Suspected HFA/very mild Asperger's in adulthood...is it worth getting diagnosed?!

Hi, all. I'm new here.

I have a five year old daughter and we're fairly certain she has Asperger's, currently going through the diagnostic process with her.

The thing is I've suspected I have it (much more mild than my daughter) since I was a teenager and learned what it was...possibly even sooner than that, I knew I was "different" but didn't have a name for it. I've never thought too deeply about it, once or twice I've read up on Asperger's and though, "Oh, that applies to me." but have seen other things that don't apply to me. However, since learning more about Asperger's through my daughter and learning that there are many differences in girls with Asperger's and boys with it I've become fairly certain that I do have it. I've read a fair amount of literature about females with autism and it mostly all rings true with me.

My dilemma now is, is it worth getting diagnosed as an adult? If I'm honest it barely affects my day-to-day life. I do have trouble coping with certain emotions and can have meltdowns over silly things from time to time (not very often though). When I'm not feeling "hett up" I can be very rational and logical and have explained to my husband precisely what goes through my head when I'm in that mood and over the years he's learned how to calm me down. I feel guilty that he has to "manage" me like I'm a toddler, but it is very rare these days and I'm mostly good at self control....it's usually only when I'm on my period and hormonal that it happens now. I doubt therapy could help with that anyway.

Would a diagnosis in adulthood do anything, or is it not worth the hassle? Would me being diagnosed help with my daughter's diagnosis? Would it hinder it? Would they feel it necessary to suddenly get social services involved with my family because there's concerns over my mental health? Undecided Feeling a bit confused over what to do right now. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks. Smile  

  • Hi Hayley. I am undiagnosed and in my 60s. I got by in life, with what I thought was bad pmt and a tendancy to tactlessness until I returned to work when my children were starting/approaching secondary school.

    That was when I encountered bullying on a serious scale, because I did not fit in and was lower down the pecking order, than before I had taken my "career break".  I also had a bereavement, and the combined effect pushed me into depression which would not lift. From there on, I believe that I was misdiagnosed. I had never considered asd, but found anyway, that I lost my ability to communicate. I was put on a combination of anti depressents and antipsychotics and had long spells off work due to mental illness.

    I cope well, when I am happy, but not when life gets difficult. I would say, therefore, that it would be useful to get your concerns on record with your gp, so that if you have problems later in life, and find you cannot express your concerns coherently because of illness, you will possibly get more appropriate treatment. 

    I have tried to talk to my community mental health team since realising I have asd, but they do not want to know, as I am well at the moment.

    I doubt that things would be so bad for you, as you have an understanding husband who could, if necessary, speak for you. Misdiagnosis does seam to be a major issue for people with asd. 

  • Thanks for your reply. :) I'll have a chat with my GP and let them know what I suspect but that I am coping fine for now just so there's a note of it.

    I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago when my family was going through a rough patch and I was having pretty much continous meltdowns and really struggling to cope with life. I got back on track fairly quickly though once the problem was sorted.

  • In my opinion you do exhibit some aytistic traits. You can Have you done the AQ test,,? It is available online and I would recommend the 50 question version, it takes only a few minutes and gives a strong indication.

    I was only diagnosed at the age of 62 after a lifetime trying to fit in with all the problems of anxiety, depression and exhaustion that caused. 'Mild' and 'severe,'  autism can be misleading. Those with so called mild autism can have their needs overlooked, while those who are classed as severely affected can have their abilities overlooked. GPS can be very unhelpful to those of mature years as they are often of the opinion that you have survived so long with 'few' problems a diagnosis would serve no purpose.

    But if you are autistic there could be a primed firework inside you awaiting detonation. And if and when it does ignite you will realise what problems you do have that you may not be aware of now.

    Mine was a problem at work, but it could be anything which causes you sensory overload or something over which you have no control.