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Potential Aspergers - does diagnosis make things better or worse?

(12 Posts)
EternalSunshine820 Mon 04-Jan-16 21:39:55

Hi I"ve been posting on another board as the problems I've been facing seemed to stem from a childhood/teen years full of upheaval and bad treatment from parents etc. However, I've finally been taken seriously by a MH team today (after years of seeking help and being passed straight back to GP with 'sorry we're not the right person/agency to help you' over and over again).

The GP who referred me had suggested I might be bipolar. I had asked another GP from the same practice about a year ago whether they thought there was any chance I could have Aspergers traits and they had said definitely not.

The people I saw today said they don't think bipolar is likely, but want to consider Aspergers, which suprised me.

I don't know what to think and it's going to be 3/4 months before I start to get an assessment and longer for anything to happen as a result. I've read a bit about Aspergers online.

My question for anyone who knows a bit about this and especially if you have had a diagnosis as an adult is, does a diagnosis help? Or does it just mean that you then have a label attached to you? I can see it being a relief in a sense to be told 'here is what is wrong with you', but I don't think that Aspergers is something 'fixable', that there are any drugs for it? Is it something you then declare on forms, to employers? Do you get treated differently as a result?

I guess I'm a bit scared of what it might mean. They might assess me and say I don't have Aspergers so maybe I'm jumping too far forward here (I definitely have worry/anxiety). Do the national charities help much if you contact them or just issue you with generic stuff you can find online anyway?

PolterGoose Mon 04-Jan-16 21:43:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PhilPhilConnors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:45:06

You could try having a look at This thread
The first post has a link to a previous thread which has links to aspie quizzes, women's asperger's profiles and others.
I think having a diagnosis can mean that you can start to understand yourself and work out strategies that help.
If you're on FB there's a page called a The girl with the curly hair, there are regular cartoons posted with snippets of what life is like with asperger's. I've found that quite helpful.

PhilPhilConnors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:45:25

X-post smile

Gumblebee Mon 04-Jan-16 21:50:16

Once I had a diagnosis I was able to access a monthly session with a worker from the NAS, but so far it's just been a bit of a chat - I'm not sure how best to make use of it yet.

ProudAS Tue 05-Jan-16 06:33:11

Getting diagnosed saved my marriage.

EternalSunshine820 Tue 05-Jan-16 07:48:26

Thank you.

Liberated71 Tue 05-Jan-16 07:58:51

I know you are coming at this from a different angle but it made a huge difference to me when DS2's diagnosis was confirmed. Mostly as it helped everything make sense and validated the concerns is had for years that others (out of kindness I think) tried to pass off.
It's not about labels, it's about understanding. There's no "one size fits all" but I have found it helpful in our family.

lightskipping Wed 06-Jan-16 05:37:21

I was diagnosed with autism as an adult a few years ago. The diagnosis has not made a huge difference in the way that most services interact with me, but it's been helpful from a personal point of view. I feel better about myself in being able to frame my behaviour in terms of neurodiversity rather than mental illness.

Getting the label was not such a big issue for me since I've been labelled with so many other things in the past - i.e. my health record was not clear anyway so one more thing didn't make a difference. I've always had to declare my other MH issues on forms etc and now I just tick multiple boxes.

I've not felt there has been much help from charities etc. I did get an initial period of weekly support but I stopped them as I felt the worker was too inexperienced and wanted to pigeonhole me into a particular type of autism. Likewise, some of the online blogs etc are things that I don't relate to because my autism presents rather differently. But I follow them anyway, and I also keep up to date with various autism research and news, and sometimes something in there will be something that helps me understand my behaviour.

Having 'labels' has helped me a lot, like most adults with autism I am not able to work and I've been able to get the full suite of benefits, council housing, disability bus pass, and dealt with legal and discrimination etc.

wannabestressfree Wed 06-Jan-16 06:16:38

I don't think it's true most adults with autism are unable to work.....imo

lightskipping Wed 06-Jan-16 06:20:25

That wasn't my opinion, the stats from the NAS are that only 15% of adults with autism are in full time employment.

Emochild Wed 06-Jan-16 06:54:48

The problem with the NAS figures on employment is that it only includes people in full time education -so people in education, part time workers and stay at home parents aren't represented

It also doesn't distinguish between classic autism and aspergers

My brother got a diagnosis at 30 -he does work full time but has always struggled socially and suffered from anxiety and depression as a result

His fantastic gp picked up on his lack of eye contact and some repetitive movements (fairly discrete -he clenches his jaw and rubs his fingers together) over a number of visits and referred him

Since his diagnosis, which was 7 years ago, he has accepted who he is and no longer puts pressure on himself to conform which has transformed him

My dd was very recently diagnosed at 14 and is already much calmer and relaxed in herself
-plus it's helping get things moving in terms of educational support as her school have been making every excuse under the sun to sit back and do nothing

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