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      Welcome to the forum!   09/17/2017

      Please come in from the rain and sit by the fire! We're happy you found us and hope you will feel at home here.  
Willow

Do You Ever Worry You Don't Have Aspergers?

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Nesf

Thank you everyone for your replies, they are most helpful to me, and I feel more reassured that I have been given the correct diagnosis for my range of problems, especially grahamguitarman for taking the time to write such a detailed reply :)

 

@ Grahamguitarman: I was diagnosed with Social Phobia without my knowledge in 1991, by a specialist who I believe now runs the Sheffield Asperger's service, after a course of therapy I was given. He never mentioned any conclusions to the sessions, though I didn't go to my last session (my fault), and I was doing my best to be 'normal'.  At the time the was one of the leading experts on AS and had done a lot of research on it. He could have helped me, but didn't. He didn't even tell me about the Social Phobia. This is one of the things that makes me doubt my diagnosis; the fact that he never mentioned anything to me. Perhaps he thought I didn't show enough ASD traits (I masked anything that was likely to mark me out as weird, these things scared me anyway and i never shared them with anyone), or was unaware of how it presents in girls, or thought that at this point in my life it wouldn't be beneficial to me. His therapy was good, and helped me understand that a lot of my lack of confidence stems from bullying at school and a family member, I felt better through this understanding and I came out of depression. But it didn't solve the problem in the long run. Still, what is done is done.

 

I didn't have any questionnaire or anything. Perhaps it was recorded by the Sheffield expert that I had Social Phobia and ASD traits, and these notes were passed on to him by my GP, so the specialist who conducted my assessment felt it unnecessary. What you say about an ASD specialist only looking for signs of ASD, knowing what to look for and not needing tests makes sense to me. A couple of his questions did throw me, perhaps that was what he was looking for. The Sheffield guy in 1991 just gave me therapy based on my GP's notes at the time, which read, "she needs to find herself" but didn't give me an assessment.

 

Until fairly recently I always thought that what I experience is the same as everyone else. I'd noticed a couple of things I knew to be different and which scared me, so I didn't talk about them to others. Also, I have no idea how others perceive me. I realised there was something a bit different about my hearing about 15 years ago when my boss suggested that i should have a hearing test, as i don't seem to always here people when they speak to me. That concerned me, as deafness runs in my family. But it also made me more aware of how i hear things, and i soon realised that, far from not hearing well, my hearing was very good and sounds were very loud and that was causing a lot of my hearing problems. i can't hear people because of the background noise, and if someone speaks to me when I'm focused on something it simply won't register.

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coffeebean

I'm diagnosed. I was assessed by someone new at the start of 2013 and we think it's accurate based on my history, though I was told I barely met the cutoff for social skills.

 

I don't think I'd be upset if I found out it was a misdiagnosis... It would raise some questions about why things have been the way they are for me, but I don't feel connected to the label or the communities. Sometimes I feel like they almost hold me back, like I'm expected to fail, struggle, and not care about anyone or else I'll get doubt and shifty glances for daring to be social, want the things I do, or like the things I like. Like if I'm not stereotypically Aspie enough, then I'm an "outsider."

Edited by coffeebean
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Nesf

I'm diagnosed. I was assessed by someone new at the start of 2013 and we think it's accurate based on my history, though I was told I barely met the cutoff for social skills.

 

I don't think I'd be upset if I found out it was a misdiagnosis... It would raise some questions about why things have been the way they are for me, but I don't feel connected to the label or the communities. Sometimes I feel like they almost hold me back, like I'm expected to fail, struggle, and not care about anyone or else I'll get doubt and shifty glances for daring to be social, want the things I do, or like the things I like. Like if I'm not stereotypically Aspie enough, then I'm an "outsider."

Yes, I don't think that my social skills are really that bad either, because I have been learning them throughout my life and though I feel very awkward in social situations, I can act my way through them - so I manage but probably come across as a bit shy or awkward. If I meet a new situation, or someone says something I'm not expecting it throws me, I feel panicky and I lose it.

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Toran

I dont think we are the best person to judge ourselves, wouldnt it be better just to be happy with how we are without even looking at what we are in any situation. Ive tried this and never found anything that im completely happy with maybe we should be satisfied with doing the best we can after all we cant do any more.

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Nesf

I dont think we are the best person to judge ourselves, wouldnt it be better just to be happy with how we are without even looking at what we are in any situation. Ive tried this and never found anything that im completely happy with maybe we should be satisfied with doing the best we can after all we cant do any more.

