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Autistic? Crazy? Or socially inept?

(37 Posts)
EllieBee45 Fri 18-Mar-16 00:35:10

I did an online test recently that suggest I may be autistic.

I've always suffered with a social severe anxiety disorder (diagnosed) and sensory issues (undiagnosed). Nearing 30. Nothing diagnosed apart from social anxiety disorder and suggested I have sensory issues.

Have trouble with routine/change
Can't judge depth/width/deal with flashing lights or over stimulation (eg. in the supermarket, with lots of people darting round with trolleys towards me or looking directly at me - I freeze and drop to the floor. Also, I become so self concious during a conversation with just one person, I think they may be able to read my thoughts, or at least be judging every part of my body language that I just freeze and act stupidly.

A year ago I found out my son was ASD with SPD. Other than that, it doesn't run in the family. I was told once by a (2nd year medical school dropout) that they thought I have the milder form of epilepsy (petit mal?) and absence seizures, which was causing this. I do tend to 'freeze' a lot - not sure how to describe it. I can't physically do or say anything, I just sit still for hours... eg. have not picked kids up from school twice as I've felt physically unable to stop staring at the wall, and haven't been able to move (though no fits) but my brain is always active, wanting to do something... I have a masters degree and am academic, but have never been able to stay in a job due to these feelings. I can't describe them really...

Someone suggested I have high functioning autism. But as I've always had great imagination and people reading skills, great imagination for make pretend games as a child... I don't think ASD is the case... I don't take things literally, I understand people's expressions... (as autistic people don't?) I don't think I'm lazy either. The doctor wont give me a clear answer - suggested depression, but I'm not depressed! My eye contact is bad. I can't look at people. But again, that's a potential social anxiety thing and not autism?

Sorry if this is hard to get across.... but has anyone else ever suffered with similar problems to these? I don't know what to do anyone. I seem to spend most of my life online and trying to get out of the real world.

I struggle to get close to people. I've been single for five years, but I have maybe 3/4 friends who I can be 'myself' with.

I don't feel normal. Am I?

NewYearNewToads Fri 18-Mar-16 01:25:17

People with autism often have wonderful imaginations.

I'm very imaginative and creative. I love to draw and write. I am also autistic.

You may well have ASD. You do have a lot of traits however I don't think anyone can really say whether you do have it or not over the internet.

The question you should be asking yourself is do you think a diagnosis will help? I know for me that getting a diagnosis was one of the best things to happen to me. It was such a relief to know that I'm not weird or crazy and there is a reason for the way I am.

summerainbow Fri 18-Mar-16 07:20:39

Get fit things sorted . I do know some some one who has ASD and has been tested for the same kind of fits .
Go to gp .
It is impact on your kids life .

I'm another imaginative autistic person, only diagnosed as an adult. Have a look at symptoms of autism in women..

Ifailed Fri 18-Mar-16 07:29:39

Rather than self-diagnose, why not take this to your GP and ask for help?

DrAmandaBentley Fri 18-Mar-16 07:47:27

A disproportionate amount of people on here seem to claim to have autism as adults. How many of them are professionally diagnosed I don't know. It is possible to have quirks and oddities unique to yourself, without being autistic. I don't think it is something you can diagnose (yourself, or by others) over the Internet.

FayKorgasm Fri 18-Mar-16 07:57:42

Dd has AS. She is wonderfully imaginative and writes brilliant stories. She has 'learned' how to read people most of the time. It does not come naturally and she constantly has an internal dialogue trying to assess facial expression tone of voice physical actions. Often she ends up in complete exhaustion, unable to function except on a basic level. Its like her brain and body are almost disconnected for a while.

MLGs Fri 18-Mar-16 08:09:14

You sound alot like me in many respects, except for the freezing, which sounds horrible and I'm grateful not to have.

YKNOTC Fri 18-Mar-16 08:17:07

I think that given autistic people's preference for online communication, it would make sense that they were statistically over represented on MN.

I thought you couldn't have autism if you had empathy and imagination, which isn't true at all.

Have a read of the symptoms specifically for women. I couldn't tell you if you have it or not, but it's worth researching. There's a longstanding talk thread in the SN topic for women both seeking and with diagnoses. You may find some help and advice there.

99Luftballons Fri 18-Mar-16 08:17:31

Sorry I can't get past your title as if you are either autistic or crazy. As if they were one and the same because your whole post is about possible autistic traits.

YKNOTC Fri 18-Mar-16 08:22:07

I don't think that's fair 99. She's not saying they're the same, she's questioning why she does what she does. She's talking about herself, not defining autism as crazy.

And I don't think you're crazy, op. when you can't move it sounds like a type of meltdown.

breezydoesit Fri 18-Mar-16 08:23:18

99luftballons if the op feels crazy then she should be able to say that.

breezydoesit Fri 18-Mar-16 08:24:54

Ps OP you're not crazy. Get yourself assessed and move forward from there. smileflowers

BeyondTellsEveryoneRealFacts Fri 18-Mar-16 08:30:02

My asd was officially diagnosed a week before my 30th birthday. Wanting to know for your own piece of mind is perfectly sane smile ask for a referral

Alfieisnoisy Fri 18-Mar-16 08:34:25

DrAmandaBentley you are not wrong in you have observed. Many of us are not professionally diagnosed because by and large GPs do not want to refer us. My GP is a case in point who thinks because I have reached 50 and have achieved that a diagnosis is not necessary. I disagree but unless I can find the money to go and see someone privately I will remain in the dark about why I do things in the way I do or why I have struggled my whole life. In turn those struggles have lead to some dark depression and feelings of hopelessness.

