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New, shock, diagnosis. What helped you to process?

4 replies

EastLifer · 21/01/2023 13:39

Hi all,

I went for an ADHD assessment this week and was told it was Autism with ADHD and I wasn't expecting it at all. I'm 42. I'd looked a bit into the fact that it's a common comorbidity but i didn't feel certain in the same way I did the ADHD.

Now I've spent time reflecting I can see I do meet a lot of the criteria and I'm trying to process it all.

I feel like everything makes sense and nothing makes sense and I don't know where to start.

Any tips for how you processed it?? I feel a bit lost as it was so unexpected.

OP posts:

Jazzhands7 · 23/01/2023 23:44

Still processing. People’s perceptions of what Autism is is quite different to what is reality to a lot of people’s experiences on the spectrum.

I know my friends and family expect a person with Autism to be white, male and essentially non verbal. For this reason although I’m relieved for things to make sense I’m not going to tell anyone because they won’t understand. I didn’t understand until my psychologist brought it up and gave me lots of information on women on the spectrum.


user1471548941 · 24/01/2023 07:02

It took me about a year to process my autism diagnosis at 24 and I went to the GP asking for it so no shock factor!

I think I just read more and more about adult autism in women and it related to my experiences. I then used the knowledge I was gaining to make some adjustments in life which made life easier. That for me was the positive part- realising I could use the diagnosis as a tool to make life easier. I still don’t always get it right but I am constantly trying and it’s really helpful for my husband to understand it as autism when it all comes crashing down and I need to rest!


amusedbush · 24/01/2023 10:55

I was the opposite - I was sure I was autistic for 10 years before I pursued an assessment, and was stunned to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Obviously I didn't feel shocked by my autism diagnosis but it has still taken a long time to process my feelings. I was surprised by how angry I felt, especially looking back at my childhood and realising that it was plain as day (though logically I understand that the research/awareness just wasn't there back then).

I truly went through a period of mourning for what my life could have been if I'd grown up understanding this about myself.

I think all you can do is keep reading and talking and feeling. It's so personal and however you feel, that's the right way to process for you.


EastLifer · 25/01/2023 10:22

Thank you all so much for taking time to respond and share your experiences.

I've definitely been cycling through the grief cycle on what feels like an hourly basis. Today has been the toughest day yet so your messages have been just the tonic.

We're now getting my daughter assessed and I am feeling all the things about that too.

Just want to get in bed and not come out but with 2 kids and a busy husband that's j just not doable.

Off to go mask on a kids play date....

Thanks again all x

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