Don't know where to start re female adult diagnosis, head is tangled up mess

Hi, I'm hoping someone or one of the mods can help. 

I am female, mid-thirties and identify with a lot of traits on the autistic spectrum. This is something I have been aware of for three and a half to four years. I think reading and researching about it you could say, has been one of my interests. I have been a member of this forum for two years and stay on the periphery.  It has now got to the stage in my life where I want to seek a diagnosis. 

The catalyst for this being counselling therapy which I started yesterday. My brain and my mouth didn't match up. I found myself saying things which I now am not sure how true they actually were. We talked about identity and decisions.  It came across as though I had been coasting in life, when in reality the decisions I have made in my life have been very difficult to deal with. It was difficult to get much across because i was very emotional and i find it very hard to talk about feelings and emotions. Im going to end up rambling at this point to you so will leave it there for now. However, I can see this "delay" which I think is typical of me in that in order to understand my emotions and feelings, I need time to digest and reflect. The counsellor didn't know I thought I was on the spectrum; it was a 45 minute session and I had things I just needed to get off my chest. It's something I will mention at my next session. 

I have a good relationship with my GP and am currently reducing my dose of sertraline as the costs outweigh the benefits. I have mentioned the posdibility of AS to a previous doctor and she said it's something we can discuss and look into. Its on my notes. I would like to approach either of these GPs now. I know I will be asked "why do you think you are on the spectrum?". Well, how long is a piece of string?! 

The difficulty now is that, because I spend most of my waking life over thinking, and I have had almost 4 years input of ASC information, I KNOW in my head how my experiences can be explained through autism but am finding this very difficult to write down. There's too much to even know where to start. Because I have been flying under the radar all my life, and I would say I am a very internal person, I am going to have to fight my case, so I need things to come from me as coherently as possible. The therapist said yesterday (about another issue) it sounds like I can become paralysed by my thoughts and I think this has happened here.

I couldn't find the list on this website yesterday, but made three headings of social communication/repetitive behaviours/sensory to start off my notes, but like i said, notes are proving difficult to write. I have done questionnaires before but have found them difficult to answer as they seem to be aimed at stereotypical behaviours.

I just feel like a tangled up mess. I want to move forward with my life and this is the next step but I don't know where to start. There's also the risk I don't get a diagnosis but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Thank you for getting to the end of my ramblings.

Parents
  • Hi. I'm 33 and female.I recently approached the GP regarding possible autism (my boyfriend I now live with is convinced). I had made a list which I didn't really stick to reading but was referred to the mental health practitioner for a pre-assessment (AQ-10). I then had to self refer to the local ASD place. They sent back numerous forms to complete (some which I had to do with my mother). After sending these off I am now on a waiting list for assessment (18 months estimate pre-covid).

    The lists are good to have. It can be difficult as we don't know what we don't know. How can you put something down as an issue if you don't know it to be any different? Have a watch of the #spectrumlive shows. I found them really helpful. 

    https://www.autism.org.uk/about/spectrum-live/past-episodes.aspx

    Anyway, hopefully my ramblings helped a little. Go to the GP (or speak with your MH team if you have one) with your list. I booked 2 appointments side by side (so 20 minutes) to give me a little more time to speak. Good luck x

Reply
  • Hi. I'm 33 and female.I recently approached the GP regarding possible autism (my boyfriend I now live with is convinced). I had made a list which I didn't really stick to reading but was referred to the mental health practitioner for a pre-assessment (AQ-10). I then had to self refer to the local ASD place. They sent back numerous forms to complete (some which I had to do with my mother). After sending these off I am now on a waiting list for assessment (18 months estimate pre-covid).

    The lists are good to have. It can be difficult as we don't know what we don't know. How can you put something down as an issue if you don't know it to be any different? Have a watch of the #spectrumlive shows. I found them really helpful. 

    https://www.autism.org.uk/about/spectrum-live/past-episodes.aspx

    Anyway, hopefully my ramblings helped a little. Go to the GP (or speak with your MH team if you have one) with your list. I booked 2 appointments side by side (so 20 minutes) to give me a little more time to speak. Good luck x

Children
  • Hi and thank you for your reply. May I ask which area you are based? I am in the North West of England and I think there's probably different procedures depending on your local authority/NHS. 18 months is a long time to wait but I think it'll be worth it in the end for you. That's good your BF supports you. With mine he is very supportive and although he doesn't fully understand it all, he will stand by me. I have decided not to mention it to my parents yet - not until / if I get asked questions about my childhood. They are quite "old school" and only see the portrayls of autistm from the TV - Chris Packham / Anne Hegerty.

    I have a mental health team of sorts - I have had mixed experiences of them as theyre a bit "one size fits all" but am waiting on some CBT appointments to come through anyway.

    Thank you for the link - I will check it out. What other online stuff have looked at? I like Anna Moomin on Youtube - she's very relatable to me - probably because she's northern and down to earth.

    All the best between now and your assessment. Keep in there and I hope you get the outcome you are hoping for.