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3rd SAS Battalion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't often start threads, I usually end up in the middle of them, but I thought I'd start this one in case anyone who also suffers from autism should be looking on this forum - maybe there are even some of you out there just now who use this forum and have been diagnosed as autistic. If so, I'd like to hear from you, as I am finding this process frightening.

I was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome last Thursday, and the diagnosis was actually a relief - for the past twenty-four years I have wondered what was wrong with me, what I can only describe as a feeling of coming from another planet. This feeling is also common with those who suffer from social anxiety but are not autistic, it is also common in other personality disorders.

Does this diagnosis mean there is no point in trying to overcome my social anxiety? I cannot afford to take this view because at the moment the anxiety is killing me, I am basically confined to the house. The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) have given me a book called 'Coming Out Aspergers' which is a collection of contributions on the subject by autistic people and professionals in the field.

The book states that co-morbidity exists in autism, in other words, you can still be autistic and suffer from social anxiety and depression, being autistic does not then mean you're a different species. You can be treated for social anxiety and depression, you just won't go back to being normal once these are treated because you never were normal in the first place. Therefore I believe that my diagnosis does mean that I will never fully realise what it is like to feel the way a normal, or neurotypical human being feels.

This realisation, the permanency of autism, is difficult to comprehend for me. I always envisioned that if I were to overcome my social anxiety I would be able to feel like anyone else, but I have not read or seen any treatments for autism that can make someone not-autistic.

But do I really need to be neurotypical? Neurotypical is a nice word for ordinary in my opinion. If you look at the creative scientists and artists in the world, they never were neurotypical, in fact the book suggests many of them may have fell under the diagnostic criteria of autistic spectrum disorder. What is Aspergers? Well Wikipedia introduces it as a condition featuring:

"significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported."

Treatment, Wikipedia continues, is more a case of management than cure:

"There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most individuals improve over time, but difficulties with communication, social adjustment and independent living continue into adulthood. Some researchers and people with Asperger's have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured."

Further information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociol...rger_syndrome_and_interpersonal_relationships

What really troubles me is that I am fighting this alone, or rather living with it alone. Hopefully soon I will be able to get some kind of therapy from the ARC, I am already in my third week of CBT but we haven't started it yet as my therapist says he wants to get to know me well first. I am very lucky that I am getting my therapy for free, on a pro bono basis.

My family are supportive but I stress I live in a dysfunctional household in comparison to what you would expect a family to be like. We simply do not do emotion in our household, perhaps some of you can relate to that. If someone has an emotional issue they are advised to go to a friend or a doctor, emotions are too close to home - this is the case for all of my family, we all live in our seperate worlds.

I have come to accept this as my relationship with my parents and brother and I consider myself very lucky actually because they do care in their own way. However, day-after-day I am alone with my thoughts and my thoughts rule me, they tell me what to think, this drives me mad. I got put into a psychiatric ward for two weeks, and believe me it is very difficult to get into a British state-run psychiatric ward. Probably harder to get in than it is to get out. But as soon as I got into that hospital I could tell it wasn't for me, the people there you can split into two categories: for some there is hope and for others there is no hope of rehabilitation into the community.

Every morning at 9.30am you all like up in the corridor for your medication which is given to you in a shot glass, and they watch you drink it. I was getting my benzos and my SSRI, very small doses of both. The guy in front of me was on some weird combination of drugs, like okay Mr. White: here's your Chrlorpromazine, Amisulpiride, Nitrazepam, Phenazepam, and there's your Risperidone. I used to think, what the hell is he going through to be on all them, the guy sits in that chair all day and doesn't move even for the toilet.

Anyway I got out of there but this is a lonely battle so I can relate to anyone else out there who is going through anything similar. If anyone else is worried about autism try and remember first that what you have is most likely social anxiety, my diagnosis of autism took about six months (they thought I was schizophrenic first). If you have autism and you are battling social anxiety then I would like to hear from you please.

The good news is that I had been worried it was a brain tumour causing the feelings of other-worldliness, an MRI scan came back and found something: a brain, and nothing else. So autism isn't fatal, thanks for your support.
 

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sa challenger
Joined
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5,079 Posts
I don't often start threads, I usually end up in the middle of them, but I thought I'd start this one in case anyone who also suffers from autism should be looking on this forum - maybe there are even some of you out there just now who use this forum and have been diagnosed as autistic. If so, I'd like to hear from you, as I am finding this process frightening.

