I’ve always felt different. I can’t really explain how. I have always struggled to some extent to connect with people my age, especially other girls (and now women).
When I was very depressed and essentially not functioning I began researching how to be a functioning depressive. That is when I came across articles about girls and women on the autism spectrum. I felt as if I had been hit by a ton of bricks. It is not hyperbole when I say life has not been the same since.
I was reading these articles about so-called “high functioning” women on the autistic spectrum. It was like reading a description of myself. I was stunned. So, I read the NICE Guidelines on adult autistic spectrum disorders, found the screening tests and did them.
Every single one suggested the possibility that I might be on the autism spectrum. Suddenly the depression, anxiety, sensitivity to bright lights, sounds and crowds, my intense interests, my general weirdness all made sense. So I printed off the tests, gathered my school reports and presented my suspicions to my GP.
My GP listened and agreed that I am probably on the autistic spectrum, and agreed to refer me for a formal diagnosis. That was last August. It is now March of the following year, and I still haven’t even been able to get on a waiting list as the service is so over subscribed and under-funded in my area.
So now I’m in limbo, with a semi-diagnosis, a number of problems that affect my everyday life and well being, but with no certainty of even getting on the waiting list, let alone seeing an expert. I don’t have the resources to get a private diagnosis, so I will have to go via the NHS. Now I feel like I’m perpetually treading water – I’m keeping my head out of the water, so I’m not drowning, but I’m so tired.