Struggling through life

Hi, I’m new to the forum. 

I’ve always been different from the crowd and have suffered from depression all my life. I’m 41 and work in a fairly demanding job, but I struggle socially and I struggle with dealing with life. 

I recently watched Chris Packham talking about his autism, and although I’ve thought I may have aspergers for a while, some of the things he spoke about hit a chord with me. I’m very ritualistic when I do things regularly. I choose to have no friends as I find people so demanding. I find work absolutely drains me of energy. I don’t go out socialising. I crave time alone and spend a lot of time alone. People, mainly my family, don’t understand how I see the world... the list goes on. 

For the record, I don’t have a boyfriend, have never even been engaged and I don’t have children, so it’s safe to say I’m a fairly unsuccessful human being. 

I went to my doctor a couple of weeks ago to ask about getting a diagnosis and he told me the NHS will only diagnose people up to the age of 19, so I’m well out of that age range. 

Can anyone give me any advice of direction as to what I might be able to do next? I need to find a reason for my weirdness (I went to an art university and was weird even by their standards)

thanks in advance... 

  • Hi MooHippy,

    You might be interested to learn that the Autism Act 2009 was the first ever disability specific law in England.  The act led to the government producing the Autism Strategy.  As part of this strategy, it was recommended that local areas appoint a lead professional to develop diagnostic and assessment services for adults with autism. One of the guidelines is that local authorities must have a clear pathway of diagnosis for adults.  This means that wherever you live, you should be able to access a diagnostic assessment and your GP and/or local authority should be able to tell you how you can access this assessment:  http://www.autism.org.uk/working-with/autism-strategy/diagnosis/find-your-local-diagnostic-leads.aspx

    I hope this helps, if you need more advice please feel free to contact the Autism Helpline team who may be able to help. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing increasingly high demand, and you may not reach them straight away.  Please see the following link for further information: http://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/main.aspx

    Kind regards,

    Heather - Mod



  • I found the AQ50 test to be quite helpful in my verifying for myself that I was indeed Aspergers prior to speaking to my GP 

    http://aspergerstest.net/aq-test/

  • I recently watched Chris Packham talking about his autism, and although I’ve thought I may have aspergers for a while, some of the things he spoke about hit a chord with me. I’m very ritualistic when I do things regularly. I choose to have no friends as I find people so demanding. I find work absolutely drains me of energy. I don’t go out socialising. I crave time alone and spend a lot of time alone. People, mainly my family, don’t understand how I see the world... the list goes on. 

    For the record, I don’t have a boyfriend, have never even been engaged and I don’t have children, so it’s safe to say I’m a fairly unsuccessful human being. 

    I went to my doctor a couple of weeks ago to ask about getting a diagnosis and he told me the NHS will only diagnose people up to the age of 19, so I’m well out of that age range. 

    It seems that you have picked up on some relateable traits from watching the documentary and I think most of us have had similar breakthrough moments where we put two and two together.

    With regards to not having a boyfriend, being engaged or having children - that does not mean you are a failure!  Society merely states these quite outdated and sexist demands on women to try and maintain some sort of natural order, but it's all nonsense.  I am not engaged and don't have children and don't intend to for that matter.  You are fine as you are in relation to this and don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

    With regards to the diagnosis, I can't say for sure, but from what I have read, it seems to be a bit of a postcode lottery.  I had been suffering with long-term problems that no one could put their finger on what was causing it or how to deal with it.  I suggested autism as a possibility to my GP and listed the symptoms and similarities.  We did an initial test which I scored highly on, so she referred me to a psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis to try and get to the root cause of the long-term problems to hope that this would shed some light on things.  I think GPs are reluctant unless they feel that a diagnosis will bring some value - I don't agree with this.  If you think a diagnosis, whatever the outcome, will help you come to terms with some things then it might be worth pursuing it, but as I found out, it doesn't solve any long-term problems if you have any as a result.  Getting answers from medical professionals and getting the right support, if it is needed, is very hard work.

  • Hi MooHippy,

    I was diagnosed by the NHS at 48 years of age - that was 2 years ago.  My GP arranged it all, which was brilliant.

    I am exactly like you and the more I found out about ASD, the more it struck a chord. I did an online assessment test and achieved the top score so I thought I'd better ask my GP for the test.   I saw a really lovely NHS consultant who conducted the ADOS test and I was then diagnosed with ASD.  I struggled in school as I was seen as a weird kid and the school teachers just thought I was lazy and unmotivated - Autism wasn't recognised then and I just had to muddle through.  I hated the sheer size of the school, the noise, the disruptive pupils, the playground aggression and violence, and unsympathetic teachers.

    I think that here isn't enough emphasis and support for newly diagnosed adults: the ones whose ASD was not recognised when they were children.  All the emphasis and support seems to be geared towards children with ASD, and newly diagnosed ASD adults just have to 'get on with it.'  Social Care is unsympathetic and told me I have to be physically disabled to receive any support from them.  Without my very loving and supportive family, I would be lost completely.