Should We Come With A Label?

TW: very mild reference to self harm.

I’ve mentioned before, particularly in my very early posts, that my therapist has commented more than once that its not beyond the realms of possibility that I am somewhere on the (high-functioning end) of the Autism spectrum.  More specifically, that I have some form of  Aspergers.  This hasn’t come up for a while, but an incident yesterday brought it back to the forefront of my mind so I’ve taken some time to read about the condition via www.autism.org.uk and to remind myself why it was ever even considered.

This is a huge area so, without purporting to have any specialist knowledge of the subject, the main signs and symptoms that are present in me are: a difficulty in developing friendships (preferring to be alone much of the time), selective mutism, difficulty in making and maintaining eye contact, social awkwardness, a penchant for routine, good pattern recognition skills and an intolerance to loud noise.  Also, much of the time, Anxiety and Depression go alongside Autism/Aspergers.

It would obviously require a formal assessment and, most likely, a psychiatrist to officially diagnose me with Aspergers.  My own psychiatrist is young and what you might call ‘new-age’ in his approach.  By this I mean that he seems to believe in treating the person and whatever set of symptoms with which they present.  I have anxiety and am depressed, so he treats me accordingly.  He doesn’t appear to worry about any underlying condition that may or may not be present, he doesn’t believe in hospitalisation other than for people who are clearly psychotic and a danger to either themselves or others.

This is all well and good but, after many years, I am still suffering with Anxiety and Depression, my medications are still being tweaked all the time, I am becoming more and more withdrawn, choosing not to go certain places or do certain things.  I continue to self harm, often through sheer frustration at my situation, at the fact that things aren’t really getting better, as they seem to with other people diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression.  I occasionally let hopelessness and despair overwhelm me and fleetingly consider a world without me in it.

The aforementioned incident yesterday was that my  Mum (of all people) made me watch this:

BBC Breakfast, Chris Goodchild diagnosed with Aspergers aged 42

She seemed genuinely excited by it and felt that this clip could have been about me…which made me think about whether my psychiatrist is right in his approach.  I understand that many people don’t want to be labelled with X, Y or Z.  But, me, I’m with Chris Goodchild.  To be given a definitive reason for my years of illness, anguish, despair, to be told ‘…yes, you’ve had a rough few years, but this is why…’, for me that would be a relief, like a light coming on, the missing piece of the puzzle.  And, my God, would it explain a LOT.

 

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Should We Come With A Label?

  1. For me, labels are important but then i have identity issues but if an underlying concern is whats laying behind showing symptoms i think pushing to reaearch things/ask for assessments is completely fair. The only thing i’d say is people with aspergers often have difficulty empathising with others and as a friens my expeirience has been that you empathise with me a lot and undwrstand. The symptoms you mentioned also fit Avoidant Personality Disorder which can cause Depression, anxiety, SH & eating disorders xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth,

      There are other symptoms of Aspergers that don’t necessarily sit with me. APD has also been brushed upon, but not pursued. I’m wondering, now that I have a bit more knowledge and better insight, it might be worth asking my care team to revisit this…?

      Hope you’re doing ok xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Im undergoing the Autism assessment next stages in a few weeks so waiting to see what the assessment people say. I watched that short film too and saw his paper lists everywhere! Im like that too. Everything has to be planned & ordered & in advance. Have you been referred for assessment? Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rose,

    As you know, I follow both your blog and your tweets and know that this is something you also have concerns about. It was a good film, and I definitely think there should be awareness around an adult diagnosis.

    Although my therapist has touched upon both Aspergers and Avoidant Personality Disorder, she’s never really pushed for a formal assessment/diagnosis. I don’t even know if this would be done by a separate service…I’m worried about opening a can of worms…but if there is an underlying cause for all the problems I’ve had then I feel I need to know. xxx

    Like

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