Hello, my name is Michael i'm a 29 year old male. I'm not diagnosed with any form of autism but over the last couple of years i have been wondering more and more if i am. I was wondering if there was anyone else who came to realise that they were suffering from a form of autism later in life and if they could help or tell me how they came to realise.
My whole life i have struggled with social interactions and have always kept to myself. When i was younger i struggled in school and was always in the lower classes suffering with dyslexia. I was ambidextrous up until high school, when i was forced to choose one hand to write with as my handwriting was so bad.
I have always excelled in the arts, being a musician and loving to draw. Later in life i acheived a first class degree in audio production and now i am studying a masters in sound design at a film school in the uk.
Lately i have been suffering from social anxiety and really struggling to interact and it has become more obvious as my course relies heavily on socialising with many other departments. I'm having regular panic attacks and find myself being unable communicate in groups.
I tend to keep to myself most of the time although i really want to interact with others more. I have alway known something was not right as i have struggled to keep relationships in the past and never had a long term relationship. I also struggle to keep in contact with friends and have lost many friends over the years due to this. I only have a handful of close friends that i have kept in contact with over the years.
I guess i have always known soemthing is wrong but i've always ignored it. It's only lately as it seems to be effecting my career that i feel i need to face whatever the issue is head on. The more i read about autism and the symptoms the more i feel i may be suffering from a form of it.
If anyone who is or has been in a similar situation later in life can share their experiences or help with what steps i should take next, i would be really greatful.
Hi Michael and Welcome!
Your story is very common on the forum so you are not alone :-)
Have you tried the free online test at aspergerstest.net/.../ ?
This gives a useful pointer as to whether you suffer from an ASD or not. It isn't the same as a diagnosis but it can give you a useful hint as to whether it is worth pursuing.
Thank you for your reply, i took the test and scored 42. Which is really high. How would i go about dealing with trying to find out more? would i need to visit a GP to discus it more in depth? I don't know what i would be expecting from any kind of diagnosis but maybe it would put my mind at ease and explain why i am the way i am and situations that have happened in my life.
That score doesn't leave much room for doubt! You are in the right place now as there is lots of advice in this forum. People can have severe problems with much lower scores or they can have very few problems with a high score. It affects people differently and peoples upbringing is very important too. Your anxiety is likely to be linked to ASD and it may be that you can deal with this better in the knowledge that ASD is a root cause. Have you discussed your anxieties with your GP?
I get a similar score and managed for 56 years thinking I was normal but have run into conflicts over the years and had to get a diagnosis last year as things reached a crisis. There are pros and cons with getting a diagnosis - I suspected it before I went to the doctor but when I got the diagnosis it was like a weight lifted from me as I didn't believe my own suspicion properly until then.
If you do get a diagnosis then you can get some "training" for living with the condition or other assistance depending on where you live - some areas have autism support centres that provide specific support
I read this book when I first suspected I was affected
Others on the forum have read it and found it useful too.
No i have recently moved to do a masters and i haven't registered with a GP yet. I haven't been to see a GP since i was 18. The last time i went to see a GP it was to do with my anxiety and depression issues and it was kind of laughed off by the GP and i lost all confidence in sharing any of my issues with anyone. So i have since tried to just deal with my personal issues myself.
This mainly involves just ignoring them. I go through good and bad periods. When i'm good, i am 100% detirmined and driven, to the point of obsession, as i said i got a 1st class degree and got accepted into one of the world best film schools and ran a marathon last year but then when i'm bad i can't stand to be around anyone.
There was a period towards the end of last year that i didn't leave my bedroom or house for a pariod of 5 months and for a lot of the time i physically couldn't get out of bed.
You said you suspected that you had ASD before you went to the doctor, did you just go to an appointment one day and bring it up? I'm affriad of being dismissed if i just bring it up after not being to see a GP after so many years.
I'll check it out, thank you so much for your replies
I got diganosed at age 30 and u sound a lot like me and i have aspergers syndrome and i can talk tonu want on here or facebook
Yeah i'd like to talk more on here for now if that's okay? How did you come to realise you were suffering from aspergers? and how did you find it taking that initial step to seeking professional help?
The main thing that worries me is the opening up to anyone about it let alone a stranger face to face. With my past experience and complete loss of confidence in GP's the thought of bringing this up to a GP fills me with dread.
Yes sorry i asked and it started as my eldest son got diganosed with autism and there were similarities and i went to the doctor and he referred me to the bristol autism.spectrum service and had two appointments and then got diganosed and as they heard all it for and were very understanding but if u want to talk to me thats ok
I am quite a bit older than yourself being about 46 and was diagnosed last year with autism. But I myself did not make any connections. Previously I had self referred for Cognitivie Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and had that about a year. That came to a 'sad' end. I had a good psychologist. I got by that year and towards the end of the year I put in again for CBT. They sent me to initial assessment and after a good long session she actually said with my permission that would refer me to another colleague who specialises more in 'this' area. Though she didn't say what 'this' area actually was. It was too genuine to have sounded like being passed around departments. I was referred and met with that person half a dozen time over the winter. They took quite a detailed record of me. All of which helped by which I was able to let of steam to trusted person on email and was able to take those incidences to the sessions. At one of the sessions she kept asking me if I want to know what it is? I was in two minds. It wouldn't be anything never is, and still had to deal with it but yes I wanted to know. She then presented to me that I could be Asperger's. It was a complete shock but a relief shock. I had to be assessed and have other health issues too. But she herself specialised in Aspergers Syndrome. I agreed and she made a referall to the GP who refered me for the Assessments which began to feel like were never going to happen after what felt like nearly two year waiting time which is probably quite quick really but... then the waiting after the asessments to the diagnoses which felt even more nervous. What if they think it isn't, it be worse because it be more than back to square one in my life. Finally the day of the diagnosis and the result was in fact not Asperger's Syndrom but Atypical Autism. 2/3'rds autism with pda is it. It puts me farily on the ASD Spectrum and was given a card to show if I got into difficulty anywhere and have had a year worth of appointments of which I have learned how autism affects me. I was told at the diagnosis I find processing and sequence hard. I have been learning alot about myself over the last year in terms of autism. I find social communication hard. Eye contact is sometimes hard. I remember the rows I used to have with family as a kid when I thought they were looking at me. That makes sense now in terms of autism. I have a phone number on the card which if I get into difficulty then they can be contacted. I haven't used it for that but contact them myself and let of steam by other means. I hate the phone. I am single and no wish for any kind of close relationship. I don't have a job. On this website it talks about as though the diagnosis of autism is a shock for parents. As an adult with the diagnosis it was a shock but been a huge comfort blanket. A positive shock. Something else is happening. If you are not sure about your own situation then can I suggest you book an appointment with your GP and go and discuss it with them. They are the ones who make the referal anyway. Even my CBT Pyschologist had to go through them. The CBT I had before proved useful as they were able to access all that towards the assessments. It how they knew something else was happening. But to have the diagnosis is a huge relief for me and have other support now too other than NHS.