Hello! and a question

Hi,

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 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 76 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)

Thank you for reading.

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