The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale – Revised; comparing and explaining results in an attempt to understand

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – Feature photo by pexels

I took the Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-revised at aspie tests, if you would like to take it just click the underlined text to get access to them.  You have to set up an account first but they haven’t spammed once and I’ve been a member for months, there are also many other tests to take.

Although this test is designed not to be taken solely but rather with a professional in a clinical setting, we don’t all have this privilege.  I do not believe we have the professionals available to take the test with me at different intervals in the relevant timescales, I was once told this was because they were understaffed.

Although this test is supposed to be done in a clinical setting that can be quite unsettling for me if I’m honest. Therefore this is likely impacting and influencing the results.  It is hard to diagnose me because my disabilities or disorders do not present definitive or easily observable symptoms.

I am 30 years old with my eldest being 10, I have learnt plenty through observant trial and error, although not enough in some retrospects but I’m still young and im forever changing.

I first took this test 3 months ago with an overall score of 172 on the 17th June 2018.  I retook it on the 17th September 2018 and scored an overall score of 161.  The threshold is 65 for being suspected of Autism, this result was 11 points less this time but 95 above the threshold.

Some of the phrasing in the words caused me to overthink the question plus it is quite complex trying to stay focused on the answer choices.  I came across this article from a fellow blogger who took the test back in 2012 where it was said the questions seem to be skewed more towards Social relatedness and male orientated.

There are 80 questions on the RAADS-R that cover 4 symptoms of Language, Social relatedness, sensory-motor, and circumscribed interests.  I intend to explain a little about the 4 categories coinciding with my past and present results representative of their relevant label.4

In language Junes result was 14 whilst Septembers 12 threshold 4, Social relatedness was 66.0 now 71.0 threshold 31.  The sensory/ motor in June was 56.0 now it is 50 threshold 16 whereas Circumscribed interest was 36.0 and is now 28.0 threshold 15

I’m beginning to believe many of us don’t care about there being a right and wrong answer, it’s becoming more about understanding

This test has been designed to accommodate the fact some adults who show a presentation of autism may no longer have symptoms, that were there in childhood but no longer present in adulthood and vice versa

Another brilliant point made in the article linked above was the phrasing of the words.  The words ‘always/never/only‘ were often used causing the test to take longer as these words were mulled over, I agree that ‘sometimes‘ or ‘most of the time‘ could have been more fitting

Language is just how human beings communicate either in written or spoken words depending on circumstance, system or style.  Some do have persistent problems with social communication and social interactions can be problematic

I’m forever having my tones picked apart in formal and informal settings  When I was younger I struggled with gestures or tones of voices but i have improved over the years.

Once upon a time I used to have a literal understanding of language and used to believe people meant what they said.  An example would be when my mother told me frogs give you warts, to stop me from bringing all the critters home.

This eventually did work when I got a wart and stopped bringing them home. Obviously, no truth behind my mother’s words that I genuinely believed, it was a coincidence. It was in my late twenties and I freaked about kids touching frogs that had my partner put me right in my thinking.

I learnt in many a harder way than that, to learn not to take everything at face value and not believe everything you hear.  In my younger days facial expressions, tones, jokes, and sarcasm were my nemesis.

I have had the privilege of watching 10 years in a girl blossom and have had nearly 4 with my little boy.  This journey has taught me to become more aware of what we allow our eyes to perceive.  I can understand a lot better than I express nowadays.

I used to have great difficulty understanding other peoples feelings and intentions, followed by knowing how to express how I feel about it.  When I’m overloaded I seek alone time, I don’t tend to seek it from others.

Too many occasions, I have appeared insensitive as I try to figure out the problem and how to rectify, fix or move on from.  This can then lead to opinions and views that I am behaving in a socially inappropriate way.

To have restricted and repetitive patterns of behavious, activities, and interests can mean preferring more of a routine or lack of change, liking the same thing.  It can be hard to take a different approach when you have been taught the right or certain way to do it, I prefer to prepare for the change in advance where possible but have learnt to adapt where possible.

You can be overly sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, lights, colours, and temperatures becoming unbearably loud or distracting creating fascinations, anxiety or even pain

Finding where to challenge your interest or focus when pursuing these can be fundamental to one’s wellbeing and happiness.

I have taken these test 3 months apart and still score really high.  I have learnt a lot and realise this test is based on accuracy so understanding it is important.  I am diagnosed ADHD officially but this journey is not finished

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding, and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

What is the difference between mental health and Autism?

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo from my 2016 journal

It is thought to be believed, that mental illness is most common for people on the Autism Spectrum than in the general population, and is more often, overlooked.

