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DH refuses to accept or discuss my ASD diagnosis

(36 Posts)
muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 12:01:44

I was diagnosed in April with Aspergers syndrome/ASD by a psychologist who specialises in Aspergers in females. This was a massive revelation for me, because it explains so much about the struggles I've had all my life. It has brought me to a place where I feel I can finally truly accept myself.

My DH was involved in the diagnosis because they need an outside perspective. He was happy to give his input. But once I had the diagnosis, he refused to discuss it further. He says nothing has changed, I'm still the same person, so what's the point in making a big deal of it?

But for me it IS a big deal because it gives me tools to cope with difficulties such as dealing with social events, jobs, sensitivities to noise etc. And the dreadful anxiety I have suffered from all my life, and and so many other things. It was amazing to discover a whole community of people who have similar struggles to me. And that my brain really is wired differently (not wrong!)

I feel very hurt and dismissed by his attitude to be honest. I'm basically not allowed to utter the A word in the house. I haven't dared tell anyone else about my diagnosis because I'm scared they will dismiss it too - my DM doesn't know (she WOULD dismiss it, she doesn't believe in things like that) and my friends don't know.

I just want to know if this is weird? Should I just leave it? Am I really just making a fuss over a label that doesn't really change anything? I don't know what to do.

JontyDoggle37 Mon 01-Dec-14 12:09:26

Have you explained to him how massive it feels to you, and that you feel the need to talk about it and would appreciate his support? (Not assuming you haven't, just that would be first step and then depending on what his answers are you decide what to do next). Be prepared to articulate very carefully why it feels so vital to you - he may think you've just been given a label for what you already knew, but for you it's a personal revelation - being able to communicate across that bridge is very important.

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 12:24:58

I've tried to explain, but he's not interested in listening to me. He rolls his eyes if I even mention it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Dec-14 12:28:37

What are you expecting from him? What are you expecting him to materially do in the light of this information? What will be changing? What will you be doing differently? Have you been offered any support in managing the condition? Has he?

Partners are often in a difficult position. Living with someone with an undiagnosed psychiatric condition and a diagnosed condition is often a very similar experience. They are not therapists or counsellors and if their compassion/sensitivity has been stretched over the years, they may not immediately see what the benefits are to the diagnosis or feel all that enthusiastic. They have to be engaged in the process.

Same applies to friends and family. Feel free to share the information as long as you are prepared that others may not see it quite as momentously as you do.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 12:35:08

It's a massive revelation isn't it!

I am sure I am ASD even though I have never been diagnosed. The skill profile matches from when I was very young, as does the very painful not fitting in, the coordination issues and not being able to communicate succesfully with my peers until um - after university.

My DS is disgnosed ASD and is quite severely affected. He's nearly 4 and doesn't speak and isn't showing signs of improvement. He has sensory and social issues as well. I am so glad these things are well recognised and characterised now. In the 1980s when I was young, they just blamed my DM. My DS will be so much better accepted.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy just before I was 30 as well. it is somewhat co-morbid with ASD. My epilepsy is very strongly photosensitive and I also suffer from visual stress and a slow reading speed, I've had it tested and so haev discovered a visual deficit I never knew I had.

It's tremendously liberating to discover a physical reason why I always hated loud and flashy discos and could never handle busy places. My coordination and handwriting skills are poor as well. i think that's connected.

So much explained, I am so much more comfortable with myself.

Maybe your DH doesn't realise what a release it is for you.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 12:37:19

Cog - undiagnosed psychiatric condition ASD is best described as a neurological condition IMO

TalesOfTheCity Mon 01-Dec-14 12:37:41

Cogito ASD spectrum disorders are not psychiatric disorders are not treated by mental health professionals. They are neurodevelopmental and managed by occupational therapists, education etc

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Dec-14 12:38:28

Let's not split hairs...

merlincat Mon 01-Dec-14 12:43:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HumblePieMonster Mon 01-Dec-14 12:52:12

me! ASD, no diagnosis (yet. i have a plan) . its the bit of me that doesn't need fixing.

muminboots, congratulations on your diagnosis. people around you, like the husband, might find it hard that someone can accept a 'disability' with glee, but by the time we find out we're aspies, most of us have suffered so much that we're just happy to know there's a reason for it, and its not our fault, we arent' failures.

this particular label is a beautiful one. its ok to be you. its ok for him to spend a year or two getting used to it before he tells people proudly 'my wife's aspergers, you know'. don't take it to heart. carry on being you, understanding yourself and building strategies.

2times Mon 01-Dec-14 12:52:13

I think you are going to have big problems in the long run if you are not allowed the space to discuss this.
I'm not surprised you feel hurt.
The question is what are you going to do about it?
It is a massive thing to discover and will lead you to reevaluate almost everything that has happened in your life so far.
I don't see a happy outcome though if your dh is not on board.
You can always organise to talk it through with a third party, a counsellor for example, but I can't see how your relationship can continue without you being able to discuss things with your husband.
It's a huge part of you that he is ignoring.

