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To wonder if a diagnostic label is a good thing.

(37 Posts)
raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 10:57:24

Big day for me today. Last week I gave up trying to get help on the NHS for my bipolar and so decided to pay private for a psychologist.
Met the psychologist on Monday, she seemed very professional, but half way through our first session that she was an expert on ASD and she thinks I may have ASD and would I want a formal assessment.
So today is the day of the big formal assessment. I am curious to know if I have it but also scared that a label might be a bad thing. Being labelled with bipolar was the end of my nuclear family, parents were ashamed and embarrassed of me and told me that at every opportunity. Thankfully I have DH and DH's family who would not bat an eyelid if I got Dxd but I am still very worried.

DishwasherDogs Mon 22-Dec-14 10:59:26

I think that seeing it as a label is not a good thing.
Seeing a diagnosis as a way to get the best out of your life is probably more helpful.

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 11:04:03

I think I am probably looking at it in far too simple terms, "good thing" or "bad thing". The reality is the diagnosis will probably be a mixture of positives and negatives.

StatisticallyChallenged Mon 22-Dec-14 11:06:46

I was diagnosed with asd fairly recently, and for me it's been largely positive -it explains so much about me, and it has also meant I've been able to access adjustments and extra support at work.

OOAOML Mon 22-Dec-14 11:17:04

My son's diagnosis of Asperger's gives us the right to support at school. For an adult, it should give you HR protection from discrimination and the right to adjustments being made to enable you to do your job. I'm sorry about your family - some people just do not cope well with these issues, whether through ignorance, fear, whatever. But (and I know this will sound harsh) if they are not on your side now then this will make no difference. But it will help you to understand your life, any issues that you have, and how to make things easier.

I cried on and off for days after DS's diagnosis, but now I see it as something that helps him. It doesn't define him, most of the time it doesn't need mentioned - but it is there, and it means that when we need to we can use it, as we did when he was having issues in the playground at school that were not being dealt with; we went in, pointed out that he has Asperger's and that what was happening to him was not normal playground 'banter' but the start of bullying and needed to be stopped. It means that his transition from Beavers to Cubs was managed. It means that if he needs dental treatment we can access a special clinic. His diagnosis is a passport to ensuring strategies are put in place to help him achieve his potential.

SaucyJack Mon 22-Dec-14 11:19:39

I'm not sure in your case.

It's useful to have a label if there's something "wrong" with you, so that employers/friends/relatives know to expect the unexpected and make allowances.

You already have one tho, so I dunno if another one is necessary.

If you think it would help to know that you had ASD tho then go for it.

ProbYou Mon 22-Dec-14 11:19:43

I may help you, and you are worth being helped.

Shannaratiger Mon 22-Dec-14 11:24:09

In my experience the diagnosis gives explanations e.g. for difficulties you have with things that other people find easy. Dd's diagnosis for dyspraxia, ASD and general learning delays has enabled her to get into the SN secondary school and have lots of help in school.
For me as an adult it just stops me feeling useless when I'm constantly walking into things and forgetting everything!

AngelCauliflower Mon 22-Dec-14 11:25:33

I think it would be a positive thing. I think I may have an autistic spectrum disorder and I can definitely see the benefits of having a diagnosis. My son has a diagnosis and it has been a very positive thing.

Good luck.

NewNameFor2015 Mon 22-Dec-14 11:28:35

My dd2 is almost 3, I'm currently going through assessment with her and people ask why I want to label her as she seems 'normal' my response is usually along the lines of it's very complicated, they don't see the issues that I deal with on an every day basis and actually the diagnosis is purely for my benifit. If I can definitively say it's ASD suddenly a whole world of help and support opens up. As well as being able to explain to other people why she needs x,y and z.

I think for you it would be the same diagnosis would be for you personally. It may not change anything but you could go easier on yourself say, I need it done like this because of my ASD, much like you would because of bipolar. It will give you validation and may even open support for you in the future.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 22-Dec-14 11:37:02

it can certainly help people get the support they need

some people embrace their diagnosis others struggle with it and some people despise the label they have been given and in turn that can manifest how they feel about themselves

