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pauldrennan2008 01-21-2009 05:23 AM

Who Knew a diagnosis could cause such grief
I am new to this board, this is my first post, very recently (actually last Sunday), I began to start to fully accept myself as a person, this ending over 7 yrs of clinical depression, I shouldnt say "ended" because I still have a long way to go. I really dont want to say too much, but then again I want to say enough for people reading to get an idea as to how I became depressed. It all started in 2001, when I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, Its a very rare condition which is described as a higher functioning type of Autism, I can talk, but did like to prefer to be in smaller groups, Although people with Aspergers Syndrome are also quiet smart and very articulate,

Now what I should have done was to see that this syndrome was more of a personality type, and what is normal anyway? But of course, with all the negative "Stigma" of Autism, I saw myself as Autistic (which I may or may not be), but because of my diagnosis, I got depressed, I began to think there was something wrong with me, I actually do not mind people, I just am very choosy on who my friends are and arent. You know when you go into a shop and you see someone knocking there head and screaming, and you think "They must be Autistic...." You know theres that negative stigma, although what I should have done was just accept it, and not think about the negatives, and if Autism was something that was more accepted in society I may have,

Instead I became depressed, VERY depressed, At the time It was put down to the fact I had been diagnosed with the Syndrome, but now over 7 yrs later, I realise (well I had realised earlier) that I was going through clinical depression, My friends, not being educated in the signs of depression, would exclude me from parties etc, I guess in a way they were trying to help, but this "stigma" I had about my diagnosis kept on bugging me.It actually made me more frustrated when people told me nothing was wrong with me, I actually went to a shrink for a while but they more or less told me what I already knew, I was on tablets for a while but still nothing helped. About 5 months after my diagnosis I dated a girl from my TAFE class, (I suspect she may have had bi-polar, although this was neither confirmed or denied, I am not saying this because she and I broke up either) Her and I still talk from time to time, but I felt "doomed" in relationships, even though I enjoyed her company and she mine, but I think one of the reasons that we broke up is because I was constantly self concious, she was also self concious, whether that was because she was going out with self concious guy like me, she said she had some disability but wouldnt clarify what,

In the end we both broke up, but now we talk occassionaly. It seemed that everytime someone told me I was "Normal", It made me worse...I did a few jobs here and there, but my depression was so bad that I quit (or rather was told to), Around late 2007, I was offered a job with a 76 (thats right) yr old man to collect oil for a charity his son ran. I kept my "secret" secret for about 2 months, then a guy that I know, who knew the 76 yr old pretty well, said I should disclose Aspergers/depression etc, Of course I thought It may help explain who I am better, but on the other hand older people (some) and there views of the world, may take it the wrong way....He took it the wrong way. I dont drive, this may or may not be a symptom of Aspergers but I really do not want to drive cos it costs to much money, but I now know that I could drive if I wanted to.

Anyway sorry for rambling on...but one day the 76 yr old and I were talking, He is 76 but he is quite fit and healthy...He was talking about "His" Kids....He has a few older then my own they were married and drove....Then he went on to say "People like YOU who are Mentally Retarded"....Not really hurt, because I couldnt care what this guy thought of me but more shocked that he would say such a thing, I said "OK..i dont drive but I wouldnt call myself Mentally Retarded...In fact I wouldnt call people that are developmentally challenged (IE: 30 yr olds with the mind of 10 yr old)

<Edited: inappropriate language.>

I decided to quit my job then and there (Of course, he denied it...I am actually shocked someone that age would be like that)....I had actually started to feel a bit better about myself, until my "friend" had spilled the beans about me. I was very depressed and angry. I talked to my neighbour for a few hours, and I felt a little bit better, but still had negative self esteem of myself. Even though the incident with the 76 yr old, whilst not my fault, but I had been very depressed and maybe he was trying to help me out? telling me I was retarded, would open up my eyes that I wasnt? but I didnt see it that way, He claims he was having a bad day etc, and maybe If I hadnt been depressed, I may have seen it differently,

Sometimes "mates" call there mates names, but its done in jest, although he wasnt my mate. Anyway one of my careworkers was telling me that there was nothing wrong with me, and I tried to work out what he meant. Trying to make sense of things.....last Sunday I was walking in a park in Brisbane and sat down for a while...there were a few people around and I needed time to put myself out of pain, everytime I googled "Aspergers Syndrome" on the Internet, I would find a bunch of negative stuff, so I tried to put things into perspective, My life BEFORE I was told I had Aspergers was probably a little more happier, and I was definetly more confident and outgoing, Then it hit me...whether it was a sign from God or just my intution, I figured out why I was so depressed, which should have been obvious all along the answer is this: I dwelled WAY TOO MUCH about Aspergers, I can talk fairly well, and socialise reasonably, but being diagnosed with Aspergers, as I said before...and because it is connected to Autism, made me perhaps think I wasnt a worthy person.

The positives of Aspergers is that the person is of normal intelligence, and I actually have a lot of friends....Its a fairly rare condition...but then I thought what my life would have turned out had I not taken my diagnosis so personally, I dont have that much trouble socialising....I actually got WORSE socialising after I was diagnosed, when I was diagnosed I stupidly thought well now I have this diagnosis I have not be social because the characteristics of Asperger are not to be social. Had I not dwelled on things, I may have had a full time job, perhaps married, children..who knows....

When I think of Asperger now, I think of it as a very smart person. I believe Satan wants us to think the worst of ourselves, I am actually going to check out a job agency tomorrow, I have a feeling I will be OK eventually. Sometimes you just need to think about the big picture

zero54 08-04-2009 03:52 PM

Re: Who Knew a diagnosis could cause such grief
I am 54 and up until about 3 years ago I did not know what was wrong[loosely speaking], with me. I read an article in psychology today about a lady with aspergers and I thought oh my god this is me, I could have written that article. But at my age there is no where around here to get a diagnoises. You may wonder why at 54 should I care? well I have grandkids at least one of them is just like me and I want her to get any help if it is available. Ane I want to maybe understand why my life has been so hard, why I never seem to fit in and why I am so gullible and basically to be sure I am not crazy. when you have the life I have it is often easy to wonder if you are crazy especially when most people look at you that way. I know I am intelligent I have a college degree but getting it out of me is challenging. It takes me longer and in often unsual ways to do things most people do easy. I don't tell people about me and won't even if by some miracle I can get a diagnosis, because I don't believe they could understand.I told my husband he read the books, he is suportive not understanding, he wants to fix me but I am not broke just different. Told kids but they said o and life went on.I want to live my life and be left alone as much as possible. I don't want to party, chat on the phone, but I don't want to hurt others feelings or be rude. Accept me or don't I am what I am don't want to be anybody but me. If we can love us for what we are then nothing else matters. We may be different but we are a vital part of this whole called humanity.

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