Referral worries...

I asked my GP a couple of weeks ago to refer me to be assessed for a possible ASD. She agreed right away and took the giant list I had compiled to include with the referral, and seemed to know what she was doing. I haven't yet had a letter confirming the referral however-feel like I can't properly settle down to wait until I do.

Checked on my online GP portal to make sure it had been done, and it says 'referral to mental health team'. So now I'm additionally worried about whether she has referred me to the wrong place. I meant to specifically check that it was to the local autism spectrum service when I had the appointment, but she disarmed me with how willing she was to refer me and she really did seem confident in doing so, and I forgot (despite having it written down on a piece of paper for her and everything). I don't know if maybe it's just really general on the online portal or it has gone wrong. And I don't know what to do or whether to do anything (make another appointment? Check in with the receptionist at the surgery or leave a message?) Don't want to waste their time-it might be fine-but neither do I want to have any more time wasted than necessary since could be waiting a while anyway.

  • Hi,

    My view is that you have been refereed to the Mental Health team as this is protocol. 

    I suppose this is to rule out  other goings on, for me a report was taken by a psychologist and I was as confused as you as to why this was the procedure.

    I don't think the NHS have ASD  departments as such  more ASD teams within local mental health related departments so the infrastructure is confusing. 

    Because of funding and resources and infrastructure  people coming forward (like ourselves) are often left feeling confused. 

    For example; my GP did not explain what was really going to happen re any diagnostic help or the process , she just skimmed over that and said I was being referred to the Mental Health team - This is because we or certainly "I" had such bad problems with anxiety and my mental health as a secondary symptom to my ASD so that they needed to see that I am of sound mind and to get more background I suppose and in  case you need support as well.

    You might be able to get counselling for example (if needed) which can help with our at times improbable minds or  with comping mechanisms. 

    My GP  has only recently been made aware (and by me) that I have ASD which is as clear as day  to me (and many people,) all they really hear is that you "believe" that you are ASD so I suppose they see it as "self-diagnosis" and need to find out more about this via a psychologist to see what your "protective factors" are which basically means are you at risk  to yourself of others (in my case as I  felt Suicidal) in your case it's protocol (and everyones) and perhaps see it as a support avenue along the way. 

    Your question is for your GP to answer and I suspect the answer is it's all fine and that you being referred to the Mental Health Team is just protocol and your GP  has just not explained this to you  (it confused me as well) I thought "why am I here!?" and "what's happening with my diagnosis?" I was seen in less than a month so I hope you get seen within 6-8 weeks maximum. 

    For me in my town (Frome, Somerset) we/they only have a very small and under pressure   Asperges team and I don't actually have Asperges, I have an ASD sub type called PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) but I/ or we sufferers share traits that of Asperges. 

    In short; (i'm never good at that) don't worry : ) and if you  still have anxiety about this then call your surgery and ask the receptionist to ask your GP  if a mental health Team referral  is a component (part of the diagnostic referral process)  I think it is (as it was with me) but I am mindful of not talking on behalf of the NHS. 

    Your problem as much relates to problem solving as  you have established that calling the receptionist would likely be the answer : ) if you go through the  variables he or she is not likely  to say. "I'm sorry I am not going to find that out for you" so you know that this could help you but as a thoughtful considerate  person  you don't want to waste their time, you will not be wasting their time as you are important and do not ever deserve to feel constantly worried, and anxious. 

    You would only leave a message if you didn't speak to someone so that's to do with whether you feel able or want to leave a message.

    Only you know if you could wait to see what happens as if it was causing you stress you know that you can not do that as it would feel like self harm but I know what you mean.

    You are asking also? is this supposed to have happend and by me telling you it happened to me then it's highly unlikely that the same error happened to 2 people that found each other but hey! stranger things have happend (just kidding) you are fine! it's protocol, you  would not have been accidentally referred to the Mental Health Team just don't be scared by the title. It's all relative.    

    You are not wasting someones time EVER by asking for clarification on something that is worrying you (that was not made clear to you), if you ever feel this way it's usually when  other people have made us feel this  way because we are sensitive to people moods due to the amount of complications we have trying to connect and be normal, it affects our confidence. 

    it's best not to worry about how someone might respond to a phonecall or you could project too many outcomes or hypothetical  situations based on human responses.

    I  know it's hard (as I do this all the time - until I feel mentally ill)  but  hopefully we can both get help for this type of worry-trap if you like, these types of things become infinite and impossible puzzles for us ASD sufferers. We can never really know the time-line ahead because of  factors we can only approximate. We like to have definite answers.    

    Sorry for the long messages, I learn't that it's called "broadcasting" what I am doing now which is like downloading or publishing ones  thoughts but at least I remained on topic. 

    So  in super short: you have not been referred  to the wrong place (in my humble opinion : )

    Antony (ASD/PDA)


  • Thanks, that has reassured me a little (although I still don't really know...the thing is I do know the local specialist autism service does accept direct referrals from GPs; I also don't have any additional mental health issues-just struggling at uni more than anything and I didn't go into that with the GP-I virtually said little more than 'I read some stuff about women on the autistic spectrum and it sounds a lot like me').

    My GP surgery doesn't like you phoning them (to keep it clear for urgent stuff) which is good for me because I have too much trouble on the phone to manage having to make that sort of enquiry-I'd never get across what it was I was actually asking etc. I guess I can pop in and leave a written message for my GP about it.

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