Trying to put 2 and 2 together... In other words, another "diagnose me" thread

So I appreciate posts like this must happen on a weekly, if not daily, basis. But I'd definitely appreciate everyone's input and stuff :) Apologies if this is in the wrong section, it just seemed to be the most fitting. I'm a 27 year old male with a "history" of anxiety, low self-esteem etc., but wondering if there's more behind it.

A little bit of background: growing up there was a lot of upheaval, parents separating, moving around a fair bit, strained relationships at times with parents... Me feeling generally at odds with the world. And until the last couple of years or so I had been thinking this was all part and parcel of the same thing - situation stuff which couldn't be helped, and my reactions to it all would be the same no matter who it happened to.

But the more I look back at it all now, I can't help but think there was more going on behind the scenes which may have resulted in me being me today (as well as possibly influencing how I tackled things at the time).

For the longest time ever I thought most of my being at odds with the world was down to my being gay and coming to terms with it, but it seems all this may have predated even the merest thought of my sexual orientation.

I have never made friends easily. Most of my "friends" are pretty much no more than acquaintances, both as a kid and as a (now 27 year old) adult. If I've ever had close friends the friendship can/has been bordering on the "too close" and in past romantic relationships (not that I've had many - currently in my 4th ever, which has been going on for about a month now) I've found it hard to make connections.

It was actually my latest ex (relationship before current) who suggested I had at the very least Asperger's traits - he was an individual with the condition himself, so I kinda took his word as having at least an inkling of knowing what he was talking about. He noted that, in particular, during conversations I'd either not be able to recognise when he'd finish talking and cut in, or else leave awkward silences when it was actually my turn to speak... He also pointed out I could be insensitive in my wordings and stubborn in terms of being unwilling to change my mind when stuck in a certain way of thinking.

Meh. Enough about that relationship before I start thinking about it too much.

I'll just go ahead and make a list of other possible traits I've noticed about myself, for the purposes of making things easier (hopefully):

  • I have horrendous coordination and can be like a blind octopus at times; if someone throws a ball at me to catch I end up overreaching in the opposite direction!
  • I don't have long-term obsessions per se, but when my mind does get something to think about it can become at least temporarily obsessed: when my Mum got a new fish tank I spent pretty much every free moment researching the types of fish she had, watched endless hours of Youtube fishkeeping videos... When I thought I'd take up leather craft as a hobby I spent pretty much 3 MONTHS looking up everything involved in it, spent about £100 on tools and supplies, but due to impulsivity that's all now sitting gathering dust largely unused... If I watch a good movie (ones based on real life events are the worst) I have to then afterwards read up on the background stuff, see where I might recognise actors from etc
  • My concentration can vary between being one-track blacking everything else out, or almost being irritated to the point I can't focus on anything for no apparent reason - I can't multitask, struggle doing things when someone's talking to me (although "at me" would be more like how it feels), and yet sometimes I find if I have something to occupy my hands it can for some reason help me focus.
  • I tend to find written instructions for complex processes a LOT easier to follow than others sometimes do, rather than being talked verbally through the task (trying to think about doing it whilst actively listening to the instructions is to much!) and I'm overall more of a learn-by-doing type than a theory type.
  • On the subject of interacting with others, I find eye contact difficult at the best of times (I try to make it look like I'm doing it but end up focusing on another facial feature, or giving a more vacant look in the person's direction). So as a result of that, it can take me quite a while to recognise new(ish) people.
  • I don't have particular aversions to sounds/textures really, other than not liking anything overly slimy, but if there's too much noise going on (I still live at home with a very "outgoing" family so this is quite often) I do have to give myself time out because it gets too overwhelming
  • Although I don't have the "typical" memory functions typically seen in individuals with some form or other of ASD, I tend to retain odd snippets: the alarm code from the shop I worked in when I was 16 years old, eye colours of certain people (which I understand when describing them to other people e.g. "is he the guy with blue eyes/a freckle on the end of his nose..." etc., isn't something most people pick up on after a first interaction), even down to obscure subject-specific terminology - when seeing a rheumatologist a few years back I was "told off" for using what I thought was correct terminology to describe symptoms because they preferred to talk in "dumbed down" terms to patients to avoid over-confusion... 
  • other general things which I've noticed which may point to some form of ASD: didn't learn to tie shoes until 8 y/o, if I get talking about something I tend to jumble my words being in such a hurry to get them out and speed through them needing me to then try and rephrase and slow down thus confusing myself and the other person, never learnt to ride a bike due to balance/coordination/thinking about pedalling braking steering etc all at the same time, poor spatial awareness (have often been too absorbed in thoughts and walked right in to people/pillars etc)., can at times take common phrases as literal (someone once asked me if I had a chip on my shoulder and I had to actually look for a physical chip), I can remain unsettled by negative words/thoughts days or weeks afterwards, suffer from a severe case of "put it off until tomorrow" (I have still to phone hospital for an eye appointment 3 months after it was due), poor time management, occasional (but lengthy) self-neglect - going without haircuts for 6 month isn't uncommon for me nor is occasionally a week or so without a shower (gross I know)

So yeah, just a few things that may point to a possible diagnosis.

I appreciate turning to the internet for medical advice etc isn't the best course of action but want to get some input before I look at going down the formal diagnosis route. I don't currently feel able to share this all with anyone I know irl, but at the same time there's only so many of those tests you can take online (with varying scores) without getting some form of more personal response to everything.

At this point in time I'm not sure if I'd want to go down the "official diagnosis" route because of the amount of stigma out there - but at the same time I think if I did get a diagnosis it would make self-management easier as I'd know what to do to look after myself better, and also I'd have the ability to say to people "this is why I am the way I am" and potentially get understood by others better. Not that I don't mind being "an oddball" but there are times I feel people get fed up with it!

Any/all input would be much appreciated.

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  • also there's no help available post diagnosis except the stuff you read online anyway unless you're under 26, and in my area it actually bars you from accessing mental health services, so diagnosis is totally pointless unless you want someone to confirm what you feel (got my diagnosis as a result of criminal stuff, didn't seek it out so not being hypochritical)

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