I’ve made my feelings clear on being asked if I have an official DX or not but the amount of people I see saying “If you think you’re autistic, get a diagnosis!” Is absolutely fucking infuriating. So here’s some perspective on why I absolutely refuse to tell people they need a diagnosis to be certain.
Yes, I have an official diagnosis. But it did me absolutely no good, and here’s why.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was two and put on a variety of medication that changed frequently and always had negative effects. None of them worked, they either made me so physically sick I couldn’t get out of bed or sent me into the most unbearable meltdowns and shutdowns. I was miserable like this for six years while my mother begged, pleaded and fought for any of my doctors to listen to her when she told them their meds were making things worse, because they were.
I was literally a toddler going through horrible abuse from medical professionals who continuously ignored and dismissed the signs of comorbidity to an extent that had life long physical ramifications. I was repeatedly dismissed and ignored and manhandled by doctors who called me “hyperactive” and brushed me off.
When I was six, my mother finally had enough and said fuck it. This is why I was raised anti-western medicine. Because doctors spent my formative years severely abusing me. I cannot fault my mother the trauma it caused her to watch her child who couldn’t even fend for himself experience such hardships and have no control over the matter. She started refusing to medicate me and things got better. She dropped my toxic abusive doctors, moved across the fucking country, and got me a child psychologist. Someone who actually listened. Finally. I was 8 years old when I was re-diagnosed with autism and the ADHD diagnosis was dropped. Fast forward about 15 years. Turns out I really do have ADHD, and I have autism. That’s why their meds didn’t work. Because my brain doesn’t function the way just an autistic brain does or just an ADHD brain does. I have to work around both. You can’t medicate one and expect the other to just automatically react fine.
So there it is. 24 years of life lived and I’m still dealing with the anxiety and fear that abuse caused me. I still question myself every day, I still have to force myself to take pills EVEN FOR PAIN, I still have to convince myself my doctors aren’t trying to hurt me, I still have to talk myself into making important medical decisions and reaching out when I need medical help. I have such a severe needle phobia that I have hours-days long panic attacks if I have to let someone stick me.
If I had just been left to figure this out on my own, none of that would have happened. So think about this the next time you try telling someone they need a professional’s opinion before they can call themselves neurodivergent. Because believe me, I’ve had plenty and all of them ruined my life.