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Looking for answers

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by righan, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. righan

    righan Active Member

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    Hello. I hope you are all well.

    I am here with the hopes that I might find people who can help me sort through information and get some better answers than I have found on my own.

    As you might have guessed, I have not been diagnosed as ASD, but I suspect that it might be a possibility. (otherwise, why would I be here?). I am in my 40's and while I have always had certain eccentricities and learning challenges, I also have a high IQ and have largely been able to compensate.

    Of course, since Aspie wasn't even a diagnosis until 1994, I was out of high school before it was something I could be diagnosed with. I was, however, diagnosed ADD but the drugs they gave me simply heightened my emotional state and made me aggressive/destructive, so I was taken off it.

    I do remember that shortly after that time, someone mentioned Aspie to me as a diagnosis - maybe a college counselor or a therapist, I'm not sure who - and although from what I knew of the symptoms it fit pretty well. I've had sort of defacto assumption for the past 20 years that I was Aspie, but it has never really been of high importance to me to get more into it than that. I assumed it was behind my eccentricities, but I had developed (for the most part) systems for dealing with them and so it was never important whether I was actually Aspie or part of my identity. It was just 'me' and the stuff that was inconvenient was 'solved' ... such as my wife dealing with strangers, because they vex me.

    One of my strengths, however, has always been an exceptional long term memory. For instance, at work a client would come talk to me after four years and I would remember exactly who they were, and what I did for them, even if it was very minor.

    About six years ago, my memory started faltering, among other issues. So I went to a neurologist for help and they had me tested. Of course, I made the mistake of telling the testing person that I had previously been diagnosed with ADD .... after being told that, he told his testing person to change some of the tests, and guess what ... the result was that I have ADHD. No solution on the issues that I went there for.

    They put me back on Adderall ... and it does nothing for the brain deficit's they found ... such as working memory issues ... but it does help with mental fatigue, so I use it. But I have to stay at a low dose, otherwise it makes it hard to concentrate and makes me impulsive and increases emotional and sensory stimuli and so I get anxious because I'm overloaded. (So my full dose GIVES me ADHD symptoms... hmmmm)

    This whole thing, however, re-opened the idea of looking at my brain and understanding myself and how I work. About whether I have ADHD and/or something else.

    While not directly relevant - I also have a different condition called Cystic Fibrosis, which is a disease which is fatal and will result in lots of hospital stays and doctor care as it progresses. It is currently getting to that point where I need more hospital stays and I see lots of different doctors. My eccentricities are starting to become a complication for hospital stays and doctor care - such as doctors who want to change my diet and don't understand that the fact that I have eaten the same meals every week for the past six years isn't just because that's 'what I like' or 'I'm picky' ... or the fact that I wear essentially the same outfit all the time isn't just a style choice ... so when I'm not willing to wear hospital gowns during a hospital stay, its not a 'choice'.

    So a year ago, I was talking to a friend who has known me for 20 years, and she told me I was an Aspie. I asked her why she thought that, and she said it was because I was just like her husband who is formally diagnosed as an Aspie. That reminded me that someone had mentioned Aspie for me a long time ago, so I started looking into seeing someone about it ... and discovered there are no adult specialists in my area ... and the internet said that its very difficult for adults to get diagnosed, particularly if they have already been diagnosed with ADHD due to its similarities to ASD. That you have to build up a good case for why you think you are Aspie before you go see someone.

    So, the past year I've been studying both ASD and ADHD, as well as brain deficits in general, and trying to analyze myself independently of the conditions ... and I've accumulated a lot of information, one of the most important details being that I have been using certain words and concepts in a different way than those who test do ... so I've answered their questions wrong over the years. However, one of the big issues, is that a lot of info is conflicting ... if you read the right articles, ADHD is described as having a lot of the same symptoms as Aspie ....

    So right now I'm honestly not clear whether I am an Aspie with ADHD .... or simply someone with ADHD ... but I want to be honest with myself. I don't trust a doctor to be objective ... and I honestly don't trust the tests ... I don't doubt the objective data ... but I doubt the interpretation. As someone who has spent an entire life with doctors, I have watched them be wrong about a diagnosis about things multiple times. Interpretations of data is not always correct ... and doctors usually aren't looking for truth ... they just want you out of their office. When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras. Good advice, except some times the answer is a zebra.

    So, after all of that, my hope is to participate in discussions with people here, learn more about ASD symptoms from people with the condition here and to present/ask about some of my experiences and symptoms and get perspectives all with the intent of gaining clarity and truth. I want to be honest with myself first, but ultimately, if I am Aspie, I want to put together a good approach/argument I can take to a therapist/neurologist and make a decent case to pursue a formal diagnosis/testing.

    Thank you in advance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  3. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You may get something out of conversation with other Aspies. I know I did. But in the end the job of finding the answer will come back to you and/or doctors if you want an official diagnosis.
     
  4. righan

    righan Active Member

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    Tom,

    I certainly understand and appreciate that ... and I'm not really one to look for help. Obviously ... I've been looking into ASD for over a year and I'm just now going to the forums to talk to people.

    However, I am also left with the problem that I know that if I want an official diagnosis its going to be a war. One I have to come prepared for.

    And right now, I am not even sure if its a worthy battle to fight. I may not even be Aspie. Just because *I* think I am doesn't make it so. I need perspective on this and I don't think continuing to amass data and read books is going to help me get that ... I need to talk to someone ... talk to people ... and without an adult ASD specialist in my area ... I don't really know who to talk to ... So I am here.

    I know there are no magic fixes, I know that I may not get anything out of this. I know that I may find no answers here. I know that even if I do find answers here and become certain of my status as an Aspie that I may still not be able to get a diagnosis. That's reality. That's life.

