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Unsure about therapist appointment

AuroraBorealis

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone, I have an appointment this week with a new therapist and I am unsure whether I want to go or cancel it.

It’s mostly about me getting frequent meltdowns from oversocialization, I did a whole post about it a while ago. Basically, I freak out when I am around people for too long without the possibility of being alone for a longer time. I don’t really notice it creeping up on me, only that suddenly I start feeling very irritable, close to tears and fidgety, until finally I snap at everyone and start crying. Over the past few months, it’s happened way more often than usual, but I think also because I was very stressed. I just started unwinding for the last 3 weeks and I feel that it’s getting less. It almost happened today, but thankfully, I managed to tell the people I was with that I need to put on headphones now for a while – before that I had already started being snappy for a while, though.

I get that a lot of people experience oversocialization and need to be alone after a certain amount of time, but I feel like I’m alone in the feeling that I have no control over it. I feel like I act out like a child when it gets too much, and other people don’t do that. I have trouble identifying signs in myself that I’m getting close to my limit, and then I have major trouble telling people my boundaries and retreating from the social situation if I need to because I’m scared of hurting people’s feelings or offending someone. I feel like those are things the therapist could, indeed, help me with.

On the other hand, though, I struggle with imposter feeling (not only with this) and feel like I am way too functional to request help for this. From my friends, I get the feedback that “everyone has their things” and that I shouldn’t pathologize this trait about me. They surely have a point, but I suffer from it and feel like I don’t have it under control like I should. But I don’t even really know what I’m supposed to tell this therapist. I made the appointment right after a social meltdown, when I really felt that I need help. Right now I feel fine, and I really want to cancel the appointment because I’m embarrassed about taking up her time when other people need it way more than me. But I also know it’s only a matter of time until I get my next social meltdown. Also, I know that I have it all thought out and know why I have this and that, so therapists usually think I don’t need them, since I have it all sorted out. The problem is, I don’t need them explaining myself to me, but I do need their help to figure out how to navigate this.

She’s a therapist specialized in autism and ADHD, which I think would be a good person for me to talk to. I don’t know if I have any of it, but I certainly have traits from both (probably not enough for a diagnosis for either one, but enough to make life really difficult a lot of the time). She also does assessments, but I am not sure yet if I want to do one at some point or not.
But I feel really embarrassed and like I have no right and shouldn’t make a fuss about this. Like, many people struggle and I just need to get over it.

Thank you for reading this far. I don’t really know what I’m hoping for. I realize the way I’ve written this post goes more into the direction of doing the appointment this week rather than cancel it.

I’m both scared of maybe getting a diagnosis and of not getting a diagnosis. The former would be a major thing for me that I’d probably still feel that I have no right to, and the latter would mean that I’m just a very weird neurotypical person with… issues… who can’t really deal with other people.
 

Judge

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I’m both scared of maybe getting a diagnosis and of not getting a diagnosis. The former would be a major thing for me that I’d probably still feel that I have no right to, and the latter would mean that I’m just a very weird neurotypical person with… issues… who can’t really deal with other people.
In my own case I look back with hindsight knowing that not being in touch with who- and what I am probably cost me a great deal more in simply not knowing.

That it's better to step out of your comfort zone in such circumstances as it may well be worth it. You're here, so that says a great deal already about who you think you might be, and why. Though I don't believe one needs a diagnosis necessarily, short of seeking government entitlements that demand a formal diagnosis.

Instead of being scared, consider the confidence you have in coming here in the first place. You're on your way, whether you get that formal diagnosis or not. With the reality that very few people end up here who didn't belong.

Oh...and happy birthday! ;)
 

Misery

Amalga Heart
V.I.P Member
I get that a lot of people experience oversocialization and need to be alone after a certain amount of time, but I feel like I’m alone in the feeling that I have no control over it.

I promise you, you arent alone in this one. Really darned common for those on the spectrum. Seriously, REALLY common. Getting overloaded by stuff is one of the most frequent things that happens with autism, and socializing is very often one of those things that will trigger the overload state. And this generally is not controllable. It can be resisted for a time perhaps, but...

I know it happens to me. I tend to be resilient and I can stay in control for longer than many, but still, eventually I *will* crash. I cannot control that. The only thing I can do when that's approaching is to retreat. But of course, that's not always an option, like at an airport or something.

Any good therapist is aware of things like this though. It wont be new to them. Helping you to navigate exactly that sort of problem is what they do. Offering strategies for keeping calm and delaying overload is another thing they can do. So you last longer in social situations. That sort of thing.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Hi everyone, I have an appointment this week with a new therapist and I am unsure whether I want to go or cancel it.

