Is a mental health referral normal during assessment?

Hello, I'm going through the assessment process. I had thought my GP had referred me to an autism specialist but instead it was the primary care mental health team. Is this a normal part of the process? While I have difficulties that I believe are autism-related, I do not have mental health issues and the assessor made it extremely clear she thought I was wasting her time.

She did agree to refer me to a specialist team based on a ten-question evaluation, but said explicitly that I would not get a diagnosis because I'm 40, married and have children so am clearly able to function.

I'm feeling very dispirited and am now extremely anxious about taking the process further. On the other hand, I believe I'm right to seek help - my problems include an inability to recognise faces (including my own children) and a tendency to shut down when overloaded with sensory stimuli. I stim almost constantly, obsess over things like languages, need to follow a strict routine, struggle with social situations because I take things literally and can't read faces, and have very erratic sleep patterns.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Am I right to pursue a diagnosis?

Parents Reply
  • I love the catch-22 of do I know if they are difficulties when I have only lived life in this shell....everything has been a hard slog and a challenge..

    Am I currently functioning? I don’t know what functioning looks like on my terms....I have always done what other people tell me to do.

    Excellent and concise!

    Indeed, most of the 'difficulties' I face I do not recognise as difficulties because they are my 'normal' - it takes an outside perspective, in my case my partner, to have recognised my difficulties and convey them to the diagnostic team.