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Embarrassed and thinking Maybe High Functioning Autism aka Asperger's?


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Hi all,

I know that this site is not going to be able to provide me with a diagnosis, but maybe it will allow me to vent a little and maybe offer some feedback.  I seem to think things through better when I write them out also.

As some of you know, I'm recently married and it hasn't been going very well.  I have shared some of my frustrations about the situation in the chatroom.  Thank you for your support in there!  I want to talk a bit about my side of things.  And I'm posting in this forum because it all has me thinking that I might be on the spectrum.  Again.  It's a thought that seems to come and go over time and generally when things are going fairly well I don't think about it much.  I have been diagnosed formally with Bipolar II.  I'm not so sure that Bipolar matches all of my symptoms that well.  I have brought this up with my psychiatrist and she said to me essentially "don't dive any deeper, you don't want to be any sicker than you already are with the bipolar".  As if somehow if I question things then I'm going to be more "sick" by asking questions and seeking an accurate diagnosis?

A few things that make me think it could be Asperger's ..

A female Aspie told me point blank I have Asperger's and recommended some reading to me which I haven't followed through on.  This was a couple of years ago.  This was following one meeting in a support group for grief where I shared a little.

I feel that if there was an annual award given out for "most socially awkward" I would win hands down, especially if it was limited to my city which has close to 1 million people.  I have had to socialize a bit more than usual and in a different context than usual over the past week or so and now I am completely obsessed with researching Asperger's Syndrome.

I experience meltdowns where I feel like I can't cope and I am pushed past my limits and abilities to cope and once a meltdown begins I seem to lose the ability to control what I'm doing or especially saying and will say the first thing that comes to my mind.  This is why I say I'm embarrassed.  I used to have meltdowns when I was a child, when things wouldn't go the way I had expected them to go, I wouldn't be able to cope.  I used to have severe separation anxiety, I mean from the age of 1 or 2, and I would act out uncontrollably.  I thought I was better with age but after getting married and with the cancer treatments, I reverted to having these uncontrollable outbursts and I've been trying to understand what happened.  Could this be Asperger's?

I don't have any friends .. well I have one friend who I do feel I can be myself around, but he's only around for a couple months out of the year.  I don't even feel comfortable being myself around my husband .. not good I know.  I do feel like I can be myself around my brother also, although he lives a 7 hour drive away and I might see him maybe 3-4 times a year in a good year.  But no one who I'm around all the time that I really feel comfortable being myself with.  Although the longer I know people the better it usually gets.  I have severe social anxiety at times, sometimes with agoraphobia.  I'd much rather socialise online than in person most of the time.

The friends I do have are people who share my intense interests.  I learned in school the best way to make friends was to be the authority on a subject.  That was how I could get people to talk to me.

I was gifted in school and put into a gifted program.  The other kids murmured when I was put into the gifted program that I didn't deserve to be there.  Since I had so many other deficits.  Like social retardation, intense introversion and selective mutism.

Selective mutism?  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, that still happens, and it's not so great in a marriage.  And put selective mutism and meltdowns beside each other in a marriage and see how that works out.  Especially without the understanding of knowing WTF is going wrong.

Solid sense of self.  I don't know if this could be Asperger's or not, but I do have that chameleon like personality.  I mirror back to people what they put out.  People generally like me because they think I am just like them.  It leaves me at the end of the day wondering just who am I?  It's difficult without the social supports or stability to maintain any personal relationships to maintain and hold a solid sense of self.

I was suicidal at a young age, around the age of 6 I used to scream and cry how it was so unfair that I was born.  Apparently that's not normal.  I have read that most kids with that type of experience are either schizophrenic or autistic.

I have other issues like not having proper boundaries, but I'm not sure that could be more co dependency related, which I seem to also be.

I don't know if it in fact is Asperger's but I think there is enough there that maybe I should look into it with a professional?

I don't want my marriage to fail because of a lack of understanding of what's going wrong.  It also would be nice to be able to understand why I fail so badly at interpersonal relationships (yet I can be so stellar in other areas like mathematics or computers).

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Well, I just did the Baron Cohen Empathy Quotient test and scored a 14 / 80.  I've never thought of myself as lacking empathy.  Lacking proper reactions though, not knowing what to say or do, yes, indeed.

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I don't know what your doctor is really thinking to be honest. How is it better to hide under a blanket with your fingers in your ears, yelling "not me" than it is to find out if you fit more into other categories that just bipolar? If you think there's a chance you think you could be autistic after doing enough research about it then, sure, go for it! Besides, autism isn't an illness.

I would like to point out that mental illness is, of course, not exclusive to adults. Children don't necessarily need a reason to be depressed either. These things just happen. You get children who are bipolar, you get children with anxiety.

 

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I had a therapist tell me I was definitely not on the autism spectrum and I believed her and let it go.  Now it has come back up again.  And once again it would make a lot of things make sense if viewed through that lens.  It is my experiences and symptoms that have brought me to questioning this again.  I do have symptoms that bipolar alone doesn't explain.

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I saw my pdoc today and she said that the hospital where I'm an outpatient doesn't deal with autism spectrum disorders. :(  They do deal with the bipolar, mood and anxiety and there is another department for psychosis, ptsd, etc.

She didn't completely dismiss the idea, but she did say that she isn't specialized in asd and wouldn't be comfortable diagnosing it.  She said getting a proper diagnosis, as to yay or nay, could be cost prohibitive.  She did say there is much more support for children than for adults.

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Yeah I can imagine that there is less support for adult; Asperger's tends to be child-centric, leaving the adult out in the cold unfortunately. They seem to forget that autism is a lifelong condition, it doesn't just go away in adulthood. 

I think you need to ask yourself the question, "Could I experience the benefits of a diagnosis?" Some people are able to lead fulfilling lives where their autism doesn't negatively affect their life. Others is not as easy. The benefits you might well get is accurate treatment of other conditions such as OCD, anxiety, I don't know if there are changes that can be mean with bipolar. Getting help in the workplace with accommodations being made might be of benefit to you, and of course there's accessing disability benefits too.

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