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July – My First Assessment

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Raggamuffin, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I have a date for my ADHD assessment – because I paid for a private one. Waiting nearly a year for an NHS one isn’t great when I’m an impatient person. Plus I had the money to hand, and I’m stupidly impulsive. It cost £540 – quite steep, and yet cheaper than other’s I’d enquired about. It’s going to be done via Skype.

    The reason I went for ADHD first was because it’s cheaper, and also because it feels like I can relate more to that condition than autism. After reading more books and listening to more audiobooks – it feels like I almost certainly have ADHD. Every online assessment I’ve done I score 90-100%. As for autism – I feel that I am on the spectrum, but it feels very mild. Limited interests, fidgeting, verbal ticks, swaying from left to right all the time etc. It's things I've lived with all my life - but I get on with it. ADHD though, it feels more apt. Maybe because it's what I've been researching more in recent months. The longer I’ve spent reading, and exploring this forum – the more I realise that my struggles and traits with autism seem a lot more manageable in comparison to other people’s experiences.

    I know that there is overlap for ADHD and autism. In a book I’m currently reading they suggest 80-85% of people with ADHD have 1 other disorder and over 50% have 2-3 comorbidities. I will enquire about the autism assessment during my ADHD assessment to see what they suggest.

    This is a two part assessment – 90 mins with a psychotherapist and then 45 minutes a week later with a consultant psychiatrist. 16th and 23rd of July respectively at 2pm. I will be able to attend both whilst I’m at work. I’ll just go to my car and do the Skype calls from there.

    They had 5 preliminary forms and questionnaires to complete. One was for my parents – and so I rang them today to discuss it. I glanced over the form, and I could relate (as usual) to a lot of the behaviours described. But my mother wasn’t so sure. She said she’d need to check through all my school reports, and discuss with my dad as well.

    I’ve always been a little concerned that a questionnaire completed by my parents wouldn’t be that accurate. For instance – for over 6 years I sat in the back of my mum’s car going to and from school and I swayed from left to right – not a subtle sway, but a full on, enthusiastic sway – for hours. I did it so much I wore holes in the fabric of the car and got into trouble from my parents about it. I described this to my mum today “I don’t remember that.” Yeah, great. Should be an accurate set of answers on their part. One of the questions mentioned fidgeting – “I don’t remember you fidgeting as a child.” I never stopped – I still can’t stop to this day. I suppose it’s no real issue – I will mention in my assessment that their recollection of 20+ years ago and them being in their 70’s and 80’s means it might not be the most accurate of questionnaires.

    The main issue I continue to have when discussing this with my parents is how dismissive they’re being. My mum occasionally sounds like she understands – but then goes back to her defaults of: it was just puberty, life isn’t easy for anyone, or blaming when I took drugs for causing all of my issues. Truth is – I took drugs because of my issues.

    Friend of mine has ADHD and he’s on a cocktail of meds for his various conditions (also including autism). He lives in sheltered accommodation and has been living off benefits for years. He’s described how ADHD meds affect his concentration. Amphetamine based meds that allow him to hyper-focus on the dullest of tasks for hours on end. That to me sounds alarming, and something that I would probably become addicted to. In my early 20’s I had 6 months or so where I tried speed 10-15 times. Hyper-focus is an understatement on that stuff. I used to get it cheap at parties - £10 for a gram. That’s 4-5 times cheaper than coke (which I never tried). I used to get it, and then promptly go home – just so that I could stay up the whole weekend and play video games.

    I still reject the idea of medication for these conditions – and yet I’ve self medicated and self-soothed with cannabis and alcohol. What’s the difference? Not sure why I consider a pharmaceutical so detrimental to my wellbeing, when I overindulged in recreational substance abuse. Then again, I’m no stranger to double standards and being a hypocrite.

    Sometimes I wonder if there’s more to this than ADHD and Autism. At the same time, I don’t want to feel like I have a need to root out any possible condition that I might have. I’m still dubious how much closure I will get from an official diagnosis. £540 worth? Doubtful. A piece of paper to say I graduated autism – what does that prove? What I already knew? It’s hard to say at this point – I see some on this forum who felt relief from a diagnosis, others feel lost or confused. I’m reaching a point of frustration, but I’m not sure where it’s directed. I didn’t want to wait for the NHS waiting lists to clear – and yet I feel ashamed that I’ve impulsively spent so much.

