I'm new here, and came to this website because I've got some questions.
In September last year my depression relapsed again for the third time in three years. I went to my GP and she referred me for psychological assessment. At the assessment the psychologist referred me for therapy for my depression and anxiety but also referred me for an adult autism assessment. I thought nothing of the latter until the letter came through offering an appointment.
I attended the autism assessment this morning, and won't learn the outcome for a couple of weeks. But I don't know what a diagnosis (or non-diagnosis) is going to mean, and how it can help. I know I think differently to other people and struggle with some aspects of social interaction, but I work full time, I've got a mortgage on my own house, and I've learned to cope with being social. I'm 43, I'm just not sure how it's going to help make a difference either way.
Sounds like quite a sensible psychologist. Autism (especially mild versions) often comes with anxiety and depression, so it's probably a good idea to figure out if that is the cause of it (for example stress caused by spending a lot of energy to fit in). Some common therapeutic approaches against depression and anxiety also don't seem to work particularly well with autistic people (I'm not basing this on studies, just on experiences people have written about). So if you are autistic they may have to adapt their approaches somewhat and recognise that there are things that can't be changed, so rather than trying to make you change them anyway they would perhaps focus on coming up with ways to better deal with them. I hope that would be a possible conclusion anyway, because it seems a lot of counselling is rather inflexible and if you don't respond well to the one-fits-all approach then it is seen as your fault because you don't cooperate, presumably because you don't want to get better.
So I guess if you get diagnosed with autism not much is going to change otherwise but perhaps that therapy for depression and anxiety has a better chance to really help you and you (and possibly others) may start to understand a thing or two about yourself.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Having read some information about autism on this website and forum I am finding quite a lot of synergy with my own experience. My full time job involves working with people and I'm usually falling asleep in the car on the way home, let alone when I actually get home. While I am university educated I have a long history of not living up to the expectations of education professionals and teachers, particularly with regard to self directed study (such as writing the masters degree dissertation I'm supposed to be writing but have still yet to start). And I have been in capabilities (pre-disciplinary for low performance) at work more times than I care to mention.
I had to take time off from work to attend the assessment yesterday and I was honest with my line manager over the purpose of the assessment. She wasn't hostile but she didn't show a lot of understanding. She asked how a diagnosis would make any difference, and I had to admit that I didn't know.