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A few weeks ago, aged 43, I received my Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. Unfortunately immediately after delivering the diagnosis I was informed there is no help for diagnosed adults in the UK's North West, where I live. So I am almost back to square one. I have been given links and things to read, but I really need to talk to someone. Get an idea of where to go from here. I feel that 43 years of my life have been wasted trying to fix things when I could have been revelling in the talents that I have, but am only just now beginning to understand. Hopefully this forum will be a start. After years of trying to fix my personality and character traits, I have suddenly discovered I was going about it all wrong all along. As each day goes by and with each new article or post I read, I discover more about myself that links in. Here's my list - how does it compare with yours? (apologies for the length, I know long posts are frowned upon on most forums, but hey - skip it if you prefer. Hope it is an enjoyable read.) Control Freak - an absolute need to control and plan not just my life but everyone else's (and everyone else just loves it when I butt in). Change Meltdown - my eyes gloss over and my mind hits overdrive whilst I try to come to terms with a change in the plan. I am going shopping with my wife - but now someone else is coming too. That wasn't in the plan! Aaaaaaaaarrggghhhh!!!! Poor working memory - writing lists seems like a great idea to get past this, but turns out to be a nightmare, as I forget each point just as I start to write it. Prospective Memory - inability to remember to do anything. I have alarms on my phone to remind me to eat lunch and dinner. Drives my wife crazy. I can easy drive 50 miles past a turning without realising I was supposed to turn. SatNavs have saved me! I am not just late for meetings, I simply don't turn up and realise hours or even days later (or not at all). Social conversations - do I really need to go into this? I just feel like I am not there. I can be the centre of attention making everyone laugh and be having a great time. Then within minutes find myself lost, with no idea of what to say or to whom. I really hate this. Social Situations - a completely overriding fear of everything and yet nothing in a potential social situation. This totally controls my life and is the main area I have tried to change, with hypnotherapy, NLP, counselling, drugs. I was a professional club DJ for over ten years, but can I get on a dance floor with my wife? No chance! No no no no no. And I hate myself for it. Its not fare on her. I really despise it. Loner - I have friends but none I can call "best friend." Over the years I have scared people off or drifted apart without knowing what to say, or even that I should say something. For the most part people must think I am weird, eccentric is the nice term, and those that deal with it do so, but I guess most eventually leave me alone. My closest friends live in other cities - I think distance/lack of daily contact, may be key to me keeping friends. No Flirt - "my friend isn't interested, will you please stop flirting with her." "Errr, I am not flirting." Retreat into corner. Lots of Flirt - on a few occasions in my youth I discovered girls had been flirting with me for up to 6 months without me having a clue. One quicker example was in a club when my friends left without me, figuring I was preoccupied with a girl. To this day I have no idea who they were talking about. Arrogance - I suspect many people think I am arrogant. I think I pass on information in a manner unsuited to the situation and puts me in a bad light. Bit confused on this one. Me, Myself and I - stunning ability to go on about myself, or things that have happened to me, or will happen to me, or my clothes, or my hair, or my friends, or something I saw etc. See below (and above). Collecting - seems to be a general ASD trait, but lots of people collect and I am not one of them. Ok, so I have over 50 pairs of shoes, but just 50, not 500. The difference appears to lie in the manner of the collection, or how the collection is treated. I have lots of music (was once a professional club and radio DJ). I do not consider this collecting. However I have designed my own rhythm notation and order my tracks according to their main beats as described by my notation. Apparently this is unusual. Detail Spotting - if something small is dropped, it will always be me that spots it first. I can pick out tiny details in seconds. This has pros and cons. Total focus - on one hand I can have phenomenal focus at the cost of everything else. I become totally unaware that anything else is happening except what I am focusing on. I can go for a day without eating, or stopping. Easily Distracted - on the other hand, if the environment is not perfect (no music, nothing moving like birds flying