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Hello from Canada

CrystalStars

New Member
Good day, everyone.

I'm going to start things off by admitting that I honestly don't know if I have autism. For many years I was under the impression that I just have OCD and social anxiety. But lately I've been wondering if maybe there was more to it than that. Then a video popped up on my feed and when I watched it things clicked and I related to what was being said. Ever since then I've been watching more videos, taking online tests and reading up on autism and I'm becoming more convinced that I might actually have autism. Yet... I'm unsure because I have a history of self diagnosing myself. But this time feels different.

A little about myself to clarify some things. I mentioned OCD. I like checking things to make sure everything is in order. I like checking the stove and appliances. I have to check my phone to make sure what time it is. If I don't have a clock on my person I freak out. I always check to make sure people are not angry with me, even if they have no reason to be angry with me. I am also very slow when I work on things. I'm an artist and I like sewing. But I work very slowly because I notice tiny things wrong with my art or what I'm sewing, that other people wouldn't notice, and it bothers me so much that I have to fix it. Same thing with my work. I am an accountant and I have to make sure I enter numbers correctly and I hate being a couple of cents off, so I am very slow at my work. It's sort of frustrating sometimes because my supervisor will tell me don't worry about it, it's only off by a little bit. And I will be like "No, it's wrong!" Of course I don't say it to his face, but internally I am screaming. Haha.

As for the social anxiety, my roommate coined the term "people threshold". Every time I go out to diner with friends I will just check out completely out of the blue. Tell them sorry but I need to leave, then go home and play video games. Because I feel like I just can't be around people anymore. I feel so bad when I do this because I know it's rude to just eat diner then leave abruptly. But I just can't socialize anymore. Some days I can engage in conversation, other days I'm quiet and keeping my head down. I absolutely hate making phone calls. It's silly, but I need to prepare myself for about 20 minutes before I can pick up the courage to make a phone call.

So, those are the things I believed to be OCD and social anxiety. Here are some things I do that made be think I might have autism. The biggest thing is I rock when I'm sitting. I don't even need to be stressed out. But when I sit down I'm normally rocking back and forth. I've been doing it since high school. I've been told if I don't stop, then I won't be able to keep a job. Thing is, no matter what I do, I can't stop. If I stand, I'm swaying from side to side. When I'm walking from room to room, I'm curling my fingers.

I have obsessions! If something interests me I will do so much research and just vomit everything I know to friends and family, even if they clearly don't care. For example, I love hand drawn animation and Don Bluth. I will go into explicit detail about certain Don Bluth movies and all my friends aren't nearly as interested as me.

Some small things to note that I do. People can't just make plans with me out of the blue. They need to give me at least a day's notice if they have plans. Even if I have nothing planned or I know I won't be doing anything. It freaks me out when sudden plans are sprung up on me. People can't touch my things without my permission, otherwise I get upset. Certain noises and voices make my visiably flinch. I game with friends and if too many people talk at once, it feels like I'm smacking into a brick wall.

I think that's all I can remember off the top of my head. Again, maybe this is a health anxiety episode I'm having. Maybe everything I'm experiencing is a bunch of anxiety disorders bunched into one package. I don't know if I'll try getting assessed. I don't know if my family doctor will take me seriously given my history of self diagnosing. I apologize if I'm reaching the wrong conclusion.

Thank you for reading!
Enjoy your day!
 

VictorR

Random Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome!

Heightened anxiety and having limited spoons to deal with social situations are things that often come along with the spectrum.

Something I will say is that unfortunately there are many MDs who are not very well informed about the spectrum, and even less so for adults. It's not unusual for a family doctor to say "well, you've got a job and you seem to have friends, so you must be okay" or worse "if XYZ is a sign of autism, aren't we all a little autistic then? and for women in particular, better camouflaging and masking often results to other (sometimes erroneous) diagnoses before later getting an AS diagnosis.

As I was saying to another new member

Are you in Alberta by any chance? If so, you're in luck as Alberta Health Services offers adult autism assessments at Glenrose. Unfortunately, to my understanding, the other provinces and territories don't offer publicly funded adult diagnoses, and $2000 is about par.

In any case, feel free to hang around and join in on any threads you find interesting. The community here is welcoming and open, whether to those diagnosed, self-identifying, questioning, or as an ally.
 

Sherlock77

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome! From a fellow Canuck, there are a few of us on the forum, plus lots of great people from all over the world too...

I started with self diagnosis, eventually ended up with an official diagnosis (see signature)
 
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SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome!
I hear you and relate to quite a few of your traits.
Especially I noticed the difficulty in using a phone and the rocking.
I've always had a big rocking chair and rock constantly when watching TV
or sitting in it. That works for me.

