people who are qualified. You should ask her to help you find these people.


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r_omega
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01 Mar 2022, 11:34 am

Ok, now that you explained your therapist's reaction to your question about autism, I understand your fears better. Also, if you had a suicide attempt that your parents do not know about, I feel that is a serious matter that should be addressed with a therapist and/or your school counselor. I could be wrong since I barely know anything about you but it sounds like your parents deserve to know about that at some point. I would contact your school counselor, the one whom you feel you trust and has your well-being in mind, for advice.



Copperpenny4
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02 Mar 2022, 6:33 am

That was actually the stepping stone for me to make the decision to talk to the school counsellor. It was during a week long class trip, and everything was incredibly awful, overwhelming, unfair and I couldn’t sleep enough or be alone and everything just got too much. I called my parents and tried to get them to pick me up but they refused and didn’t take me seriously, so… well. No one knows about it. To be clear, I didn’t take any real „action“ because I was surprised by a stranger and had to hide the knife, but I realised that I definitely needed help. I didn’t trust my parents enough though, and that’s why I secretly wrote a mail to the school counsellor and met her in person as soon as I was back at the school.



Copperpenny4
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02 Mar 2022, 7:16 am

By the way, I forgot to add: sadly I can’t change my therapist. I live in a really small country, and it took my parents forever to find this one. And they trust her because she’s the colleague of the one that treated me as a small kid for tics. I still don’t think she’s doing a good job. I told her about something I experience which I think is dissociation and she thought i was taking LSD and then asked me to google the symptoms



Minuteman
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02 Mar 2022, 2:28 pm

Copperpenny4 wrote:
But I don’t know if I’m discovering myself or wether I’m deluding myself further, just finding a different role to play. I don’t know if this is the true reason for some of my past problems, or whether I am just a hoping for some mystical word that solves all my problems by giving me an “excuse”.
Am I going to live a more honest, happy and healthy life and learning to accept myself? Or am I going to change because of what I believe to be the truth and condemn myself to a life of belittlement and struggles that could have been prevented?
Do I stop suppressing my emotions and start paying attentions to my needs, or do I just put on a different act?
It’s all very hard and confusing, and I don’t really have anyone to talk about.


You're going to hear/see this phrase often -- If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.

In other words, everyone's characteristics are different. And everyone's reaction to getting a diagnosis is different. For some, it's an "ah-ha" moment where you realize there's a reason for many of the troubles you had growing up. For others it can indeed be devastating to find out.

I'm not a therapist but my suggestion for the moment is to assume you have autism, and ask yourself how you'd feel about it. That will go a long way toward figuring out how you and your therapist can navigate the process of getting a diagnosis.



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02 Mar 2022, 5:43 pm

A stray thoughts...

You're young.

If the primary benefit of getting a diagnosis would be that you finally know the truth, can you wait a few years?

Once you are a bit older you can pursue a diagnosis without clearing it with your parents. (Though you will have to clear it with your wallet and your insurance.)

But, finally knowing the truth is wonderful. Whether Autism is your truth, or something else is, I can see why you really, really want to know.


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Copperpenny4
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03 Mar 2022, 9:07 am

The thing is, I’m already old enough so that I could get tested without having to tell me parents or needing them to agree. I just don’t want to go behind their backs by doing so, because if I do end up having it I plan on telling them, and then they’d know



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03 Mar 2022, 2:10 pm

Copperpenny4 wrote:
The thing is, I’m already old enough so that I could get tested without having to tell me parents or needing them to agree. I just don’t want to go behind their backs by doing so, because if I do end up having it I plan on telling them, and then they’d know
After my bride and I had done some research on it but before I was formally diagnosed we both thought it very likely I was a "High Functioning Autistic". (It turned out the correct term was "Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)".) But we knew we were not qualified to make that diagnosis and that we could be wrong.

Because I did not know if it was or was not true I told no one other than my bride before going to a Psychologists' to get an Adult Autism Assessment.

I did not want to propagate information that might be wrong. I did not want people to worry about something that could be an error. I did not want to be judged by something that might not be true.

Heck. I discourage my bride from sharing any of my medical adventures with our friends and family until after the adventure is over. There is no need to tell them part of an important story, I'd rather wait until we can tell them the whole story (or, if it turns out there is no story, I don't want to have wasted their time).

She really dislikes my suggestion not to tell them about me getting surgery until after it is over...and if I die in surgery then when she tells people about it she should start with "Remember My Name?"

P.S. After (if) you get diagnosed you still get to decide who to tell.


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03 Mar 2022, 5:51 pm

Double Retired wrote:
Copperpenny4 wrote:
The thing is, I’m already old enough so that I could get tested without having to tell me parents or needing them to agree. I just don’t want to go behind their backs by doing so, because if I do end up having it I plan on telling them, and then they’d know
After my bride and I had done some research on it but before I was formally diagnosed we both thought it very likely I was a "High Functioning Autistic". (It turned out the correct term was "Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (Mild)".) But we knew we were not qualified to make that diagnosis and that we could be wrong.

Because I did not know if it was or was not true I told no one other than my bride before going to a Psychologists' to get an Adult Autism Assessment.

I did not want to propagate information that might be wrong. I did not want people to worry about something that could be an error. I did not want to be judged by something that might not be true.

Heck. I discourage my bride from sharing any of my medical adventures with our friends and family until after the adventure is over. There is no need to tell them part of an important story, I'd rather wait until we can tell them the whole story (or, if it turns out there is no story, I don't want to have wasted their time).

She really dislikes my suggestion not to tell them about me getting surgery until after it is over...and if I die in surgery then when she tells people about it she should start with "Remember My Name?"

P.S. After (if) you get diagnosed you still get to decide who to tell.
Uh. Wait a second. :oops:

You might be able to get some initial screening...but for a full assessment they might want to talk to at least one of your parents. Maybe some folk on WP can elaborate on the options.


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