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Untangling multiple diagnoses - what is causing what?

Discussion in 'Autism Science Discussions' started by Cazelle, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Cazelle

    Cazelle Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2019
    It seems quite common for people here to have more than one diagnosis so I have a question: how do you figure out which diagnosis or part of you is causing which behaviour? I have anxiety and depression on top of ASD, though I don't know if the anxiety and depression were caused by undiagnosed ASD prior to last month. Anyhow, sometimes I get paranoid, or can't think straight, or get agitated and I start thinking - is it the depression? is it the anxiety? is it the ASD? Or is it just actually reasonable and rational for this to be happening?

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jan 7, 2015
    It can be really confusing. I think there is some overlap at times. But my usual approach is to look up and compare the symptoms charts. Unfortunately there is usually no test they can do (like blood counts or something) and even professionals have to go mainly on symptoms shown to try and identify it. Not sure what you mean exactly by paranoid but it could be anxiety, which is treatable.
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  3. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Aug 18, 2018
    I think they all kind of work together. We're all those things, so pieces of all those things are going to get pieced together to create a reaction.
    Is there anyone here with autism that does not also have depression and anxiety diagnosis? Depression and anxiety usually go hand in hand - I'm not sure there's anyone diagnosed with one without also being diagnosed with the other. But if you think about it, a lot of the things from autism lead to the depression and anxiety. Our discomfort around people we don't know - when we're in a group of people we don't know - guess what?? Anxiety. The fact that we find it so difficult and wish it could be different? Depression.
    • Agree Agree x 4
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  4. Progster

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

    Nov 23, 2014
    I was diagnosed with depression at the same time as Asperger's, but not anxiety. But I did have an existing social phobia diagnosis from a long time ago. I feel that I should have been diagnosed with GAD too, as anxiety most definitely causes me a lot of problems. Perhaps he thought I didn't need a separate anxiety diagnosis, that anyone who has depression also automatically has anxiety? I wonder too, is it even possible to have depression without anxiety? One thing I'm certain of though, is that my anxiety and depression are a direct result of having ASD.

    Clearly there is a lot of overlap. A person with an ASD diagnosis also often has strong ADHD traits or OCD traits. These traits seem to be a part of ASD. The question is, are those traits naturally a part of ASD, or are they a separate condition that warrants its own diagnosis? I think that if one has the traits of, for example, OCD so strongly that they significantly affect your ability to cope with daily life, then yes, it should be treated as a separate diagnosis.
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  5. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

    Sep 2, 2018
    The only way to tell for sure is to eliminate the treatable ones. Find a SSRI that suits you and fixes or mitigates the serotonin imbalance that is depression/anxiety, and what's left is autism.

    Most autistic people have one or more co-occurring conditions that are separate from their autism, and anxiety & depression are the most common. They are almost inevitable in our current world since people who don't fit in, those who are marginalised, are at such a disadvantage that mental illness is much more likely. Being poor, in a racial minority or LGBTQ makes one more prone as well for the same reasons.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Aug 1, 2019
    I often wonder about this, but only out of curiosity. It's all interconnected and I've realized that it isn't really important if a particular trait or symptom is caused by depression, anxiety, autism, trauma or something else. It doesn't really change how I manage it, so worrying about how each thing affects me separately from each other thing isn't really helpful information and I fear that if I get too wrapped up in this, it will affect my identity and my ability to accept and manage my various difficulties in a effective way.

    In other words, I'd rather focus on managing my difficulties as they present than focus on untangling the mess of factors that lead to them.