Hi I am Rob and I am 50 and think I am autistic and was wondering about getting a diagnosis. I have booked a GP's appointment to start the process. On the A50 test I got 40 so there is a good prospect of me being diagnosed. I must admit the older I get the more mental issues I come up againt.
I have some very strong indicators, particually perfering things to people and being odsessive about those things. I am an obsessive plane spotter and would rather spend a week doing that than going on holiday with my wife. I didn't have children by choice because I knew I would not cope.Yet some traits I do not have, like I always get jokes and sarcasam.
I have a wife of 15 years and have always had a job. Although god knows how I have been married that long. I now get why my wife says that I say things in a wrong, or upsetting, way, to me I am just saying something, but not in a certian way. I think getting a diagnosis would give me some closure on why I am like I am.
Would be interested to know about your NHS diagnosis experiences
Hi Rob, I got diagnosed on the NHS last year. It was relatively easy to get my GP to refer me, then about an 18 month wait for an appointment.
I got a cancellation appointment because I said I'd rather go at short notice than wait for a "my" slot, so ended up doing the form-filling, that you normally do at home & post back before your appointment, in the waiting room, rushed and having to prioritise & decide which ones I would not do when I ran out of time.
My first appointment seemed to me like the interviewer had already decided that I'm not autistic and was gathering evidence to support that view. I could be wrong though, that's just how it felt. I think she was probably gathering evidence to rule out other conditions which is fair enough. As a result of that appointment I was referred on for an ADOS session, which concluded that I'm autistic. Interestingly, the first appointment seemed to indicate I had all of the required traits bar one, but the ADOS score was in no way marginal (& put me in the zone of classical autism not even Asperger, even though I had no language or learning delays).
I have to say that the whole process was a ball-achingly long and anxious wait, and the assessment centre staff seemed completely bereft of empathy for the anxiety suffered by their patients (yes they're over-stretched and under-funded but it costs little to be "nice" & give people time to articulate their concerns fully when they call) & this is ironic since the patients they are dealing with are generally more sensitive to delays, changed appointments, lack of clarity and a "fuzzy" process that seems to vary on each application. Hey ho.
I think you might need to be prepared for something similar, unfortunately.
Thanks for sharing your experience, even if it was not positive. Time is not a pressing matter for me, but that may change. I have managed 50 years just thinking I was shy, socially awkward, obsessive and tactless, lol! Iguess diagnosing adults is not a priority for the NHS in times of cuts.
Interistingly an old friend of my wife has a son, now an adult, who was always just described as having 'asberges', but obviously severe. Was told he could never function as a 'normal' adult in terms of employment and living on his own. Never had any idea, as a layman,that a 'normal' (have never felt normal!) guy like me could even have something in the same ball park. Thats life
Hi Rob, I have just joined this site and was pleased to see your post as it is very close to my own situation.
I got a 43 on the test, though some things don't match at all, like being good with numbers. It is the social inadequacy which has done most damage to my life - I am 52 and have come through a year dealing with NHS mental health, but I had to diagnose myself and present to them arguing my case, trouble is I had no idea what is wrong with me so I went with Bipolar to account for hallucinations (explained by hypnogogia) and long term obsessive highs focusing on a single task, which I have been able to maintain for years at a time - I have written novels and poetry, hundreds and thousands of words churned out at the expense of actual life, and since I haven't recently been able to maintain the delusion that I'm any good, having taken some years to read between the lines of what my few readers were telling me, since then I am in a bad way for not having my obsession to fall back on.
Well, the original doctor wasn't convinced, but the 2nd one put me on all the meds for Bipolar, and I ended up feeling very unwell and depressed.
It was the Swedish activist saying she has Aspergers which got me looking into it, and then I start reading up on ASD and next thing you know I am seeing somewhat of a match, although childhood is hard to properly recollect, so I don't know if I would be diagnosed, of even what the point of diagnosis would be.
Except to finally know what is wrong with me, and so explain my inexplicable life, lol.
Well, best of luck, Rob, with that path. As for me, today I rang the NHS doctor and left a message that I think I've been misdiagnosed, and please help as I am currently plagued with anxiety and depression, but have not called back yet.
I will be interested to hear how it goes with your doctor. I am in the UK.
I should add that, like you, the mental issues are getting harder to deal with the older I get, it is quite scary as I have no plan B if I were to lose my job.
Hi Edmund C, if you *are* autistic and have been living as if you aren't the hidden effort involved in doing that can certainly lead to a host of mental health impacts which tends to get worse over time - certainly what happened to me. It takes time to unpick, but if you recognise yourself in descriptions of autism, adopting that as a working assumption and readjusting your life as appropriate can be incredibly helpful and mean that you don't need your plan B.
That all sounds very scary and I so hope you get good help. Making the first steps yesterday was quite liberating and made me really think about myself. Would autism explain lots of things could my learning issues with English and Maths be linked, and my occasional depression, or my sleeping excessivley?
It is really the last year that has made me think so much about mental health. Last spring I was on a real high, my main obsessive subject, actually place, used my obsessiveness in a good way to win a planning inquirey and I am now a somebody at that place and writing my third book about that place. Then in the last few months I have been dealing with my 80 year old parents rapid decline into dementia, the toughest thing I have ever done.
Will be going to the doctor on the 31st so will keep you posted.
Yes, please let us know how that went.
For me, I am reading Tony Atwood to see if I am Aspergers - so far it would seem that I would be diagnosed by DSM 4, but not 5 as I only have one definite characteristic from B1-4, and one other only maybe, and you need two min.
This is slightly confusing, but it looks like they have restricted the criteria for diagnosis in DSM5 to lower the number of people who qualify for expensive treatment.
Have you gone through the diagnostic requirements and seen in advance how you might get on?
What were the books you wrote?
i was in the same position - only one from B1-4 at my diagnostic interview. They couldn't identify Restricted and Repetitive Behaviours. Then I went for ADOS and as part of the chat during it I mentioned my lifelong obsession with radios and they decided that that fit.
Absolutely do go and see your GP and seek their assistance. The NHS is able to do a diagnosis and then provide appropriate help and support should you require it.
I would suggest that rather than ask them to refer you for a diagnosis, help them first understand the difficulties you encounter in your daily life. The GP may need to apply to the local NHS Trust to fund a referral, so they'll need to be able to articulate a justification. "I'd like a diagnosis please" is perfectly reasonable but tricky for them to translate into a funding request; inadvertently upsetting your wife the mental issues you've touched on will be far more useful to them.
The harder thing to do will be keeping an open mind and staying patient. Mention the extent to which you sleep, touch on the depression but also before you go try (this is hard) to articulate the nature and causes of that depression. (It's only now that I'm not depressed that I can differentiate between anxiety, stress and depression.) What you may find is that there are other explanations for some or all of these things, so work with your GP and help them find the best way to respond. They have a range of options available, and a diagnosis might need multiple assessment covering various different things.