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DH Rider
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31 Aug 2023, 6:49 pm

I don’t know if I belong here. Maybe you can help me figure that out.
My apologies for the length, along with introductions I also suck at self-editing.

I was in the middle of writing a memoir when by chance I discovered I may be autistic. It’s been four months and I’m still shocked. I mean, how could I have gotten this far without anybody suspecting autism? It’s not as if there haven’t been a ton of problems that I’ve been trying to solve for years. I’ve been trying to learn as much about autism as I can, but I’m not certain enough to either self-diagnose or rule it out.

I grew up in a place that loudly proclaims itself as a bastion of freedom and individuality, but was actually intolerant, (and sometimes violent), towards people who freely expressed their individuality if that differed from the homogeneous norm.

I am a super intense person. I am also very creative, which comes with certain...eccentricities. This combination seemed to scare the crap out of a lot of people here, so I learned at an early age that it wasn’t okay to be openly intense or eccentric or to question “the way things are done around here”. I became a clown to hide my intensity and as a way to diffuse awkward or dangerous situations.

I’m not overly competitive, but I found the only socially acceptable outlet for my intensity was dangerous sports like downhill ski racing and skateboarding. I was also really into the underground punk, metal and industrial scenes. I played in a band and partied heavily. Because of my interests I used to have a lot of friends, and yet I still secretly felt like an outsider. I never told anybody how I really felt because I knew they wouldn’t believe me.

I had just finished a good but exhausting first year of university when I saw a psychiatrist at the student clinic for anxiety, depression and focus issues. The meds they prescribed kicked my ass, but not in a good way.

Everything immediately got worse. Within a year I was kicked out of school. Within five I could no longer work and ended up on disability. At first I didn't consider the possibility the treatments were responsible. Determined to not give up, I stuck with the “program” for years. They tried dozens of different diagnoses, treatments and medications before I realized that they would eventually kill me if I let them. Walking away to pick up the pieces by myself was terrifying.

And now...autism explains it all?

I dunno. I’ve been so “out there” on my own for so long that I am seriously skeptical about anything that could give me false hopes. My life seems like a weird dream that strains credibility, which is a big reason why the thought of publishing my memoir is so scary. I suppose posting here is a baby step towards that.

If you read this far, thank you. Check under your seats to claim your free gift.



FleaOfTheChill
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31 Aug 2023, 7:38 pm

It's funny, I had so many times in life when I was younger when I had therapists, psychologists, whatever psych professionals, yet somehow, no one checked me for autism until I was what late 20's early 30s? That was the first time I had a therapist who knew anything about autism. Until then I had been misdiagnosed with all sorts of things and medicated for those things. Like you, I didn't thrive on meds, they made everything so much worse and I kept pushing through because yeah, that's what you do. You trust the process and hope it's just getting worse before it all gets better. Meh. I don't miss those days. But discovering autism? It was one hell of an aha moment for me. I think a lot of us who discovered this as adults can appreciate that feeling.

My ramble aside. Hello and welcome. I hope you find this place to be helpful. From my perspective, there's a lot of cool people here who come from different walks and have different experiences. Hope you enjoy. Again, welcome.



funeralxempire
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31 Aug 2023, 7:52 pm

I checked under my seat and all I got was a dust bunny. :(


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Double Retired
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31 Aug 2023, 9:56 pm

You belong here if you have a polite interest in neurodivergence. Welcome!

I am guessing you should check the information in your WP profile. Are you really 98 years old?! The page for your profile where you enter your birth date might be wrong! I found it worked better when I entered dd-mm-yyyy. If you really are 98...WOW!

And you say you "might" be Autistic. There are a couple of online tests that might help strengthen (or weaken) that assessment:
- Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test (AQ)
- Aspie Quiz
It was the AQ test that convinced me it was reasonable to get a formal Adult Autism Assessment. I wanted to know if I was slightly Autistic or almost Autistic (both diagnoses are possible, though with more formal nomenclature). And, to further complicate things, many of the "traits" of Autism also fall within other diagnoses.

However, a formal diagnosis is not necessary to become a regular on WP. A polite interest in neurodivergence is all that is needed.

Welcome to WP!


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colliegrace
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01 Sep 2023, 12:32 am

Welcome! I'm 30 and was just diagnosed this summer.


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RAADs: 104 | ASQ: 30 | Aspie Quiz: 116/200 (84% probability of being atypical)

Also diagnosed with: seasonal depression, anxiety, OCD


DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 2:33 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
Like you, I didn't thrive on meds, they made everything so much worse and I kept pushing through because yeah, that's what you do. You trust the process and hope it's just getting worse before it all gets better.


Yes, that's it. You keep taking the meds because "that's what you do. You trust the process."

