amaya wrote:But it freaks me out quite a bit how many of these traits are exactly describing aspects of my childhood. So many conditions have huge, huge areas of overlap.
Very true, and a very common response. Psychiatry is not a black-and-white area, it's not a science, and a lot of guesswork is involved.
Next week I am going for a diagnostic discussion about whether or not I have borderline personality disorder and to look at what significance the emotional trauma (that I know I have) has.
careful over this. Generic psychiatrists understand BPD/EUPD, but only very rarely
do they realise that many of the traits are also indicative of female type HFA. They can also be lazy, and dole out BPD diagnoses to those who don't seem to fit into any of the usual diagnostic pigeon holes. It's often used as a catch-all diagnosis, where 3 out of 4 diagnoses are given to females. This is where a huge number of misdiagnoses originate. The treatments given for EUPD, usually DBT, MBT and medication, are not appropriate for those on the autism spectrum - who cannot
be treated due to autism being a neurological condition, rather than a mental health disorder. Such treatment can and does damage our lives for decades. Our accompanying MH disorders are a different matter though, but even then treatment should be tailored to be autism friendly.
It now worries me that much of what I experience, especially when younger is also highly indicative of a learning disability (if that is the category that aspergers belongs instead of mental health). Could I have all these diagnoses?
Yes, it's quite possible that you have them all. I have several, but with me it is the autism that is the underlying cause of the others - that went unnoticed for decades. For me, everything must be treated in the light of that. I too experienced many childhood (and later) traumas, and untangling what caused what is impossible. Those early traumas still haunt me. Autism is all about extreme sensitivities, and from birth onwards we are more prone to the effects of trauma, because we experience it more intensely. I suspect that women on the autism spectrum are much more likely to develop EUPD than those who are not - simply because they are more sensitive. It's a very complex area, and there's little agreement even among the experts. I also believe that including BPD/EUPD among Cluster B PDs is a very bad mistake, but that's another story!
Autism is a neurological condition, so it's neither a mental health disorder nor a learning disability, but these can, and often do, co-occur. MH services concentrate on MH disorders and LD, while HFA (especially in females) falls through the net and is missed. Only those people with LFA are noticed, because they have very obvious LDs. However, I strongly disagree with the 'high functioning' label, for lots of us, including myself, have areas of low functioning - mine is quite severe executive dysfunction, and I cannot live independently without support in that area. This a definitely a learning disability. Panic attacks also reduce my ability to function 'normally'. I also have mild dyspraxia and dyscalculia - which are LDs too.
I feel very confused right now. Where do you even start? The psychologist I will see is a specialist working mostly with people with borderline to provide MBT counselling. Not sure he will be able to take a broad view and answer these questions for me or not.
You start by reading up on all this, so that you can understand yourself as fully as possible - ahead of seeing a specialist. I feel that any specialist in EUPD should also be well grounded in female-type autism. Ask him what he knows about it, and if you're not happy with his reply, I'd go for an autism diagnosis - if that's what you think you have. (If you had childhood autism traits then you still have autism). Only after that, seek an EUPD diagnosis if you feel that you have that too.
You said in all areas except one, you passed the threshold in an online test. Which test was it and what area was it that you didn't pass? This could be important. It may not mean that you're not on the spectrum, but it could mean something else. Were you a gifted child?