Newly Diagnosed, My Life Is Ruined!

In March 2019, I was given a full diagnosis of Autism (Asperger's Syndrome). It did come as a shock to both me and my family. I'd always known that I was different to my friends and a bit quieter, but I legitimately thought that was OK. It now clearly wasn't. I started University last Autumn (don't want to reveal what/where I studied at) but after I received no support for my diagnosis and mental health, everything plummeted. Emails weren't getting answered quickly and when they were, it was always on the lines of "you're lazy, you've got no brains etc". I made the decision to stop going, the environment was toxic. Some of the students were nasty towards me, often blanking me out during group work sessions or leaving me out of events for no apparent reason. I live at home with my parents. For the past few months since the diagnosis, I've realised that I'm a huge failure. I have a lifelong disability and being the only family member with a disability, I've been too ashamed to open up to anyone about how I feel, since no-one can relate to me.

I finally told some family about my diagnosis but they reacted negatively. Calling me once again "lazy" and "you didn't try hard enough." I haven't spoken to them and have even considered cutting them out of my life altogether. I have a boyfriend and been together for nearly two years. He was shocked by my diagnosis, but is still with me. I've told him all the time that I'm stupid, useless and that he should look for someone else. I've been trying to get help and support to come to terms with my diagnosis at age 20, but to no avail. Either long waiting lists, expensive private appointments or no replies to my messages. I literally have nothing left.

I'm fully convinced that I'm a total failure, the life that I truly wanted is now ruined. My education life has always been rocky from the start. This was my dream Uni and course, but I feel that I've been pushed away due to their lack of understanding. I'm generally paranoid to look for a job. Not because I don't want to, not because I'm trying to be lazy. I'M TOO ANXIOUS TOO. But I need the money. I do get some from a family member but that's not me doing it for myself.

I'm very depressed and basically, there's no hope left. I'm now in debt. Alone. Struggling. This forum posting here is a risk. I used to post on a different website but I got trolled, so here I am opening myself up again...

If someone/anyone can truly help me before this situation gets worse, I'll be eternally grateful. 

Ally.

  • Hi 

    I'm not sure I have any thing practical for you, but I just wanted to say that being to anxious to do something does not make you lazy or stupid not ever! 

    I'm really sorry that you have received such negative reactions to your diagnosis, that must have made your anxiety so much worse, have you looked for local support groups? Or autistic advocates they can give fantastic advice. You could also try the helpline for advice they will be able to offer more information about help in your area.

    I'm sorry I am not much help I just wanted to reach out and say welcome, hopefully some other members will have some more practical advice 

    Wishing you all the best 

  • My anxiety is generally the worst it's ever been. Sadly, I've found no support groups in my area. I have a fear ornate using the phone. Thanks for the welcome!

  • There is always hope. Our problems only seem difficult when we think about all the things that are going wrong.

    Now that you have been diagnosed, you have a new opportunity to reassess your life situation.

    I would highly recommend you take a look at online CBT. It's completely free and online, you'll be assigned a therapist that can work with you on talking through your problems. If you suffer from depression they can also help discuss ways to improve your mood.

    I was in a similar situation. I dropped out of university after a few months and moved back with my parents, it was then years of arguments over being accused of being lazy and not wanting to work. It actually turned out for the better, the career I thought I wanted to pursue was a mistake, and it took me another 10 years to accept that I would have to overcome my disability challenges in order to pursue what I really want to do (which I previously avoided due to fear).

    Everything works out for the better when you don't lose hope, but find solutions and seek help.

  • Oh wow, that is a desperate cry for help.  Both my offspring have been diagnosed with ASD in the last  2 years.  My daughter is 18 and my son now 20.  My son was diagnosed at aged 19 in his second year of Uni.  For him I feel it has  been both good  and bad.   Temporarily it has knocked his confidence and self esteem massively but he is is very intelligent and I think in the long term the diagnosis well help him understand himself.

