Paths to Realization
As an adult, there are a few common ways that you might realize you’re on the spectrum:
- your child is diagnosed with ASD and in the process of learning more about autism, you recognize autistic traits in yourself
- someone in your life reads or hears about Asperger’s or autism and tells you that they see a lot of ASD traits in you
- you hear or read about Asperger’s or autism in the media and recognize yourself in the description of ASD traits
- you take one of the online ASD tests and get a result that says you are “likely an aspie” or “likely autistic”
Your reaction to this first contact with Asperger’s or autism might be “I kind of knew that” or it might be “bullshit!”
For many years, I dismissed my AQ scores. I was convinced that everyone who took the test got a score that said they were likely autistic. Wouldn’t everyone answer the way I did if they were being honest? Completely irrational, yes, but I wasn’t ready to accept what was staring me in the face.
Then came the Finch story on NPR. When it was over, I Googled “Asperger’s tests” and came upon the Aspie Quiz. My score was way above the cutoff for Asperger’s. I took it again, answering more conservatively. Still above the cutoff.
I sat there at my desk for long minutes. Could it be possible that I’ve been autistic all my life and not known it? That’s a stunning realization–one that would require me to reframe everything I thought I knew about myself and everything I’d assumed I knew about autism.
I’ve always known that I’m different. I’ve been labeled shy, weird, introverted, geeky. But what if I wasn’t just weird? What if this thing called Asperger’s explained everything about me that was different?
That was an exciting thought. If it was true, it gave me a whole new way of thinking about my life.
Embracing Your Realization
- Relax. Breathe.
- Take some time to think about what being on the spectrum might mean to you.
- Retake the AQ or Aspie Quiz as many times as you need to.
- Make a list of traits that you see in yourself, including specific examples if you find it helpful.
- Reassure yourself that you aren’t making this up.
Is This Me?
I didn’t do anything with my realization right away. It was a lot to process. I kept coming back to the possibility that I was imagining it.
Late the next day, during a long drive home with The Scientist, I brought up my suspicion that I might be an aspie. His reaction was guarded. He listened, agreed with much of what I said, then reassured me that he loves me exactly the way I am. It was a good discussion, but he didn’t sound convinced. I needed more data to back up my hypothesis.
Back at home that night, I showed him some things online, including Rudy Simone’s list of Female Asperger Syndrome Traits. He read through the list, nodding at many of the traits, just as I had, looking a little more convinced of my hypothesis with each “hit.”
In the days that followed, I searched the internet for more information about Asperger’s and found frustratingly little that applied to adults. I felt like I needed a more comprehensive resource, something that would give me a better picture of Asperger’s than the sometimes conflicting bits and pieces I was collecting online. (Sadly I hadn’t yet discovered autistic bloggers.)
Determined to find information about Asperger’s in adults, I scoured the reviews at Amazon.com and settled on The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. Having now read a good portion of the books available on ASD, this is the still one book I’d recommend if you’re looking for an accessible, reasonably comprehensive starting place.
Diving into the book immediately after it arrived on my doorstep, I spent hours underlining and annotating it. I read passages aloud to The Scientist. I made notes and looked up things like executive function and special interests online. Most of all, I just kept saying to myself, “This is me. I’m an aspie.”
Somehow, it had taken me 42 years to recognize it.
Gathering Information to Support your Realization
- Research Asperger’s Syndrome and autism.
- Read about how autistic traits appear in adults.
- Read about the differences between AS in men and women.
- Read personal narratives written by aspies and autistic individuals (scroll down the linked page for a list of ASD bloggers)
- When you feel ready, find a trusted person in your life who can give you an objective assessment of which traits they see in you.
Coming next: ASD as a Sensemaking Narrative
55 thoughts on “I Think I Might Be Autistic (Part 2)”
I just read the «Female Asperger syndrome traits», while my sister came around and asked me if it was my self-portrait…
Really interesting post to read, again! It’s truly frustrating real information about adult autistic, not talking about Aspie women. Your blog keep on making me smile all the time!
