First of all, sorry - this is going to be a long-ish message. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read/answer.
I found this site/forum after a bit of googling and I'm very glad I did. Possibly like some others, I watched the recent Chris Packham docu by chance and was stunned to discover many similarities with my life. Things like solitary tendencies, catastrophic social skills, terrible relationship attempts (both platonic and non-platonic), inexplicable moodswings, some compulsive behaviours (in my case especially when it comes to self-medication). I lack motivation for many 'difficult' things - I regularly leave mail unopened, never tidy up until there's absolutely no option, find myself aimlessly wasting time when I could be doing something more useful. I've had a lot of very depressive periods as well which have been getting a lot more frequent recently.
But most of all I have always felt incredibly different/alien, to the point that even family and very close friends find it very difficult to understand me. I've also spent most of my life (I'm now in my early 40s) trying to figure out what is wrong with me. I've managed to get by okay so I guess I am fairly 'high-functioning', I do have some skills in creative fields which I've been lucky enough to be employed in, but recently I've been losing interest in work, finding the daily grind incredibly difficult but I'm hanging in there.
To be honest, I never imagined until now that ASD might be a cause of all this. I've had a fairly tough life and upbringing, I am something of a hybrid in terms of cultures, and have always been an outsider in this respect. I always assumed my weirdness was as a result of psychological damage from this.
Anyway - I have a question... I don't really have anyone to talk to about this, I think it would upset my family too much if I tried to raise the subject.
What do people think in general about getting an official diagnosis?
- Does it help in any way?
- Can *anything* help in any way?
- Are there any downsides? Like affecting future employment possibilities etc?
I would appreciate any input.
I have done online AQ tests such as this one- http://rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php :
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 131 of 200Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 76 of 200You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)
Thank you for reading.
I'm not sure for others, but for me personally, it would be a really big deal to get an official diagnosis (I'm still in the process of trying to get one). I've had A LOT of issues with other people since childhood, and don't want it to continue happening throughout my whole adult life (due to simple misunderstandings).
I want to use the diagnosis to find out if I have any other issues (like adhd) because my problems are very significant and complicated, once everything has clearly been identified then I can work on learning how to manage it; this is my main reason for wanting one, I have a very strong interest in studies, but I can never fulfil commitments even after becoming an adult, so I can't go on without having things clarified. Apart from that, the diagnosis is for others because when I have tried to explain any of my struggles, it's apparently not significant, but I've seen that when people say they're autistic/dyslexic etc. Suddenly the same issues are taken very seriously. So for me the diagnosis means being able to get professional advice to help me be more efficient, and explain to others when any conflict/oddness occurs between us.
As for downsides, I don't really see any. No one should refuse you employment due to being autistic, unless there's any issue with you actually being able to work as an employee. I don't have family to speak with properly either, so being able to speak to specialists is something in itself.
(I'm not sure what you mean about *anything* helping, your actual condition won't go away but being able to accept it might give you a lot of relief and happiness; you're not weird or messed up, you're just yourself and it can be hard for others to just let us be who we are without society's extra restrictions. And learning to manage it better might show you how to tackle things differently in areas you want to improve in, but have always struggled to do so.)
fayfay - your post makes a lot of sense too. I've been thinking about it and apart from anything else, I think that an official diagnosis would be taken more seriously than a self-diagnosis when trying to explain to others. So I think I will definitely look into getting one.
I apologize for the 'anything helping' thing - I've been a bit frustrated about all this, my head is all over the place and I think it came out of that. I did regret writing it. Thanks for your advice, it's very helpful :)
No don't worry, I actually didn't understand the question because it was a bit vague...
I think don't worry about "having ASD", it might seem overwhelming and difficult to grasp, but really, it's just for others to understand you for who you are (no more drama about fitting in and liking what everyone else likes)...at least that's how I see it lol, I actually only use the term autistic etc. because I've seen others be less aggressive to me as a result (like when I accidentally step on everyone in the bus).
It seems that diagnosis can take a while, so like Spotty Tortoise said, you can get the GP to refer you and do all the research you want in the meantime, it will also give you the opportunity to clear out everything in your head.
Hope it all goes well.