Doubt and diagnosis worries

Just to say, I do mention about my depression, suicidal ideation below.


I'm pretty new to the idea that I could possibly be autistic.  But at the same time I can agree with a number of symptoms, I also worry that I don't have the 'right' symptoms to make a diagnosis.

First off, I've done a lot of reading, and there's a lot of signs that I can really connect to, but there's others I really don't.  Part of this research is I did a few well-regarded tests, the AQ, EQ and RITVO.  I've done them a few times, and gotten similar scores.  Here they are:

My AQ was 34 out of 50.  My EQ was 18 out of 80. 

The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised (RAADS-R) score was 173.  I exceeded the threshold on every part.

I also did the Aspie test and got 132/200 on the Neurodiverse, and 84/200 on the Neurotypical.

I understand this is not a diagnosis, but these and the connection to a lot of the signs listed on the NHS website were what prompted me to get an appointment with the GP and start a referral process.

My case is going to be compounded by a single thing: I'm hard of hearing.  Given that I probably had a hearing defect since birth, which was undetected until a primary teacher notice I was lip-reading, this has possibly shpaed my development as much as autism probably would too.  

Given my hearing difficulties, my early development was probably 'normal'.  Nobody suspected anything was amiss. Apart from me being a quiet kid. I said my first word at 6 months, and everything else happened as expected I think.  (I don't know, I can't recall much prior to the second school I went to).

I recall my parents telling me I mimic'ed other kids pretending to be Daleks from Dr Who (we didn't have a TV at the time), and I bottled up my anger/conflict issues from a very early age.  I would often just go quiet when things didn't go my way, or something was overwhelming.  I could travel from my home (near London) to Liverpool to visit relatives in my early teens because my parents knew I would not deviate from the schedule that got me there.

I had few friends at any one time - usually one or two, and during some parts of secondary school, I had up to four.  My first 'relationship' with a girl was an intense, emotional failure.  I was besotted with her, but after a while she was bored of my predictability.  I never kissed her.  Didn't know how to approach doing that.  I was 17 at the time.  I would be 32 before I met someone else, who I ended up marrying.  She's super supportive of me getting a diagnosis, thinks a lot of the signs are there.

But I doubt.  I guess it's my nature to analyze everything.  Even the smallest thing that causes doubt in my mind will mean the possibility of a positive diagnosis is in jeopardy. 

I've struggled with depression since the first time at college.  I had the first thoughts of suicide.  Fortunately, I have never gone through with any act in my life, but I've come very very close at times.  I've struggled with anxiety, both from stress at work, and from social worries.  I never felt as though I fitted in anywhere.  I once thought about suicide on the way to a friends 18th birthday, I just didn't want to be there that much.

But doubt creeps in because I never considered myself to be overbearing, except in rare circumstances when I could talk and talk and talk.  Often I just let everyone else talk, and I just watch.  I'm not rude - even unintentionally.  I keep a little distance from people because it's easier to lipread, plus if they're gonna hug, I can try and get out of it.  I'm polite to people - I can say 'good morning' when I'm out with the dogs, or let my elderly client who can't get out of the house waffle on about something.  Just don't expect me to make conversation much.

I've lived most of my life with this expectation that you're happy when you have friends, you go out and do things with them.  I'm the opposite.  Now I'm in a job (self-employed) where my contact with people is minimal at best - I'm actually pretty damn content.  But that's hard for my wife. 

And that's another thing - I've held a job pretty much all my adult life.  When I look closer, it's plagued with poor performance, depression issues, and in one job, two nervous breakdowns.

Right now, I have one online friend, and that's it.  No real people local to me.  I'm not even that bothered to go out and look.  I just don't connect with them.  Well, that and I'm an alcoholic, and would much prefer to be sober than having to endure going to the pub (a very very common social activity where I live).

So tomorrow I am off to my GP.  To me, it's the biggest thing I've ever done.  More so than going about all the depression, anxiety, that I've had before.  This is possibly life-altering for me.  And I don't know if it's the right thing.  There's part of me that doesn't want to waste the NHS's resources if I'm going to be a negative diagnosis.  Part of me is scared because if I start this process, at some point my parents are going to know, and I don't know how they're going to react.  I can't stand tension or conflict - I blame myself for it if I encounter it and find it very stressful.  Even people arguing in the street, I just assume it's because of me.  On the other side, I think my father would be understanding, and probably downplay it from autism.  My mum is the wildcard - a sometimes fiery woman, sometimes soft and caring.  If you were to ask me how she would react, I'd just have to shrug my shoulders.

Does anyone else have this doubt, even at this early stage?  Is it normal?  I'm aware that it's not a complete the tickboxes, but is the ability to 'function' day-to-day going to count against me? 

Argh I wish I could shut my brain off sometimes and just be spontaneous, but then I wouldn't be needing to see the doc!