I didn't suspect it until my son was diagnosed and I am told he is a carbon copy of me as a child with the only difference being that I learned to read very early and my son did not..he has learning difficulties. Nun every other way though our development was similar. I didn't speak until I was four, I had no friends in school because I didn't know how to socialise and make friends. I was bullied thought my school years and as an adult I have struggled in every single job due to my impaired executive function.

Now my son has been diagnosed I can see the similarities and things make much more sense.

I was diagnosed with "clumsy child syndrome" in the 1970s which I now know is Dyspraxia.

I would love the opportunity of sitting down with someone suitably qualified who coukd tell me if my quirks fir the autistic spectrum but at 50 I have lost all hope that ANYONE able to refer me will listen.

OK well given that at the point "Dr" posted I was one of only 2 people to have said I have autism and said I was diagnosed as an adult I'll take it that was partially aimed at me. Yes, I have a formal diagnosis from the person who heads up my local NHS autism unit.

As someone upthread said, given that people with autism have issued with social communication and can often feel lonely and isolated it's hardly surprising to find a larger proportion in an online community than in the general population. There have also been some very informative and long running threads for women who have, or suspect they have, ASD. I also find that MN is far more tolerant and aware of various special needs than many other fora so those with ASD may be more likely to stay here.

velourvoyageur Fri 18-Mar-16 09:35:48

My friend has ASD (v. high functioning) and he doesn't lack in imagination. He did a history degree and I imagine you'd need quite a bit of creative thinking to get a high 2.1 in it, as he did. He also really liked fantasy as a kid.
It's more I'm guessing in relation to empathetic anticipation of other people's reactions - so social imagination?

I was assessed for autism and was told I was too borderline for a diagnosis. I draw and paint abstract stuff, love improv on the piano and loved make believe and dolls as a kid, spent hours playing by myself or with others, in fact a lot of the time I got a bit too involved in the game and it took a while to come back to reality grin ahh I would so love to be able to just play as children can - so sad we tend to lose this ability with age.
But I mean to say, probably shouldn't get too hung up on the imagination thing.

Best of luck OP smile

ShelaghTurner Fri 18-Mar-16 09:43:53

Can I throw my hat into the ring too? Impossible to self diagnose I know, but it's been said to me so often by people who (claim to) know about such things and I've done countless stupid tests online. I wonder about taking it further but can't really see the point. I struggle massively with people in RL (social medial is a godsend for me, it truly is!) but I've developed strategies to (mostly) cope in RL so can't see what would be gained.

manicinsomniac Fri 18-Mar-16 10:02:33

You might be.

But the problem is so many adults self diagnose as autistic. Especially after having a child diagnosed. Some probably are autistic, some may be looking for a way to understand or identify with what their child is going through and some may just be trying to understand themselves. But I seriously doubt they can all actually be autistic. I know 4 or 5 women in their 30s who have decided they are autistic just in the last year or so.

I would get a doctor's opinion.

MentalLentil Fri 18-Mar-16 10:03:54

Another autistic adult here, diagnosed aged 35. Autistic females often present differently than males - more socially capable, better at being chameleons and fitting in, though still struggling massively to do so. Diagnosis and peer support have really helped me cope with stress and anxiety that had previously run amok.

Earlyday Fri 18-Mar-16 10:09:02

My 6 yr old has autism and has an amazing imagination - way more imaginative than other children his age.

He's also well able to read facial expressions - but sometimes doesn't notice them as he busy focusing on something else.

DrAmandaBentley Fri 18-Mar-16 10:09:30

Er, no statistically I posted in response to the opening post.

My point was that you cannot self-diagnose autism or any other mental health disorder, simply by asking random strangers or doing online tests. I have seen many many people on here claim to have autism without an official diagnosis from a health professional, they simply refer to believing they are "on the spectrum", or have "autistic traits".

AYD2MITalkTalk Fri 18-Mar-16 10:13:45

I'm autistic, crazy, and socially inept grin

(Yes, officially diagnosed!)

MentalLentil Fri 18-Mar-16 10:32:50

I would venture to say that within the autistic community at least, self-diagnosis is completely acceptable and isn't looked at with the same suspicion I see in the non-autistic world.

When you feel very different from other people and start to investigate possible reasons for that difference, sometimes you come across a condition or 'way of being' that fits your own experiences and 'way of being.' If being around autistic people (in real life or online) makes you feel like you finally have a community to be part of, the please consider yourself welcome in that community, with or without an official diagnosis. The NHS doesn't have much incentive to refer adults for an autism diagnosis when those adults either cope very well or are struggling with co-morbid mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. The NHS is more likely to treat the condition that presents rather than look for bigger answers.

Asperger syndrome has only been diagnosed since around the 1980s, so any autistic people older than 30 or so could very easily have missed their chance at childhood diagnosis. I think this is why we're seeing so many adults diagnosed and self-diagnosed.

Outside the autistic community it seems at times that people see autistic self-diagnosis as a means to get attention or to feel special, but if you feel like one of us then please feel free to ignore all the suspicion from the less-informed.

FayKorgasm Fri 18-Mar-16 11:02:37

DrAmanda Autism is not a mental health disorder.

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