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 12:52:59

I don't expect him to DO anything. And of course I don't expect it to impact him as much as it impacts me. But if the situations were reversed, I wouldn't just dismiss it completely. I would listen, read up on it, ask what support I could offer. Would you not do the same?

There are many ways in which ASDs can be handled, that I never thought about before. And I feel like I don't have to push myself through terrible anxiety in order to seem "normal" which is what I've done my whole life.

I think DH thinks I'm going to give up trying or something - "use" my diagnosis to get out of doing things. This is not the case at all.

I live in a country where adult ASDs are not really catered for yet - way behind the UK in that respect (and the UK isn't really that great). ASDs are a difference in brain wiring, not a psychiatric condition.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 12:55:47

I have also found that people think that I am trying to fit my symptoms to ASD. Because I look normal-ish, they think I might be trying to medicalise my symptoms unnecessarily, giving myself something to worry about. I ignore these opinions, I know myself well enough now. It helps in this respect to have an ASD son, it makes people take my symptoms more seriously. They can't argue with the photosensitive epilepsy. I an have EEG trace to show them. 50 Hz Flourescent lights trigger seizures. I have to be careful.

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 12:56:08

Thanks so much Humble and 2times. Yes to this:

by the time we find out we're aspies, most of us have suffered so much that we're just happy to know there's a reason for it, and its not our fault, we arent' failures.

This is so perfect. Maybe I should try saying that to him and see if that gets through.

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 12:58:36

I think my son may have it too Dadwood.

McSqueezy Mon 01-Dec-14 13:01:10

It sounds like he doesn't want your relationship to suddenly begin to revolve around your diagnosis.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 13:02:15

muminboots Ooh. Better get that looked at quick! Why do you think that?

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 13:03:40

McSqueezy My DW doesn't want to dwell on it either, at least not for me.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 13:10:08

HumblePieMonster I like your post!

Why would somebody want to self-diagnose or seek diagnosis if they weren't feeling the need to have their symptoms explained?

It is lifelong, and it's a massive relief to have something to attribute it to. I think we are lucky that there it a diagnosis available. It's a great thing

I feel sorry for people with diseases like ME and some autoimmune diseases which are hard to diagnose and are not very accepted yet. I also feel sorry for those with conditions not yet even discovered which are causing them distress.

Being a bit different does help you empathise with others. There is no one size-fits-all for anyone.

dadwood Mon 01-Dec-14 13:12:17

Please excuse my spelling and grammar! I blame it on the visual stress! :-)

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 13:14:34

"It sounds like he doesn't want your relationship to suddenly begin to revolve around your diagnosis."

Mcsqueezy thanks for this. You put that very clearly and that helps me to understand his point of view.

The thing is, a few years ago he was suffering panic attacks, and I tried to help in every way I could and still do when he feels like they might come back. I don't roll my eyes and say are we really talking about this again?

jellyhead Mon 01-Dec-14 13:20:42

May be he is taking a time to think about it and come to some place where he accepts it.
Or maybe he thinks ignoring it let's you know that nothing has changed for him you are you and he loves you. ??

2times Mon 01-Dec-14 13:26:33

It's not about life revolving around the new diagnosis (though to a certain extent certain situations will now become easier to deal with as you will understand why you might have found them difficult up to now) it's about processing the diagnosis.
In my experience this means lots of thinking and subsequent discussions.
This stage can go on for a while as you go through your life to date with a fine tooth comb... grin

NettleTea Mon 01-Dec-14 13:27:32

I think it IS important - its a total game changer and I am really surprised that he wont even discuss it. Is he frightened by what that means? Even more so if you suspect that your child may also be ASD.

My DP is most probably Aspergers, my son somewhere along the way, my daughter probably PDA. With my DH he also felt the relief in accepting a reason for why he often struggled or didnt fit, to understand why his thinking was often quite black and white, and have the strength to make some demands about his working life that he had felt odd about making before (for example telling people he worked with to please not interrupt him in the middle of something, to allow him to focus fully on one task at a time, to sit in a quieter place etc) It also allows me to know that sometimes he just cant do things that NT people might, but it is no reflection on how 'our' relationship is (again, why he may prefer not to come to loud and chaotic places, why changes of routine may be unsettling)

With the children it hopefully gives us a way of looking how to support them in the right kind of help their specific needs require, to see what they struggle with and help support them in gaining the skills, or negotiating better ways to address the problems. Not to avoid stuff, but to find the best way for them to achieve it.

I am concerned about OP's use of the word 'wrong' when she explained being wired differently - if your DH hasnt got the flexibility to allow you the difference in approaching things it may be difficult for you moving forwards. The ASD justifies your feelings and way that you are - its a 'cant' not a 'wont' but those around you need to be understanding of that and allow the differences to be just as valid as their own views.

muminboots Mon 01-Dec-14 13:59:28

I guess I wish I just had someone to talk it through with. Although it would be nice if it was my DH, it doesn't have to be. There isn't really anyone I'm comfortable talking to and the Internet only goes so far.

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