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Autism diagnosed as an adult?

(63 Posts)
Bungalowlady Sun 19-Jan-20 13:22:50

First time posting 😊
Just wondering if anyone has been diagnosed with autism at a later age.
I am 58 but have struggled with severe anxiety,poor concentration and socialising since I can remember.I have always been told it's anxiety/depression.Despite CBT and other therapies/ medication I remain unchanged.
Recently a younger relative told me she is autistic and when she described how it affected her life she could have been talking about me.
I have made a GP appointment for next month but don't know if I will be taken seriously.I know there isn't a magic cure but part of me needs to know why I have always felt different.

Thanks for any response 😊

Jane10 Sun 19-Jan-20 13:35:02

Hello. There no cure. It's not an illness. Before retiring I was with an NHS adult autism diagnostic team. Our average age of referral was 38 and the oldest diagnosed was 84.
When I interviewed woman who's been diagnosed they all said that they found diagnosis to be a huge relief. It was an explanation for a lifetime of feeling different. Once they understood their particular difficulties we could work to identify strategies to help them manage them. Often simple things like just not going to the staff night out or straightforward information to give workmates etc etc. There's lots of info out there. Check the NAS website. You could print out their info for GPS sheet to take with you.
Good luck!

Galaxy Sun 19-Jan-20 13:44:03

My friend in her forties has just been diagnosed, she was happy in her job and relationship before her diagnosis but the diagnosis itself has helped her to make sense of herself. In so many little ways. I would prepare yourself for a long waiting list , she went private I am afraid. Good luck flowers

BlueSky Sun 19-Jan-20 13:46:54

I actually feel I could very well be. Even my DH has mentioned it so do you gain anything by a firm diagnosis? Will check the NAS website thanks Jane10

Jane10 Sun 19-Jan-20 13:53:50

I don't think you gain anything but a different perspective on yourself which can be very helpful. I should also say that every woman I diagnosed was very anxious. This is understandable as they were trying to cope in a neurotypical world. Understanding that helped. I could write forever on this topic. Women with AS was my doctoral thesis.

nanaK54 Sun 19-Jan-20 14:01:49

No expertise to share, just wanted to wish you well, I hope that you get some answers that help you

BlueBelle Sun 19-Jan-20 14:05:32

I have a middle aged friend diagnosed and the only gain is she’s no longer thinking she’s a freak she knows now there is a reason she can’t be a party animal why she is pedantic about some things and why she isn’t terrible good at socialising She’s at peace with her differences and no longer worrying and trying to make herself step outside her comfort zone
I guess we are all somewhere on the spectrum

blueberry1 Sun 19-Jan-20 14:22:32

I have the same problem in getting diagnosis. 2 of my grandsons have been diagnosed but when I asked my GP for a referral to be diagnosed myself she said that there was nowhere to refer adults to. She even suggested that it would make no difference at my age (64) as I have obviously learnt to live with it. I also asked a psychiatrist and she said the same thing.
I think that this is appalling given that we are supposed to be able to be assessed if we wish,according to guidelines I have read. There is a big push towards more understanding of mental health conditions at the moment and yet I cannot have assessment.
The only other way forward is to go to a private service,which I cannot afford. I hope you have better luck with your GP,it is possible that this varies according to the area you live in.

ninathenana Sun 19-Jan-20 14:31:55

My son was diagnosed at about 24. He was relieved to know why he "felt socially inadiquate" (his words) and thought differently.
We suggested getting a diagnosis and he was all for it.
It has also helped with his benefit claim as he is unable to find anyone willing to employ him. He dosen't need to make X amount of job applications a week as others do.

ladymuck Sun 19-Jan-20 14:35:23

I wonder if this can really be classed as autism? To my mind, it is simply having an introverted personality. We are not all gregarious, outgoing people, and I think those who are quiet and anti-social shouldn't be labelled and made to feel they have a medical problem.
I'm a very quiet person, I have always preferred my own company but have never felt there was something wrong with me.
People with autism are completely withdrawn from the world and cannot inter-act with other people. Not the definition of an introvert, who keep to themselves out of choice.

ninathenana Sun 19-Jan-20 14:37:02

blueberry my son had been referred for NHS assessment as an adult but it was 2 yr waiting list so we paid for a psychologist to assess him.
Full report of the diagnosis in writing for approx £70 5-6 yrs ago.

