To ask if you had an ASD diagnosis as an adult...

(33 Posts)
TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 16:03:41

What prompted you to seek one? And how did you go about it?

Over recent years I have started to question whether I might be on the spectrum. The reasons being-

I am extremely socially awkward. I find talking to people excruciating (including most family and friends!) and the only friends I have are people I was forced to spend a lot of time with I.e working together.

I constantly worry about what I say to people and analyse every conversation I have because I always assume people are annoyed with me and find it hard to decipher what people mean.

I find household management very difficult. I can complete a baseline of tasks but anything ‘extra’ is overwhelming. I desperately need and crave minimalism and order but I have no idea how to achieve it and I feel like my brain is constantly chaotic.

I have very black and white thinking. I hate any form of inequality and can’t understand why people make hurtful comments about others and I hate offensive jokes. I have been called ‘too p.c’.

There is more but I find it very hard to express myself eloquently so I won’t carry on rambling. This is also confused by the fact I have depression which makes me wonder if I’m imagining all this? So, if you have ASD, how did you get diagnosed?

OP’s posts: |
Mabelface Tue 04-May-21 16:07:37

It was when my adult son was diagnosed 2 years ago that I realised how similar we are, and there may be good reason why I lived in a permanent state of anxiety and maybe there was a reason that I struggle with normal stuff that others find so simple. I got my diagnosis in November at the grand old age of 51 and it's been a revelation.

Mabelface Tue 04-May-21 16:08:16

Just to say, I did mine privately, but you can speak to your gp about how to get assessed.

user1471548941 Tue 04-May-21 16:12:40

24 for me and because basically my life was a car crash from the minute I left education.

I seemed to piss off every work colleague/manager I had, went through job after job and never had any idea why. Was often called weird or quirky.

I experience the exact same as you with household management, it’s exhausting just to do the bare minimum acceptable as an adult and have lost lots of money in the past on things like not returning unwanted clothes.

Diagnosis at 24 was a revelation, I got reasonable adjustments at work and some support which have turned job hopping into 5 years at the same place and 2 promotions, bought a house and lived alone, knowing the correct support was in place.

I take regular “days off” just hidden under a duvet to allow me to recover from keeping it up but living like this is just so much better.

Brendabigbaps Tue 04-May-21 16:16:05

45, I started reading about it for my daughter and it was like a light bulb going on.
I’m not officially diagnosed yet but it’s glaring obvious now.

There are online tests you can do which will give you a good idea

BeefSupreme Tue 04-May-21 16:22:19

You might have social anxiety or just be shy. And being a sjw isn’t a sign of ASD.
My psychotherapist referred me for testing. I apparently wasn’t very good at psychotherapy and wasn’t answering the questions she was asking. I just didn’t “get” the therapy and questions. My gp had referred me to the psychotherapist.
I was 24.

TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 16:24:09

Thank you so much for your replies! I feel very lonely (even though I find interacting with people exhausting) so it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

The problem is I tend to get into relationships just because someone asks me and stay just because I feel like that’s what I’m supposed to and I now have 2 dc. I’m extremely worried that I’m messing them up as I don’t know how to parent them properly.

And yes @user1471548941 I spend most days doing absolutely nothing because I don’t know how to function properly.

OP’s posts: |
Flappityflippers1 Tue 04-May-21 16:30:28

I truly suspected I had autism and was working up the courage to go the GP to get a diagnoses. In the meantime I had some extensive private therapy for another matter - turns out I have generalised anxiety disorder!

TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 16:32:56

@BeefSupreme I have spent many years thinking I am just shy, disorganised, lazy and socially awkward. It could just be those things mixed with depression but it has become quite debilitating now and is stopping me from living life so I was just wondering if there is more going on.

And is sjw social justice warrior? I’m extremely embarrassed if it came across that I was trying to say that I’m a sjw, I was just trying to explain my thinking and how I’m not flexible to other people’s opinions.

OP’s posts: |
CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 16:35:45

I am 43 and in the final stage of being diagnosed. I don’t really know how it will help me to be honest, as my life has been quite the car crash to be honest, including a fairly recent section under the mental health act and court proceedings to show my mental health and attendant difficulties shouldn’t mean I lose my younger children completely to their father’s care.

It’s shit to be honest and I don’t understand celebrating autism; for me being (likely) autistic has caused nothing but difficulty and extreme pain and an inability to live a “normal” life.

ASatisfyingThump Tue 04-May-21 16:36:29

Not ASD, but ADHD, and much like a PP it was when my son was diagnosed, all the stuff I'd written off as just taking after me turned out to be symptoms. It was a revelation - I'm not lazy or stupid or incompetent, I'm just wired differently. At 31 I finally have my shit together, by working with the condition instead of fighting against it.

asd99 Tue 04-May-21 16:41:05

Honestly, most of what you’ve written is very similar to how I felt OP.
I paid £800 in London for a private assessment, whole process was quick and easy.

Not once had anyone else suspected I could have ASD, I was just seen as very shy and anxious. I used to go to my GP for anxiety and depression, had CBT sessions, tried medication etc.

Frustratingly, it’s still a lot less common to be picked up in girls sad I’m from gen Z as well.
I really think I could have done so much better academically had I have known, instead of constantly being seen as lazy or ‘coasting’.

CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 16:49:25

I did fine academically. I’ve got a really good set of paper qualifications. Hasn’t stopped my life descending into chaos because I find things so hard.

The anxiety and stress of it all is beyond belief and, although currently I think I’m likely to have a good outcome in court for my younger children to be in a more shared access situation, it doesnt change the fact that they haven’t slept in their beds here since November and they have had very limited contact with me. For their own good. When my anxiety and attendant difficulties were out of control I wasn’t providing them what they needed emotionally.

I hate autism, personally, although I do now accept the diagnosis. I’m just looking forward to (hopefully) getting back to a normal life and the kids being able to be settled with two, although separated, capable and good parents, as I wasn’t good enough when I got to crisis stage.

BeefSupreme Tue 04-May-21 17:03:02

@TiredSloth sorry, I wasn’t trying to embarrass you.
I once asked my social worker when I was a teenager if she thought it was possible I had autism. She said no. So I just went back to thinking I was shy, disorganised, lazy, socially awkward and depressed.

@CathyTre I went back to college right after I was diagnosed. My diagnosis made me think maybe I wasn’t stupid after all (although I dropped out because my mental health worsened). Apart from that, the diagnosis hasn’t really benefited me. It’s really just given me the excuse to not try to fit in or make an effort with anything. I don’t think the diagnosis has helped me.

TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 17:03:04

@CathyTre that sounds extremely difficult. I am separated from dc father but they remain living with me and although I suspect that I appear to be a competent parent from the outside, actually I am failing spectacularly.

OP’s posts: |
CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:13:53

Thanks - yes it’s been awful. I too appeared to be a basically competent parent until I wasn’t, and it was only crisis that has got our family to where I (hopefully) will be back in a good place for the children again.

To give you an idea of how long I struggled and made it somehow stay stable enough, my eldest son is 21 and outside agencies got involved only in august this year when my youngest was four, because I patently was no longer even coping on the surface anymore.

I’m so very hopeful that at the next court hearing after all the mental health work I’ve done that the younger children can come home, and that is the cafcass recommendation.

But I see no positives in my autism to be honest, only what life could have been like for the kids if I was well at all times.

CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:18:01

Last year sorry!

TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 17:18:09

@BeefSupreme sorry I just was embarrassed that I seemed to be saying I was a sjw!
Would you say a diagnosis is worth pursuing?

Not once had anyone else suspected I could have ASD, I was just seen as very shy and anxious. I used to go to my GP for anxiety and depression, had CBT sessions, tried medication etc.

@asd99 I’ve done all these things. I am currently having counselling but when I mentioned the possibility of asd she just looked at me awkwardly. Would you say the £800 was worth it? Or do you think the gp would be able to help?

OP’s posts: |
FatCatThinCat Tue 04-May-21 17:22:39

For me it was sitting through all the assessments my teen daughter went through. I would have given the same answers if they'd asked me so I knew if she was diagnosed then I was autistic too.

Throckmorton Tue 04-May-21 17:23:21

Following - not because I can add anything useful (sorry), but because I'm at the same point, ie wondering if I should see the GP to get referred for an assessment. It sucks doesn't it.

CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:26:19

Tiredsloth - I never considered I might have autism spectrum disorder either. I have over the years have many suggested diagnoses including anorexia, bulimia and generalised anxiety disorder.

It was after the section (which was terribly traumatic and difficult still fig me) that two separate psychiatrists put me on the pathway to diagnosis, and as I understand I’m very fortunate to be so quickly near diagnosis, as it’s nhs and can take years easily rather than the probably 12 months in the end it’ll be for me by august this year.

I’m still not sure how it’ll help though!

TiredSloth Tue 04-May-21 17:26:44

Thanks - yes it’s been awful. I too appeared to be a basically competent parent until I wasn’t, and it was only crisis that has got our family to where I (hopefully) will be back in a good place for the children again.

To give you an idea of how long I struggled and made it somehow stay stable enough, my eldest son is 21 and outside agencies got involved only in august this year when my youngest was four, because I patently was no longer even coping on the surface anymore.

I’m so very hopeful that at the next court hearing after all the mental health work I’ve done that the younger children can come home, and that is the cafcass recommendation.

But I see no positives in my autism to be honest, only what life could have been like for the kids if I was well at all times.

@CathyTre I really hope that you are able to have your children back with you at home.

Most of the time I feel like I’m clinging on to normal life by my fingertips and I just want to let go.

OP’s posts: |
CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:27:07

For me not fig me!!

CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:30:09

Do try not to let go if you can do it whilst coping and your children aren’t being emotionally harmed.

I couldn’t and it’s caused so much harm for all of us which isn’t over yet.

Try and get appropriate help before you end up in a disaster like mine - although that is VERY hard to do. But do try x

CathyTre Tue 04-May-21 17:38:55

PS I should also say that cafcass, in my experience, have been extremely helpful. I say this knowing they get a bad press and having had a terrible experience with social services.

The cafcass lady involved in our case is extremely understanding and whilst she is completely upfront and the section 7 report was, as you can imagine, difficult reading, she has been completely honest and very approachable at all times.

I write this to reassure anyone else who has been in a difficult family crisis and is afraid of outside agencies. Cafcass, in my experience have been totally honest and not traumatic to deal with, even when they have to write things that are tricky to acknowledge.

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