• You may receive an error message when sending PMs at the moment. The message you're trying to send has been sent and if you refresh your screen, you will see it. Otherwise you may get many repeated messages. We're working on this!

Adult Autism?

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#1
So, this is like when I first started pursuing a diagnosis for my obviously out of the "norm" behaviors and thought patterns. I was rush diagnosed bi polar and all I could do for a solid month was talk about it, research it, take quizzes, annoy my partner with all the "Answer these questions about me," and such, but the shoe never quite fit and the meds had to be tweaked constantly which, if you've traveled that path you know what a mess getting the meds figured out can be. Well, I ended up moving and my new team is way better and really treat me like a human just trying to live, not a throat to capitalize off shoving pills down. My psychiatrist determined I was, in fact, BPD and NOT bi polar at all. This led to new research and revelations and tweaking the meds further. It seemed like we had figured it out even though, like all things, every symptom wasn't me to a T or anything, but it seemed to explain a lot. Until I had an "episode" that wasn't quite mania and shouldn't have poked through the meds so thoroughly. My psychiatrist was basically stumped. She put my bi polar diagnosis back on the chart as comorbid.
And then I was reading about autism and empathy and looked up co morbidity of BPD and autism and I wasn't just looking for answers where there were none. This shoe fits in all the ways the BPD and bi polar didn't quite.
So now I'm taking assessments and talking about autism and researching all the ways it manifests that I never knew. What if I'm not BPD at all?? Well...that's unlikely because the pills DO help but....I can't decide whether to be excited I may have just, finally, after all my life, figured out what it is affecting me, but at the same time I'm worried about all the stigma and even doing it to myself already. Big mixed bag, but I talk to my doctor in 9 days and she'll give me her professional opinion.
Until then, if this resonates or anyone has been through this on their own or on behalf of a loved one, I'd love insights and advice. Are you autistic? What does that mean in your daily life? Does it coincide with mental illness and how do those things interact?
Thanks if you're still reading, it means a lot to me. I think it's time to find my people. Are you one of them?
 

KM76710

Kangaroo Manager
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#3
@Sevven

Sadly I am not one of your people, but I hope that you find those to be comfortable with, you are welcome as can be by me. I am schizoid personality myself.
 

FlamingoWrangler

🦩🦩🦩🦩
#5
@FlamingoWrangler @KM76710
Now I feel bad that I worded it like that. I need to edit the post. Thank you guys for your kind words. We're different flavors, but I think you Are my people. <3
Its not a bad phrase. No need to edit! I think It’s a rather endearing Phrase. 😁
I,was inappropriate adding a selfish note in. I should have reached out to talk instead of saying that. But its a suicide forum. We have shortcomings. 🥴🤷🏽
 

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#7
Its not a bad phrase. No need to edit! I think It’s a rather endearing Phrase. 😁
I,was inappropriate adding a selfish note in. I should have reached out to talk instead of saying that. But its a suicide forum. We have shortcomings. 🥴🤷🏽
No worries, you didn't do anything wrong. I'm looking for connection and what can we talk about more confidently (I know that's hard for a lot of us anxious types around here) than our own experience? Not selfish at all!
 

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#9
I talk to my psychiatrist in the morning. I keep rehearsing what I'm going to say. I'm so nervous and usually I say way too much when I'm anxious. I'm just going to ask her if she'll help me rule something out and ask for the assessment to get the ball rolling....or stopped? Think it's that simple to get started?
 

Nick

☆☆Admin-tastic ☆☆
Admin
SF Social Media
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#11
Until then, if this resonates or anyone has been through this on their own or on behalf of a loved one, I'd love insights and advice. Are you autistic? What does that mean in your daily life? Does it coincide with mental illness and how do those things interact?
Thanks if you're still reading, it means a lot to me. I think it's time to find my people. Are you one of them?
Hey Sevven,

So I have autism. It is a part of my daily life in it's own ways. Sometimes I don't even realize some of the things anymore, because it's been a part of me for so long and other times it pains me greatly. I do also have mental illness diagnosis, currently they have settled on Bipolar and severe anxiety (though the second one is really just autism manifesting itself). It can be difficult at times to tell where the autism starts and where the mental illness starts, what is a symptom of what and what.