You are right, we are not the best person to judge ourselves, because our self-perception is so inaccurate. The problem is, how to know how others see us? I  rarely get any feedback of any kind, and if I ask someone how can I know whether they are being truthful, or whether they are just telling me what they think I want to hear just to make me feel better? Perhaps it's better not knowing and not worrying about it.

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KevinElektro

I mainly worry about this because I was diagnosed as a child, but it doesn't show up anywhere in my mental health records.

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aspiesw

I sometimes worry that I don't have it because my aspergers is quite mild and there are a lot more severe traits that I don't have. As for not understanding jokes, I sometimes think that it could be a mental block I haven't been able to get over yet, and my reluctancy to speak to people as a lack of confidence

Edited by aspiesw

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Nesf

I sometimes worry that I don't have it because my aspergers is quite mild and there are a lot more severe traits that I don't have. As for not understanding jokes, I sometimes think that it could be a mental block I haven't been able to get over yet, and my reluctancy to speak to people as a lack of confidence

Yes, that's how I feel too - others have more severe traits than me, and I don't talk about my special interest all the time if I socialise. Some people with AS talk non-stop, but I hardly talk at all.

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Wren

Yes, that's how I feel too - others have more severe traits than me, and I don't talk about my special interest all the time if I socialise. Some people with AS talk non-stop, but I hardly talk at all.

Neither do I. I think that it is a bit of a stereotype that AS people just talk about their special interest non-stop. For example, on Asperclick. I am sure that we are not all talking about our special interest all the time. Unless everyone's special interest happens to be Aspergers or something.
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King_oni

I'm watching and reading up on some stuff about Hikikomori right now.

 

I can be quite reclusive and that's one of the things that therapists found pretty significant.

 

Reading about this makes me think if I wouldn't just end up carrying such a "label" instead. And while it's not an actual condition it's becoming more and more known nowadays.

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Nesf

Neither do I. I think that it is a bit of a stereotype that AS people just talk about their special interest non-stop. For example, on Asperclick. I am sure that we are not all talking about our special interest all the time. Unless everyone's special interest happens to be Aspergers or something.

Lol! I do seem to spend a lot of time here. That's one special interest I wouldn't want to talk to everyone about non-stop!

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L Lawliet

I worry that sometimes I talk myself into things because it starts as a random thought and then I obsess over it. Then I suppose obsessing is quite a strong trait of mine :P

 

I came to the conclusion that I would get myself a diagnosis because another girl with AS told me I should get myself tested. This was a couple of years ago and I didn't think anything of it. But over the years things started to stand out to me. Mum was telling people stories from my childhod which was nothing knew. But I started paying attention to these stories. Things like I hated sharing toys at nursery, never made eye contact, etc.

 

After researching it I felt like I was reading about myself. So I made the decision to get a diagnosis. I do wonder sometimes if when I have those "Oh yeah I also do this so that must be another trait of AS" moments, I wonder if I'm looking for traits to back up my decision. But other people point things out to me all the time and those people don't even know that I'm being assessed so I'm pretty sure I do have it.

 

I will be very suprised if they turn around and say I don't, if they did then I would either ask for a second opinion and another assessment. If they won't give me a diagnosis then I would at least go back to my doctor and talk about my severe anxiety issues because regardless if it's AS or not, something needs to be done about that :P

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DominikaCupcake

Neither do I. I think that it is a bit of a stereotype that AS people just talk about their special interest non-stop. For example, on Asperclick. I am sure that we are not all talking about our special interest all the time. Unless everyone's special interest happens to be Aspergers or something.

 

I agree. I believe that this is a stereotype caused by the fact that kids with AS tend to talk all the time about their favorite subject, but i think that as we grow up we develop ability to talk about pretty much everything, but we still love to talk about our favorite subjects. Just not as much as we did in our childhood. And as we know most of official AS traits are based on behavior of children. That's why they often don't apply to adults. I think that it's hard to find a psychiatrist/psychologist who would diagnose based on adult traits of AS. Most of them use the typical children traits instead and that's why many people who actually have AS won't get the right diagnose. This situation is even worse for women since our traits differ from male traits (at least slightly).

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TheWizardofCalculus

I was initially worried, yes.  I self-diagnosed over two months ago, and then I sought out a professional diagnosis.

 

 

Initially, I was afraid of not having AS, but I was also very confident in my symptoms.  It's a bit jarring to be worried that you might not have a mental disorder, but then I guess I don't really view it as a mental disorder.  When I talked to the first psychologist, he agreed that I displayed very noticeable symptoms of ASD, but that I was very mild. (Which is what I had expected), and in our following sessions he has continued to agree that I display autism tendencies.  He also referred me to a second specialist, and I will talk to them shortly.

