Good Mornington Crescent*
This morning I was supposed to go to a day school thingy for my course, but yesterday I was in a world of migraine and now I’m having a lovely postdrome thankyouverymuch. Postdrome is a bit like a hangover for reference.
So, but I have a rather clear day, and apart from the general exhaustion I don’t have anything special to do. The dog is out, and she will be contented to loaf around on the heated throw with me when she gets back, so I’m having a day of hygge and to that end the laundry is already on the go (I do love the sound of the machines) I’ve had my porridge, and again inspired by m’aspie ladies on the book of face I have a topic for you.
The topic is – what is going on in the nest of things around PTSD/ADHD/autism?
The only reason I feel at all able to comment on this is because it was a massive issue for me during my own diagnostic process, and when I was in the room, finally, with the autism assessor I asked her about it.
I didn’t ask for an autism assessment. What happened was that as these things swam into view and adults and women started getting taken a bit more seriously it seemed to me to be appropriate to ask about ADHD. Frankly, I had been suffering serious exhaustion for so long I wanted to try the drugs.
So when I moved to Brighton a couple of years ago I asked for a referral. I got a positive diagnosis for ADHD and started trying the meds for it, but after trying all of them at different doses and having some very serious side effects, some of which took a long time to deal with and the TMJ flare up is a continued problem. I had it before, but it’s worse now.
Trying the meds took about a year. I liked the clarity, but couldn’t tolerate any of them for any length of time, and when we’d run out of medication to try I asked my assessor whether she really thought I had ADHD or whether it was more likely I had PTSD, since I’d done a bit of research and they do manifest in more or less the same sorts of ways.
I had a few sessions with her and a psychiatrist, and quite quickly the questions took a direction I wasn’t used to. Did I watch the same TV programmes over and over? For instance. My spidey senses told me there was something new going on. He asked if I minded being screened for autism.
I thought OKAY, but that’ll be just another thing to rule out. HA! Was I ever wrong!
Time rolled around. A lot of people who need an assessment for autism as adults have to wait FOREVER and it drives them crazy, but I wasn’t really expecting anything out of it so when I went along I didn’t even fill in the forms in advance. And in the meantime I’d watched a load of Gabor Maté on YouTube and listened to his book, Scattered Minds on Audible, so I’d kind of accepted the ADHD dx.
During my autism assessment I asked about this, and she drew three lines on her notebook and asked me to put crosses on the lines. I told her that pre Maté I’d have put the PTSD high and the ADHD nowhere but now it was reversed (see fig 1)
We moved on and then I said ‘Where would you put me?’ and she put her crosses down (fig 2). This was effectively my autism assessment right there, but it was also a plot twist on the PTSD.
I asked her to explain it and she said that what happens is that people with ADHD have a tendency to trauma with a lower trigger than in the general population, and because of the lack of risk aversion we’re more likely to get into actually dangerous situations. With autism there’s a lack of awareness, she called it ‘naivety’ which means that autistic people are easily bullied, exploited and abused. So the full set is almost inevitable. Because of the lack of actual war zones, massive disasters, and other gen pop markers for PTSD I wouldn’t otherwise qualify, but because of my cluster of things it’s practically inevitable at an experiential level.
So there you have it! Enough to make a Venn diagram.
I have been meaning to write about this for ages. There is, of course, more to say, but this is the skinny.
I am now going to consider the soup situation. There may be pho.