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suffering with Anxiety and Depression, my medications are still being tweaked all the time, I am becoming more and more withdrawn, choosing not to go certain places or do certain things.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:
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.