Glad you’re enjoying it! I feel at times like I’m writing the things I wanted to read early on and couldn’t find. That list of female traits is quite accurate for me as well – I think I identify with about 80% of it.
OMG I fit nearly everything on that list. And its a looong one. *sigh* I wish I had an MD I felt more comfortable with, to go get myself a proper diagnosis.
When I first found that list, my reaction was a big “whoa!” It’s by far the list of traits that I most saw myself in. I’m working on a post about alternatives to the traditional diagnosis/evaluation route, so perhaps you’ll find something in that useful. PS – I love your avatar!
I’ll keep an eye out for it. 🙂 And thanks, I didn’t want my actual pic, so I drew that thing. It’s an uncanny likeness, I think.
Cool, I’ve never met a purple person before. 😀
I also just read the “female Aspie traits” thank you so much for this post. It’s me about 99% of it. I don’t stim so obviously, but my self employment may in itself be like a stim. I have a very ‘male’ career (Professional Window Cleaner) I have to get up and be physical. Now to get the husband to read the list, so he can understand my meltdowns aren’t me being irrational or PMS-ing. The part about not finishing collage degrees, well… I took Interior Design ( not finished) then Industrial Microbiology ( not finished) then Culinary Arts ( almost finished/ certificate ) I hated working for others . Usually I felt I could do it better or had an issue with authority. The last 20 years I’ve been self employed. I like how you said you kept retaking the tests thinking you must be making it all up. Me too. I must be cheating somehow. The list of traits is like a big slap in the face.!me me me!
I think that list was the single most effective thing in convincing my husband. There were too many things on it that were “too” accurate for him to have any doubts after reading it.
I too hate working for others. I’ve been self-employed since I was 19, only finished my college degree last year and don’t think I could survive in the traditional working world. It’s great that you found a career that both suits your personality and allows you to fulfill your need to be in motion. I’ve always enjoyed watching window washers – it’s such a precise profession and I love the repetitive motion of the tools. I bet it is a stim in a way.
Another idea, if I’m not working with my hands ( cleaning , cooking ) ill sit and pick skin off my lips or look for raised patches on my scalp to pick off. Is that maybe a stim ? Or is this more of an obsessive thing?
I think skin picking is a stim. I’ve heard a lot of people on the spectrum say that they do it (often starting around adolescence) and I’ve been a skin picker at various times in my life. About 6 months ago I decided I needed to stop because It was becoming unhealthy for me and I found myself engaging in other stims instead, which is what leads me to believe it’s a form of stimming.
I have to keep my fingernails cut short to help keeping me from picking. Thanks for this. I have been following you since I came across your website. I feel like I have a real friend , i can finally relate too even though its been a short time. I’ve decided to pull out my diaries and do some investigation into my teens & early 20’s when I was so turbulent & mostly unhappy. Looking for more clues to prove I was an undiagnosed Aspie.
I wish I still had my diaries and writing from my teens. I tossed all of it during some move or other. Hopefully yours will prove to be a good source of information for you.
I found out about Asperger’s through Spencer Reid, a character from Criminal Minds. He has not been officially diagnosed, but the writers of the show state that he does, indeed, have Asperger’s Syndrome. From the moment that I started watching the show, I was fascinated by his character. He was intelligent, literal, rambly… and there were so many different things about his character that I could relate to. And so I started doing research.
See, I’d gone on a journey of self-discovery after my most recent social fiasco. I was determined to know why I was so different, why I felt so lonely around people, and why I just couldn’t seem to make proper connections.
The male version of AS confused me, because I couldn’t relate to everything about it, and I knew that I wasn’t so obviously strange. This made me let go of the idea, only doing a little research from time to time. However, During this six month period, I picked up a new special interest: the intellectually gifted. The traits fit, but I still couldn’t relate to all of them, and it made me feel even more lost.
It took both the AQ, the EQ, the SQ-R, and the Aspie Quiz, and they all told me the same thing- that I was on the spectrum.
But why was it that I seemed so different from the Aspie Archetype?