    One thing I am going to do – buy one of those multi coloured baseball caps with a propeller on-top. And once I have my autism assessment – I will have a new hat once I’ve graduated. Seems a little improper to make a mockery of it. Probably because I feel like I overinvested in the research and relating to these 2 conditions when I first learned of them. It felt like I'd found a mould and I was pushing myself to fit inside it - relating everything back to these conditions. That sort of behaviour unnerves me, because it feels like it empowers conditions and weakens the identity and willpower of the self. Perhaps.

    I still feel like I’m struggling to fit in to be honest. Closure from this forum came in what I learnt – but in terms of relating to others, I’m feeling more distant now than I was when I first joined. If anything I just monologue on here. I say my bit, and I don't really read the replies. It's much like when people talk to me in real life - my attention isn't there at all. I really do feel unnervingly self centred, and that feels rather toxic. It's why I sometimes wonder if there's more to this than simple ADHD and autism. Narcissism springs to mind - but it seems like such an offputting and disgusting disorder to have, that I have tried to skirt around the possibility of looking into it further. The lack of empathy and my overinflated sense of self worth does ring alarm bells though. Of course it's not that I lack empathy - I feel a lot, in fact the ups and downs of everything in life feel amplified. I have empathy, but mainly for animals. When I see humans suffer, I actually enjoy it. Like COVID - I hoped it would have gotten so much worse than it has. That old line from the Dark Knight rings true, and goes beyond Schadenfreude - "some people just want to watch the world burn". Silly though really - I'm a coward when it comes to confrontation. Why should I wish harm on others? Probably because I'm an animal lover and most people I find offputting and troubling. So when I see calamity befall people - I feel like nature is winning. Is it though?

    Unless it's a one to one conversation and I'm interested - I will be there, and the enthusiasm will be palpable. If not, I might be there in body, but my mind is far away. Speaking of distant – since smoking I’m not bothering much with the old daily voice chats me and my friends had on Discord. In fact, I’m becoming more anti social now than I have been in a long time – and yet, I’m enjoying it.

    I guess all of this is for me at the end of the day. ADHD or Autism – a part of me, but is it anyone else’s business? They’ve got a new HR manager at work – does he need to know? Does my boss? I mean, my own parents have been dismissive of it. Kristy still struggles with the idea of it – or my desire to get an assessment. Even I’m dubious that I really need an assessment. My therapist is dubious too. How much stock do I even need to put into this?

    I suppose it’s like my anxiety and depression – it’s been with me all my adult life, but I know I’m so much more than these conditions. Sure, I might have a panic attack now and then – but I refuse to let it stop me from doing things. I might hate myself and dislike most people around me – but I still go to work every day, and make an effort to be polite to people who I’d much rather give a slap than a helping hand.

    I’ve repeatedly said that I am more than the sum of any diagnosis. Over the years on mental health forums I’ve seen people almost religiously say “is this because of anxiety” or “I can’t do this because I have depression”. Focusing on a condition so much that it becomes an obsession. Also, limiting oneself through being convinced that you’re stifled by certain conditions. Like having a panic attack in a shoe store and refusing to ever go back, for fear it might happen again.

    Maybe I was lucky in a way – that my first 2 panic attacks were in my bedroom. To me, that was my safest environment in the world – but it didn’t stop me getting an attack did it?

    I must admit, when I first read about ADHD and anxiety – it excited me, because I felt understood. But I began to see myself relating too much to these conditions. It felt like I was putting too much stock into it. Convinced my life had been utterly changed. Why? I suppose there’s novelty in new information. Perhaps there’ll be a degree of novelty from an official diagnosis. At the end of the day though – it’s not as if a label will change how I’ve thought, behaved and experienced my life. These conditions are but a part of a personality – of course they affect how we live out lives, but once the dust has settled, I get the feeling I might look back on spending over £1000 on 2 assessments and think I was stupid with my money.

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
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  2. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Good luck, Ed. After my recent ADHD diagnosis I've been hesitant to explore meds. I have autistic friends that like me, also have ADHD. One takes no meds, another says she's probably tried most of the psych meds out there and finds caffeine works best for her. A third takes non-stimulant ADHD meds and they work well for her. A fourth takes stimulant ADHD meds and they work for him.

