Hello, my name is Michael i'm a 29 year old male. I'm not diagnosed with any form of autism but over the last couple of years i have been wondering more and more if i am. I was wondering if there was anyone else who came to realise that they were suffering from a form of autism later in life and if they could help or tell me how they came to realise.
My whole life i have struggled with social interactions and have always kept to myself. When i was younger i struggled in school and was always in the lower classes suffering with dyslexia. I was ambidextrous up until high school, when i was forced to choose one hand to write with as my handwriting was so bad.
I have always excelled in the arts, being a musician and loving to draw. Later in life i acheived a first class degree in audio production and now i am studying a masters in sound design at a film school in the uk.
Lately i have been suffering from social anxiety and really struggling to interact and it has become more obvious as my course relies heavily on socialising with many other departments. I'm having regular panic attacks and find myself being unable communicate in groups.
I tend to keep to myself most of the time although i really want to interact with others more. I have alway known something was not right as i have struggled to keep relationships in the past and never had a long term relationship. I also struggle to keep in contact with friends and have lost many friends over the years due to this. I only have a handful of close friends that i have kept in contact with over the years.
I guess i have always known soemthing is wrong but i've always ignored it. It's only lately as it seems to be effecting my career that i feel i need to face whatever the issue is head on. The more i read about autism and the symptoms the more i feel i may be suffering from a form of it.
If anyone who is or has been in a similar situation later in life can share their experiences or help with what steps i should take next, i would be really greatful.
Hi, reading all this has helped so much thank you, I am going to see my doc on friday and I am going to talk to them about it.
So many things in Michael's story resonate with me, I am also very gifted musically and am a successful music producer (although it is more a hobby I have relased music and its done well). I'm currently holding down a job as well. I am also able to look after and spend time with my 7yo when I get to see him.
makes me sound pretty normal right?
However....I am nearly 38, I now live with my parents again, I got divorced and had to leave my home 7 years ago, since then I have drifted from job to job, rental home to rental home. I have suffered bouts of depression more times than I can remember I am now so used to them. I've lost many friends and my wife who i think i loved and nearly committed suicide on more than one occasion.
I have always found social interactions and relationships difficult, I never know what to say or do and if i am doing it right. As a result I learned through failed relationships and interactions to keep people at a distance, the closer they get, the more scared I get and then I push them away...quite harshly in some cases.
I've always had difficulty empathising, I just don't feel what I am supposed to and feel guilty because I should. I prefer to be on my own as it is more calm and I can relax as opposed to being somewhere crowded and having to talk to people. It's mad because I can go and perform in front of people, but that is because I am so focused on what I am doing at the time I do not think about the people around me, before and after performing I literally cannot wait to get away from the situation, I just learned to cope with those brief points of anxiety.
People have always said I am clever but 'odd', I repeat things (usually 3 times in different ways) I talk over people and rarely give them time to speak, I do this when I am nervous or comfortable.
Alot of the things I do enjoy involve numbers and logical processes (I get obsessed by values used in music production). My job is one that requires logical processes and I find that easy....speaking to people at work not so!!
I love routine, if I could have everything as a routine, knowing what to do and when to do it I feel so much more relaxed. When something or someone breaks the routine or forces me to not follow my routine or do the things I must do (cleaning and doing jobs i need to do) it really stresses me out.
I recently end a relationship because I was too scared to get close, freaking out too much that it was messing with my routine and my goals which i set myself and because I didnt know if I was in love or not ( I just cant tell anymore).
Been having problems with social situations since I was a child and I've just tried to live with it and roll with the punches, but its caused me to be depressed and anxious....
I know somethings not right as I have tried meds, counselling, CBT...all work for a brief time then it comes back and its usally triggered by me failing socially.
When the depression and anxiety triggers it causes relationship and social problems for me and like I say I have lost many friends and loved ones, mainly through them not knowing what to do and so walking away due to the stress (my wife divorced me because of this as she could no longer cope).
Its been so many years the depression and anxiety now act like defense mechanisms and stop me from getting close to anyone, so now I feel alone even though I am with my parents (who asked me to move in so they could keep an eye on me better) and my sister and a couple of friends that have stuck by me through the years.
Its also been that long that I am pretty certain that the depression and anxiety are being triggered by events in my life that I have had difficulty with on a day to day basis and that is pointing me at this....I thought a few years ago I may have been Bi polar, saw GP and they said no so I left it but I know there is something fundamentally wrong with how I think....Its never been quite the same as most other people.
So finding this thread has helped me to give it another go, maybe this time I will get some answers so Thank you x
Typing this as I sit here in work, sad and scared but hiding it very well I hope! I have learned to do it well over the years otherwise I'd never get a job or girlfriend! problem is they never stay and I know that its me but I dont know why!!
A very confused but grateful Adult who suspects he is Autistic or has ASD.