Around six months ago, I stumbled across the idea that females on the spectrum often present differently than males- and I jumped on it. This time- it fit. It fit me like a glove, the female representation.
And now? Well, I’m trying to get a diagnosis, but it is difficult. I have a mask up during social interaction that makes me appear to be fairly, well, SOCIAL, and the last psychiatrist I met with said that I showed too much emotional reciprocity. Unfortunately, I do not know how to lower this defense mechanism, and I only wish that they could understand that I am merely acting.
AS is my current special interest, and without a diagnosis, I feel like an imposter. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t belong.
Ugh, I want to find that psychiatrist and slap him/her. As adults we have coping mechanisms, we learn to pass, we learn social skills and how to fake things when necessary. We’re not hopelessly stuck in childhood behavior patterns forever. Sheesh.
Okay, that said, have you read about Stephanie Tolan’s idea of “giftedness as asynchronous development”? When you mentioned first identifying with intellectually gifted individuals, that sprung to mind. I spent a lot of time exploring the idea of the “doubly exceptional” child because I was confused about the fact that I was in gifted classes in elementary school and yet I’m developmentally disabled.
Also, what is the SQ-R? I don’t think I’ve heard of it but perhaps I can add it to the Take-a-Test Tuesday list.
Finally, self-diagnosis is an accepted concept in much of the adult autistic community. I don’t know if that’s something you’d be comfortable exploring or if it would be enough of an answer for you, but I’ve got a long post about it and that’s coming soon. Until then, perhaps it helps to know that you belong here? Also, the #actuallyautistic tag on Tumblr seems quite open to self-diagnosed individuals and perhaps might be something to explore as a place to find some community?
Well, I’m not quite yet an adult, so that may be part of her reasoning. I’m sixteen, and I started training myself in social interaction when I was around thirteen (but my mom really helped me before). I’ve had the mask for longer, though. My mom agrees with me about the AS, as does my psychologist to an extent. I’m not sure if she still does or not, I can’t tell. I’m much less awkward online than in person, of that I assure you, and that is from over two years of constant practice. xD
Yes, yes I have! I, too, was tested into the gifted program in elementary school before I moved and skipped a grade. I know that I am twice-exceptional, even if it isn’t AS… but I show too many traits from too many different disorders for it to be particularly reasonable for me to have ALL of them in full. Hence the AS self-diagnosis- it just makes more sense, logically-speaking. I show many gifted traits, but I also show some learning difficulties as well. I did consider that it could simply be asynchronous development, but the female version of AS fits better than anything.
Oh, it may the EQ-SQR, I’m never sure of the name. It’s a Simon Baron-Cohen test, and it measures both your empathy quotient and your systemizing quotient together. It’s supposed to prove that people on the high-functioning end of the spectrum can have poor empathy and average to above average systemizing.
I have noticed that people are very accepting of self-diagnosis! 😀 It’s exciting, and I’ve been exploring support groups and the like… I just can’t help but question myself. In honesty, I’m completely stuck on the subject. >.< I just recently discovered the #actuallyautistic tag, though, and it's quite nice! 😀
I’m much less awkward online too. There’s a huge advantage in being able to take my time to write a reply and even in being able to reply when I’m ready rather than on the spot. Also, for some reason I was thinking you were in college. Sorry to be making assumptions based on I have no idea what.
My elementary school wanted to skip me from 2nd to 4th grade but I was already so socially behind that my parents refused to let them. By 5th grade I was becoming a bit of a handful for the teachers because I’d finished the math and reading curriculum through the end of 6th grade but thankfully the gifted program came along to keep me busy. I need to write a post about that and the doubly exceptional concept.
The empathizing-systemizing theory, yes, I’ve heard of that. I have the EQ written up for this Tuesday. I need to take a look at the SQ and how they fit together. SBC makes me a little ragey. 🙂
Tumblr has a lot going on in the autistic tags. It’s by turns fun and maddening but I enjoy it most days.