    Like you have have an addictive history and I know that stimulant ADHD meds would not be a good fit for me for that reason.
     
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  3. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I binge on caffeine at work because I have to maintain my focus on very boring tasks.

    In the evening I have a smoke as it helps slow me down, calm me down and let go of work.

    Ed
     
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  4. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You do seem very self absorbed, and I wondered about some level of narcissism too, alongside autism? I actually don't usually read your threads any more because it does come over that you either don't take any notice of, or don't read, responses. I would definitely think you are autistic though. ASD 1, I would say.
     
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  5. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    Just been reading this, and in most cases I'm leaning to the right unfortunately:

    Table.JPG

    Ed
     
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  6. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    NTs or NDs can be narcissistic, so the comparison you are looking at is a bit misleading. And I think narcissism is on a spectrum too. Another possibility is Dismissive Attachment style, alongside autism probably. This is the adult version of anxious avoidant attachment style in childhood, where the child has to adapt to managing without enough parental support.
     
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  7. Rainbowcat

    Rainbowcat Well-Known Member

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    I have both ADHD and ASD.

    I am been told that i am self absorbed , i think its part of autism. I try to notice that and observe my self during the day in order to control that.

    I usually get self absrobed when i am very anxious or very depressed, its like a black hole where i am sucked inside.

    After reading your post i want to say: Don't be harsh on yourself. You are doing great!

    You spent this amount of money because you seek some answers. It's understandable and it is your right. It is okay you spent this money. You spent it on yourself.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    As far as meds go, they have a lot of unwanted side effects such as weight gain, zero libido. The other thing about meds is you have to try them for a period of time to find the right dx fit, get the dosage right, then recalibrate as effectiveness tapers off. I know a doctor who is bipolar and refuses any meds because the rx is worse then the bp.

    If you effectively deal with it now then that maybe the most hope for you.

    Good luck with your endeavors and perhaps if you read your own post, it will sink in who and what you are and you can work with that.
     
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  9. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    @Thinx Can't say I've heard of Dismissive Attachment before. In the past I had several close friends move abroad. Since then - it's been more acquaintances.

    Got a new audiobook I was listening to on the way home about Nascissm. He too said it's a spectrum and also never a constant - it peaks and troughs in life dependent on circumstances.

    I find the self centredness peaks online. It just a barrage of text and skim reading on my part. I had felt like in recent days maybe a break might be prudent. I get like that with technology in general. Had such a dominance to my life since my first console and moreso with our first PC.

    @Rainbowcat Yeah - I focus on myself more when I'm feeling down. But that too, like video games and screen time has been persistent for a very long time.

    Therein lies the strange balance - of being extremely self-critical and harsh to myself, and yet thinking I'm special. There's talents - but there's been consistent underachieving. That's how I view myself, and how I have been reviewed in school, college and workplaces.

    True, this money has been a better use of this cheque than previous years. I had been running under the assumption that both assessments should be in quick sucession. Silly really, it'd be better to have one - let the results settle. Process them, then approach an autism assessment when I'm ready to pay, or when I hear from the NHS.

    Ed
     
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  10. Alexej

    Alexej Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    All the best Ed.
    Be yourself and lets see where the diagnosis falls
     
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  11. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    @Aspychata My GP's could never agree on meds in the early years with my anxiety and depression. Some were pro and recommended them promptly. Others held negative views about them.

    Lack of sleep was the worst for me, as my sleep has been fine. Usually undisturbed, but the main point is I don't struggle to fall asleep. I maybe have a couple of bad nights in a year, but never trying to sleep for more than an hour. The idea of insomnia terrifies me, which I guess is how it can get a foothold in some people's mind. Start that anxious vicious circle turning.

    So I avoided most meds as they made me feel wired. Reminiscent of being on molly - felt artificial in many ways. My last med was mirtazapine, but that had the opposite effect - I slept all the time. I ate so much and was never full. Slept so much too. That combo made me gain several stone in a couple of months. Funny thing is, when I stopped taking them I went from sleeping all the time to struggling to fall asleep for weeks. Insomnia fears have often been provoked due to meds.