My main struggles with autism continue to be:
  • I'm ultra literal - If you ask me what I am doing I'm going to tell you what I am doing most literally (carrying a box, typing, getting the keys). If you want are implying something deeper into that question, like what are doing with that box? You're going to need to ask me that question.
  • I do not understand hints, or when people elude to something. I do not read between the lines.
  • Talking to people makes me anxious
When you combine this set of things, with a few others I struggle to communicate with other humans.

  • Rumination - Thoughts or thought patterns get stuck on loop and I struggle to resolve that loop
  • Textures - Food (chewy, mushy, soggy), Clothes (scratchy, seams, collars, ect)
  • Loud noises - They make me very anxious. I do much better with headphones or special earplugs.
I could go on with my list. It's not easy being the odd person out, the one people don't understand, or the person people want laugh at. You can learn coping skills to help with some of your things though, whatever your biggest issues are, and learn to live with the rest.

I'm here if you want to talk.

Nick
 

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#15
I had the day off unexpectedly and I get on here at work mostly, so sorry to keep you waiting!
Actually I didn't get tested at all. Not even the diagnostic assessment to get the ball rolling. Do you know what my psychiatrist said when I asked if she could administer the RAADS to either rule out autism/asperger's (if you distinguish, I know the definition of asperger's has changed) or start the process to getting a diagnosis?
"I've never done that before."
She told me it takes all the testing, like you guys have told me, and then told me it's incredibly difficult to find anyone who even provides those tests for adults, and once we find out if there's even anyone in the area, then it becomes the big insurance game. So, I went over possible symptoms, family history, gaps in my existing diagnoses (symptoms I Have that aren't explained and symptoms associated with my diagnoses that I Don't have), behaviors this would explain, lifelong difficulties I've had that just got me labeled a "bad kid," but no one ever helped me work through, etc. Then she just smiled and nodded and patted me on the head with platitudes about how it's a BPD thing (one of my current diagnoses) to self diagnose and most of what I said was explained by my BPD. I asked her if she was aware of the fairly common occurrence of women diagnosed with personality disorder diagnoses who, in fact, turn out to be autistic. She was not. I asked her if she was aware of the comorbidity of BPD in autistic folks. She was not. She then added that the things I see as potential signs of autism "may just fall under the realm of normal human experience."
Like not being able to make eye contact or awkwardly forcing it, being entirely overwhelmed by all of my senses when out in public to the point of overwhelm and inability to pick which thing to focus on, stimulating tendencies I engage in virtually any time my hands are free - I could go on but those are not BPD or bi polar things and I don't know very many people who respond in this way to "normal human experience."
So I have another visit with that same psychiatrist in 2 weeks, so she familiarize herself with the RAADS before she gives it to me.
Ugh. I kinda worried this is exactly what would happen, but it was foolish to think it would be so simple. If you're still reading thank you. You all have been so kind and supportive following along with me in this.
@Nick can you tell me more about the testing you have to go through to get diagnosed? How did you go about finding resources in your area?
Looks like I'm on a new adventure.
 

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#16
@Nick I hope you don't mind me saying your literalism (omg I've forgotten how to talk...is that the right word?) makes me laugh, only because I can relate. I actually relate to basically everything you said, especially thought loops, textures and social anxiety. There's so much I'm learning from reading experiences of folks who see the world through this particular lens.
 

Nick

☆☆Admin-tastic ☆☆
Admin
SF Social Media
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#18
@Nick I hope you don't mind me saying your literalism (omg I've forgotten how to talk...is that the right word?) makes me laugh, only because I can relate. I actually relate to basically everything you said, especially thought loops, textures and social anxiety. There's so much I'm learning from reading experiences of folks who see the world through this particular lens.
When you mentioned the eye contact thing in your other post I though OMG eye contact! People can either have a coherent sentence from me or eye contact, but they cannot have both. It takes every bit of my ability to make eye contact.

There are many other little things that are just a part of daily life at this point, but are clearly autism things, that are a part of my life. My idiosyncrasies are NOT "normal human experiences", they are most definitely just me. That doesn't make them wrong, but to label them as something "normal" people go through would be very false.