I was diagnosed late in life. Then I started doing the on-line tests just to see
if they told the same story and they did.
Glad you joined the forum. It has been an immense source of information and help.
I like it here. So, I'm always around checking in. :)
 

Alexej

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
HI and Welcome @CrystalStars

I see that a fellow Canuck has already introduced himself.
Do hang around a bit and get to know us. There is a lot of life experience in the Forum and on the older posts.
 

Rodafina

Hopefully Human
V.I.P Member
Hello and welcome! Sounds like you might be at the start of quite a journey here. I was where you are not too long ago, and where I am now is a much more contented place. Of course, I’m not sure if this applies to you, but I have since learned it is very common for autistic women to go through multiple diagnoses over their lives that don’t fit. Also the cooccurrence of OCD and autism is apparently pretty high. I still have a lot of learning to do here, but in this way, we are in similar categories of overlapping things.

This forum can be an amazing place for figuring yourself out and getting a lot of input from other people if you are open to that. I hope your time here is valuable.

EDIT: I just realized that I don’t think you shared you were a woman, and I just assumed, because I related so much to your story, and I am a girl. Anyway, sorry for assuming.
 
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Nitro

Admin/Immoral Turpitude
Staff member
Admin
V.I.P Member
welcome to af.png
 

Outdated

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Welcome CrystalStars. You sound like so many of us here. I didn't get a diagnosis until 55 years old but I used the term "all peopled out" from my early 20s. I have the same phone stress and these days I don't even have a phone, I hate them that much.

My morning routine consists of 2 large cups of coffee and 45 minutes of pacing up and down, not because I'm nervous or anxious but because I enjoy the sensation and it frees my mind to plan out my day.

Any surprise alterations to my plans are usually met with a temper tantrum. Many employers discovered this, I didn't mind working overtime but telling me to stay back when my mind was already in pack up and go home mode was unpleasant for them.

Something I will say is that unfortunately there are many MDs who are not very well informed about the spectrum, and even less so for adults.
Just last year a doctor told me "There is no such thing as autism, you're just suffering anxiety." and prescribed anti anxiety drugs for me. I reported him to the health department as a possible danger to the community.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Hi and welcome. I'm pretty sure I don't have social anxiety, but I do a number of the things you attributed to that. I think it's due to autism in my case, not anxiety as I am rarely anxious. I have self diagnosed after research and having experience of working with young people with Aspergers/ASD 1 and their families. I hope you enjoy it here and find it useful and supportive.
 

CrystalStars

New Member
Oh, wow. Thank you all so much for the lovely replies. I already feel super welcome here!

@VictorR My doctor in particular doesn't take my sister with ADHD seriously. Or my brother, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, seriously either. I've done some research and I can't find anything in my province on how to go about diagnosing myself without speaking to my family doctor. I am aware of the $2000 fee. Which is one of the reasons I'm so on the fence about things along with the uncertainty if this is just another one of my moments where I self diagnose myself and it turns out to be a wrong diagnosis.

@Sherlock77 Canada gang! I took a few tests myself, now I'm just trying to figure out if I want to proceed to a formal diagnosis.

@SusanLR The phone is my number one enemy. Every time someone at work tells me I need to phone I client I have to tell them it's going to take a while because I need to mentally prepare myself. It's awful haha.

@Moogwizard Thank you!

@Sarah S Thank you so much!

@Alexej Another on the Canada gang! I will definitely take a look around and get to know people... miiight take a bit because I can be shy haha.

@Rodafina You are correct, I am a woman : ) I'm glad you related to my story. I was never officially diagnosed with OCD and social anxiety. I was only able to go for a 15 week therapy session. I was told the actual process to be officially diagnosed is too complicated. But now that I'm questioning if it's actually autism I'm wondering if it's something I should pursue.

@Outdated Ha, if I could get rid of the phone at my desk I would be so happy. If the routine gets you ready for the day, then I say it's a good routine! It's funny you mention getting upset when asked to work overtime at the last minute. I would get really upset when I was asked to stay late for work, too. Like... snappy when I was asked to. Even though I normally don't mind and I didn't have anything planned anyways. It just messed with my routine and upset me.

@tree Merry Christmas! : )

@Sunny1 Hello, and thank you!

@Thinx I am so scared to make a fool of myself around people. And as stated in my original post, I can only socialize for so long before I need to remove myself.
 

Isadoorian

Welcomer of Newcomers
V.I.P Member
Hi, and Welcome fellow Canadian! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay here in the process!
 

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