My life has been filled with so many confusing questions, some answered, but the majority of the time, the answer doesn’t seem to fit when it comes to expressing or explaining me.  I remember my response when it was first ever verbally said, that I may be autistic, two and a half years ago.  That is the first time I had ever heard it, in that context directed towards myself, I was 28 years old.  Bearing in mind, I had already been thought to have, postnatal, PTSD, depression, then bipolar, and medicated for these.

I was also in the system since 12, many a professional trying to help to the point I had to go into care despite my parent’s best efforts.  All these people from all walks of life and job title, so many a professional with many an opinion, technique or medication. In my opinion they were and still are, relevant pieces in the puzzle that is me, the process of untangling, but still not allowing enough to balance my scales.  Linkable to the fact that ASD is something entirely separate but interchangeable from mental health, and I seem to fit to well in both, currently diagnosed ADHD, which is biologically more a male orientated diagnosis, were as mood disorders are more commonly diagnosed in women. (I am a minority it appears, still treated like the majority, no wonder damage control varies.

This has all happened in the time frame of 2016-2017-2018, but the reality is, it has been more than half my life, and all my life.  Sometimes I find it so ironic how people worry abound legalising cannabis.  There was a story I signed a petition for with regards to a young boys meds for his fits, containing a key ingredient found in a marijuana plant.  Unbelievable what that family and boy had to go through due to debates against facts and fiction, easy to go buy a pint or vodka though, turning many into nutters by choice.

Well believe me you, from personal experience, prescriptions, and tested medications, used for all sorts, can be, and has been for me personally, the most aiding and disabling trips I’ve ever had, in my entire life, unless educated or experienced, opinions influence, make sure it’s for the right reasons.  Everything has a side-effect, what works for one, may not for the other, the key is knowing your own internal balances to ensure your scales aren’t tipping. (equilibrium/balance).

Something I learnt back in 2016 when I was put on a mood stabiliser is, epileptic medications are used to treat some with bipolar.  One actually helped what I once described as the black cloud from suffocating me, but I was far to medicated to give a clear outlook.  Dramatic word choices I use at times I know, but verbally, words can fail me majorly and that was the only way, I could describe it.  Meds seem to work really different for me in many a way, also I’m extremely aware of my bodies internal chemical balance depending how inertly focused I am. (just don’t know the words sometimes or how to explain)

Further down the road of discovery, and also an opinion of a gentleman on our very first meeting, was once nicknamed my action man, and a woman I called the delicate flower (the hand over process when one nurse leaves for good), ADHD was my action man crisis nurses opinion, which I’m currently diagnosed, and finally, it appears for me and those I hold dear, we may finally be on the right path to answers more suitable or helpful, the unanswerable in some ways, Autism.  Autism I now believe given my understandings, is separate from my current diagnosis of ADHD (mental health)

I will never forget mine or those that are closest to me, first response or opinions to the thought of me being Autistic….. no chance, and that is putting it mildly, obviously influencing my way of thinking, and those around and relevant, to some regard.  The reason I thought this was because of the narrow-minded view and education I had on the subject, also what others, my entire life’s views have been, even professional.  I have no obvious physical deformities (there are and were some), but i am beginning to broaden my understanding through experience, just being me, and educating myself, I have learnt so much more.

Every time things go skewed, it’s usually due to interactions or input from people, other human beings. Maybe relationships is a more accurate word for this setting, and not just intimately, regardless of what shape and form, relationships seem to be the answer or word, making the most sense.  Looked at more acutely, people, linkable and compatible with emotions. Time and time again, I tell people my need, not my want, but my need for time to gather ones thoughts uninterrupted or influenced, unless chosen, never seems a possibility, just a pipe dream.   No doubt everyone can relate to some degree and beg for space, but it is fundamental to keep my mind healthy and functionable at points, or the aftershocks are defragmenting.

This has led me to the question, what does mental health look like in someone with Autism, given current knowledge.

My thought process is as such, if I can figure out what areas of my mental health is skewed and fix or enable them to be less problematic, maybe just maybe I can figure out what autistic traits are interfering and impacting on my life, in a negative way because there are many a positive.  My theory is, once this is figured out I can learn the abilities to counteract, making it easier to cope and get my life finally on the right track, where I may be currently disabled.

I feel so trapped and it is becoming more and more suffocating internally, eventually manifesting and spilling outwardly.  Always a similar pattern with similar outcomes, just slightly shifting and changing whilst I continue losing and winning battle after battle, will I ever win the war?? Or were the odds never in my favour?  No doubt more unanswerable questions with many a different view so I will move on from this way of thinking as the odds are in my favour, when I make them.

