Current Age: 68
Autistic Diagnosis: Self diagnosed Autistic Spectrum Disorder (most likely Asperger's Syndrome) supported/confirmed by psychiatrist with emphasis on "mild". I am certainly "mild" 45 minutes per week while in his office.
Additional diagnoses: Professional diagnoses: Anxiety, Depression
Medical conditions: Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (infrequent episodes)
Occupation: I am currently retired. Formerly I have been employed at restaurant work, factory work, general and medical secretarial work.
Interests: reading, mostly non-fiction, especially philosophy, anthropology and autobiography; writing (poetry and fiction); music; painting; sewing; gardening; collecting cobalt glass, especially old medicine bottles, books, vintage hats, wood carvings, religious artifacts.
Brief diagnostic history: I have always felt that I was very different from most people and did not fit in well. I prefer my own company to the company of others merely because when I am alone I can pursue my interests without interruption. Socializing for me was and is stressful and exhausting and almost always accompanied by anxiety. I have also felt and continue to feel that I spend most of my time observing life instead of living it and that I am somehow "fake" and must act my way through life and the various experiences that life is composed of. I believe that I lack what is called "common sense" and that my own "uncommon sense" is far more sensible. There have been times when I have suspected and still suspect that I was/am retarded in some subtle way. Rejection by anyone is devastating to me and makes me physically ill as does being accused of something that I have not done and which I would not do because I would consider it to be unethical. I am also devastated to have ulterior or malicious motives attached to my actions or behavior when none exist. My words are often misunderstood, hence, clear communication is extremely important to me. Anger frightens me. I obsess over the slightest mistakes and worry that I have done or said something that might be considered hurtful or inappropriate. I also obsess over my health at times. Because all of these "symptoms" if you will, have been with me for as long as I can remember, I have often thought I might possibly be insane, and of course, numerous psychologists have ruled that out but not given me any alternatives to explain my problems. It occurred to me, before I knew anything about Autistic Spectrum Disorders, that perhaps I was a bit autistic in that so much of my time was spent "in my mind" and happily so. However, this initial self-diagnosis was given little consideration or credit by me because I thought it would be impossible for someone to live the life I have led and accomplish the things that I have accomplished - marriage, children, work, school, etc.and still be autistic. In April of 2007 I saw Temple Grandin on television and recognized myself in her. That was the beginning of my awakening and I have been reading about and researching Autism and communicating with other autistic individuals on line ever since. Even if my current psychiatrist, whom I greatly respect and with whom I am building a good rapport, does not give me a diagnosis of Asperger's, ( it is he who has given me the preliminary dx 300.12), I will continue to believe my own self-diagnosis as I think it would be entirely possible and highly probable that dissociative amnesia, like PTSD, could certainly be an outgrowth or co-morbid of Autism.
I think I have been aware of myself as a sexual being from a very early age. I was the first born and my mother came home from the hospital with my new baby brother on my 2nd birthday. I remember this very clearly as I had been told that my new brother was my birthday present. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. He was red and ugly and cried all the time and had something very different between his legs and that something different was what made him so special, or so it seemed. All the relatives kept saying "A boy! A boy! How wonderful." I didn't envy his penis, but it disturbed me that such a fuss was made over him because of it. So I knew from the age of two that boys and girls were different because of their genitals.
* Friendships: I don't have "friendships" per se. Currently I have come as close to having a true friend as I have ever been. I expect a lot from a friend and perhaps I expect too much, more than most people are able to give. Loyalty in friendship or in a love relationship is the most important quality to me, and if I am betrayed the relationship is over. I have been betrayed by too many people too many times. I believe there is something about me that turns people off (my physical appearance, my voice, my mannerisms, what I have to say and the way I say it) and I don't particularly care anymore at this point in my life.
* interests/obsessions: I suppose Bob Dylan would qualify as an obsession. I have been a fan of his for more than four decades. Since joining a fan site recently, I can see that I am not alone in this obsession, but I can also see that I am not delusional as are many of his fans, especially females.
* the diagnostic process
* co-occurring conditions (e.g., ADHD, OCD, etc.)
* your talents
* social phobia
* high school experiences
* college experiences
* autism in your family
* Broader Autistic Phenotype/Autistic Cousin/Shadow Syndrome
* autism research
* health care