To wonder if it's worth actually getting an Asperger's diagnosis as an adult?

(133 Posts)
ShutUpShouty Tue 13-May-14 21:30:04

Bit of a strange thread I admit, but I've had an inkling for years that I might have Aspergers syndrome. It's only been within the last year or so when I started to research more into it and found out how women on the spectrum present very differently to men that made me pretty sure that I do have it. Every article I've read about women with it pretty much fits me perfectly but I've never been sure whether to actually get an official diagnosis or not.

Would a diagnosis make much of a difference? It wouldn't change anything about me, I would still find the same things hard as I do now. I've heard you should only get a diagnosis if you're really struggling but if you're content then it's not worth it. Sometimes I'm okay, but then often I struggle...but again would a diagnosis change that? Then again with an official diagnosis it would hopefully make certain people who give me a hard time for my quirks and criticize me for them (these are close family members btw, including my parents), especially my difficulty in social situations back off a bit. I would be able to say "hey, it's not my fault, but I am trying"

Anyone who has had a diagnosis as an adult felt it made any difference at all? And how hard was it to get diagnosed as a female?

I don't know whether to make the first step or not.

What makes you think you think you have aspergers, don't feel you need to reply btw!

I'm not sure really, if your aspergers doesn't really negatively effect you, does it stop you from working properly, cause you problems day to day?

crispyporkbelly Tue 13-May-14 21:33:58

You could get specialised therapy to help with any difficulties or issues you have if you have a diagnosis, so that could help?

Chocotrekkie Tue 13-May-14 21:38:07

There is an online test on the autism website - sorry can't link on my phone but google should find it !

It's about 40 questions and it gives you a score at the end which indicates if you could be or not.

Might be interesting to see what it scores you ??

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 13-May-14 21:40:24

It's worth it, because then with a Dx an employer has to make reasonable adjustments under the DDA.

creampie Tue 13-May-14 21:41:06

I would advise you to think carefully. Mental health issues if any kind, sadly still carry a lot of stigma.

You may think it will be a answer to those who are mean to you, when in fact it may turn out to be another stick for them to beat you with.

If you have already identified the condition in your own mind, that will be enough for you to access information and guidance. An official diagnosis won't get you anything extra on the NHS.

I don't think I would actively seek a diagnosis, all things being equal.

I got a high score for autism on that test but I'm defo not on the spectrum

AElfgifu Tue 13-May-14 21:42:19

The trouble is everyone is on the spectrum somewhere. everyone who researches Asperger's recognises themselves in what the read. I have worked in a school for children with ASD, and I, like every member of staff there, identified more and more with the condition the more I learnt about it. Thinking you have Asperger's after researching it actually makes it likely that you are completely NT!

Definitely AElfgifu, I've diagnosed myself with all sorts from reading about them blush

'Thinking you have Asperger's after researching it actually makes it likely that you are completely NT!'

Actually there is nothing in the diagnostic criteria about this. There is no assessment as to how much research or reading you have done on Aspergers in order to judge whether you merit a diagnosis.

And we are not all on the spectrum somewhere. I am not.

BumpAndGrind Tue 13-May-14 21:47:06

I'm just making my place, I got a DX for my aspergers at the age off 27 it's not a quick reply so I'll make sure this is in my 'I'm on' bit and I'll reply in depth later if that's ok?

'Mental health issues if any kind, sadly still carry a lot of stigma.'

Aspergers is not a mental health issue. In fact, many of those who have it as well as their employers consider it a plus.

AGnu Tue 13-May-14 21:48:25

I'm at the same point OP. Today I cancelled my appt with the GP which was supposed to be for discussing my concerns. My depression is quite bad at the moment & I just can't face the possibility that she, working from criteria based around male children, won't agree to refer me. When I briefly mentioned it to her at my last appointment where she refused to give me any medication for the depression she rather patronisingly told me that everyone has tendencies as if she thought I knew nothing about it. I'd already told her that I'd studied it as part of a childhood development course 6 years ago. It's only now that I've realised that the description of an adult female with Aspergers is just a list of all my 'oddities'. Limited 'self-awareness'?! <Sigh>

I totally understand where you're coming from about wondering if it's worth it. For me the only real point would be in helping me & others understand the way I am. I think it'd help with my depression too because a lot of that is related to not socialising & being convinced that everyone thinks I'm odd. I think it would help me a lot to have a reason to stop thinking of myself as 'odd', more that there's a reason which is out of my control for why I struggle. It'd make life easier if I could just accept that I'm not going to change & stop trying to be whatever I think other people are like!

Life is exhausting enough with 2 small children without trying to force myself to conform to perceived expectations! confused

AGnu Write the GP a letter explaining why you cancelled the appointment. Be clear that it was due to social performance anxiety and fear of failure to achieve something that to you is so black and white.

Then write a list of the symptoms you feel you have plus one, preferably two real life examples. Ask in writing for the referral you think you need.

ShutUpShouty Tue 13-May-14 21:55:23

What makes you think you think you have aspergers, don't feel you need to reply btw!

