I know there area lot of posts like this but I don't know what to do. I'll try not to ramble on for hours and get to the point! [reading back on this I failed majorly on this point]. I'm sure you all know what it's like anyway but here it is: I've always struggled with things that should have been straightforward (particularly social things but there are other things too that were there but I've always fixated on the social difficulties as the most problematic).
I don't remember how but a few months ago I started reading about autism in females and started crying because it was like I was reading about myself. It was weirdly a happy moment because suddenly it made sense and I could understand why I am how I am.
I decided I wanted to go for a formal diagnosis because otherwise I will always question it - I'm not a professional and I don't know anyone who is autistic (that I know of, I mean I hardly know anyone anyway!) so I don't have someone who really knows about this to talk to. I went to my GP and brought written evidence with me because I knew I wouldn't have been able to explain it all properly in person. I was really emotional while talking to her. She said to come back in a week so she could have the chance to read my notes. I missed the appointment because I got the time wrong - I had it set in my mind it was an hour later than it was and it wasn't 'til I was on my way that I saw my phone calendar and it said the actual time!
Anyway I saw her the next week and she said "it was very interesting to read your notes" but that "there is really nothing that we can do", by which I think she meant that even if I were referred for a diagnosis and they did diagnose me as having ASD, there is nothing that can be done after that to help me so what is the point in referring me? (Although she didn't say that many details, she literally said what I put in quotes.) She said I should carry on with the CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) I'm currently doing (which kind of helps but it's really just more to think about, although I know it takes a lot of hard work to make it work so I'll keep trying). She suggested I do an online questionnaire (that wasn't on the website she said it was, but someone from that website pointed me towards a questionnaire on another site it turns out I had already done and scored above the ASD threshold, but silly me forgot to mention that in the appointment). Then she recommended I read a novel "Eleanor Oliphant is completely Fine". And that was it. I didn't protest or say that getting a diagnosis was really important to me because I was just focussed on trying to process what she was telling me and that occupied the whole of my mind at the time.
Without a decision either way from a proper diagnosis session, I feel like I will always be questioning myself. But at the same time I don't want to waste NHS resources (I live in Scotland, if that is of any help as to the situation regarding resources for adult autism diagnosis) because on paper my life is fine. I'm grateful for that and I understand that I am relatively fortunate so maybe less deserving of a diagnosis. But at the same time every single day is a huge struggle. I have no friends and never want to socialise although I feel intensely lonely sometimes that I'm not on the same wavelength as anyone. I worry about being withdrawn and isolated constantly and I wish I wanted to socialise and be "normal" (but a lot of the time I'm ok knowing I have one person who I can count on - my partner, although he doesn't know how to deal with me when I am having a "meltdown" or feeling anxious about something that I "shouldn't feel anxious about". I'm a huge strain on the relationship and I don't know how much longer it will hold up, to be honest.
I'm so sorry to have kept writing this long! I really wasn't meaning to tell all like this! It was meant to be a quick "GP wouldn't refer, do you think I should try again". It wasn't meant to turn into a therapy session! If you have kept reading this far, thank you so much. Anyway, I suppose I would really like to know what other people think - what would you do if you were in my situation? Do you think it is worth me going back to the GP? I can't afford a private diagnosis. What should I say to the doctor if I go back?
Here's more background of why I think I might have autism that I had originally written at the top but it's too long so only people who really want to need to read it! I was very quiet and withdrawn in my childhood (with occasional really excessive "tantrums" at home - never at school - when I had to do something I didn't want to - usually something social), the same as a teenager with added emotional outbursts. I was back and forth to the doctor throughout the whole of my 20s getting diagnoses of depression etc. A couple of years ago someone I knew in a professional context suggested I look into whether I might have a developmental disorder (not naming anything in particular, but she had personal experience of that sort of thing). I started off looking into a problem that led nowhere so I thought it must be depression/anxiety after all (but these never quite summed up my particular experiences - as I said I have always felt how I feel, among other things). I considered looking into whether it was autism but many of the typical characteristics just didn't fit me at all. However, reading about female autistic people feels like a spot on match for me though.
hi zosh. This is my first time on this site. I am in scotland. I only found out a few weeks ago that there is a high possibility i am hfa. My psychtherapist who i went to see to help me deal with some stuff suggested i take a test which showed it was highly likely i was hfa. She said it was her experience that i may not get referred to diagnosis by nhs but it was worth a try and she was willing to support me. The alternative of course is going private but this costs around £2000 i think. After several weeks of debating with myself if i need a formal diagnosis i have decided i do. This is because i feel i cant say to people i have it unless it is definite. I have booked an appointment with my gp and going to find out her response. I feel fortunate that my psychotherapist is so realistic. She is not a fan of cbt...halleluljah! What a relief when she told me that. I always feel therapists etc use cbt as a cop out almost....but it is ok to have all those different feelings. If i find out any more i will aim to update.
Hi, your psychotherapist sounds great! I'm struggling with CBT right now. I keep deciding I'm going to quit then changing my mind, thinking I might as well see it through to the end. I know what you mean them using CBT as a cop out. The way it's structured I feel almost like you're kind of led to report back that it's helping and that you feel better but I just wonder for how long after you stop seeing your CBT counsellor it will carry on working for. I could rant on about it for ages but I won't.
I'd be interested to hear what your GP says. Good luck! I hope they agree to refer you.
The truth is I couldnt tell you if cbt works or not. All i know is it seems like a chore and i never did it. But i am not properly trained so you are probably best to take advice from an expert and find what works for you. Half the trouble is figuring out whos the expert and who just trained in evening classes at a local college! Re referal for diagnosis - I think with the NHS be clear and sure and a bit pushy dare i say for what you want. No-one else is likely there to do it for us. So lets go and give a good try!! It is so easy just to comply with the staus quo when at a doctor and then come out saying why didnt i say this or that etc. Goodness knows how i will get on. Good luck to you though. Will be interested to hear any updates.