Cognitive tests for people on the autism spectrum are typically “spikey” meaning they have large gaps between scores and will test high and low in different areas, so when mapped, the scores spike. This was explained to me my my daughters educational psychologist when he diagnosed her with autism.
I feel the same, always ‘acting’ a performance artist when in social situations. This is why my mom & some ‘friends’ wouldn’t ‘buy’ my self diagnoses. When I was 15-25++ I was treated for so many things. Social phobia, depression, & mainly anxiety. My late teens were awful. You are so lucky you have the Internet to research & find a ‘friend’. I agree, with ” without a diagnoses I feel like an imposter” AS is also my main special interest.
Reblogged this on The Aspie Engineer.
This is really helpful – thanks. I am a Speech & Language Therapist working in Adult Mental Health and am having more and more young women with undiagnosed Asperger’s referred to me by mental health teams who are slowly becoming more aware of this disgnosis as a possible explanation for a person’s difficulties. Your link to female aspie traits will be really useful as most information is very male orientated. Love your blog and will be referring people to it for their education!
Thank you! I”m so happy to hear that the list was helpful. It was one of the things that helped me recognize my own Asperger’s early on. I’m also thrilled to hear that you’ll be sharing my blog. It’s exciting for me to be able to connect with so many others, women especially, who share similar experiences to my own.
When I told my therapist at twenty-three partially jokingly that a family member has said I acted like someone on the Spectrum, his eyes lit up. Somehow this possibility had not occurred me. Because I had brought it up I didn’t really believe his agreement. After multiple other therapist nodded at the diagnosis my guard went down and I found that the more I read about women with Aspergers, the more I realized that the hardships and struggles I’ve had for so long were not just of this awkward & anxious girl but I could finally belong in a community that might finally understand.
It seems like for those of us who discover our place on the Spectrum in adulthood, it takes a few contacts with ASD before we begin to accept the possibility. It’s a lot to take in, “suddenly” being autistic as an adult. Find the autistic community has been a joyful thing for me. Like you said, it’s a place where we can be something other than the awkward anxious girls. 🙂
Hi, musings, Don’t feel bad about learning you’re Aspie at 42. I just figured mine out last year at 59. I just about fell out of my chair when I read my scores. But, it just so obviously explained many experiences from babyhood on, especially social failures. It’s a shock to learn this late in life, but also really liberating because I can understand why some things were/are such a struggle, and I feel less compelled to strain myself trying to fit in or take on things I know I’ll be bad at.
Great blog. Thank you so much for the effort you obviously put into it == lots of great information and perspective.
It’s one of those realizations that like being struck by lightning, isn’t it? Thank you for the kind words. Blogging and the research that goes into is helping me learn about myself and all of those things you mention, especially how to feel less compelled to strain myself.
I’m not diagnosed…but I see a lot of traits in myself. That list of female Aspergers Traits= so me. And I just did that Aspie-Quiz. The part where they have you describe a person’s emotions from pics of their eyes had me pretty stumped. Can people *actually* do that? On the test I came out with an Aspie score of 152/200, an NT score of 51/200.
Any other quiz I’ve done has put me above on the spectrum but I’m not sure how much credence to lend to online tests taken with no medical supervision.
The funny part is, I’m obsessing over the question of whether I’m on the spectrum or not (irony?) and the people around me don’t really like to talk about whether I might be. Beyond “pervasive interests” (my family can basically divide my life according to a series of obsessions) I never really showed any traits as a kid that I’m aware of. I don’t want to go out on the self-diagnosis limb since that makes me uncomfortable. And I think it makes the people around me pretty uncomfortable too. But I am searching for a reason for why I feel so unable to function in a “normal” work environment. I tried editing for a bit, was good at it but got out as soon as I could because the social pressure of going into an office every day was too extreme. Now I work as a self-employed artist because it is the only thing I am so passionate about that I can just about get over the social anxiety. Art openings are schmoozy and nerve-wracking but I am able to keep up appearances long enough to, well, schmooze. The rest of the time I can stay home in my PJs and sculpt.
Interesting about skin-picking as a stim. I pick my nails and my face (which is probably why my acne problem has persisted into my late 20s). Never thought it might be stimming though.
