Hi, I'm new here.
I would just like to ask if anyone has advice on where I could find someone professional to talk to about the likelihood of an autism diagnosis. I have been driving myself crazy for the last 6 months researching about autism and whether I am or am not autistic, and I just keep going round in circles.
I'm worried that I might just be making this all up in my head, so instead of going for a very expensive autism diagnosis straight off I wondered if anyone could recommend someone I could just explore the idea with first. I live in Scotland, but would be willing to travel or maybe even do an online session if anyone can recommend anyone good. I'm looking for someone who has good experience of women with autism, as I work very hard to act "normal", and have been quite successful at this. I think a lot of people would just dismiss me because I can make eye contact (mostly) and conversation.
I just had a very disappointing appointment with a psychiatrist today and I think I really need to talk to someone who knows what they're talking about (when I mentioned autism she said that the thought had crossed her mind while talking to me, but that it wasn't her area of expertise, and that she didn't think that being autistic would explain my recurrent periods of severe depression or my "emotional disregulation" (meltdowns?) when I think it is a very plausible explanation for both!)
Sorry for rambling but when I started to feel like she wasn't listening to me and just wanted to put me on more drugs I had a mini "emotional disregulation" in her office and ended up crying hysterically for an hour, and now my brain is like jelly so I might not be making sense here.
Many thanks for any advice you can offer!
I'm not sure I can be much help but If you are planning on paying for private diagnosis then alot of places offer a "screening" service that gives you an indication of whether or not you should pursue a full assessment.
These vary in price I know that the lorna wing centre starts at £200 it may be worth talking to them before hand to see what they recommend. And at least they are understanding autism in women
Getting an assessment through the NHS is a possibility, but the waiting can be quite a long time in some areas (e.g., 2-3 years). You can look up the NAS directory to see if there are any private services that cost less: https://www.autism.org.uk/directory/browse/cid=80~aid=9.aspx Google can also be useful to look up information. You can also ask your GP if they might have any suggestions. Or call the NAS helpline for advice.
I wouldn’t go near one of those things again. They’ll have you looked up and restrained and sedated before you know it.
Those things - NHS psychiatrists are peddlers for drugs. They basically work for the drug company and sell thier SSRIs.
There was a story on the radio yesterday about children basically being abused by so called authority after being sectioned for being autistic!
I know one of them - he was once a customer of mine. Then he admitted ‘selling anti depressants’ for drug company’s.
He also Invalidated me with three words.
He’s Very experienced as a drug seller for these company’s. Actually he’s clueless regarding autism. He’s a loose cannon - they all are.
Most psychiatrists aren't that well acquainted with ASD so I wouldn't be too surprised that they didn't have much knowledge about it.
Psychologists, speech and occupational therapists are often more involved in ASD diagnosis (with kids it's often a whole team of people, with adults it can vary). The NHS service I got my diagnosis through employ a variety of professionals (I would guess probably with an overseeing psychologist) and the guy that did my assessment was actually an occupational therapist.
You almost certainly want to look at seeing a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. I would look at the British Psychological Society register here for psychologists in your area, look through to find ones that have experience in autism in adults and then contact them individually to see what they can do and how much experience they have in diagnosing women. As already pointed out, if you're set on going privately almost everywhere will do a preliminary screening before deciding whether you should be assessed further, so you don't usually have to commit to a full expensive assessment right off the bat.
I'm so sorry to hear you have had a bad experience but I feel it is important to say that not all psychiatrists are like that.
People may be scared away from getting help when actually there are some very good psychiatrists out there.
I'm very lucky to have met one of them. My psychiatrist had actually noted that I should not be medicated and has never tried to give me a prescription.
To be clear, I'm not trying to invalidate your experience. It doesn't sound good but I felt it was important to reach out so others know that seeing a psychiatrist can be hugely helpful.
Through my psychiatrist I have received my ASD diagnosis when no one else has been willing or knowledgeable enough to get me an assessment. My psychiatrist has supported me with difficulties that have come up during the assessment process and is continuing to see me until psychology are able to offer me sessions.
I have not been restrained.
I have not been sedated.
I have been treated very well. My psychiatrist has been reliable and consistent.
My psychiatrist has made sure I get all the physical health monitoring my other conditions require.
There are good psychiatrists out. Good psychiatrists who will help people get the diagnosis and treatment they need.
I have found here https://www.autismresearchcentre.com/arc_tests proper tests for autism, the first one AAA measures your AQ, EQ and your mum's score. For instance, I am waiting for my mum's sheet but without hers, on AQ I scored 35, on EQ 19 which shows I actually lack social understanding and I show traits of autism.
I am in the same situation. The educational psychologist I saw 2 weeks ago said I could not be autistic because I make eye contact(and I don't, I'm looking at mouths or nose to everybody beside my kids, my mom and my feiance) and I am ok at abstract reasoning test.
I don't have money to spend on the expensive diagnosis, and I don't know what to expect from one(is it that test I referred you to? would be actually my first question given the fact that they ask a relative or more of them to be with you?)
Through time I learned to go and calm down in the bathroom rather than say what I think to certain people or ask for help . This really impairs with my academic performance now. I don't ask for help and the tutor won't ask me anything, I am feeling like the invisible man when all I want is learn adequate stuff for postgraduate study and do it properly to satisfy my need of everything to be perfect in my project.
Sorry for my English,is my second language.
Take a deeper look into things and you’ll see. I want to scare people off from these idiots. If they’re not wise to modern diagnoses of high functioning masked autism then they will do harm.
Have you seen the stuff coming out lately? Sooooooooooooooooo many story’s of people being abused by these so called experts.
Former Member Above is a more accurate description of the kind of people who are wise and clued up on this Very New Subject. Masked Autism - most ‘Cwaks’ think it’s a lifestyle choice. Wonder how many suicides they’ve triggered??? Yuk
I'm not here to argue with anyone but my experience is that there are good mental health professionals out there including psychiatrists and I feel it's wrong to scare people off from receiving help from them.
I am well educated, intelligent and well aware of issues of abuse within some services but this is not the norm.
The fact that it happens is wrong and needs to be addressed but it's important that people aren't scared of all professionals and all services.
It is important that people aren't scared away from getting help. Mental health professionals can be hugely helpful.
I have met many, absolutely none have been abusive towards me and none of them were idiots. If it weren't for my current psychiatrist I wouldn't be doing so well, I wouldn't have access to the support I need, etc.
This is not a one thing or another situation. People vary, no two people are the same. There are wonderful mental health professionals and terrible mental health professionals and many in between the two "extremes".
Certain services, support, benefits, etc. can only be accessed with a referring/supporting mental health professional. It would be sad to see people scared away from accessing such things because there are some bad people out there... bad people that most of us will never have the misfortune of meeting.
We clearly have different experiences and opinions and that's okay.
I will continue to share my good experience because I have had more than one and I feel it is important for people to know about all the possibilities and not just the negative ones that are highlighted in the press and on social media.