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Autism diagnosis as an adult

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by OpenToSuggestions, 9 Sep 2021.

  1. LuckyBenski

    Soldato

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 5,657

    Location: London

    Firstly congratulations @OpenToSuggestions - having something like this confirmed can be a big step in understanding yourself. If you've always struggled with wondering whether you're "normal" or why you do and feel things differently to others, it's very validating to know there's a reason. It also opens up new ways to look into this and find the ways you can make your own life better. I've always felt at odds, like I'm fighting myself, especially when I'm trying to balance living my life how I want vs how social convention seems to be.

    Around a year ago a GP suggested an autism or ADHD test when I mentioned being depressed as fairly normal. The appointment was for a physical ailment but she asked some very insightful questions so I'm thankful she did that. As it happened I heard about a new service for ADHD assesments so I looked into that and eventually undertook the process. Even just filling out the questionnaires on symptoms and behaviours, started to highlight for me just how widely I'm affected. Things I always thought were just my own personality or "quirks", it turns out are recognised symptoms of ADHD. Who knew :p

    Ultimately I was diagnosed with mild/moderate ADHD but even just the assessment process really opened my eyes. It was intense and quite emotional, as it felt like the questions were almost targeting me by highlighting all the various struggles I've had. Similarly having my partner answer the same questions about me hurt a bit - "I can sometimes be talking to LuckyBenski and know his mind is elsewhere even though he's looking right at me".

    I still would like an autism assessment in the future but right now I'm working through the new information I have. Regardless of external treatment I am now armed with a huge amount of knowledge on who I am, how I work and how others have dealt with it. All thanks to some innocent questions from a GP.
     
  2. Tuppy_Glossop

    Mobster

    Joined: 15 Feb 2012

    Posts: 2,992

    Location: 2

    Hopefully this narrows down the number of places you might want to look for help understanding yourself and helping others to understand you.
     
  3. Adam

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,010

    How do you think this will affect your experience of work? I'm reading what others have said about small talk, politics, not really grasping changes that are happening right in front of you, reading people and see some similarities myself. Is it just a case of being aware and trying harder on those areas of weakness? Could be quite an interesting exercise/review to see if you can use the information you now know to make improvements.
     
  4. mid_gen

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Dec 2004

    Posts: 11,877

    Being around people and interacting socially, with anyone but very close friends, is typically extremely draining for someone with autism. We can do it (well, high-functioning people can), but it requires a level of concentration and constant, conscious thinking to interpret people's verbal and physical communication cues correctly....and even then, sarcasm etc. will usually be interpreted literally in the first instance. Understanding it and managing it is a really useful step forward.

    For instance, meetings that drag on over an hour, are very tiring, avoid, take a break. On busy days, I always take my lunch break lone so I have some time where I don't have to deal with people. On work away trips which are typically full days of meetings, I always duck out of the evening social stuff because I simply can't talk any more, and go do some sport or something.

    Eye contact is uncomfortable, so I do a lot of walking meetings.

    I make absolutely sure I don't have any social commitments, like seeing the in-laws or whatever, where I'm tired or hungover, because I just can't hold a conversation in that state.

    There's lot of useful changes you can make by just understanding it.
     
  5. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2013

    Posts: 11,236

    I have a lot of traits and would probably be on 'The Spectrum' somewhere if you tested me, but I'm not really interested in any official diagnoses.
    To me and a great many other people, that's just a label saying I'm broken. I've already lived with the ones that say, 'Weirdo', 'Freak' and all the other insults, so adding one more isn't going to help.
    In addition, many people who don't really have a mental health disorder still claim it and use it as an excuse for behaving like a ****, which not only devalues and invalidates those with a genuine disorder but also creates more divisions and barriers to those who do need help actually getting it.
     
  6. GR63

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 May 2021

    Posts: 865

    Location: Herts

    My wife gets me.. I dont need anyone else to....
     
  7. TrojanWhore

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Sep 2010

    Posts: 1,248

    I relate to this so strongly, on one hand I've dated a girl with diagnosed asperges, who I related to better than most people I've known. Another of my partners worked as an advocate for people with learning disabilities. Both said they thought I was in some way affected.

    On the other hand I've seen both how some people with a diagnosis are treated/talked about in work and also a couple of people that use it to excuse ****** behaviour.