 

 

All in all, I may very well not get the full, official diagnosis because I've learned reasonably effective ways of dealing with my Asperger's side (I've learned how to make friends, I can maintain friendships), and I haven't seemed to cling to ritual as much as many people with aspergers, nor do I have habitual meltdowns (I only seem to have meltdowns when I am extremely emotionally distraught about something and I am having a negative sensory input).  However, I no longer have any doubts that I have an autistic mind, even if it might be "subdiagnosable" (which is a BS third category, btw).  I don't really want/need any papers for work or government support, so the diagnosis is really for my own perspective and an acknowledgement of my difference, anyways.

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AutismUnrestricted

Not really, but sometimes my condition fluctuates like some days are better than others and on the good days it makes me wonder as I can do things better and stay calm etc if that makes sense

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Toran

What about people who have Aspergers who have not been diagnosed how can they be helped when nobody believes them?

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DominikaCupcake

What about people who have Aspergers who have not been diagnosed how can they be helped when nobody believes them?

 

That's the problem i have. I never received the diagnose even though the psychiatrist said that i most likely have Aspergers and she wanted to diagnose me, but my parents refused to get me the diagnose and never went with me there.

 

I struggle at school because i can't cope there, but i won't get the right help. Telling teacher that i have AS without having the diagnose won't do anything. That's why i think that i should get an official diagnose when i'll have enough of money for it.

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Toran

That's the problem i have. I never received the diagnose even though the psychiatrist said that i most likely have Aspergers and she wanted to diagnose me, but my parents refused to get me the diagnose and never went with me there.

 

I struggle at school because i can't cope there, but i won't get the right help. Telling teacher that i have AS without having the diagnose won't do anything. That's why i think that i should get an official diagnose when i'll have enough of money for it.

That's my point exactly how people are not considered to have Aspergers unless they are tested but they have the same restraints but none of the help that is out there. I'm beginning to change my opinions that there should be more done to help these people in this situation.

There is not enough resource especially for adults I count myself one of the lucky ones to find out why my life has gone the way it has. There has to be more intervention to help people now because of the harm that is happening in their lives and it's going unnoticed some action needs to happen now.

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the strangest man

I came across this diagnostic aid recently, which is aimed more at adult presentations of ASD (Australian Scale for Asperger Syndrome)

http://www.aspires-relationships.com/articles_adult_version_austrailian_scale_for_as.htm

 

Many of the traits in atypical Aspergers used for diagnosis are easily masked in adulthood, as special interests are integrated into every day activities such as hobbies and work, or literal language understanding of phrases such as it's raining cats and dogs is overcome by learning and perhaps replaced by a poor ability to see the 'Big Picture' or the social context of a conversation e.g. my wife recently asked "Are you warm?" I said "No' and continued reading when she meant "get up of my backside and turn the fire down because I'm too warm"

 

That said certain aspects are unlikely to disappate with age, since coping strategies can't be learnt esp. sensitivities to the likes of smell, sound, or light. Though you may just learn to avoid subconciously things which cause distress.

Edited by the strangest man
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Nesf

I came across this diagnostic aid recently, which is aimed more at adult presentations of ASD (Australian Scale for Asperger Syndrome)

http://www.aspires-relationships.com/articles_adult_version_austrailian_scale_for_as.htm

 

Many of the traits in atypical Aspergers used for diagnosis are easily masked in adulthood, as special interests are integrated into every day activities such as hobbies and work, or literal language understanding of phrases such as it's raining cats and dogs is overcome by learning and perhaps replaced by a poor ability to see the 'Big Picture' or the social context of a conversation e.g. my wife recently asked "Are you warm?" I said "No' and continued reading when she meant "get up of my backside and turn the fire down because I'm too warm"

 

That said certain aspects are unlikely to disappate with age, since coping strategies can't be learnt esp. sensitivities to the likes of smell, sound, or light. Though you may just learn to avoid subconciously things which cause distress.

Yes, you're right - these things can be learnt and are more symptoms of AS in childhood. It's the subtleties we find difficult, especially 'reading between the lines' in social situations and picking up on subtle body language. Guaging people's moods and knowing where you stand with people still causes anxiety, Knowing what to say in conversations, following conversations while keeping focussed, expressing emotions and needing a lot of time alone are common adult symptoms, I would say, as well as the sensory issues.

