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I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in life

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I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in life

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:22 am

Hello,

I'm new here, been reading about Asperger's and it would explain so much about me: my social anxiety, inability to connect with people, excessive talking, repetitive counting, fidgeting, naivete, and my overall weirdness. I'm 40 years old, I've had social anxiety since I was 12, it got somewhat better after my early twenties but still very bad in certain situations. I'm to the point where I'm so tired of trying to be "normal" that I gave up, I've let go of the few friendships I had and can go for a couple weeks without talking to another person. I couldn't finish college, can't hold on to a job for more than about 2 years, I've created a job for myself with very little human contact working for and by myself. I do get lonely sometimes but it's just so stressful trying to connect with people and not scare them off.

Anyone else diagnosed as an older adult and how has being diagnosed affected you if at all?
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby FemmeAspie » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:44 am

I am 44 and was barely aware of the word Aspeger less than a year ago. Fresh diagnosis for me. I had a feeling I was somewhere on the spectrum but did not try to know more about it until my son was diagnosed last year.

I can connect to some people but always had this 'weird' label to me.

Try to find a psychologist or center that specializes in autism in adults. Not cheap but one needs to know about oneself.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby ThePurpleHaze » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:44 am

It's possible, but then again if you still have social anxiety at your age is it perhaps that is what prevents you from connecting with people? Your "giving up" would also suggest that you may have developed Schizoid Personality as a defence mechanism.

Either way, educate yourself the best you can on this condition and make an appointment with someone who can assess Asperger's.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby c2i » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:25 am

It's good to see that there are older adults here on psychforums. I turned 50 this summer and sometimes feel weird being here. I was diagnosed with mild schizophrenia but have heard that there is a DNA connection between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the autism spectrum, so I am interested in these things. I think there is a connection in my family between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

I found this channel Adults with Autism on Youtube informative
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTm2fFo9VPuVBDRw2AXcACw
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby shewasanisland » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:56 am

I'm still in my twenties, so I don't qualify as an older adult. Still, from personal experience and research on autism in adulthood, I've learned that getting a diagnosis is an eye-opening experience. It's not cheap, though, and many folks who are on the spectrum and cannot afford to visit with a qualified diagnostician slip under the radar. Many others self-diagnose after long and intensive study of the condition and find that to be sufficient.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:14 pm

Thank you for your responses.

I do believe there is more than the social anxiety going on with me, for one thing it's not so prevalent these days unless I am the center of attention in front of multiple people. When I was younger I couldn't eat, speak, write in public or make eye contact at all ( I don't know what I thought would happen to me but I just couldn't do these things). Now I can go out in public and be fine most of the time, though parties are still nerve racking for me (not that I go to any) because I don't know how to do the whole small talk thing. I read a post by someone else on here talking about how she can't do small talk and instead gets into deeper topics, I relate to a lot of what she said. It's like I have to tell people my whole life story, I talk way too much and always get the subject back to me - it drives me nuts. As I've come to notice these behaviours in myself over the years I have consciously tried to counter them but, it's taxing, I have to think about everything I'm saying and try to stay on topic, imagine conversations ahead of time to "practice" what I'll say and how I'll respond - it's too much! I'm tired.

I use to say that I felt like I was on a slightly different plane of existence, I crossed with others but never quite connected, it's hard to explain. I also feel like I'm the only one who didn't get a script - everyone else knows what's going on and what to say - I don't. I could go on and on about the experiences and thoughts I've had but who wants to read all that! I had to catch myself just this morning when I actually met with a client in person, which is rare, my talking was getting to be too much. When I catch myself doing that I wrap it up as best I can and say "I won't keep you any longer" - this is not something I've always been able to do. I studied psychology in college (didn't finish) because I wanted to figure out what was wrong with me and try to understand other people, I self diagnosed my social and general anxiety but that's as far as I got. I've seen numerous therapists over the years, been on several different medications, some that put me in zombie mode. Now I'm medicine free thanks to my "avoidance" behaviour, that's the way to go! The medication didn't help when the anxiety became too overwhelming anyway, I always had to leave my job, quit school, get out of the situation - I'm just so tired of trying to be something I'm not - normal - and failing every time. Now I just accept my flaws and work my life around them the best I can - which is lonely sometimes - but I can't handle another breakdown.

It's just nice to have these forums to discuss these things, for the most part I put on that mask and act like everything is fine.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby ThePurpleHaze » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:31 pm

I am glad you are not taking drugs for social anxiety. It is just a fear and you need to get over this fear (unless you ended up developing Avoidant Personality). One question, have you tried sexual therapy from a prostitute / high class escort? I know this sounds stupid but medically it will increase your confidence and reduce anxiety. This what having sex with beautiful women do. You never mentioned about your sex life, but if you are still a virgin at your age then this is a must.

Secondly, there are natural herbs for anxiety. Personally I take St. Johns Wort (300mg three times a day) to deal with my depression as it acts as an SSRI and also has anti-anxiety effects, but there also something called Kava Kava which is amazing for anxiety alone.