    Now to my daughter.  Your responses saying you're stupid and useless sound just like my daughter.  My daughter is very bright but she truly believes she is useless because she only acknowledges  those aspects of her life that she struggles with.  She would never admit to being good at ANYTHING or accept praise.  Anyone who gets to university is neither lazy, stupid or useless.  I should point out at this point that my daughter has been in hospital for 3 years with an eating disorder and has severe anxiety.  I don't know your family obviously but if they really love you then ultimately they will read about ASD and try and understand why you struggle so much.  If not, maybe your boyfriend can do this.   With regard to the anxiety, I understand this is a big problem for people with ASD.....it certainly is for my daughter.  She has medications for her anxiety but I see this as treating the symptom rather than the cause so I am in the process or arranging some 1:1 psychotherapy to help her find strategies to manage her anxiety with the local NHS services.  The availability of this appears to be variable around the country.  I would say for my daughter her diagnosis has helped her to understand her atypical behaviour and she is slowly learning to accept this.  

    You need to find some help with your anxiety to help you manage it.  Find out what stresses you - do you have sensory issues, do you struggle in social situations, do you find crowds stressful?  For my daughter organising her time to complete assignments at college is difficult.  Planning is a real problem for her so we have had to be her PA!   Never feel guilty about pestering services to help you.  If you don't ask they can't help you.  You are not, lazy or stupid just misunderstood.  Two years ago I had 2 children of similar age to yourself and had no idea they had ASD, but now I know I have read and read about it and will  go to the ends of the earth to help them,  Hopefully, your boyfriend or your parents will do the same.  They have to buy in to it though. Never be ashamed or embarrassed by the diagnosis, knowledge is power.  You will grow with confidence as to learn to understand yourself and why you are one of the 1% with a different bit special brain wiring that gives you unique abilities  that the majority will not have.  Some of the greatest minds had ASD.  Good luck.  Fight for the help you should have received as a child.  Embrace it and you will thrive.  Fight against it and you will sink.  X

  • I too avoid using the phone. Have a look at my suggestion. IESO is free so long as you are registered with a GP, and it's chat based. Wish you all the best.

  • Hi are you getting any help for your depression? You are still very young to be writing yourself off the way you are. Uni life isnt easy and having AS makes it even harder, I have to say when I was your age there is no way I would have been ready for uni, I've since gone back to uni but not until I was 30. We do tend to mature much later than NTs. Do you have any hobbies you could turn into a career, I ask because I love horses and when I was your age I worked with them it meant I didn't have to interact to much with people and could enjoy my special interest as part of my job I also got to travel whilst fulfilling my passion it opened up my world and then when I was ready I came back to the UK and studied for a more sustainable career. You should be having fun your 20s should be the best years of your life. Please don't write yourself off you just need to find your niche...

  • I'll definitely take a look at the online CBT, thanks for the recommendation. I've always lived with my parents, but there's other family things going on right now that aren't great either.

  • I do have sensory issues. I hate being in tight spaces such as a lift and hate being in the dark. I don't like talking to people that I don't know well. It depends on the crowds, sometimes I hate them and sometimes I'm ok. Yep, your daughter and me are very similar.

  • Hi, I was but got discharged after two sessions because I wasn't 'suicidal' enough. This was on the NHS. Sadly, I don't really have any hobbies anymore. I'm put off from doing anything...

  • First things first, it seems you need to take a step back and recover. Do you have any interests or hobbies you could dive into? Anything to help forget the troubles of life for a bit?

    You say your diagnosis was a shock, what were the circumstances in getting a diagnosis? You're still you, you've always had AS so do you feel you coped better before you knew? A diagnosis should be a positive thing, it should empower you to do things your way without feeling bad about it, without apology.

    I think you're being extremely hard on yourself from what seems like a massive lack of support. You are allowed to fail in life - we all do! It doesn't mean you are then a 'failure'. I failed Uni after 2 years and came away with huge debts after a breakdown. I felt useless so I have some level of understanding of what you're going through. But when I look back it ended up being the best thing that could have happened to me! (Honestly!) I took some time away from everything and started again. I got an apprenticeship. 12 years later I owe my career to that apprenticeship and my failings at Uni. Its perfectly OK to fail, analyse it, learn from it, be a better you because of it. Own it!

    Do you no longer want to do the course? Could you look into something like the Open University where it's at your pace, in your own space?