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vcq14

I've never been officially diagnosed (I was taken to several psychiatrists in the early 1980s, but this was before AS was well known), but believe me, I don't need to be, I can guarantee 200% that I have AS. What scares me more is that I am forced to pass as NT nearly 24/7; by repressing some of my AS mannerisms, I feel as though I'm losing a bit of my Aspie self every day. I'm not talking about "obvious" physical things like stimming, because I haven't engaged in those in a long time, but more like having to hide my thought processes and to mentally "filter" my thoughts and suggestions to make them NT-palatable; I wish I could just let loose with my Aspie stream-of-consciousness at meetings and the like...I feel like my creativity is slowly being stifled.

 

Oh, and from the above link to adult AS diagnosis: "18. Does the person report life-long issues with explosive anger, rage, and lingering resentment over ancient slights?"

 

Every single day I find myself concocting elaborate revenge fantasties...I suppose that makes me a bit more Moriarty than Sherlock, then ;)

Edited by vcq14
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James

My Brother & I had to go to a psychiatrist around 96/97 after my brother's learning/behavioural & my behavioural problems in primary school. Both of our problems were chalked down to parents splitting up in 92/93 & told we would grow out of it. My brother got worse later on so went to a different psyc & got diagnosed with Tourette's. I mostly stopped melting down by 98/99 & got better at masking & mirroring my peers. As I hadn't heard of AS until 2012 (25yrs) I always thought I was normal, just a bit behind others socially. However as others matured socially, i felt increasingly retarded. Google led to a combination of websites, videos made by aspies, forums, documentaries, watched every film I could, a colleague's opinion, discussions with aunt who works at a boarding special school. I'm definately on the spectrum & pretty sure it's AS.

 

Part of me want's to know for sure & get the diagnosis & part of me is scared of it being official as then I will know it's for life. I think I'm too proud to admit it anyway so its not going to achieve anything. I also don't have much faith in NT's competence at diagnosing if they couldn't diagnose me as a child, I have no chance now I'm 26 & acting since 11.

 

If I went for diagnosis & was told I didn't have it, I would expect at least social anxiety disorder or similar but I have so many other traits.

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awesomeliza

Yeah, I don't have a diagnosis yet, but reading through forums and websites and from what people say, Asperger's just fits so well. I was told that I seemed likely to have it by a friend, a bit less than a year ago or so and from there, my self awareness just rose and I saw so many symptoms in myself and my friends do too. But some days, I just put myself down and say to myself, do I really have this? Is it even worth it? Do I actually fit in with Aspies? On some days I seem to function ok, when I don't socialise or just sit at home on my computer, but then I have those days when I stim too much and act noticeably weird and don't show any emotions. I still haven't figured out why I'm so bad at emotions, jokes and sarcasm.

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Nesf

My Brother & I had to go to a psychiatrist around 96/97 after my brother's learning/behavioural & my behavioural problems in primary school. Both of our problems were chalked down to parents splitting up in 92/93 & told we would grow out of it. My brother got worse later on so went to a different psyc & got diagnosed with Tourette's. I mostly stopped melting down by 98/99 & got better at masking & mirroring my peers. As I hadn't heard of AS until 2012 (25yrs) I always thought I was normal, just a bit behind others socially. However as others matured socially, i felt increasingly retarded. Google led to a combination of websites, videos made by aspies, forums, documentaries, watched every film I could, a colleague's opinion, discussions with aunt who works at a boarding special school. I'm definately on the spectrum & pretty sure it's AS.

 

Part of me want's to know for sure & get the diagnosis & part of me is scared of it being official as then I will know it's for life. I think I'm too proud to admit it anyway so its not going to achieve anything. I also don't have much faith in NT's competence at diagnosing if they couldn't diagnose me as a child, I have no chance now I'm 26 & acting since 11.

 

If I went for diagnosis & was told I didn't have it, I would expect at least social anxiety disorder or similar but I have so many other traits.

I think it's a lot easier to find a specialist with the right experience and knowledge to diagnose an adult now than when you were a child. A lot of older adults who went through similar difficulties are coming forward and asking for assessments, and there are quite a few diagnostic services for adults now that didn't use to exist.

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grahamguitarman

That's my point exactly how people are not considered to have Aspergers unless they are tested but they have the same restraints but none of the help that is out there. I'm beginning to change my opinions that there should be more done to help these people in this situation.

There is not enough resource especially for adults I count myself one of the lucky ones to find out why my life has gone the way it has. There has to be more intervention to help people now because of the harm that is happening in their lives and it's going unnoticed some action needs to happen now.

Agreed, it makes me angry when I hear about people going to their doctors only to be told that they are too old to be diagnosed and that there is no point anyway as they won't get any help.  Older people like myself need diagnosis just as much as younger people do.  Getting my diagnosis has had such a big impact on my life - most of it good.  

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