Just turned 18 this year. Really need help.

(trigger warnings for suicide attempts and all that)

Hi, so I’m a teenager. I’m legally an adult, but as a new immigrant of Asian descent I find it difficult to establish independence from my mother (compounded by the fact that in our culture, offspring are expected to stay with their parent/s until marriage). Thus, I rely on others to get by, though I am capable and seem to be functioning to most people I meet.

I’ve always suffered from mental health issues, such as depression and trauma. As recently as a month ago, I had a really bad suicide attempt that got me in a hospital.

I know the depression, trauma, and anxiety are certainly present. But I hadn’t considered until going through various blog posts about autism yesterday that I very well may be on the autism spectrum.

It’s nearly 2 A.M. here so this will neither be comprehensive nor the most coherent list, but here are some reasons why:

  • My Mum and my grandma have always been experts at social interaction. I remember feeling inadequate compared to that, even though as a kid I was popular because I was a model student and adorable (two things that are popular in our culture). I acutely remember floundering when it came to navigating social interaction, people responding in ways that deeply puzzled me. Everyone else seemed to be more self-assured than I was, even though on the surface I had everything under control. I envied them. (I feel pretty much the same way until now.)
  • I also vividly recall not being able to feel Socially Appropriate Emotions, such as sadness during a relative's funeral or love for my family. I felt like a monster as a kid. I couldn't cry out of empathy no matter how hard I tried (hence, actors being able to cry on cue just bewildering me thoroughly). At the same time, specific themes would hit me so hard. I can't explain why even now, but someone trying too hard at something (like SpongeBob trying to act cool and tough but failing) made me cry uncontrollably. I don't know if lack of empathy and hyperempathy can coexist in one individual, but if it can... that's what I think this could be.
  • I have always been obsessive about sensory stuff. I've had extremely strong opinions about typefaces from as early as 7 years old, and went through a phase of keeping my books/magazines as pristine as possible and having full-on meltdowns (sobbing, screaming, self-harm) when they got "ruined" in a not-quite-rational way. I still experience that, though I've learned to manage it rather better (or at least internalise the depression/anger process more). Many times these days, I just randomly get overwhelmed and think things are too ugly or feel bad.
  • I was under the impression that stim "flapping" meant literally flapping your arms like they're wings, but just today I saw an animated GIF of someone with autism flapping their hand and I was STRUCK by the epiphany that it is exactly something I do.
  • I have made very poor decisions in the name of infodumping. Just risking mountains of anxiety for the sake of infodumping about my special interests. (Yeah, there are recent examples, like from yesterday... or even right now, although this doesn't qualify as a special interest... I think?)

I'm not asking for an armchair diagnosis.

I am hoping to hear what my options are, because I am desperate to be professionally evaluated. Whether it is an ASD that I have or something else entirely, I know that I am not perfectly neurotypical and learning more and more that I'm not has taken so much weight off my shoulders. Especially with strict guardians who do not understand my plight, I need to understand myself better.

P.S. Again, I'm not expecting an armchair diagnosis, but may I ask if it's not so ridiculous to think I may be on the autism spectrum?