Hello there fellow aspie lovelies!
First and foremost I would like to invite anyone and everyone to contribute to this thread. Men and women. I am primarily interested in women because I feel there are so many more of us out there undiagnosed and going through the same struggles as I (or we) do. I’m sure this is the case for many men too, but what interests me is that women are more difficult to diagnose and there is evidence and research out there that proves this…
My intention for this thread is to make new friends and share experiences with people alike. But ULTIMATELY, I want to find some answers, and I want to find ways of actually doing something about ASD in women, particularly high-functioning.
Here’s a bit about me – I’ve tried to keep it straight to the point and non-waffly. I am sure that as we all get to know each other and discuss more on this thread we will share our experiences in more detail…
I am Georgia. I am 34, female, have 2 young children, a professional job, a partner who I love dearly and is also the father to my children…
To others, on the outside, I appear completely normal and functioning, but also very confusing and unpredictable.
I am undiagnosed by the health professions, but positively self-diagnosed in the last month. I choose not to seek a diagnosis because I don’t want to risk my career, which I perform well in.
I have read and researched ASD for the last 6 months after discovering it for the first time and relating to it, and have done several online tests.
I have been previously diagnosed with depression and personality disorder. Help I’ve received has been counselling, psychiatrist and cognitive behaviour therapy. NONE of which have had any impact at all, if anything it makes me worse. I always have a meltdown after CBT.
My life, from a child until now has been an existence of angst, frustration, confusion, anxiety, unexplained meltdowns, poor relationships with family and friends, OCD, health obsessions, phobia of illness and hospitals, being misunderstood, depression, addiction, self harm, anger, inability to function for no explained reason, over-functioning some days to the point of hyperactivity…so yeah, the ‘normal’ things related with ASD. Nobody would really know this about me (apart from my partner who is amazingly supportive), because I don’t show it on the outside.
One of the books I’ve been reading, among several others, is:
Women from another planet? By Jean Kearns Miller
Anyone read it? Fab book. I related with so much of it. It’s basically written by a group of women who initially met on a forum/group (just like we potentially are) and who shared their experiences. They ended up compiling their thoughts and experiences into a book, also consisting of poetry. It’s a very uplifting and thought provoking book. But as I’ve really engaged with every part of it, there has been a question in my mind…
My response to reading it:
You say all this about ASD/autism/aspergers in women – BUT, what is actually being done about it? Yes, the book helps me in that I know others experience the same, but
What happens to people like me, who are leading a functional life (higher functioning ASD) and who have professional jobs, so cannot seek a diagnosis, yet need support?
I struggle every day to function, but I do it. Some days I just have a meltdown and can’t do it. I swear that if it wasn’t for my children I wouldn’t be here today. I feel like I need help but don’t know where or how to get it. I know now that the NHS cannot help me.
Another thing, what about raising awareness of other people like me (and us)? How many people must there be out there suffering the same, wondering what the hell is wrong with them, when all the time they have higher functioning ASD but just don’t know it?
I am really keen to do something to raise awareness and to help other women like us. Does anyone know if there IS already any help out there, and what? Or does anyone have any thoughts about how we can move forward from here? Even something as simple as setting up a support or awareness website?
I don’t know. The possibilities are endless I guess. I’d love to discuss any thoughts.
Thank you for reading. Love you all, whether you respond or not xxx