Autism and Aspergers
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I feel a bit of an imposter, but could use some help

JamesVekJamesVek Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited April 13 in Autism and Aspergers
Hello,
I feel like an imposter and I am really sorry if I anger anyone by posting here. Sometimes I think I am making up the idea I could be autistic in my own head and sometimes it feels very real. I imagine it is really irritating when people who really aren't autistic say that they are, and I really don't want be like that.

At the moment, I feel reluctant to speak to a GP because (and please forgive me for oversimplification of unique different individual experiences and lives, sorry!) I kinda know now what a diagnostic test criteria is looking for, and can't tell anymore if I'm answering accurately, or when I am exaggerating or when I am underplaying my experiences to try and avoid exaggerating.

I would be very grateful for any advice on what I could do next, or how to get around me questioning myself if I am just remembering things about my life selectively or not.
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Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,033

    Scope community team

    Hi @JamesVek :) Welcome to the community. Thanks for reaching out to us today.

    Just to let you know, I've moved your post into our category for discussions relating to autism. I'm hoping that others who might be in a similar situation will be able to find your post and chat to you about this, as I'm sure you're not the only one to have had these thoughts.

    I think it's important to remember that an autism diagnosis isn't usually based purely off of a questionnaire that you'd fill in yourself. The National Autistic Society (NAS) outline on this page that:
    There are a number of tools which are used to diagnose individuals who might be autistic. They usually rely on two main sources of information: descriptions of the person’s development and behaviour collected via an interview and direct observation of that behaviour. 
    This means that the process might involve you getting observed, and having a chat with some medical professionals. They should be good at knowing what to look out for and what questions to ask, as well as understanding that accidentally exaggerating certain experiences may be a concern of yours. 

    The assessment can also often include the professional speaking to someone who's known you from childhood, as you'll need to be able to demonstrate that you've presented the behaviours etc. for your whole life. This person is unlikely to know all of the diagnostic criteria, and would hopefully be honest in their recollections and understandings of you.

    It could be worth calling NAS' helpline on 0808 800 4104, and talk this through with someone who understands. 
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  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,044 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @JamesVek - welcome to the community, & thank you for joining. I think if there's something niggling away at you that you could be on the autistic spectrum, then I would have a conversation with your GP. I think many of us have a need to know what's going on; I know I wanted a diagnosis of my genetic disorder & did my own research to find out, so I sort of know what you mean. Like yourself, I knew the diagnostic criteria, but you need Drs to confirm/disprove this. Either way, I'd want to find out, which is certainly not unreasonable. :)
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,785 Disability Gamechanger
    good evening @JamesVek how are you today?  I suppose I have one question and one suggestion, how well do you get on with your GP? And could I suggest you keep a diary for a couple of weeks.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,996 Disability Gamechanger
    You’ll do well to find anyone here who doesn’t have imposter feelings to some extent.
  • JamesVekJamesVek Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for the comments. I found it hard to read your replies straight away because I was nervous so I am only just reading them properly now.

    Thank you for the reassurance and the practical information too.
    I like the diary idea and will try it, but I'm aware that I could end up putting off speaking to the helpline or GP etc through fear and using the comfort/safety of things like a diary or even this forum, so I will pay attention to those feelings too.
  • Caz_ScopeCaz_Scope Posts: 578

    Scope community team

    Just wanted to say hello and add my welcome to the community @JamesVek.

    Thanks for coming back 'on board' and letting us know how you're getting on. I know what you mean about sometimes finding it a bit tricky to read how other people have responded to what you've been brave enough to say out in the open!! 

    Really glad to hear that you've found the community replies to be reassuring and helpful though. And you're right - diaries can be a positive means of reflecting on how you feel about all sorts of things. Hopefully, keeping a diary could be an effective way of helping you to gather your thoughts and build up your confidence - then you can work on speaking to your GP or getting in touch with the helpline maybe?

    In the meantime, as you say, just chatting with us all on the community could be one way of helping you to overcome any shyness or nervousness that you might feel about the idea of opening up to other people. Plus, it's a great way of getting to know some more people as well :)
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