I've been seeing a private therapist since November for my Social anxiety and depression. I've been on Citalopram (an anti depressant ) for the last 7 years. Yesterday she told me that based on many of the things I've said I sound as though I may be in the autistic spectrum, though it's not an official diagnosis, however I believe her to be right, I've actually been wondering when/if she would mention the elephant in the room!
She said it was up to me if I wanted to get a diagnosis, but didn't seem to see much benefit. It is a rather strange feeling, I'm both in shock, and not shocked in the slightest by this "diagnosis". I just wondered what members here think, is it worth me pursuing a diagnosis? I'm self employed so it doesn't affect my job, though my social anxiety is a real challenge, but it always has been!
I'm very grateful for any help, thanks so much, Mark.
Funnily enough, it was a private therapist I was seeing who first suggested it to me, too - though I'd had a few suspicions. I decided to get a diagnosis because I wanted the validation that I thought it would bring to me. My therapist wrote to my GP, who made a referral - and two years later, following assessments, I finally got the diagnosis. I was 56 at the time.
It was a 'Eureka!' moment for me. It enabled me to make sense of my life at last. Also, it enabled me to 'be myself'. Finally, it's been useful for me in the workplace. I can let employers know, and ask for any reasonable adjustments I need.
It's very much an individual thing. Many people self-diagnose and are happy enough with that. My niece's husband is definitely an Aspie and knows, but hasn't bothered with a diagnosis because it doesn't really seem to have any impact on his life. As he says 'People take me as I am, or they don't.' Fair enough. For me, though... I'm glad I did it.
I needed my diagnosis so I could put the thought to rest. For me it has been a positive decision but no benefit other than my own peace of mind. It really depends on how you feel about it.
Thanks so much for both replies. I am Shocked martian Tom that it took so long to be diagnosed, I assumed it'd be a few little tests!
For you it seems like it has had some benefits regarding work. I can't think of any way it'd help me but I have a doctors appointment in a few months so maybe i'll run it past him.
I'm hoping it'll also allow me to be myself, which I believe is my therapists intent by voicing her suspicions, my anxiety seems to be born out of feeling different and trying to fit in, which I suspect many many people here are familiar with, so if I deal with this information in the right way I like to think i'll be able to lessen my worries a little and best of all be myself :) Your help is very much appreciated.
The length of time and the process will vary from area to area. I had a preliminary assessment at home, and the assessor confirmed that it was worth going forwards for a full assessment. I had to wait about another 9 months for that. Then a couple of months before the final report arrived. That was on the NHS. You could get it done quicker if you decide to go for a private diagnosis. I know that some people on the forum have done that, so they could probably give you a better idea about time and costs.
You might find it useful to check out the site's information.
Autism Diagnosis for Adults
Mark84 said:my anxiety seems to be born out of feeling different and trying to fit in, which I suspect many many people here are familiar with
Absolutely! That's the case for me. That's why having the diagnosis was such a relief. It finally unlocked the puzzle.
Have you taken the AQ (Autism Spectrum Quotient) Test yet? It's the standard test that's used pre-diagnosis. In itself, it doesn't confirm anything - but it can give you an indication of how you stand. Most non-autistic people will score below 20. 30 or above is usually indicative.
Well I got exactly 30 on the test! I wouldn't want to pay privately (read..spending plenty on therapy!) Nor put myself through lots of tests so for the moment I think I'll just assume that I most likely am in the spectrum, albeit just. As the day has wore on I feel that learning this about myself is much more of an opportunity than some kind of "curse".
I'm pleased to be here with like minded people, quite possibly for the first time in my life :) thanks all for the warm and informative welcome and I look forward to getting to know you all.Mark.
I needed that final official confirmation to actually be able to feel comfortable with my autism. I went privately, the process was a couple of questionnaires in the post to complete and send back, then a 3hr face to face consultation with a psychiatrist who gave me the diagnosis there and then. Total cost £550. I have been officially diagnosed for 2 months!
It has made a huge difference just to being able to be kinder to myself. I am not working at the moment but I want to. I'm 35, have 3 kids and am married so I feel I need to be contributing more to the family. I now feel able to go and ask for what I need to get on with more of life.
Sounds like it was worth every penny for you :) I'm so pleased you're being kinder to yourself since the diagnosis. Well done !
Hi, I'm self employed and have 2 very young children. The biggest thing for me is the fear that I don't know what love is and I'm worried about that impact on my children.
In terms of work, I'm assessing my expectations of both myself and those around me I employ. I'm considering how I can set up being more efficiently and not being 'interupted' in order to limit the amount of procrastination time (or whatever it actually is) in getting started.
I've had my preliminary chat with a psychiatrist on the NHS and am being referred to the Head Honcho now which might take some time. But I am comfortable that I know where I stand and don't believe the ticked box from this point will have a bigger impact than has already been by being told by the psychiatrist that this is 'Fishing in the Right Pond'
I wouldn't have been confident to embark on making such enormous change without the opinion of a professional. I also wouldn't have had the confidence to tackle the most scary of issues if I thought it was just a likely possibility rather than a definitive diagnosis - I'd have hidden away from the tough stuff
The diagnosis has also meant I have allowed myself the time to start my research and sign up to National Autistic Society as a member and interact with these boards. Already I have taken on board so much information which I can associate with and frankly it's just lovely reading posts from people who quite clearly think exactly like I do!
I debated it in my mind for few months as well, but decided to go for a diagnosis, the NHS system seems long and tiresome and I did attempt to ask GP once for a referrel but it didn't go to well and from what I heard the wait was long, so I opted for a private diagnosis I have my first assessment at the end of the week. Its going to cost me £1500 in total but this initial assessment only cost me £150 and I can make the decision to proceed. Their were other places that were cheaper but this is multi - displinery, I like to go into detail. .A diagnosis is more for peace of mind and self acceptance and confirmation, so I can move on with my life and rebuild from where I left, I reached kindof burnout stage before seeking diagnosis and I wish I had realised earlier so I could have had help and spent less time beating myself up about mistakes I have made. Not quite sure how much its gonna help me but I think having the official stamp, I could probably ask for help when I need it instead of worrying or feeling guilty about being fake because I don't have the official stamp of an Aspie. or hating on myself for not being able to handle life.