Taking the plunge

I’ve been going back and forth about getting a formal diagnosis for years and years now. I’ve been weighing up the pros; closure, being able to access appropriate resources should I need them, being able to justify myself to employers and the cons; a barrier that employers might look at the diagnosis and dismiss, a label that I will have to declare, not getting the diagnosis because of lack of knowledge about female autism. This question of diagnosis constantly appears in my head. I can’t get rid of it. Now my situation of diagnosis has always been slightly different to most, for those who haven’t read my previous post ASD: My diagnosis, I was almost diagnosed as a child but after being referred to the clinic for autism driven assessments and support my parents made the decision that it would be detrimental for me to be out of school for 3 days a week going to the clinic while I was progressing at school. Anyway so surely this should be enough but I keep thinking what if.

So over a month ago I went to my GP for a referral. The GP obviously didn’t know much about autism and wanted to edge more to anxiety. I mean I found it even more hard to articulate myself than usual because I had left work to do this and it was a very important day at work and I didn’t want to be late back and the GP was 40 minutes late! So change of routine, lateness, stress = not helpful to an autistic’s state of mind doing something out of the ordinary. Anxiety was a result of the autism. But I managed to get the GP to write a referral.

Then yesterday I got a call from a mental health access team from my local area. I HATE the phone added with the pressure of what I was asking for (autism referral) I was crapping myself for want of a better term. Having to talk and justify to someone why you think you have autism is one of the hardest things to do, it’s not a typical thing to do. It felt horrible and weird and me just talking feeling like I need to say the right thing which feels horrible too. The experience overall was awful. The person on the phone then finally breaks the news that there is no way by the NHS to get an adult diagnosis. I knew I should have taken the list from the national autistic society website but as I stated before I wasn’t on my best form at the GP. She gave me the number for a clinic to go down the route privately.

Now I’ve got another decision to make private, go back to GP and try and refer to someone outside of my area (go back with my list) or not go for it at all. The main reason for getting the diagnosis is because I’m worried about my future. I fear that when I want to move job I will find it hard to get a new one. This is because after a while quirkiness doesn’t work anymore, as a child you can get away with being quirky in a sense of the environment you’re in (school) people bend backwards because they want the results to look good. However, when you are an adult no one wants quirky, quirky turns to odd, which turns to weird, which turns to wrong. I hate this perception though sadly this is still what we live in.

So after taking the plunge I’ve got to rethink and look at my options again and weigh the cost of the diagnosis, how respected a private diagnosis is or tackle the useless GP or be satisfied with myself knowing I’m autistic and I will always be and try to go for jobs first before thinking that I won’t get them because of my autism. Luckily I’ve got summer holidays to think about it (not all of it of course). Whatever I decide to do I will still be autistic.

Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. Peace out!

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8 thoughts on “Taking the plunge

  1. Good luck! I’m in a similar situation, myself. After fits and starts over the past years, now getting around to actively pursuing it. I’ve actually heard about adults being assessed by the NHS (and recently, too), so I’m not sure why you were told that. It’s my understanding that in order to access NHS resources, they sometimes prefer an NHS diagnosis. Well, what do I know? I’m in the US, and all I know is hearsay.

    Bottom line is, eventually we may both be in more “confirmed” states – and I hope it works out for you, because like me, you’re concerned about getting the support you need. So am I. We’re not getting any younger, and since women tend to live longer, we’ve got more to plan for.

    Let’s hope it all works out well, all around.

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  2. That’s horrendous, I’m sorry to hear that. My GP also didn’t know anything about autism, but I was very lucky she was open-minded and there was an NHS service in my area. 18 month waiting time, though, is not atypical.

    I hope I’m not overstepping here but the NAS seems to have useful things on diagnosis. (I used to hate their website but they redesigned it recently and it’s so much easier to navigate!) Specifically I found their page here: http://www.autism.org.uk/services/diagnosis.aspx . I don’t know if you can persuade your GP to refer you there but it might be worth a try?

    Once you get access to a service my experience is that they are great, there is no forcing you to talk on the phone and they give you lots of detailed info to help, eg how to get there on the way to your appointment. But I know that’s not helpful until you get access to them. I guess I’m just saying, don’t give up yet!

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    1. Thanks. It’s good to get advice I really appreciate it. I’ve been looking through the NAS website for places there’s so little available unless you live in a specific area. Fingers crossed I’ve just got to weigh up all my options properly and plan excessively!! Thanks so much for your support πŸ˜ƒ

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