It’s mostly about me getting frequent meltdowns from oversocialization, I did a whole post about it a while ago. Basically, I freak out when I am around people for too long without the possibility of being alone for a longer time. I don’t really notice it creeping up on me, only that suddenly I start feeling very irritable, close to tears and fidgety, until finally I snap at everyone and start crying. Over the past few months, it’s happened way more often than usual, but I think also because I was very stressed. I just started unwinding for the last 3 weeks and I feel that it’s getting less. It almost happened today, but thankfully, I managed to tell the people I was with that I need to put on headphones now for a while – before that I had already started being snappy for a while, though.

I get that a lot of people experience oversocialization and need to be alone after a certain amount of time, but I feel like I’m alone in the feeling that I have no control over it. I feel like I act out like a child when it gets too much, and other people don’t do that. I have trouble identifying signs in myself that I’m getting close to my limit, and then I have major trouble telling people my boundaries and retreating from the social situation if I need to because I’m scared of hurting people’s feelings or offending someone. I feel like those are things the therapist could, indeed, help me with.

On the other hand, though, I struggle with imposter feeling (not only with this) and feel like I am way too functional to request help for this. From my friends, I get the feedback that “everyone has their things” and that I shouldn’t pathologize this trait about me. They surely have a point, but I suffer from it and feel like I don’t have it under control like I should. But I don’t even really know what I’m supposed to tell this therapist. I made the appointment right after a social meltdown, when I really felt that I need help. Right now I feel fine, and I really want to cancel the appointment because I’m embarrassed about taking up her time when other people need it way more than me. But I also know it’s only a matter of time until I get my next social meltdown. Also, I know that I have it all thought out and know why I have this and that, so therapists usually think I don’t need them, since I have it all sorted out. The problem is, I don’t need them explaining myself to me, but I do need their help to figure out how to navigate this.

She’s a therapist specialized in autism and ADHD, which I think would be a good person for me to talk to. I don’t know if I have any of it, but I certainly have traits from both (probably not enough for a diagnosis for either one, but enough to make life really difficult a lot of the time). She also does assessments, but I am not sure yet if I want to do one at some point or not.
But I feel really embarrassed and like I have no right and shouldn’t make a fuss about this. Like, many people struggle and I just need to get over it.

Thank you for reading this far. I don’t really know what I’m hoping for. I realize the way I’ve written this post goes more into the direction of doing the appointment this week rather than cancel it.

I’m both scared of maybe getting a diagnosis and of not getting a diagnosis. The former would be a major thing for me that I’d probably still feel that I have no right to, and the latter would mean that I’m just a very weird neurotypical person with… issues… who can’t really deal with other people.
You are making up reasons not to go. You are really just afraid of therapy itself.

Go to the appointment. The worst that can happen is... nothing happens and you don't go again. OTOH, you may gain some insight and some techniques to avoid stress.
 

AuroraBorealis

Well-Known Member
You are making up reasons not to go. You are really just afraid of therapy itself.
Partly yes, partly no. I've been in therapy for other reasons before, I'm not scared of therapy itself. But maybe I am scared of being in therapy for this particular thing, because it feels like a part of my core personality. You're right, though. I'll go to this appointment and see how it goes from there.
I promise you, you arent alone in this one. Really darned common for those on the spectrum. Seriously, REALLY common. Getting overloaded by stuff is one of the most frequent things that happens with autism, and socializing is very often one of those things that will trigger the overload state. And this generally is not controllable. It can be resisted for a time perhaps, but...

I know it happens to me. I tend to be resilient and I can stay in control for longer than many, but still, eventually I *will* crash. I cannot control that. The only thing I can do when that's approaching is to retreat. But of course, that's not always an option, like at an airport or something.

Any good therapist is aware of things like this though. It wont be new to them. Helping you to navigate exactly that sort of problem is what they do. Offering strategies for keeping calm and delaying overload is another thing they can do. So you last longer in social situations. That sort of thing.
Thank you, your answer has helped me. Mostly with my imposter feelings. I will see what this therapist says. I usually don't completely crash in loud, bright situations as long as I don't have to actually talk to anyone, although it's exhausting and uncomfortable. Crowded, overly full and bright shops make my head go weird (like I can't concentrate so well anymore) and seem to pull energy from my body the second I enter. But I won't crash, I just feel tired, like my body's low on battery. That's also why I felt that I don't have "enough" symptoms.
While being in direct, close interaction with people, I crash, though. It's worse the more they pay attention to me and the more I have to participate. I can keep up appearances for quite a long time if I really have to, but at some point, I will crash.
In my own case I look back with hindsight knowing that not being in touch with who- and what I am probably cost me a great deal more in simply not knowing.