The irony being that I put my trust into the process because I was led to believe that I had a chemical imbalance, that it was a scientific process. But there was no scientific proof any of it was correct. I eventually had to trust my own gut, go against the doctors' own non-scientific belief, and stop taking the meds.

Thanks.



DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 2:50 pm

Double Retired wrote:
Are you really 98 years old?! The page for your profile where you enter your birth date might be wrong! I found it worked better when I entered dd-mm-yyyy. If you really are 98...WOW!


Are you questioning your elder, young whippersnapper? :P

I have never posted my real name, age or photograph on the net, ever. My real name is not DH Rider but I doubt that is a problem. I am not trying to be deceptive, I simply value my privacy. Perhaps I am very old-fashioned in that regard, but I am 98 after all.



DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 3:04 pm

Double Retired wrote:
And you say you "might" be Autistic. There are a couple of online tests that might help strengthen (or weaken) that assessment:
- Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test (AQ)
- Aspie Quiz
It was the AQ test that convinced me it was reasonable to get a formal Adult Autism Assessment. I wanted to know if I was slightly Autistic or almost Autistic (both diagnoses are possible, though with more formal nomenclature). And, to further complicate things, many of the "traits" of Autism also fall within other diagnoses.

However, a formal diagnosis is not necessary to become a regular on WP. A polite interest in neurodivergence is all that is needed.

Welcome to WP!


I've taken the AQ test and was actually very surprised I scored as high as I did, because I'm not fond of routine and have a relatively wide variety of interests. This could be due to ADHD, which I have long known to be an issue. Still it is not so high as to be conclusive and I will continue to do as much research as much I can. (I have learned that a preference for doing an enormous amount of research before making a decision may also indicate autism ;) )

At any rate, I am most definitely neurodivergent, and I am getting a great deal of insight from learning about autism, even if it turns out it does not apply to me. Thank you.

<edit> I just took the Aspie Quiz and scored 129 out of 200, or "96% probability of being atypical (autistic/neurodiverse)" Thanks for the link.



Last edited by DH Rider on 01 Sep 2023, 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 3:12 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
I checked under my seat and all I got was a dust bunny. :(


Oh sorry. Here you go: https://boulderbugle.com/click-here-for ... t-hs4exhgl

It's been a long time since I was on a forum. :lol:



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01 Sep 2023, 3:46 pm

Welcome to Wrong Planet! :)


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01 Sep 2023, 5:36 pm

Welcome to WP!


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autisticelders
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01 Sep 2023, 6:44 pm

welcome, you bet we read these. Glad you are finally finding some answers, So many adults have been overlooked because we don't fit the criteria that has been used to describe autism which is based on a long ago study of traits of autistic boys around age 8. I was lost for over 65 years, but when I began to read descriptions from others about their experiences as autistic individuals, I realized I had finally found the answer to so may "whys" of my painful past. Take your time, once you discover possible autism, our past is held up and re examined in a thousand different ways. It can be painful. Learn about self care and self accommodations. Glad you are with us!


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colliegrace
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01 Sep 2023, 9:51 pm

DH Rider wrote:

I've taken the AQ test and was actually very surprised I scored as high as I did, because I'm not fond of routine and have a relatively wide variety of interests.

Same for me, on routine anyways. Turns out we don't have to have every single diagnostic trait to qualify!

That said though, ever since diagnosis I have learned that I get quite irritated when something is usually done one way and I'm forced to do it in another order. Comes up at work sometimes.


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ASD, most likely have dyscalculia & BPD as well. Also dx'd ADHD-C, but don't think it's accurate.
RAADs: 104 | ASQ: 30 | Aspie Quiz: 116/200 (84% probability of being atypical)

Also diagnosed with: seasonal depression, anxiety, OCD


DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 9:54 pm

autisticelders wrote:
Take your time, once you discover possible autism, our past is held up and re examined in a thousand different ways. It can be painful.


No kidding. Just now I am recovering from a period of emotional burnout that manifested in some scary physical symptoms. I suspected it might be anxiety but I had to get a battery of tests done to make sure I was healthy.

I thought I'd already grieved for a ruined past and for a cloudy future without the support of a competent mental health system. But now, to steal a quote from an old baseball guy, it’s like déjà vu all over again. Thank you.



DH Rider
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01 Sep 2023, 10:35 pm

colliegrace wrote:
Same for me, on routine anyways. Turns out we don't have to have every single diagnostic trait to qualify!

That said though, ever since diagnosis I have learned that I get quite irritated when something is usually done one way and I'm forced to do it in another order. Comes up at work sometimes.


I can get very upset when something breaks down. For example, I rely on computers and other gear to create music and art, equipment that I can ill-afford to repair or replace.

Somewhere there is a landfill full of broken computer mice from my many tantrums. :oops:



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01 Sep 2023, 10:45 pm

Welcome to Wrongplanet.


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