Published on 12, July, 2020
When I first joined the forum I felt like I'd finally found people who understand me and my life experience, but this past week or so I've been worrying more about the possibility that I am NOT autistic and what that will actually mean for me moving forward.
My friend's son was assessed recently and she messaged me yesterday to say the outcome was that he isnt autistic but has traits. I'm struggling to imagine how I would feel/cope with a similar outcome. I already feel like I struggle to function in groups but to find a group that I now feel fits with me and have that pulled away again (potentially) is quite scary.
I'm conscious of the fact that I'm about to make a career change and that might be contributing to my insecurity. I'm hopefully being assessed soon (the autism team told me April or May hopefully) so I shouldn't have too much longer to wait. I'm just also conscious that some people have reacted in the "you don't look/seem autistic" way and despite me knowing that this is often a misconception others have about what autism looks like, I also can't help but wonder whether I'm WANTING to be autistic and therefore have an understanding of my way of thinking. I've lived a long time trying to explain "my anxiety" and feeling stupid for it, but autism makes it seem less stupid to me. Maybe because to me it makes sense? I know autism still has as much if not even more stigma than anxiety disorder.
Thoughts appreciated. As you can see my account is back online too
Hi Great to see your account is back - I meant to say to you before, but I've just been snowed under, the same thing happened to my account last year. Glad it is all sorted.
Hang in there! Just hang…
Dear Hookaduckduck,Uncertainty can definitely cause insecurity and I hope your assessment comes soon. And when it comes, try to go into it without a pre-determined outcome in mind. It will be more beneficial…
I was never myself for a long time. I tried to be NT or just not me. I've been different all my life, but as others have mentioned being different isnt always good. School wasnt fun (not that it ever…
Dear Hookaduckduck,Uncertainty can definitely cause insecurity and I hope your assessment comes soon. And when it comes, try to go into it without a pre-determined outcome in mind. It will be more beneficial to you, and you are more likely to receive the support you need if you go into it with honesty, curiosity and are not attached or invested in a desired outcome.Envisage your life with and without a diagnosis. And always keep in mind that you are not a diagnosis. You may or may not be autistic, but you can never ever be defined by it. Other people. They have their opinions. They love their opinions. And they love sharing their opinions with us - whether we asked for them or not. The best solution for avoiding their opinions is to only share information about your assessment/experiences with them if absolutely necassary. If you have no choice but to involve them, and you receive the kind of reactions you describe, then take them with the proverbial pinch of salt. In the past, I've responded to them with: "Wow. You're amazing. You can actually diagnose someone by looking at them! Have you considered setting up a private practice? You could make a fortune!" When you reflect their comments back at them, they usually realise how ridiculous they are. And if they don't, then you've learned a valuable lesson about them and might want to assess the worth of the contribution they make to your life and well-being. There is only one way of knowing whether you have Autism or not and that is to go through an Assessment. After an assessment, you can agree or disagree with the outcome, but no matter what your opinion is of the decision: it's the only tangible and objective evidence you have either way. As I mentioned earlier, it's more beneficial to go into the assessment with honesty, curiosity and an open mind. If you go into it with your diagnosis and/or attached or invested in a particular outcome, then you have to be prepared for the pain of having your own diagnosis and desires rejected.It's certainly true that there are those who want to be autistic. Just as there are those who want to be something other than they are. Usually, they have already self-diagnosed as autistic long before they go for an assessment and are only using the process as a way of officially confirming their own diagnosis. Only you can know what is your own motivation. I know of one such individual who was terribly disappointed with the negative outcome of her assessment, and still refuses to acknowledge its validity. She is already a very depressed person who enjoys ill-health, and revels in the sympathy and attention (not to mention the potential of extra financial benefits) she receives from being vulnerable. Needless to say, it was a huge blow to her plans when she was unable to officially add autism to her list of disabilities and disorders.On the other hand, there are many genuine people like yourself who are desperate to find an answer to their inexplicable and debilitating anxiety. Please, do not feel stupid for this. It is a natural reaction and is completely understandable to want an explanation (and justification) for what is happening to you. It's perfectly natural for us to identify a condition because of how it aligns with the way we are feeling and our experiences in the hope that a diagnosis will provide us with the certainty we are so desperately seeking. Again, please, do not feel that this is wrong. It is perfectly natural and completely understandable. Lastly, only good things can come from choosing to live as if you already had a positive diagnosis and making the necessary changes to your environment to suit your needs. Whether you are or whether you are not autistic doesn't matter. If making adjustments to your life based on an assumed diagnosis of autism makes you happier and makes your life easier, then that's wonderful, and what anybody else thinks/does/says in response has no significance whatsoever. Positive vibrations to you.
Michael said:there are many genuine people like yourself who are desperate to find an answer to their inexplicable and debilitating anxiety.
I didn't even realise how different I was until I was 27. Twenty-Seven! I mean, I experienced rejection, an overwhelming amount of difficulty, but I had been so withdrawn I was barely - present.
Had I known this divergent thinking existed and Autism was not what I thought it was, I may not have read some of the most amazing philosophers in my life, so winning some. But after reading A Field Guide to Earthlings, there's no doubt.
I just tell people I'm a bit intense and spectrum-y. Most are OK with hearing that and then find me 'novel'. But whatever works. I may get fully diagnosed, but if I have to go back to the States for whatever reason (more Brexiting... who knows), I will have trouble getting medical insurance so holding off for legal reasons.