Dec. 5th, 2011

What up?

Dec. 5th, 2011 11:20 am
flyboy_fox: (I'm a free bitch baby~!)
I've been absent for a while, I know ^^; I've been trying to get my life in check, trying to make some progress since the appointment I had at The Priory in Bristol. I'll copy over what I said on SSMB so that I don't have to type out the TL;DR twice XD Sorry for th formatting weirdness.

--
I dropped out of school when I was 14 due to complex
issues and at that time I was slapped with a diagnosis of Asperger's
Syndrome (a mild form of autism for anyone who doesn't know). Yes, it
accounted for some of my issues: my sensory integration problems,
particularly, and my mild dyspraxia. Perhaps also my 'obsessions'. But I
never felt that the label fully fit me. I'm not a very social person
and I didn't have many friends as a kid, but I've never had the 'theory
of mind' difficulties that autistic people are supposed to have. I can
perfectly well understand emotions in other people, I like to think that
I'm quite empathic, I have no problems with sarcasm, puns, irony and
other subtleties in language. I've never spoken in a stiff or rigid way
and had no delay or peculiarities in language as a child. I have
obsessions, yes, but they don't dominate my life, I don't talk about
them incessantly around people who aren't involved in them (or even
those who are), or try to push them on anyone. The whole social/theory
of mind issues that are supposed to be the hallmark of Asperger's
Syndrome just don't exist in me. Yet I stuck with the label for 13 years
because it was the only one that seemed to even come close to
explaining the problems I've had all my life.

Funnily enough, the new diagnosis my psychiatrist gave me is one that my
oooold clinical psychologist tried to give me many years ago at the
same time as the AS diagnosis, but it just didn't seem possible so my
mum and I both laughed it off and refused to even consider it. Now it's
come up again and I'm left thinking 'if only we'd listened back then'.

My new shrink suggested that I have what used to be called ADD and is
now called ADHD-PI. That is to say, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive. Back when it was first suggested
to me, every child and their dog was being diagnosed with AD(H)D and we
thought my psychologist was just jumping on the bandwagon. But after I
got home this time around, I looked it up and I just burst into tears. It
fits me to a tee. The zoning out in class that made me have to get
tested for absence seizures. The way I couldn't think unless I got up
and started pacing. My inability to remember anything if
I don't do it immediately. My lack of ability to focus on projects or
long-term assignments. My chronic disorganisation despite hating mess.
My hatred of movies because it takes me so long to get into them. The
way my brain never seems to calm down. My sleep problems. My surges of
frighteningly violent temper despite being a generally peaceful person.
The fact that I've failed at so many jobs and college courses despite
having the intellectual capability for them. My horrendous timekeeping.
My chronic procrastination issues. The stupid mistakes I used to make in
school, such as "2+3=6", and my inability to ever (even now!) learn my
multiplication tables despite hours of practise - yet having very good
process understanding of maths. Even my severe anxiety and depression
issues. All of these things make SO much more sense with an ADHD-PI
diagnosis.

So, I'm not autistic. I just have Adult ADHD-PI. It's a relief, in a
way. Not because there's anything bad about having Asperger's (and I
definitely still have traits of it, such as the
sensory issues), but it never fully explained everything, and it's never
ever properly fit. No one I have talked to has ever said I seemed
'Aspie' and most of them refused to believe I had it even when I told
them. So this... this just fits so much better.

The only problem now is whether I can get the medication to help with
it. In the UK, medication for ADHD is only fully regulated for use in
children and adolescents, because it's only recently that it's been
acknowledged that ADHD exists in adults. It was believed to be only a
childhood condition because in adults the 'hyperactivity' component
(which is perhaps the most easily recognisable element) tends to
diminish and become less obvious - an internal restlessness. It's
accepted now, but no major trials for the medication in adults has yet
been completed. GPs can prescribe stimulant
medication (which has a 70% success rate in preliminary trials in
treating the symptoms) on the advice of a psychiatrist, but they are
often unwilling to. I hope my doctor will agree to, because going by the
private prescription route will be expensive @_@

Anyway, I'm just glad to finally know what's 'wrong' with me, that it's
treatable, and that it finally fits. It's overwhelming, after all this
time, and a little disorienting... but also a massive relief ^^; The
funny thing is that it often happens that people with Asperger's
Syndrome are misdiagnosed with AD(H)D. It doesn't often happen the other
way around.
--

So that's the sitch.

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December 2011

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