I understand your reluctance to venture into self-diagnosis, especially if the people around you are uncomfortable with it. Perhaps for now you can explore Aspergers as an explanation, setting aside the diagnosis concept? The next part in this series (posted yesterday) talks about the idea of sensemaking and how exploring aspects of an identity (which is how I see AS/autism) can help you make sense of confusing or unexplained aspects of life.
At any rate, I’m happy to hear that you’ve found a work style and career that are comfortable for you. I’m self-employed as well and doubt I could function for long in a “normal” work environment.
Thanks. Your blog posts have been so helpful and fascinating, especially this series. I really enjoy your writing!
I actually had a long discussion this weekend with my parents. My Dad is working with a cousin of mine who has Aspergers to write a book about his early life and the struggles and successes he’s had, so autism was a topic of conversation for most of the weekend.
After a lot of discussion with family it sounds more as if I’m an NT, but have lots of traits–perhaps one of the people who fits the BAP (after reading your blog post about that).
I’d love to see more studies about people who wouldn’t fit an autism diagnosis but who exhibit lots of traits. It’s a spectrum, and I think the question isn’t so much whether a person is on the spectrum as where they are on it.
I guess the studies on BAP are kind of what you’re talking about – people who have ASD traits but not to a degree that they’re clinically significant. The key differences between BAP and ASD are the lack of impairment of daily life and a lesser emphasis on things like sensory sensitivities and repetitive movements/special interests in BAP. BAP seems to be more of a narrow social constellation of traits.
Yes, exactly that. Fitting the phenotype may make some sense of why internally I identify strongly with many of the traits and score high on many of the quizzes, while the people around me don’t see very many of the traits in me.
At any rate, thank you for responding–and keep up the excellent work. 🙂
This is all so confusing for me 😦
I’m loving your blog, and it’s helping me greatly. I took the AQ Test, and scored 26 – which puts me as pretty NT. I also did this Aspie Quiz (http://www.rdos.net/eng/Aspie-quiz.php) and scored 103/200 for Aspie and 121/200 for NT, indicating I have both Aspie and NT traits. Yet I tick all but about 2 or 3 of the Female Asperger’s Syndrome Traits list.
It leaves me feeling like I’m not quite NT, and not quite Aspie but somewhere in the middle.
Hmmmm. Is it possible that you’ve learned so many coping skills that your aspie traits are less evident (in terms of answer the quiz questions)? When I initially took the online quizzes I scored really high based on my answers to the social interaction questions (I’m super socially awkward), but at the time I didn’t realize that I actually stim constantly in discreet ways and have some other aspie traits that I’d learned to conceal or suppress.
The other possibility is that you fit the “Broad Autism Phenotype” which basically means that you have aspie/autistic traits that are present but not at the level of being clinically diagnosable. Or perhaps you just don’t present in a classical way, so you fit the female characteristics more strongly than the traditional (and more male-oriented) traits the quizzes are based on. I wish I had an answer for you, but perhaps some more reading of writing by female aspies might help?
Yes you are so right! More reading is definitely in order. Thank you 🙂
I thought I would come back and let you know that I went and saw a Psychologist and did some diagnostic testing. She told me my results put me in the “diagnostic range for Aspergers”. I think you were right about coping, and as it turns out some of the things I thought I coped at really well, I actually don’t!
Anyway my diagnosis wasn’t formalised (that’s another story all together) but it was enough for me.
Thank you for coming back to update me. I’m so happy for you! 🙂
Definitely interesting. I hadn’t seen the list of Female Aspie traits before, and I went: “Oh!” when I read it. I mean, I knew already that I was on the spectrum, and so much of my life made lots more sense once I started looking into it, but I’d never seen that list before. I suspect if I had seen it when I was younger, I would have been diagnosed earlier.
Continuing great series!
The list of female characteristics is really interesting, isn’t it? It’s a bit stereotypical (in terms of perpetuating gender stereotypes) but also quite true. Glad you’re enjoying the series!