I wrote an article about self-hatred, anxiety and depression a time ago, now my research has taken me deeper into the questions asked or relevant to that first Article.  Roughly 40% of individuals who are autistic will suffer one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with the general populations statistical figures of 15%.  This can then influence and create sadness and depression.   Vulnerability and stress seem to be the key words popping up time and time again when finding the words to describe how I feel.

I have always given the impression I rebel against the label, or so I have been led to believe, which is not entirely true. I just want more of an accurate or closer fitting one, given as wide a scope of the situation as possible for all parties involved or relevant to this exchange of information, so I can get access to the help already available out there, but unreachable to myself and others, who could really do with it. This has led me down a very long complicated path, which at this present moment, seems to be more focused and orientated around Autism.

Leaving no other choice but to personally search for answers to questions such as where on the spectrum do I fit? What do the 4 categories results of the RAADS actually mean or tell ones-self and others? When do I start following the cookie trails in my medical records, or should I even do that? I can tell statistically and through research that this genre of writing seems to be needed, therefore I will continue to write what I discover on this journey, for all those interested, as I’m tired of hitting a brick wall due to time restraints, debates, negligence, my disabilities or disorders and my gender.

My way of processing data seems to be, naturally categorise everything, for deeper analysis and understanding. Knowing what is relevant and irrelevant is a complicated process all humanity relates to and stumbles upon daily.  They deal and react given their own unique coping mechanisms and abilities, accessible and relevant to the situation.  I appear to put labels/categories on everything to help me remember and to put relevance, where there was possibly none, depending on where they fit in my head given that days abilities.

“There are definitely things I will never be able to do, but, I can learn new abilities to contradict the disabilities.  I try to achieve this by creating better order, where I once may have been disorderly, to the best of my capabilities”

Every time questionnaires are pulled out I swear I internally implode and metaphorically poop my pants, depending on the setting, context, understanding on what I am actually being questioned for or, if I can even answer the question by paying enough attention where relevant, it has my hackles, guards, and walls shooting as high as possible.

Aggressive I’m told, but a more fitting word may be protection with enough cause for it to be my primary reaction. I’ve been on the receiving end for trio of decades repairing the damage, it is not for the faint hearted hence why I rely on my primal instincts to guide me, they have kept me alive since a young age, where people intentionally and unintentionally have failed.

Please remember it is my health in question here not yours, I am not just a label, category, or statistic, I am an individual pointing her voice out there in the only way I know how. All I ask is to please tread more carefully and have the support necessary for dealing with the landmines and implications you happened to stumble upon in my mind, without a second thought to damage control. Trust is a two-way thing, and it’s getting harder and harder to trust those, who continuously say one thing, but do a complete other, leaving disappointment and a lack of hope.

I was reading through the words I had to pay for, written by my clinical psychiatrist and she had asked me to write a time line, life story, keep a journal and we were supposed to do the RAADS but I had never understood that or had the time to recall the words.  I have created a free way for my clinical psychiatrist and any other professional aiding in dealing with my care, can have access to my words, understandings and insights, hopefully limiting lack of communication and confusion, resulting hopefully in effective results from the limited time slots available, for helping an individual..

Now however, I have completed one to the best of my ability available on another post which is better than nothing I suppose.  I apologise for the time delay, I always seem to be reflecting on what I miss, but I do get there in the end.

The overall score for yours truly, a 30 year old whose gender is female, in a long-term intimate relationship alongside being a mother to, a preschool boy and a tween girl, who given my knowledge and understanding meet autistic thresholds for Autism but back to their mothers score on the RAADS, of 171.  I will retake soon and see what the results are as I believe I have more understanding into the questions therefore the patterns will have changed, my compass shifted.

When I understand more of the words within the question, its relevance and what the results tell, or give insight into, for the clinician or those relevant, yourself included, I’ll post an article, but I stumbled upon this piece of writing below today.  I remember how lost I felt when I lost all ways to communicate, when my mind was that tangled and crammed full, it was reflected in every angle of communication, but most devastatingly so in the words I wrote, refusing to allow them a reality I went into a complete malfunction of sorts.

February 2018 (my skill returns to give comfort to oneself)

How to start!!! The ultimate question that has left so many pieces of paper blank, possibly writers block implemented in my brain for the past few years.  I miss it, my mum says its something I’ve always done is write it down.  When thinking back she is right, it is when I’m not getting what I’m wanting to say across verbally, I write.  I have not lost the skill, just the ability to use it in the short-term, even what I write is so below my normal skill set but I don’t care I want it back, therapeutic arguably and the more I do it, the more it improves, the better I can communicate as proven back in February 2018 with my GP, a  man I have struggled with emotionally over the years, butted heads with, but formed a genuine bond in which together, we can now laugh at the history in past memories over the years. 