it is vey individual how people deal with it

unlucky83 Mon 22-Dec-14 12:10:06

I am currently having my 13 yo DD assessed for ADHD. She functions but has difficulties - mainly organisation and concentration. I think the label might get her extra help/understanding at school - which can only help her. She is bright but not reaching her potential or anywhere near it. But I get why you don't want a label. The reason I put off doing anything for her sooner. (My DM is furious saying I am ruining her life, giving her the stigma of being mentally ill hmmsad)
I think (pretty sure) I have ADHD too (not been assessed -possibly no point at my age) ...I found just the realisation was a relief.
To know I find it harder to do things 'normal' people do. I don't have to beat myself up about being a bit useless sometimes....the fact that I'm not all the time is an achievement! Had serious depression in my 20s and one thing the therapist pointed out was I needed to give myself a break...stop being so hard on myself. And that actually makes more sense too.
When I told my Dsis she thought it was laughable - until I reeled off things...and she still thinks I am over reacting...
I have managed to get strategies in place to enable me to function - I can (have to be?) massively organised but find it easy to let it slide....if I don't try all the time into absolute chaos. I am surrounded by unfinished projects - I get distracted easily, can easily lose track of time, daydream, addicted to caffeine, addicted to the adrenaline rush you get by leaving things to the last minute. I have been called by a former employer either the most disorganised, organised or organised, disorganised person she had ever met.
On a thread on here about people being late and I said something about 'losing track of time' and got flamed for it. To me drifting off into a dreamworld if I am not trying not to is 'normal'. I have to make a conscious effort to concentrate, and I just can't keep it up all the time. That people wouldn't just understand that was an eye opener ...
I've said to my daughter we are not evolved to life the way we live now the clock, 9-5 etc. It isn't natural. And she is just more suited to a more natural way of life. I think the same about people with similar issues....we may not be 'normal', be different but there is nothing 'wrong' with us. We are just living in a world that doesn't suit us.
Good luck with your diagnosis - whatever way it goes ...give yourself a break...

PausingFlatly Mon 22-Dec-14 18:44:53

How did it go, ral?

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 18:49:07

I mega passed it, scored nearly the maximum on all sections.

Allegrogirl Mon 22-Dec-14 18:52:57

I'm wondering the same regarding my DD who is 7. Due to problems at school (she's manageable at home, dreamy and impulsive but never deliberately badly behaved) we have started on the road to possible ADD/ASD diagnosis. It makes me feel sick to be honest.

I am now starting to think I have ASD as I was a loner at school and didn't fit in. I get very anxious about things. I've learnt to cope and apart from anxiety I don't have any issues really. I'd kind of like to find an explanation for the first difficult 15/16 years though.

Good luck with the outcome of the assessment. i hope it helps.

GraysAnalogy Mon 22-Dec-14 18:56:40

It's not good as a label, you are not a bipolar you are a person who has bipolar.

However a diagnosis is a good thing. In my opinion anyway. Being diagnosed was a great day for me. I was sad that I have a condition, but happy to see that now I can get help, there's a name for what is happening to me.

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 19:00:25

Well the psychologist is not sure about the bipolar, she thinks I have been misdiagnosed and I am just aspergers.

GraysAnalogy Mon 22-Dec-14 19:06:28

It manifests differently with everyone so it can be tricky. Mine was clearly bipolar. I even knew it myself when I was lucid enough to realise something was wrong.

What made the initially think bipolar? Mania and depressive phases?

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 19:11:18

Mania, but the mania was induced by anti-depressants and psychologist said people with Asperger's can go psychotic on ADs. I think I probably have both, dunno really.

GraysAnalogy Mon 22-Dec-14 19:12:12

It's so difficult isn't it, must be very confusing for you ral. I hope you get some resolution soon

grimbletart Mon 22-Dec-14 19:20:22

I read the singer Susan Boyle was really relieved when she got an Asperger's diagnosis where previously she was tagged with "brain damage".

smokepole Mon 22-Dec-14 19:27:21

"Welcome to the Club" Ralthe.

Its no surprise to me , as you were the only one to get where I was coming from a post that made everybody else angry and bemused.

Ralthe you must be a very "special" person then to have got in to Oxford and to have become a Doctor!.

Seriously though you must be waiting for a report, to underline your ASD symptoms whether they are just Aspergers or a combination of Dyslexia/Dyspraxia e.t.c. . The Specialist should also have given you a couple of sheets 1 showing how ASD crosses over in to different areas. The second should be a sheet showing "Transition" in to accepting and moving on.

I am sure you probably knew, as most of us know deep down we are a bit different . One last thing ,there is debate as to whether the "disorder" bit should be dropped from diagnosis, because we do not need changing or treatment . We are who we are.

Best Wishes Smokepole...

smokepole Mon 22-Dec-14 19:32:05

One last thing . Now that you know you have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism, have a go on the online tests to see what you score . 34 = Autism I scored "42" well over.

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 19:32:22

Awe thank you smoke pole that is a lovely message. I think I may have the dyspraxia as she asked me a lot about sport and I said I got the piss taken out of me at school as my coordination was so bad in tennis I would put my arm to one side of me and the ball would go to the other side. I think I had the worst hand eye coordination in the whole year but not sure if that is dyspraxia or just being crap at sport I will have to ask next week.

raltheraffe Mon 22-Dec-14 19:33:12

I got 48 on the Baron Cohen test

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