I took the Aspie Quiz (twice) about 8 months ago and discovered that I was obviously on the spectrum. Now reading the list of female characteristics, well… ohboy… there I am, in spades, as it were. I’m still trying to get used to this, and I swing between acceptance and elation at finally figuring out why I am the way I am and wanting, somehow. to change myself into the person other people think I should be. My partner loves me just the way I am. I don’t think I could cope without knowing that.
I completely understand your struggles with acceptance. I think it probably takes a long time? I’m increasingly okay with being who I am, and there are still times when I feel that sting of wanting to just be “normal” (which I don’t think exists anyhow). I’m so happy for you that you’ve found someone who loves as you are. That makes a huge difference. 🙂
I took the Aspie test that you linked to and got “Aspie score – 141 NT score – 52” or something to that effect (could have been 142 and 51 but those numbers don’t feel right)
I’ve taken the AQ test many times and consistently gotten 38s and 39s. I too fell for the “well, everyone would get these scores.” I had my best friend and little sister take it, and they both got mid 20s to extremely low 30s.
I have asked my mom, and she did briefly have some concerns about my speech development when I was about 3, and she has said that I’m rigid (sometimes), territorial, undiplomatic, clumsy and awkward. And abnormally independent (not sure if that has anything to do with anything.)
Those are relatively high scores.
Not everyone has language delays in childhood–actually the main difference between classical autism and Asperger’s it that classically autistic children have a speech delay and children with AS don’t have a speech delay and may even speak at an unusually early age.
I wonder if your mom is using abnormally independent as a way of saying that you like to spend a lot of time on your own or are a bit separate from the family. I definitely would have qualified as abnormally independent as a child because I chose to spend so much time alone and was able to amuse myself without a lot of input from others, etc.
Hooray, there were actually like three things on the Female Aspie Traits list that *didn’t* fit! (Obviously, I’m being sarcastic.) (It is obvious, right?) LOL, it’s almost as if someone were studying me for several years before they compiled the list.
I would not, however, call myself emotionally sensitive. I’ve been accused of the opposite many times, though.
Well, I would have taken it literally without the qualifier, but it’s totally obvious now. 🙂
I’m not especially emotionally sensitive in general, but can be overly sensitive in certain situations. I think “inappropriate emotional reactions” would be more accurate for more people than “emotionally sensitive” which feels a bit like it’s playing into gender stereotypes.
As I now try to comment, I burst into tears —to offer thanks for so much information. I had come across Aspies may be 20 months ago without seenig myself. I am an early gifted male student (now 67). Your chart of traits is revealing to me for the congruence I find with my sense of me. A friend 20 some years ago offered the androgenous description to me; your site has proffered insight to isolation, bullying, and awkwardness in speech and society. I have not “succeeded” in this world as I absorbed the concept (for all the common Aspie reasons) and have not discovered a satisfying or unfrustrated solution. This openness of this paragraph is surprising to me.
Oh, you’re welcome. It’s hard for me to believe now how many times I came across different ASD tests or articles and didn’t see myself more conclusively in them. I guess we have to be ready to make that definitive recognition.
I hope that this is the beginning of a good journey for you. Having an answer can be very validating, even if we can’t change the past.
I’ve been on an (ongoing) AS diagnostic journey for my 6yo son for the past two years, and the more I learn about it, the more I’ve been thinking that I might also be an Aspie. Reading through your blog, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said some version of “Wow, me too!” I took a couple of the tests, and I usually scored as “possible AS”, but not quite “in” the spectrum. As someone mentioned before, maybe I’ve learned coping mechanisms; I definitely feel like I’m acting in many social situations, and it’s exhausting!
This list of Female AS Traits is spot on, I identify with almost every one of them. I’ve been on the verge of tears at the realization that my behavior has an explanation, and that it is real! Thank you for.. everything!
btw, I also pick my lips and scalp, and do other things that I never realized were my form of stimming. I’ve never met anyone who does picks their lips, and I’ve always tried to hide it because those who know think it’s so weird. I’m so exited that I found this blog!