    As I've got to the age I am now with periods of relative success and have learned a lot about myself along the way, I think I'm probably better off carrying on as I am, just trying not to rub people up the wrong way as much as I can manage... Maybe I'll change my mind in the future and try to get to the bottom of it
     
  8. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: 22 Nov 2005

    Posts: 39,708

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    How did your diagnosis go?

    mine was basically asking GP to refer me, waiting about 1 year, going to a meeting with a nurse consultant (seems he was specialised in autism and helped run an autism wing at some hospital and other autism charity stuff from me googling his name at the time) and a consultant psychologist.
    I think the NHS was basically paying them as contractors for my assessment.

    anyway they talked to me for an hour or 2 then both agreed I fit the criteria and I'm autistic. (I actually broke down in tears because I didn't want to be, but it's not mentioned in my report :( )

    I never heard anything back for over 6 months, went to my GP to ask what was going on, he told me to come back in 2weeks, so I did.

    GP told me he had threatened to report the place to the medical board and they had finally sent a "report"

    I think the consultants buggered off and never did a write up! the place where I got assessed likely had to chase them up to get anything :rolleyes:

    what I got was basically the hand written notes one of them had made and a brief sentence saying "in my opinion arknor is a severely disabled adult who has slipped through the net bla bla, Autistic spectrum disorder"
    at the actual meeting they said "high functioning autism" but they don't actually diagnosis that any more.

    I got diagnosed around 34 about 6 years back, I'd say it's basically a "formal diagnosis"

    one one of my ex went through a diagnosis in Switzerland, she had weekly meetings with someone for a month or two and had to take loads of tests.

    her report saying shes autistic has loads of charts and stuff from all the tests and surveys they had her take.

    Seems the NHS do it on the quick/cheap or used too, my GP at first had no idea how to get me assessed though I don't think they really diagnosed adults back then, he also thought I would have to pay for it myself, but in the end I didn't
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2021
  9. inflames

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Oct 2016

    Posts: 1,043

    Firstly well done for going out your way to get yourself tested. Hopefully your employer will be good and very understanding. Finding out something like this as an adult is challenging. A lot of it is about accepting it, figuring out your own traits and coping strategies. I sure you know some of these already.
    I know it’s very different, I found out that I was dyslexic at 30, after changing jobs and having absolute horrid time. I decided to get myself tested, when I presented the report to my employer at the time, it didn’t go down well. Instead in turned into workplace bullying. Luckily I have moved on sense then, my current employers are very good and will go out of there way to help if needed. Hopefully yours will be good also.
     
  10. Ayahuasca

    Capodecina

    Joined: 23 Apr 2014

    Posts: 24,056

    Location: Huem

    The problem I’ve seen with getting a diagnosis as an adult is that it almost becomes a death sentence for some. They aren’t interested in learning the masking techniques because that isn’t them and it’s extremely draining. They’ve felt out of place their entire lives and then the diagnosis is the final nail in the coffin.

    There are companies that are accommodating with autism and other mental health disorders, but the reality is we’re still miles away from where we need to be. You will still have to deal with colleagues who couldn’t care less about it and will use it against you. I’ve seen women in particular say some really brutal stuff about men who they know are autistic. It’s like they don’t believe it exists and that they should just learn to act normal in every situation.

    The spectrum is huge, so you’ll find some autistic people (usually very high functioning) don’t have much trouble. If they’ve been blessed with a high IQ they can usually cope just fine in STEM fields. However, the vast majority are still within average range so they’re competing with neurotypicals in mundane jobs and that’s where it gets really difficult. As others have mentioned, it regularly gets diagnosed along with ADD so you can see why employment in areas they have no special interest in becomes insanely challenging.
     
  11. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 19,256

    Quite a few posters exhibit degrees of it on here.
     
  12. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: 22 Nov 2005

    Posts: 39,708

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    what do you mean by masking? hiding their autism? because most people I've met with autism you would have no idea.
    Women can chameleon my ex seemed confident, out going, got talking to people fine etc but at home she would go 6months etc without opening her letters and couldn't organise her life properly

    just because someone isn't very confident and seems a bit shy doesn't mean it's autism, not everyone has arm flapping or weird quirks, it seemed kinda rare apart from "classical autism" which isn't the norm.

    it seems more easy to predict autism from how people post on the internet, anyone who keeps coming back in a debate trying to get in the last word is probably autistic 100% because they can't just let stuff go


    also don't assume people with autism are nerdy geeks who can't defend themselves like people think is normal, all types of people can be autistic
     
  13. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2013

    Posts: 11,236

    What they fail to realise is that, at best, being 'normal' is boring and ****** up and mindless. One look at Love Island or any other 'reality' show that so many of these 'normal' people watch is more than enough proof.