past the window, no interruptions etc) and I am thus unable to get into The Zone, I am distracted by anything from a cloud to a thought. I will then go off on a mission to follow the cloud or thought and then another tangent and another and, have I told you about my first pet fish? Sounds - I note many Aspies have issues with noises. I do also, but not in a negative way, its in a totally consuming way. Having music on whilst doing something else like writing this is a total no-no. I'll just get lost in the high hats, or the bass line. Making out as a teen with romantic music lead to several misconstrued situations of apparent disinterest. Photosensitivity - I wear Reactolite glasses and my prescription sunglasses are the darkest available tint, despite the optician trying to persuade me otherwise. Extremes - I am in or out, very little in between. I failed an exam at uni, told the Professor immediately and he laughed saying all students think that. I got 26%. He took pity and I resat gaining 100% - his first student to ever score so high. He offered me a job. Dr Spock - my childhood hero. He was the only person in my world that I got. I could relate to everything he said. After reading inside this forum, I suspect a number of Aspies will relate to this. Whilst others were wondering if Jim Morrison was reincarnated into their body, I was considering how Dr Spock could pull it off. Anger - the frustration of not dealing with situations explodes inside my head. I have two very young kids and this is becoming a serious issue in my own head. I can feel it inside and am so scared one day it will boil over and I'll do something stupid. When looking for help in this area a councillor suggested Asperger's, and so the diagnosis process began. Incorrect Phrasing - just saying stuff wrong. How many times have people looked at me like I am crazy? I almost got fired after writing an email explaining a situation. Friends read the email and jaws dropped, "you wrote this without getting fired?" I had no idea what was wrong with the email. It was just facts. Simple. A friend wrote a guide on how to write emails in future. Still have my job, so guess it worked. "Cheer up" - so many people have said to me so many times I look miserable when I am really happy. Dead Pan - a good friend said to me the other day she has no idea when I am being serious. A quick ask around and apparently everyone thinks this of me. I guess facial expressions are not my forte, yet I think I wear my heart on my sleeve. Confusing. Repetition/Perfection - any idea how many times I have read this post before actually posting it? 18 at time of posting. I'll re-read it a few times after posting also. Ecstasy and Empathy - took ecstasy (MDMA) in my twenties. Totally changed my life. I remember very clearly sitting in a club and connecting with the feelings of the person I was talking to. This totally blew my mind. I sat there thinking I was telepathic or something. I told a friend later that night and she explained it was empathy. I am still not very good at it, but at least I know it exists now. Did you know it was two ecstasy researchers that independently invented the world "empathogen" (Ralph Metzner and David E. Nichols)? I note that some autistic researchers are planning the first study using MDMA treatment. thanks for getting this far
Hi everyone, I'm 33 and in the last year have begun to realise I may have Asperger's Syndrome. I've started to investigate and am recognising more and more of myself with each new thing I read. I even did that "Aspie Quiz" online and got an Aspie score of 167/200. I told my doc that I thought I had AS a couple of months ago. He said I was depressed and put me on a waiting list for counselling. He also said it was extremely doubtful that I have AS as i have been able to hold down a job and have made friends. He thinks that even if I do have traits they are so mild i shouldn't care. But I do care. I'm anxious, exhausted and lonely and if I don't find effective ways to deal with this I'm going to continue having breakdowns. None of the counselling I've had in the past has worked as it has been very short term and isn't really focused on the right thing. Now I'm wondering if it's worth pushing for an official diagnosis. A quick search on this forum has revealed some horror stories and given that NHS services are being cut left, right and centre, I know it would be hard work. Ultimately, it's my choice as to whether to push for a diagnostic assessment, but I'm interested in how having/not having one has impacted on others out there. So I was wondering... ...Are there resources I can access without an official diagnosis? And a question for anyone that has an official diagnosis - how much of a difference did it make to your life? Did it help you access support? Provide greater understanding for you and those you shared it with? Or have you found that nothing's changed? Thanks for your help!