I was diagnosed as having Aspergers Syndrome last Thursday, and the diagnosis was actually a relief - for the past twenty-four years I have wondered what was wrong with me, what I can only describe as a feeling of coming from another planet. This feeling is also common with those who suffer from social anxiety but are not autistic, it is also common in other personality disorders.

Does this diagnosis mean there is no point in trying to overcome my social anxiety? I cannot afford to take this view because at the moment the anxiety is killing me, I am basically confined to the house. The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) have given me a book called 'Coming Out Aspergers' which is a collection of contributions on the subject by autistic people and professionals in the field.

The book states that co-morbidity exists in autism, in other words, you can still be autistic and suffer from social anxiety and depression, being autistic does not then mean you're a different species. You can be treated for social anxiety and depression, you just won't go back to being normal once these are treated because you never were normal in the first place. Therefore I believe that my diagnosis does mean that I will never fully realise what it is like to feel the way a normal, or neurotypical human being feels.

This realisation, the permanency of autism, is difficult to comprehend for me. I always envisioned that if I were to overcome my social anxiety I would be able to feel like anyone else, but I have not read or seen any treatments for autism that can make someone not-autistic.

But do I really need to be neurotypical? Neurotypical is a nice word for ordinary in my opinion. If you look at the creative scientists and artists in the world, they never were neurotypical, in fact the book suggests many of them may have fell under the diagnostic criteria of autistic spectrum disorder. What is Aspergers? Well Wikipedia introduces it as a condition featuring:

"significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported."

Treatment, Wikipedia continues, is more a case of management than cure:

"There is no single treatment, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most individuals improve over time, but difficulties with communication, social adjustment and independent living continue into adulthood. Some researchers and people with Asperger's have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that it is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured."

Further information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociol...rger_syndrome_and_interpersonal_relationships

What really troubles me is that I am fighting this alone, or rather living with it alone. Hopefully soon I will be able to get some kind of therapy from the ARC, I am already in my third week of CBT but we haven't started it yet as my therapist says he wants to get to know me well first. I am very lucky that I am getting my therapy for free, on a pro bono basis.

My family are supportive but I stress I live in a dysfunctional household in comparison to what you would expect a family to be like. We simply do not do emotion in our household, perhaps some of you can relate to that. If someone has an emotional issue they are advised to go to a friend or a doctor, emotions are too close to home - this is the case for all of my family, we all live in our seperate worlds.

I have come to accept this as my relationship with my parents and brother and I consider myself very lucky actually because they do care in their own way. However, day-after-day I am alone with my thoughts and my thoughts rule me, they tell me what to think, this drives me mad. I got put into a psychiatric ward for two weeks, and believe me it is very difficult to get into a British state-run psychiatric ward. Probably harder to get in than it is to get out. But as soon as I got into that hospital I could tell it wasn't for me, the people there you can split into two categories: for some there is hope and for others there is no hope of rehabilitation into the community.

Every morning at 9.30am you all like up in the corridor for your medication which is given to you in a shot glass, and they watch you drink it. I was getting my benzos and my SSRI, very small doses of both. The guy in front of me was on some weird combination of drugs, like okay Mr. White: here's your Chrlorpromazine, Amisulpiride, Nitrazepam, Phenazepam, and there's your Risperidone. I used to think, what the hell is he going through to be on all them, the guy sits in that chair all day and doesn't move even for the toilet.

Anyway I got out of there but this is a lonely battle so I can relate to anyone else out there who is going through anything similar. If anyone else is worried about autism try and remember first that what you have is most likely social anxiety, my diagnosis of autism took about six months (they thought I was schizophrenic first). If you have autism and you are battling social anxiety then I would like to hear from you please.

The good news is that I had been worried it was a brain tumour causing the feelings of other-worldliness, an MRI scan came back and found something: a brain, and nothing else. So autism isn't fatal, thanks for your support.
I have 2 teens with Aspergers!
 

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3rd SAS Battalion
Joined
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886 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi TheExplosionist everything I have done has been through the NHS. From arriving at my GP to being diagnosed with autism I estimate about 18 months at least, probably more.

The GP first referred me to a psychiatrist which took 3 months, she then put me on anti-depressants and referred me to clinical psychology which took about 4 months, clinical psychology said they couldn't help me as I was psychotic. I was referred to Glasgow University for testing which took about 3 months. I was referred to ESTEEM, the NHS psychotic intervention team which took about 3 months, ESTEEM declared that I was fantasising due to autism and not psychotic. I was put on the list for assessment by the autism resource centre which took about 3 months, the conducted their assessment over about 2 months.

In the middle of this I got fed up with the system and ended up in the mental hospital. In between this are months where nothing happened at all.
 
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