It’s definitely possible that you’ve developed a lot of coping strategies that mask your traits and that’s why you score a little lower. Saying “wow, me too!” a lot is a definite sign that the spectrum traits are there. Also, there are a lot of traits that aren’t necessarily on the online tests or are maybe not worded in the same way that adults on the spectrum who experience those traits would talk about them.
I’m so glad you’re finding an explanation and are excited about your discovery! Thank you for sharing that here. 🙂
Can the female traits apply to biologically female people who don’t identify as female?
I think so–the origin of many of the social traits that are often described as female are a result of being socialized as a girl/woman. So if a person was raised/socialized as a girl, that could have a big influence on how their autistic traits are expressed, even if they don’t identify as a girl/woman.
Exactly what happened to me. While learning about why my daughter was different and what those differences meant, I saw aspects of myself but even then, I ignored it until I found the quiz and took it and retook it and still my numbers were very high for aspire: 161/200 and low for NT: 61/200. It’s a relief in some ways but a shock in others.
After lots of crying, denial, telling myself I’m crazy, making this up, seeking excuses for my incapabilities… I’m currently in the stage between “This is who I am” and “But… but what if I’m imagining this? What if I actually have something else and I’m way too obsessive about this?”
I took dozens of tests (all with the results of “you’re likely autistic/aspie). I, like you, actually believed everyone will score the same as me – it just seemed logical ‘^^
I mean… I try to tell myself “but you can make eye contact” and “you have a sense of humor”, but then I read all about Aspergers in adults and Aspergers in women and I’m just… it’s like the story of my life.
Never in my life have I felt more connected to a diagnosis, and I’ve been diagnosed with *a lot* (Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD, Panic Disorder, HSP…).
My mom was the one who pointed it out after seeing an article that accurately reminded her of me.
And once I started reading about it? I… could… not… stop. It was like a door that opened that cannot be closed.
After a month of obsessively scourging through the internet, making lists, self-doubting myself, falling into despair, and some more tears, I’m honestly *exhausted*. I need answers. I need… resolution.
I’m currently in the process of getting an official diagnosis, but honestly?
Of the answer being yes. Of the answer being no.
I’ve been going over this over and over and over and over again and again and again in my head.
I think I managed to convince and unconvinced myself an equal amount of 100 by now.
Now, reading this post, I’m convinced again.
I’m sure unconvincing myself isn’t far behind, though ‘^^
By the way, I agree with you that there isn’t a whole lot of information about autism/Aspergers in women – especially adults – these days. I feel like I need to do extensive research to convince anyone of my crazy theory. I honestly feel crazy these days.
Thank you so much for these posts (:
My numbers on the test: 160 out of 200 (aspie) and 41 out of 200 (non-autistic). According to this quiz, I’m very likely Aspie *__*
At 60-ish, I still argue with myself about whether I’m making it all up to ‘make excuses’ for myself – but the scores have remained relatively constant over two years… Aspie Quiz 143-158/200 and RAADS-R 190- 184 — but I still argue with myself, blame myself for all manner of horrible traits (lazy, procrastinating, ‘pity pot’, slacker, etc etc) that I would never lay on anyone else… For everything else, I use checklists, data, evidence (I’m a bottom-up thinker) – but not for myself. Hell, I actually finished a Ph.D. but never could find a permanent job because – as they said “You just don’t ‘fit’ well”… and the social aspects of it all were an absolute nightmare of anxiety… FML.
I took the Aspie Quiz just now and scored neurotypical. HOWEVER. Part way through the test, I had the realization that had I taken the test as a teen, I’d probably be aspie. Why the difference? tens of thousands of dollars of therapy over 15-20 years and hundreds (probably not an exaggeration) of self help books have taught me quite a bit about how to relate to people. I still don’t know all the rules and some situations baffle me.
Further, after coming to the realization yesterday that I’m probably an aspie (my daughter was recently diagnosed), things just make sense. Its like watching a movie with a giant plot twist at the end that completely recolors the entire movie. Everything now makes sense.