    I am a person who has lived his whole life in a body that is trying to kill him and on top of it has had his own mind and sensory and social apparatus misbehaving as well. I accepted we don't get what we want from life a long time ago.

    Thanks for your comment!
     
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  5. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    So what would help you?
     
  6. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    They're different enough that I don't see how one can be unsure of one or the other or both. :eek:
     
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  7. Isadoorian

    Isadoorian Well Known Chat Member, Welcomer of Newcomers V.I.P Member

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    Welcome to the Forums! I hope you make new friends and enjoy your stay in the process! :)
     
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  8. righan

    righan Active Member

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    To everyone in general - Thank you everyone so far for your notes, I appreciate it.

    To Wolf Prince and Fino,

    I will answer you both with the same response...

    To tell the truth, I was pretty certain of my Aspieness (is that a word?) and so was my wife, until out of a sense of thoroughness we decided to also study ADHD just to make sure that my symptoms couldn't be explained by ADHD ... and that's what made us suddenly question things, because many ADHD articles and books started describing many of the same things we had found in articles and books on being Aspie.

    Several even ascribed different symptoms to Aspie than the Aspie articles had or used different language to describe those symptoms ... so it started to get very murky and disheartening. Which is one of the reasons I realized I needed to talk to people who actually HAD the condition to start getting perspective. You can't always trust books and articles, but you can trust people who have a condition.

    Here is a list of behaviors I've found associated with ADHD in various articles that are also associated with ASD - An inability to pick up on social queues, difficulty with transitions (getting started on things), Intense daydreaming is associated with ADHD which has a similar behavior called 'spacing out' in ASD, people with ADHD can exhibit stimming similar to people with ASD, those with ADHD have a tendency to interupt people a lot but so do Aspies, both ADHD and ASD can impact auditory and visual sensory experiences, ADHD suffers tend to talk a lot but Aspies can also talk a lot if its about a topic that is important to them, ADHD interfers with executive functioning of the brain, so does ASD, making it difficult for them to make decisions, get organized, etc.

    I don't deny that I have ADHD. Its just a question of whether or not I have both conditions (and yes, you can have both conditions). In my heart of hearts ... I still think I'm Aspie, even if I'm currently in a state of doubt ... and probably deep down, I'm looking to be reassured of that. However, the fact that I think that also makes me wary of self-delusion.

    As to what will help ... While I'm not really in a rush, my plan will be to participate ... see how people think ... look for myself in others ... and share some of the way I think and behaviors and see if other people feel that those behaviors fall within their frame of reference ... So what would help me is to just share my who I am and have people who know better be able to relate to that ... or not ... maybe get some perspective ... maybe I describe how I think on some level or behave and someone says 'yeah, thats not how it is for Aspies' ... or they says 'oh, yeah, thats exactly how it is for me.' or maybe I'll just get something that indistinct like 'I don't know' ... but thats okay too. All I can do is ask, and all people can do is be honest. I'm not looking for miracles. If I don't ask, I wont know.

    Thanks again!
     
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  9. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    If it helps. I have aspergers, add, and Scihzotypal. So yeah I get the mixed diagnosis thing.
    On the flip side im so special. No one knew which word best described me. So nyah!:p
     
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  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Welcome, it sounds like it will be useful and interesting for you here.

    I am self diagnosed high autistic traits or Aspergers. I hear what you are saying about the apparent similarities, and although there's room for discussion I think it's more about how the behaviour is used for example, I think Aspies interrupt through difficulties assessing when to speak in conversation, whereas with ADHD I think its more about the person going at a faster speed. Intensive daydreaming is more action packed than spacing out. The type of 'talking a lot' is likely to be qualitatively different etc. However as you say, if you have both and that's quite likely from what you say, it probably would be hard to work out in some areas, which is operating. I hope you enjoy it here and find plenty of useful information and threads.

    :surfer::swimmer::surfer::snowboarder::runner::rowboat::bicyclist::sunflower:
     
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  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I have both.

    Sounds like you just should just hang out and participate and see how it goes! I expect you'll have many, many instances of "ME TOO," and "EXACTLY" and such like that.

    If not, and you have more reactions like, "that's weird," or, "not me," then there ya go!
     
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  12. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Hello & welcome.
    Autlanders, Thriving Outside of the Box: Finding Support Resources in the USA...
    I and most of my ASD children were mis-diagnosed with ADHD, first; even my obvious ASD2 son. It reminds me of the jump-rope chant (below).

    My ADHD was finally ruled out by the TOVA test.
    Aspergiation...? Autification...?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Miss Lucy Had a Baby
    Miss Lucy had a baby,
    she called him Tiny Tim!
    She put him in the bathtub
    to see if he could swim.

    He drank up all the water,
    he ate up all the soap.
    He tried to eat the bathtub
    but it wouldn't go down his throat.

    Miss Lucy called the doctor,
    Miss Lucy called the nurse.
    Miss Lucy called the lady
    with the alligator purse.

    In came the doctor,
    in came the nurse.
    In came the lady
    with the alligator purse.

    'It's measles!' - said the doctor.
    'It's mumps!'- said the nurse.
    'He's faking!' - said the lady
    with the alligator purse.

    Miss Lucy hit the doctor.
    Miss Lucy slapped the nurse.
    Miss Lucy paid the lady
    with the alligator purse.

    Out went the water.
    Out went the soap,
    Out went the bathtub,
    that wouldn't go down his throat.

    Out went the doctor,
    Out went the nurse.
    Out went the lady
    with the alligator purse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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