    Another audiobook (about ADHD) I'm listening to at the moment said it's about 50-60% of people on medications for ADHD find it helps improve cognitive performance. The distraction is a problematic issue at work. To compensate for that, I suppose I feel a little more at ease by starting work early. It's a dull job though, only the stressful and random jobs or difficult customers feel like a positive challenge. The rest is mundane processing which has me going to autopilot and leads to silly mistakes.

    I re-read what I write a lot. Mainly to read how it scans and edit it. Strange really - viewing the text, looking at the surface for mistakes - as opposed to taking in the subtext. Not to say I don't, because I very often do. But the main purpose to re-read is to point out my typos.

    Says a lot really - that I re-read what I say, and with more concentration than I do other people's replies.

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
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  12. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Good news is that you are taking a critical eye and absorbing everyone's posts here. My friend did well on Ritalin, she had ADHD. She said it really helped her concentrate. If not on it, she couldn't clean her house because she just kept starting new tasks and never finishing them.

    At the end of the day, we have to accept who we are, the good, the not so great too.

    My goal is to try to live my life the best l can given my limitations. Maybe you are living your life your best, with set limitations. Anyways, it's good you are looking at yourself, with this comes maturity. ☺
     
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  13. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Well-Known Member

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    This thread has more words in it than I’ve ever seen. I’m ABCD, any more than 3 paragraphs and I’m lost.

    We need commercials.
     
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  14. Rainbowcat

    Rainbowcat Well-Known Member

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    I can relate to that. Having ADHD leads to underachieving. That's exactly why you shouldn't be so strict with yourself : society is already strict with you, don't be on yourself.

    I like reading your long posts.

    The way you write is similar with the way my ADHD brain thinks, i can relate to that too.

    You do a great job by spending your money wisely. Don't be sorry for spending it for getting a diagnosis.
    Other people spend money by buying expensive clothes or by going out eating or drinking alcohol.
     
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  15. 1ForAll

    1ForAll Active Member

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    I read many of your posts and NPD does not seem to fit based on what I see. Would a narcissist talk often of their faults, limitations, and call yourself names in your posts--- to be seen by other members? Not from what I understand. They want to be seen as perfect and above others and would focus on being seen as great and better than everyone else.

    And I do not think a condition with many similar traits as NPD like Antisocial Personality Disorder which I looked up fits either, as despite you saying you like it more when others are harmed, you talk of fearing confrontations, and you have panic episodes. Those persons with that 2nd condition I mentioned often lack fear and often do things without regard to the consequences.

    Just because you may have less outward empathy or seem distant to others or self-absorbed in ways, this does not mean a new condition. Heck my wife has admitted self absorption issues and has much less empathy than I, but it's because she has so many other issues and needs, besides attention difficulties, and thus she cannot take on others' problems. It's a self-preservation need to focus on herself and hyperfoces of interest to calm down first. That takes priority.

    She has ADHD and impulsive issues like you, and she would be more quick to point out her limitations and concerning issues like you than mentioning how great she was/is. So, she does not have those other 2 conditions either. I just don't see it that your words expressed in your posts shows any obsessive need or motivation to be admired, nor to trick or fool persons, or to make them angry or to hurt them through lies, etc.

    If that were the case, you could do a better job there, as not many people are getting upset at your posts..So, yeah, the ADHD and/or Autism seem like the obvious choices.
     
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  16. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I've been told that I'm self absorbed or egocentric, and I also believe that this is part of autism. The very word 'autism' means that, absorbed in one's self; that's the characteristic that caused the term to be coined. But the egocentricity that comes from autism is due to a tendency to analyse, overthink and dwell on one's own feelings, rather than a narcissistic confidence in one's own superiority and need to control/manipulate others for one's own gain.

    Autistic people also often have a need for control over their environment, the difference being that it comes from anxiety and a need for familiarity, or a need to regulate sensory input, rather than a need to maintain one's ego as in the case of narcissists.
     
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  17. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    That is such a slap in the face. They only think you are egotistical because you are not thinking about THEM! Ha. If you are absorbed with something important (i.e. not them) then you are self absorbed. Why not tell them,

    "I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT MYSELF, YOU (idiot), I AM THINKING ABOUT THE GALAXY! Now if you will excuse me, I am going back to being GALAXY-ABSORBED!"
     
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