Jane10 Sun 19-Jan-20 14:41:25

ladymuck there is far more to autism than you seem to think. Diagnosis is fairly technical and includes many more factors than those that you mention.

ninathenana Sun 19-Jan-20 14:42:39

ladymuck
Sorry I disagree with your last paragraph in particular. Autism is a complete spectrum of symptoms not all autistics are withdrawn. In fact at the centre my son attends there are a couple of guys who are the complete opposite.
If you've seen one person with ASD you've seen one.

Jane10 Sun 19-Jan-20 14:43:08

Many people with autism are extremely extroverted by the way but get their interaction wrong with other people.
Autism is not just being shy!!

ladymuck Sun 19-Jan-20 14:50:25

So now being shy is a mental health problem?
I wonder what is the definition of normal?
One of the big problems in modern society is that we live such unnatural lives. I think a lot of what are regarded as problems are actually an inability to function in the modern world.

Jane10 Sun 19-Jan-20 15:44:33

ladymuck I suggest you find out a bit more about autism and neurodevelopmental conditions.

MiniMoon Sun 19-Jan-20 16:47:01

My DD was diagnosed last summer, when she was 36. Having had four children, all with differing ASDs she was pleased to find out that she also is on the spectrum, and now understands why she is as she is.

sodapop Sun 19-Jan-20 19:04:38

Jane10 knows where of she speaks Bungalowlady get some help and advice, maybe a diagnosis. At least your mind will be at rest, it won't change anything but if you are on the autistic spectrum you will know why you feel and behave as you do.
Good luck.

MiniMoon Sun 19-Jan-20 19:18:36

Here's a link to a test. It might help the OP to decide upon whether a proper diagnosis might be useful.

M0nica Sun 19-Jan-20 19:54:13

LadyMuck People with autism are completely withdrawn from the world and cannot inter-act with other people.

That is a very old fashioned definition of autism. It is realise nowadays that autism, like the other problems of that kind is a spectrum that runs from shades of grey. Being autistic is very different from just being quiet and self contained.

I was diagnosed as dyspraxia when I was in my 40s. Up until then I was just considered careless and clumsy, someone who just needed to be more careful. The relief of discovering that there was a reason for my 'carelessness' and 'clumsiness' was immense. Knowing the problem also helped me deal with it.

I am sure this is exactly the same for the adult diagnosed with autism. Knwing what the problem is, is a relief in itself, being able to then tackle some of the problems the autism presents is an even greater relief.

lemongrove Sun 19-Jan-20 22:19:59

LadyMuck.... sorry, but you really know nothing at all about autism, so can hardly contribute in a meaningful way.

Bungalowlady you could do a lot of reading on the subject, which may help you decide if you want too take things furtther, but really as an older person who has got through life, wouldn’t just understanding yourself be enough?

suziewoozie Sun 19-Jan-20 23:47:22

Jane10 how useful that you could contribute your work experience and advice rooted in that.

TwiceAsNice Mon 20-Jan-20 06:23:41

My goddaughter was diagnosed with Autism in her late twenties. Her mother and I had always thought that was the case. She also had several mental health issues so that complicated the chance of diagnosis for a long time

Piggypoo Mon 20-Jan-20 06:51:23

Hello, it's really hard sometimes, I asked my GP last year if I could be referred for diagnosis, at the age of 49. I was told the best way would be to go private, at the cost of at least £1000, which I couldn't afford. Also there wasn't enough "evidence" of me being arrested, or being known for strange behaviour, I was told. I was also asked if I could provide my old school reports for inspection. I had nothing like this, and certainly have never broken the law. It is on my medical file that I am "potentially Autistic". I feel that I am, as I have rituals that I have to do to feel secure. I would feel better if I had a definite diagnosis, but feel that I will never get this due to the high cost. I wish you all the best OP.

Scentia Mon 20-Jan-20 07:09:23

This thread is a hard read, I am so shocked to some people’s ‘lack of knowledge yet willingness to comment’

I wish people would stay out of very serious threads like this if they know nothing.

OP I hope you get the answers you need from your GP.