That it's better to step out of your comfort zone in such circumstances as it may well be worth it. You're here, so that says a great deal already about who you think you might be, and why. Though I don't believe one needs a diagnosis necessarily, short of seeking government entitlements that demand a formal diagnosis.

Instead of being scared, consider the confidence you have in coming here in the first place. You're on your way, whether you get that formal diagnosis or not. With the reality that very few people end up here who didn't belong.

Oh...and happy birthday! ;)
Thank you :)
Thanks for the validation, too.
 

AuroraBorealis

Well-Known Member
Follow-up: I went and she was very nice and asked me lots of questions. At some point, I just kept laughing and shouting "yes" at every question because they all fit perfectly. Example: After talking about how I was at P.E. at school (abysmal) she asked if I'm scared of balls. Heck, yes, I am, throw or kick a ball within a radius of 100 meters around me and I will flinch.
Anyway, according to her, it's "highly likely" that I have autism, and she doesn't recommend me a screening (which she also offers, as a pre-step to the whole assessment) since she considers it superfluous in my case.
Alrighty, then.
 

vergil96

Well-Known Member
Anyway, according to her, it's "highly likely" that I have autism, and she doesn't recommend me a screening (which she also offers, as a pre-step to the whole assessment) since she considers it superfluous in my case.
Alrighty, then.
My doctor said something similar.
 

AuroraBorealis

Well-Known Member
My doctor said something similar.
This therapist also told me that even though I don't have the diagnosis black on paper, she would like me to get comfortable with the idea of telling people I have autism if I need to explain certain things about me (like overstimulation and social meltdowns) or need to ask for certain things related to it, because apparently it makes it easier for people around us to be understanding.
How did you deal with your doctor telling you this?
I still struggle a bit with imposter feelings, even though she told me this, but it's better than before.
 

vergil96

Well-Known Member
How did you deal with your doctor telling you this?
I still struggle a bit with imposter feelings, even though she told me this, but it's better than before.
Hmmm. I felt better after being told that a psychological diagnosis would be more than enough and taxing in terms of stress. When I look at the diagnostic process, it doesn't seem to be geared towards my circumstances and issues. I don't underperform in any way, I burn out from demands that are suited to my needs such as too much sensory input, too much multitasking, lack of routine, too high communication demands. I'm not sure about other things, but I have an extremely hard time taking part in group conversations in crowded places, for example, because I don't hear what other people are saying, just every other word, it's hard to make sense of it. If someone is being accusatory that I find it impossible to both listen and do the body language work in such a situation, it's even more taxing. So to sum up, I felt relieved that someone shares my opinion that testing wouldn't make much sense and isn't geared towards my kind of issues.

My doctor also believed me right away when I told her that my therapist pointed out why he thinks I'm on the spectrum. I'm glad I found him, a lot of things finally make sense and there was a lot that I didn't know about autism. Especially what it looks like in people who can mask and don't have (major) academic struggles and hence go under the radar until adulthood.

I don't struggle with imposter syndrome, because I've heard questions my whole life whether I have Asperger's syndrome. I have family members who aren't diagnosed but have more obvious low support needs autism, and two further cousins who are nonverbal, so when someone asked I replied that apparently no, but there might be something to it, because of my family and similarities I have with people who are formally diagnosed.
 

AuroraBorealis

Well-Known Member
Especially what it looks like in people who can mask and don't have (major) academic struggles and hence go under the radar until adulthood.
That's it. I never had any academic struggles, apart from temporary poor stress management at university. I usually achieved top marks. Studying was my safe space for a long time, whenever I felt overwhelmed by social and family stuff. It's quick to fall under the radar, then.
I don't struggle with imposter syndrome, because I've heard questions my whole life whether I have Asperger's syndrome.
I see. That's what I hear from a lot of people and what makes it hard for me. No one ever seemed to suspect anything. I was extremely shy and very "odd" with special interests and very repetitive play and leisure activities and played sick very often to not go to school until I was around 10 or 11, so tbh I am sort of confused as to why my parents never suspected anything. But they're in general just the sort of people who tend to ignore unpleasant things and hope for them to go away on their own, so they might have suspected something to be off but never said anything. And when I got older, I got better and better at masking. So yeah, no one ever suspected anything and by now I guess I got so skilled at playing a role that no one would guess anything anymore, unless they know me very well and/or spend more than a few hours time with me.
 

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