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    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

that mysterious lifelong struggle

scarecrow

scarecrow

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
61
Location
uk
Hey all, I'll try and keep this short, but I suspect I could have some form of autism.

Initially I thought it was just adhd, since I did - and still do - have really bad organisational skills and frequently got distracted in class/when revising. However, after looking back on my time at school I noticed some 'symptoms' that didn't quite match up.

For one, my way of coping with the stress of moving schools was to get deeply obsessed with a specific topic, and my inability to consider much else made me very unpopular with my peers. My closest friend at the time frequently requested that I stop being 'weird' and talk about something other than my current interest, and they also tried to convince me that I was a sociopath at one point (which, they brought up some good points about me acting cold, and refusing hugs from them since it made my skin crawl, but I'm definitely capable of feeling attached to people).

I only began struggling socially in secondary school, when my obsessions weren't considered quite as amusing anymore, and my behaviour just looked plain odd to anyone who didn't know me personally. I performed poorly in most classes where speaking/performing were important; I distinctly remember the drama teacher telling me I was incapable of making expressions, which I became self conscious of.

I learned to hide most of these behaviours, because I realised that it was affecting how people percieved me, and since I had a barrage of teachers (and my parents) demanding that I perform better - become more organised - speak up in class - I became far less outgoing and shrunk into my shell, barely speaking about anything, and keeping my personal life as just that: personal. I was extremely self conscious, and everyone could tell.

You'd think these symptoms would have prompted tests of some sort, or at least suspicions, but my parents and the school were adamant that I was completely neurotypical. They called me lazy, disorganised, quirky - but when I suggested 'adhd' or 'autism' I was scoffed at.

Nowadays, at university, I still have a lot of the same issues. I've improved at opening up to people, since making friends was my main goal through the first few weeks, and my flatmates entertained my attempts to go out for walks or go shopping together. My 'obsessions' aren't quite as firm as they once were, because I make it a goal to minimise my interests as much as possible from fear of people getting an opinion of me. I don't enjoy parties, or loud social events, which did make it harder to get myself out there since every other student was intent on getting hammered - but I'm perfectly comfortable sitting in my dorm room, reading, drawing, or watching youtube. At the moment, I'm particularly invested in the cyberpunk genre, although I've also been massively addicted to DC comics (specifically scarecrow, hence my username) since my father passed away. I don't consider this good evidence of autism though since it's likely just a coping mechanism for my grief, but that's a separate issue entirely.

Anyway. That's that. I hope someone could shed some light on the situation - I've researched autism, aspergers, adhd and all that jazz very thoroughly, but I'd like to see if my experience lines up with someone elses more than anything else. If you think I'm overthinking things, then I'd like to hear that as well, I just want to get to the bottom of this.

Thank you so much if you read this far, I'll answer any questions if there are any.

Scarecrow
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
7,698
Location
Nashua NH
Hi there, for the past few years now I have thought that I am autistic too. I have a hard time with social situations and in communication outside of writing. I also lack emotional expression. In high school my drama teacher asked me what being angry looked like and I couldn’t show him. He came up with a conclusion similar to what your drama teacher told you which I find interesting.These qualities have lead to a lot of setbacks for me in various areas of my life. They make me different from other people in a way that disadvantages me. I spoke with my therapist about my concerns that I might be autistic. He asked me do I repeat the same words and phrases over and over? I said no. He said that I was probably not autistic then. But I still do think that I am autistic. Not all symptoms should have to match in order for the diagnosis to be made and there has to be some explanation to it right? I’m just tired of being different and feeling like I lack in certain areas that are important. I want to be like everyone else, to be able to express my emotions like everyone else to be able to interact socially normally and to be able to express myself through communication just like everyone else. I don’t know that having the validation of a diagnosis of autistic would be especially helpful since I don’t know if there is a treatment for it but at least I would be able to refer to the symptoms as something and have some explanation for what it is. xo, j
 
scarecrow

scarecrow

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
Messages
61
Location
uk
Hi there, for the past few years now I have thought that I am autistic too. I have a hard time with social situations and in communication outside of writing. I also lack emotional expression. In high school my drama teacher asked me what being angry looked like and I couldn’t show him. He came up with a conclusion similar to what your drama teacher told you which I find interesting.These qualities have lead to a lot of setbacks for me in various areas of my life. They make me different from other people in a way that disadvantages me. I spoke with my therapist about my concerns that I might be autistic. He asked me do I repeat the same words and phrases over and over? I said no. He said that I was probably not autistic then. But I still do think that I am autistic. Not all symptoms should have to match in order for the diagnosis to be made and there has to be some explanation to it right? I’m just tired of being different and feeling like I lack in certain areas that are important. I want to be like everyone else, to be able to express my emotions like everyone else to be able to interact socially normally and to be able to express myself through communication just like everyone else. I don’t know that having the validation of a diagnosis of autistic would be especially helpful since I don’t know if there is a treatment for it but at least I would be able to refer to the symptoms as something and have some explanation for what it is. xo, j
Hi Jessisme, I completely understand where you're coming from. ☺

I don't have the option of speaking to a therapist yet, but I suspect I'd probably get a similar response, because our symptoms are so hard to define that I feel most people would rather brush it off than try to figure it out properly. I can't blame them, but for us this is something that affects us every day and (at least in my situation) has lead to some unsavoury experiences. I think sometimes it takes some pushing to get the answers you really need.

I'm not sure if I repeat certain phrases, although it's entirely likely that I do it without noticing. Now I think about it, I do say 'sick' quite a lot when talking to my friends and family, as a default.

It feels good to know that I'm not the only one struggling through this though. I hope we can both find the answers we're looking for. 🙏
 
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