I'm feeling it today & need to write this:
I'm now trying hard to live in a way that is kind to me, to avoid repeating a burnout. It was a frightening experience and literally nearly killed me. Living by my new rules provides a healthy level of stress.
But, back in the work environment, the "do what everyone else does" drive is seductive. It whispers in my ear that it will be OK, I'm not really that different, and *everyone* does it - this is normal; go back to what you've been taught by observation since you were a child!. And when something unexpected happens at work, my mind empties of thoughts and there is total vacuum where my mental "to do" list was. The wolf of stress huffing and puffing and blowing down the straw house of executive functioning.
I might have to use the phrase "I need to hide today" and hope people understand, because I can't bare to go through the explanations of autism and how it affects me and how exhausting social interaction is.
I hope you’re ok? Figuring our pre-diagnosis lives out after we have a diagnosis can be ‘interesting’. Trying to figure out how to move forwards with this new information can be even more of a mine field! You need to know your limits and stick to them.
I have to keep reminding myself that the diagnosis is true. One thing that helps is that the "medicine" is working - i.e. not pushing myself to do "people things" and watching my sensory environment, plus using some props for my memory and planning, is all turning down my stress levels marvelously. Any typical person following my regime would go crazy pretty quickly, but I love it. So it's a bit like when GPs sometimes say - take these antidepressants for a month; if you start to feel better, we're right to say that you're now depressed but on the other hand if nothing happens we need to look for something else!
I can be a bit like that too, arguing with myself that maybe the assessor made a mistake and I’m not really autistic. But then I keep noticing myself doing autistic things such as taking things literally (a lot), missing social cues where someone possibly wanted me to ask them about something (I really need to re read my social skills book, or doing reciprocal conversation textbook style (courtesy of said book) but being completely unaware that the questions that I’m asking, while in context, are a bit inappropriate and make the other person feel uncomfortable, until they tell me so! I am officially as mind blind as a lump of rock!
It’s interesting as I’ve noticed that on here and on Facebook a lot of autistic people say that they are happier/less stressed by not socialising. In fact someone earlier said that their ideal party would be one where everyone was ignoring them, so that they didn’t have to talk with anyone. It’s not me though, I’m a social butterfly stuck with an autistic brain! Hence why I do the social skills training, to learn the social skills so I can make more friends. I’ve always wanted to have friends, lots of friends! I can adapt this, in view of the autism diagnosis. For example, being friends with other autistic people or ‘autism friendly’ people is a lot easier for me. But I can’t change who I am.
Re memory and planning I find that writing lists is a life saver and writing more complex tasks down in smaller steps helps to. Plus the reminders app on my iPhone.
Wait what??? Where did you get that?!?
Yeah I just did the obvious thing and googled it. I promise I have never seen that before in my life it just sounded like a nice name!
At least I finally can have an avatar XD
Was your assessment for Autism or Aspergers? sorry to ask..but quite curious!
Hi - I hadn't really imagined that there might be separate assessments? I was assessed against DSM-V, and given a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder F84.0, scoring 12 on ADOS. My report says I might want to read about Asperger as it may be pertinent (as if I already hadn't! :-) ).
My assessments consisted of an interview supported by questionnaires (I think this was an ADI-R), and some months later an ADOS where I got my diagnosis.
I'm still waiting to read something that definitively and finally explains any subtypes within ASD & I think I might be waiting a long time!
I refer to myself simply as Autistic (and I feel justified in doing so with an ADOS score of 12) but I had no language delays as a child, and I've read that this has been considered to indicate Asperger's rather than "classic" Autism - but under DSM-V these qualitative differences don't exist. Clear as mud hey?
There aren't separate assessments. The assessment is for ASD. More and more assessment centres are switching over to the DSM-5 or the ICD-11 and giving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder rather than a differential diagnosis of Aspergers/Autism. The DSM-5 has already replaced the DSM-4 and by 2022 the ICD-11 will have fully replaced the ICD-10 meaning that the only diagnosis available anywhere will be Autism Spectrum Disorder.
That's what I thought. I'm so easily thrown by a question sometimes!
I think A LOT of people are confused about the current assessment/diagnosis of ASD or Aspergers/Autism. Not everyone is up to date with the updated versions of both the ICD and DSM. Although to the best of my knowledge, the assessment process was the same prior to the changeover, it’s just that before you would have got a differential diagnosis whereas now you just get ASD.