Sometimes what happens is once a person is labeled with a diagnosis people, including professionals, have a hard time seeing beyond that diagnosis. It can happen with a typical medical diagnosis as well, which is why things get missed for a long time sometimes.

My testing was done at an autism center. Not everywhere has them, and not all of them are equipped to offer testing or services for adults. Apparently something magical happens when you turn 18 and you no longer require services. I've not met anyone who has had this magical experience, but it seems to be the belief. There were a series of questions and activities I had to complete to arrive at my diagnosis. My score indicates I should be less functioning than I am, but my doctors believe my need to survive through so many things forced me to learn to function at a higher level (not sure if that makes sense).

I hope you are able to find answers to the questions you have. For me knowing the root of some of my issues helped.
 
#19
Hi, @Sevven O my just seen this thread but wanted to say hi and welcome. My husband and two out of my three children are all Aspergers/ ASD so although I am not I do see how it impacts their daily lives. You seem very in tune with yourself, particularly in your search to understand yourself and get a diagnosis. One thing my son once said to me when he was asked how does his autism effect him, he said he had no idea, where does the autism end and he begin? They cannot be a clear definition between the two. You are you, not a diagnosis, but a diagnosis does help you and sometimes others to understand some of the things you find more difficult than most.
I would say, the main issues for people on the spectrum is social communication, eye contact has already been mentioned here, social anxiety, or feeling socially awkward in social situations particularly with people you don’t know.
The other issue is sensory overload. Every autistic person experiences these differently but you say you get overwhelmed in busy, noisy places, that is most definitely an ASD trait. Have you ever tried noise cancelling earbuds? They have made quite a difference to my son who uses them in school and in places where there is background noise which he finds overwhelming. Difficulty with clothing textures and food textures, light, heat are all fairly typical as well but not always present.
Where are you? In the UK is it possible to get adult diagnosis but I’m not sure about anywhere else though.
Anyway, I hope things work out for you and know that you are 100% accepted here. *hug Xx
 

Sevven

Well-Known Member
#20
When you mentioned the eye contact thing in your other post I though OMG eye contact! People can either have a coherent sentence from me or eye contact, but they cannot have both. It takes every bit of my ability to make eye contact.

There are many other little things that are just a part of daily life at this point, but are clearly autism things, that are a part of my life. My idiosyncrasies are NOT "normal human experiences", they are most definitely just me. That doesn't make them wrong, but to label them as something "normal" people go through would be very false.

Sometimes what happens is once a person is labeled with a diagnosis people, including professionals, have a hard time seeing beyond that diagnosis. It can happen with a typical medical diagnosis as well, which is why things get missed for a long time sometimes.

My testing was done at an autism center. Not everywhere has them, and not all of them are equipped to offer testing or services for adults. Apparently something magical happens when you turn 18 and you no longer require services. I've not met anyone who has had this magical experience, but it seems to be the belief. There were a series of questions and activities I had to complete to arrive at my diagnosis. My score indicates I should be less functioning than I am, but my doctors believe my need to survive through so many things forced me to learn to function at a higher level (not sure if that makes sense).

I hope you are able to find answers to the questions you have. For me knowing the root of some of my issues helped.
I feel every part of this!! (Except, obviously, I can't relate about the testing.) You basically voiced my thoughts on each topic you touched on; about Our normal not being commonplace experience, Our normal just being different not wrong (thank you, for that one), all the info re: lack of resources for adult autism, survival resulting in masking, and the validation of a diagnosis, if that makes sense.

Oh, and about even the doctor not being able to see past my current diagnosis. Of course, she gave it to me and I'm asking her to take the word of this person she herself deemed nutso over what she views as her professional opinion. I get that, from her perspective (ooh, I mustn't be autistic if I can empathize, right?? *face palm*). But I'm the one living and analyzing this every day. She has seen me roughly a dozen times through video appointments in the last year. I can think back through my whole childhood, she can't. She herself told me she has never worked with or diagnosed an autistic adult. I just got the trope that BPD makes me self diagnose and I don't "seem autistic."
 

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount
$125.00
Goal
$255.00
Top