    Quite a few posters exhibit degrees of many other disorders too, but that doesn't mean they actually have any of them. The fact that, assuming they aren't lying, they can cope with basic daily life and the activities therein (crossing the road, dressing themselves, preparing a meal) without hurting themselves or needing supervisory assistance from a care professional is the main thing setting them apart from those who do have such a disorder.
     
  14. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 19,256

    Never mind any of those acts. It can be difficult to converse with people who exhibit certain traits. It's also noticeble from remarks that people make. For example, it's quite clear from arknor's posts that they exhibit such/autistic traits.

    Regarding your comment about people thinking they're normal, there is no 'normal'.
     
  15. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2013

    Posts: 11,236

    OK, so what are my traits and what would you diagnose me as having....? :)
    DSM-IV me, baby!!!

    Normal meaning typical, common, established, expected, majority, usual... as opposed to unusual, weird and all the other terms for those outside of the 'normal' box.
    But even if there is no 'normal', that doesn't matter - It's what the 'normal' people think of as normal that matters, as they're generally the majority and the loudest voices, so what they say generally goes. Anything else sets you as different and outside of their box, which is why labels are a bad thing, and why we thus have things like group identity politics.
     
  16. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: 22 Nov 2005

    Posts: 39,708

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    you should see my real life traits :p

    No friends
    Have seen my siblings maybe 2-3 times in 15-20 years
    Don't like to go outside without a coat or hoody even if it's hot
    Never wear shorts even when I was huge into cycling, I cycled 100km one day in 30c wearing winter jeans :D
    Don't own a car and try to never use public transport, I basically walk everywhere if it's an option.
    Always go food shopping late at night between 8-10pm or early in the morning at 6am
    I go through phases where I basically eat the same food for a week then switch to something else for a week.
    I'm paranoid people are looking at me, I don't like to be watched or admired.
    always been the "quiet one"
    Never really cared for material possessions, wear the same clothes for 5-10 years only replacing things as they wear out.
    Have minimal furniture in my place, the front room is just a 2 seater couch and my pc setup.
    No decorations or pictures anywhere, I don't care, every room apart from the kitchen is painted white, every room has the same carpet, who cares?
    I barely cope with life tbh, I'm like a hermit, if I die people will only know from the smell of my rotting corpse, I actively avoid any social interaction.

    had multiple partners, was married for over a decade, have a kid in the UK and another in Switzerland.

    I cope with family life better than single strangely :S

    for the record I'm not timid looking and you would likely avoid making eye contact with me in the street, I had a really rough childhood, hung around with proper chavs in the 90s stealing cars etc
    I don't appear autistic at all , I can handle confrontation, not scared of fighting etc although I'm harmless and would never attack anyone!

    Inside I still feel like a child, that's the best way I could try to explain autism tbh, It's like you didn't grow up and be able to do "adult" things
     
  17. watercooledman

    Perma Banned

    Joined: 12 Jan 2021

    Posts: 1,731

    Geez buddy sounds alot like me. so many different levels with this **** I wish you all the best
     
  18. Gtiracer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 14 Jan 2010

    Posts: 2,299

    Location: Essex

    I am not officially diagnosed although it has been recognised by a health professional that I display some traits of autism and agrees it is very plausible. I don't feel the need for a diagnosis as such as I don't feel that, for me, there would be any purpose. I can certainly relate to struggling in school and later in life socially where I found things my harder than some others around me, the only real reason I came to learn a lot about autism is because some of my children have been diagnosed and there are some very challenging aspects around it.
     
  19. ttaskmaster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2013

    Posts: 11,236

    Remind me - Have you been officially diagnosed with anything?
    I have a good number of those myself, but I seriously doubt I'm officially anything. Just a bit weird and with a few quirks.

    So long as you're generally happy in yourself and being yourself, I wouldn't think it's a problem, let alone a disorder.
     
  20. arknor

    Caporegime

    Joined: 22 Nov 2005

    Posts: 39,708

    Location: Newcastle/Zurich

    there's probably a lot of cross over between autism and things like social anxiety disorder etc.
    I have a diagnosis I think it only counts as a formal diagnosis but that's the best I could get via the NHS it seems
    I wrote about it in this thread even
    https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/posts/35091730/
    meltdowns and shutdowns seem to be something every autistic person has to some degree

    even if you get diagnosed nothing really changes, yea sure you can make the effort to push yourself but it's not like there's really any help or anything.
    It's kinda pointless to be diagnosed as an adult other than to "know" if you think you might be
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2021