Autism

Do I genuinely have a form of high-functioning autism? Do I have a “right” to term myself autistic without an official diagnosis? These are some of the questions that take over my mind every now and then. My GP and psychologist agree that it’s likely, my sister concurs, and it would a lot of my life make sense. However, going to the doctor with questions about it while suffering from the extensive list of physical conditions that lupus has given me, along with mental health issues, means that many doctors must be thinking “This guy is an utter hypochondriac, a WebMD/Dr. Google-self-diagnoser!” I don’t know if I can accurately say I haven an autism disorder without more medical input, but whenever I pursue it, doctors say to me “Oh, you’re socializing fine, you’re talking to me right now” as though that’s it. I’m an anatomist, and was the one who worked out that my physical health issues were a connective tissue disorder – doctors still thought it was long shot until I begged for tests and here we are! – and I think that when I do display knowledge beyond Average Joe, they think I’ve been Googling and got the wrong idea rather than having some clinical knowledge. I’m not saying I know more than the doctors, but as anyone with a chronic disease will know, being fobbed off by them is frequent, and after being fobbed off for the six or seven years it took me to get the lupus diagnosis (as I say, with my own input; had I not suggested connective tissue disease myself, I don’t know how long it would have taken), I’ve learned that my instincts are worth something.

I’ll write another post about all the things that I believe contribute to the idea of a form of high-functioning autism, otherwise we’d be here all day! But again I’m just thinking I’m stuck. People say to me “what is your motivation in seeking a diagnosis?” I don’t have any extra needs, really, and God knows I have enough diagnoses for one person, but I seek the validation. If I don’t have it, and it’s just my idiosyncrasies, fair enough, but I need to know. If I do have it, probably nothing will change, but I will know, and will feel better being able to say to people that I’m not just an awkward socializer and that I’m not actually being rude. The thing is, socializing isn’t as bad for me as for others, and so anyone I mention it to says without fail “I’d never think you had something like that; you speak so well!” I manage well one-on-one, and for this reason, people then think I have no social issues whatsoever.

I don’t know. Am I just reading too much into things? Yet I know that many autistic people have self-diagnosed, and that it’s difficult to get an official diagnosis especially as an adult. There is a drop-in here in my city for people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but I haven’t worked up the courage to go yet. Will I be welcome without a formal diagnosis? I don’t know why a diagnosis is so important to me, but I just don’t feel right saying to people I have a disorder without knowing for sure; self-diagnosers can be wrong and often are! I don’t know. Hopefully I can pluck up the courage to go to the drop-in for advice. Whether the answer is yes or no, I just feel I need the validation either way.

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About wolfennacht

I'm a 25 year old disabled polyglot who mainly spends time writing novels and poetry, teaching myself languages, and reading too much. I use a wheelchair. I am currently a grad student in biomedical science. I mainly blog about my physical and mental illnesses and procrastinate writing on my crochet blog!
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2 Responses to Autism

  1. No, I don’t think you are reading into things too much at all. I know people who have high funtioning autism and I do think that the diagnosis was a huge relief to them if nothing else. I struggle too with the idea of always being at the doctor and feeling like they may think I am at it but at the end of the day I know in myself that I just happen to be very unlucky and indeed have a lot of ailments. I think of it as responsible to seek a diagnosis and advice for each of them because they can impact one another or how we view them and having all the information is important.

    I was ‘sort of’ diagnosed with endomitriosis a year before they confirmed it with a gyno. It was a case of ‘well you reacted to the treatment so yeah probably’ and it wasn’t until I pushed for a gyno that she was able to say ‘yeah you have this’, even with the operation most say you ‘need’ to confirm it. Given mental health can be huge when you have illness I think more information is key to feeling better. What ifs just lead to all sort of torment. So I don’t think you are overacting at all and I would encourage you to seek the doctor out 🙂

    • wolfennacht says:

      Thank you. 🙂 The few times I’ve brought it up at the doctor, I kind of squeezed it in after another complaint, so they never had much time for it. One GP, whom I saw for years, says he thinks it’s probable, so that’s a start! I think I might try another doctor and the drop-in and see what happens. I won’t get answers if I don’t try!

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