Honestly, there's lots of reasons. If I was to write every single detail down it would be a long essay blush but I'll try to break it down into smaller points later if I feel up to it.

HarpyFishwifeTwat Tue 13-May-14 21:56:51

My DH was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 38. We've both found it very useful - he feels that he now has answers to questions he has been asking himself for years about why he doesn't quite fit into the world the way other people do. This has been a big weight off his shoulder. He has also been able to research and take on board coping mechanisms for when everything gets a little too much for him and he's had far fewer meltdowns since the diagnosis than before.

It's also helped me to understand him much more and not feel that I'm doing something wrong to trigger his (sometimes very challenging) behaviour.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 13-May-14 22:02:14

The trouble is everyone is on the spectrum somewhere

No they are not.

DaVinciNight Tue 13-May-14 22:03:22

ShutUp in my opinion, a diagnosing is only useful if you think it will really help smoothing some issues you have.
It won't change who you are, you won't get help as an adult (already very hard to get anything for a child). It would give you some protection at work as a disabled person (NOT as someone with MH issues!).
It could give you an explanation as to why you are finding things hard which can be a relief in itself.

What it might not give you is a way to 'smooth' things with relatives as they could just as easily see it as a 'get out of jail' card and not see the disability. There is no certainty that having a diagnosis will mean that relatives will take it in their stride and accept some of your reactions (but then they might do too spending on their own beliefs re As etc...)

I believe this is a very personal decision. Some people like to have the certainty of the diagnosis. For others, knowing at the bottom of their heart that they have AS is enough. Because it allows them to do some research on AS and behaviours, understand themselves better and understand other people behaviours better too. And come up some strategies if they feel they need it.

AElfgifu Tue 13-May-14 22:04:12

And we are not all on the spectrum somewhere. I am not.

Well, we all are, it is a spectrum, like height. The height spectrum ranges from abnormally short, to short, to normal, to tall, to abnormally tall. Everyone is one the height spectrum somewhere. Everyone is on the sexuality spectrum somewhere. Everyone is on the ASD spectrum somewhere. (The only difference being that your position on the sexuality spectrum or the ASD spectrum is not completely fixed) Supposedly the opposite of autistic is schizophrenic, and most of us are somewhere in between.

PolterGoose Tue 13-May-14 22:08:31

Aelf No, the autism spectrum is a spectrum of people with autism.

Star that letter is a good idea and one I may take up for myself, thank you flowers

ShutUp there is a long thread on SN chat for women who have or suspect they have, an ASD.

ICanSeeTheSun Tue 13-May-14 22:10:06

Aelf have you had any experience about asd.

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 13-May-14 22:10:53

Thinking you have Asperger's after researching it actually makes it likely that you are completely NT!
What does it mean when other people think you have it? Even ones who have just met you?
I've had 3 people in the past year or so ask me if I'm Autistic. My general response is usually, 'yeah probably'.
I've been wondering if it's worth getting assessed as well. Just knowing that it's likely, and being able to adjust the way I frame things, really helps me. (Also, because my mum is on board, and it helps her to not take me personally. grin)

PolterGoose Tue 13-May-14 22:10:59

* Supposedly the opposite of autistic is schizophrenic*

Really? Any evidence for that?

DaVinciNight Tue 13-May-14 22:11:27

No people with Asperger have very specific social communication problems that NT people do NOT have.
It's a spectrum within the autism spectrum as not everyone has the same symptoms. It doesn't mean that everyone is on the spectrum....

Eg someone who is NT and is shy/doesn't like social situation/is an introvert doesn't have the issue that someone with AS has. Even if from the outside they can look similar.

NearTheWindymill Tue 13-May-14 22:12:04

Well I think my FIL probably had aspergers. He was very mathematically oriented and meticulous about a lot of things and he didn't socialise and wasn't very "affectionate". He was a man of habit although he was totally and entirely a good man. Some things that made me think he has aspergers:

The lack of empathy and quietness - for example he would never had a laugh or enjoy himself - deeply and deadly serious.

He couldn't see shades of black and white. When he bought a car he paid the showroom price because that's what the man said the price was.

He kept a petrol log book and always knew how much money he had in his purse; double checking after every purchase.

He liked particular foods.

He had no sense of humour but wasn't really a miserable git.

He did a very technical and specialist job without having any managerial responsibility.

Breakfast: a Braeburn apple, cut a specific way; muesli with top of the milk with extra raisins added and they had to Sun Pat (I once bought Sainsburys and there was almost melt down), a glass of smooth orange juice after the muesli; wholemeal toast with lime marmalade; a spoon of set honey (yes set, not runny); tea with the milk in first and a particular type of teabag... It had to be like that, in that order every single morning.

Lunch was a cheese sandwich with wholemeal bread and the cheese had to be placed horizontally (MIL got very arsy once when I put it in vertically) and there had to be two pickled onions placed on the right hand side. It also had to be cut in two rectangles (not on the slant or in quarters).

He cleaned every pair of shoes in the house on Saturday mornings.

He had specific types of check shirts for different activities.

What do you think OP?

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