Saying Hello

Hello all, my name is Neil, and I have just been -informally- diagnosed as autistic by my doctor, a psychiatrist, who I have just started to see.

With a history of episodes of depression dating back to the beginning of adulthood, I have taken a lot of medication to control the condition, with varying degrees of success.

However this psychiatrist believes that it will be possible to resolve the depression, and come off the medication, now that we know that this is the cause - quite a claim if true!

While I am naturally a little cautious to take what he says at face value as being 100% true (people can so often be optimistic can't they?), and I don't know yet what specific treatment he has in mind for me, I am sufficiently motivated to start finding out about autism from fellow "sufferers".

Notice I have placed the word "sufferers" in quotes, because I don't know yet whether autism is a thing that (on average) does cause people harm. Indeed the doctor said that there are some with the condition who become very successful in life because they are able to channel their autistic "interests" into an obsession that allows them to excel at work or in other areas of life.

In my case, being so diagnosed could perhaps improve my mental health because knowing the cause of aspects of my personality, and knowing that they result from a deficiency I have no control over, means I no longer have a reason to criticize myself, with the concomitant negative emotional impact that results (the depression). Indeed in our first meeting, the doctor explained something along these lines in some detail - but I didn't take it in properly as I was quite anxious at the time - I shall have to ask him to repeat his ideas to me when we meet next.

So a couple of questions:

1. Have any of you found that receiving a diagnosis of autism has improved your mental health at all, for the reasons I have stated above, and

2. Has the diagnosis of autism led you to change the way in which you have tried to evaluate your own skills and abilities, in order to offer a better contribution to whatever you feel you want to achieve in life?

Finally, if autism is a bad thing, then, in my experience, like the nettle in the forest, there are always the dock leaves to take at least some of the sting away.