Hi everyone, I'm new here after a bit of a crazy week wrapping my head around the fact I might be autistic. My therapist (for anxiety disorder) recommended I looked at autism in females and took some preliminary tests. I went home and scored 174/200 on the RAADS-R, 154 on RDOS, and 36 on AQ. I grew up with an autistic family member and honestly it just floored me to see the results for myself. I didn't realise how much I had been hiding it and what it looked like in someone who is "functioning" with no other physical disabilities or learning difficulties.
I thought the way I thought was normal and somehow everyone was just succeeding at controlling their brains more than me.
I thought my anxiety/depression days were just bad mental health days to power through and be eradicated, not my brain actually shutting down and protecting me from the over-stimulus of the outside world.
I thought everyone followed the rules of socialising better than me (make eye contact, don't fidget, don't go into detail, don't talk so much about your interests, ask questions about them, etc)....I didn't realise other people were doing this from instinct!
I could go on. It's like learning the whole world is not what you thought it was at all. All my struggles to stick at jobs and uni were just me FAILING at something everyone else manages. Now I realise just how hard I have been trying for 32 years to keep up with what comes much easier to other people. I am a smart woman and I thought I had to work out everything myself. If only I thought enough about my anxiety and meltdowns, I could control my brain into never having them. I read aspergirls and just cried. It's all about me!
I have gone through so many emotions this week, shock, denial, acceptance, fear that actually I will turn out to NOT be autistic and then I will be alone again, never fitting in. Ugh.
Anyway, I am feeling overall positive but have really struggled to function this week with the huge amount of emotion and information I've gone through. I am going to my GP next week with a letter from my psychologist, test results and a list of the things I now realise are not NT traits and struggles. I am nervous that I won't get referred, any advice?
I'm looking forward to getting to know you all better!
Hi Fast_and_the_curious & welcome. You're not alone here; what you've written is so familiar to many. For me it was like realising that everyone else had telepathy but no-one bothered to tell me. The cycles of shock, denial, acceptance etc. have recurred for me for 16 months now as I wait for my formal diagnosis (hope to hear in the next week or two). Like you, I have thought "no *wonder* I always hated X,Y,Z / couldn't cope with P,Q,R"
As for getting referred, the clinical bar to pass is a score of above 6 on the AQ10 (was for me anyway) - which is the 10 question version of the AQ50 you've already taken. Anyone who turns up at their GP with a self-compiled dossier of ASD-related test results and notes is presenting several red flags though and would be unlucky to not get referred! (it does happen though - in which case you can always ask to see another GP).
That is such a good analogy! I've used it a few times since I read it, it really sums up how I feel about finding out. It's not that I feel overwhelmed by being autistic, it's that I'm overwhelmed that the rest of the world ISN'T!