The title of this post is a bit flippant, but I have an update to give. You may recall that my GP is unable to refer me for an Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis because this service has not been commissioned in North Warwickshire, where I live. This means that this aspect of my life is in limbo until such time that the local NHS Trust decides to get its act together.
Since my last update I have suffered a very nasty shock and severe setback in my depression. I have been subject to a most unpleasant, distressing, powerful suicidal phase. At the same time I have started Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is helping, and at the time of writing I am actually feeling quite chipper. In a fit of despair, I finally “came out” as a depressive to friends and family via an outburst on Facebook (I know: Very modern). A Lucky thing happened after this. A distant acquaintance from my University days made contact and has proved an absolute life-saver (literally). Peer support is a new experience to me, and I can heartily recommend talking to someone who has first hand experience with crummy mental health. The Samaritans (by email or phone) are a great help too.
It seems my friend has been through many of the emotions and mental health situations that I have, including a lot of the stuff that has caused me to think I may have Aspergers Syndrome. She mentioned BPD, which I didn’t recognise. This is Borderline Personality Disorder, and reading through the list of symptoms I could recognise a few overlaps with Aspergers. I don’t think I have BPD, but I do think I may have either Avoidant or Dependant Personality Disorder having read up on the topic. Because there is now more than one possible explanation for the traits that I have previously put down to Aspergers Syndrome, I have been forced to become open minded about what possible diagnosis I may receive – assuming that my belief that my depression is a function of something more fundamental is accurate.
I discussed all this with my GP and he agreed that there probably is something more fundamental going on and that he would refer me to a Psychiatrist to find out what’s what. And here’s the “hack” that I alluded to in the title of this update. I can’t be referred to a Psychiatrist specifically to investigate Aspergers, but I can be referred for any number of other possible diagnoses. The result of that investigation may well be an Aspergers diagnosis, and that’s perfectly acceptable to the NHS system!
Have you had an experience with mental health diagnosis that you’d like to share – comment below!