Finally, I agree that you probably have Asperger's. I strongly relate the communication area. What I have found helpful when at parties and social events is to either get drunk or high. I am nineteen, so this may not be socially acceptable for your age, but it does help.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:56 pm

Hello Purple,

I'm glad you mentioned that you are 19, otherwise my response to you may have been different because of you saying social anxiety is just a fear one needs to get over, plus the sex with a prostitute thing. SAD is a horrible condition that you can't just "get over", it's not simply stage fright, if you don't have it then you really can't understand. I've had it for 28 years and it has gotten better but I also don't put myself in anxiety provoking situations. When I was your age it was at it's worst, between 13 and 20 years old, you can't imagine what it's like being a teenage girl (yes I'm a girl) with this disorder, struggling to fit in and wanting to be the center of attention at the same time not wanting anyone to see you, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

With the drinking, yes, I was a heavy drinker the last couple years of high school, it made the anxiety go away, it also caused me to miss a lot of school and barely graduate and worry my mother to death. I don't self medicate at this point and have no urge to.

I was married, have a daughter and am about to be a grandmother. Actually, I lost my virginity when I was 17 thanks to the heavy drinking I was doing at the time, I don't even remember it but, my boyfriend at the time continued to expect sex from me after that night. We didn't stay together long. I had an incredible sex life with the man who would become my husband and father of my child, we had great chemistry, though I could never initiate sex and often had to have a couple drinks. I'm also uncomfortable with affection and am jealous about how easily my ex shows it to our daughter, i can't even say "I love you" unless my husband said it first and I responded "love you too". I've only said it once to my daughter, I'm just sooo uncomfortable with it. I remember when she was born and my husband held her for the first time, he kissed her head, I thought how odd that was and told myself that that is what parents do, that I could do that - it was a bit of a revelation for me. I'm not as close to my daughter as I would like to be and that's my fault, because of these problems I have. I try to show I love her by doing as much as I can for her.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby ThePurpleHaze » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:07 pm

crazy_cat wrote:Hello Purple,

I'm glad you mentioned that you are 19, otherwise my response to you may have been different because of you saying social anxiety is just a fear one needs to get over, plus the sex with a prostitute thing. SAD is a horrible condition that you can't just "get over", it's not simply stage fright, if you don't have it then you really can't understand. I've had it for 28 years and it has gotten better but I also don't put myself in anxiety provoking situations. When I was your age it was at it's worst, between 13 and 20 years old, you can't imagine what it's like being a teenage girl (yes I'm a girl) with this disorder, struggling to fit in and wanting to be the center of attention at the same time not wanting anyone to see you, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

With the drinking, yes, I was a heavy drinker the last couple years of high school, it made the anxiety go away, it also caused me to miss a lot of school and barely graduate and worry my mother to death. I don't self medicate at this point and have no urge to.

I was married, have a daughter and am about to be a grandmother. Actually, I lost my virginity when I was 17 thanks to the heavy drinking I was doing at the time, I don't even remember it but, my boyfriend at the time continued to expect sex from me after that night. We didn't stay together long. I had an incredible sex life with the man who would become my husband and father of my child, we had great chemistry, though I could never initiate sex and often had to have a couple drinks. I'm also uncomfortable with affection and am jealous about how easily my ex shows it to our daughter, i can't even say "I love you" unless my husband said it first and I responded "love you too". I've only said it once to my daughter, I'm just sooo uncomfortable with it. I remember when she was born and my husband held her for the first time, he kissed her head, I thought how odd that was and told myself that that is what parents do, that I could do that - it was a bit of a revelation for me. I'm not as close to my daughter as I would like to be and that's my fault, because of these problems I have. I try to show I love her by doing as much as I can for her.


The problem isn't my age as I have a vast understanding of psychology. The problem is that I don't believe Social Anxiety Disorder is real. It is not a mental illness where your brain is damaged and it is not a personality disorder in which you adopted defence mechanisms. I do agree that people with social anxiety can develop something such as Avoidant Personality Disorder but that is completely different from social anxiety alone. The core problem is simply fear and anxiety which I believe is something that can be dealt with. In psychology the method I talked about earlier for males is called a desensitization in which by facing your fear you eventually no longer become afraid of it. You even admit that you don't place yourself in anxiety provoking situations.
Last edited by ThePurpleHaze on Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I think I have Aspergers. . . being diagnosed late in li

Postby crazy_cat » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:26 pm

I can see we won't agree here, I see your ego, I used to have it. At your age, psychology was my passion, I even went to college for it, so I understand. I no longer put myself in anxiety provoking situations, no, but I have been in plenty over the years, trust me. Instead of trying to defeat and challenge my anxiety and other issues I now accept them because I don't want my life disrupted, I've lost a lot and I have a fragile balance going on now, if I push it I'm afraid that will be the end for me. I have hit absolute rock bottom and come up but, I'll never be the same and I won't survive another breakdown. Social Anxiety is quite real, as I have lived it for so long, no matter what you think you know, it's chemical which is why medication was created for it trying to balance out the chemistry in the brain. You have a lot of years ahead of you to live and learn, maybe you'll change your mind someday, maybe not. I don't think we should argue about it though because that's really not why I came on here, there are plenty of other forums for that, and I'm not as into arguing/debating as I used to be, I'm just looking for some understanding and support, which I don't get in my "real life".

Carry on.
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