I will never forget our first meeting end December 2012/January 2013. I had just moved to the land of the lost, after seeking refuge.  We had our appointment and his eyes unsettled me to the core near the end as they noticed things my poker face couldn’t hide, asked questions that no other doctor has, in the context he done it, maybe compassion is the word I’m looking for.  I clammed up so tight as his brain and eyes were far to observant and sharp, unsettling me and leaving me feeling vulnerably exposed.

I remember the phone conversation with my mum after where I described him as one of these hillbilly doctors, probably living in some cabin in the woods (not stereotyping something from the movies at all here!!) I’d just moved from the city to the country, I was used to the conveyor belt treatment).  His eyes unnerved me because they appeared to look as if they could see through my armour, past the chameleon that is me, as if he could look into my very soul, I left with my tail dangling between my legs.

He wanted to help, always has and regardless of the struggles, he always will if he is able, and that was why I cried out for help to him, as I was failing with everyone else.   I knew he would listen and try everything he could to help, I just had to communicate it right so that he could.  I feel honoured and privileged to of had him as my doctor, a pillar to the community and that’s not just my words, most sought-after doctor here, a credit to his profession and believe you me I’ve only met a handful like him over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment without his support, understanding and patience when my behaviour is less easily explained.

I have a plan, a focus, fixing my inner foundations and structure…. That’s if I don’t flat line on appearance and become trapped in an inner hell, looking for anything to clutch so I can come out the other side.  After my appointment back in February 2018 where I handed over words so raw and open to me, overwhelmed was an understatement, silent tears flowed, triggered by anything happened for hours, got stuck in my past, these words are found in the post defining a rebel is someone who does not fit the ‘norm’.  

Being around me can damage your own mental health when I am like this and verbally communicating, dissecting as my mind raced all because I managed to get the words down, someone took the time to read and I knew I had got across what I wanted to say.  At the time his answers gave so much relief and hope it was intense.  I wanted to hide, thought of hospital, hiding in my room in a pain no one should have to witness or be around.

Through time I became more high, metaphorically running around looking, listening reflecting on ways I could fight the dark fog threatening to suffocate me. I then became higher emotional instead of low, flat and deflated if that’s the right word, my mum understands my language and even though verbally to anyone else, they wouldn’t have understood, just left the conversation exhausted and confused, my mum managed and helped to change my perspective slightly. 

Best I can explain but to the next point, triggered from the change in perspective, ignorance can be bliss, but I no longer have that option, knowledge and understanding is what I’m lacking, so fix it.  I read mass amounts always have, but have stuck to more fantasy and supernatural, time to come out of fantasy and into reality no matter how badly I want to avoid it.  

What I’ve found on mental health has been exhausting, a point-less or more in some ways, so decided to start looking in to the one I refused to believe many a moon ago, ASD but resources are limited and time consuming.  I have found a book written so brilliantly, I have decided to read the whole thing in one setting.  Would have been done February 2018, would have been an all nightery as the first 50 pages had me so intrigued but I had promised to switch off, if there is such a thing, to try switch of. 

To date I have still not managed that book and to many tasks to list as far too much has clouded my focus, knocked it off or changed it entirely for that moment in time (mostly out of my control).  Unfortunately that bit of space with no influence has not been possible and I’ve exhausted the resource that is me yet again. When it does become a reality and space is not just a fantasy, I image I  will have already found most my answers and more, eventually they will become reflective, time frames are just to long though, that is something requiring immediate attention. 

My compass is forever shifting as I pass by, no matter how tiny or huge, always shifting to point me in the direction I need, want, or must be at that present time.

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

What are some of the sex differences influencing diagnosis for Autism?

source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature photo Scottish Loch

Over the course of the past several years, there have been many studies done, creating a number of explosive and insightful discoveries, into the disorder Autism, especially for the Females.  More people have been able to observe how, why or even if, Autism presents differently in females.  A development becoming more openly welcomed rather than shunned, but there is a unique presentation of Autism in females, that is fundamental in helping better identify and treat, those who may have the disorder.

I am terrible with consistency out with my personal comfort and timescales, also I medically pop in and out on paper, for help due to all the labels, stigmas. Worst of all can come from those you put your trust in to help, their treatment can be the most damaging from those claiming, to only be trying to help. Unfortunate but true, sometimes your biased, stuck or uneducated view makes everything extremely more challenging, for all parties involved, especially the patient or clinician.  For me it can put me on the slippery slope of depression, because all the professional words continuously contradicting one another, leave me more confused at times, than when I started

These challenges are for a number of reasons because, not only are females just as diverse as any other groups of individuals with the disorder, but there is a more pressing matter I would like to stress.  I yet again keep hitting a metaphorical brick wall that makes it harder for me to gain access to the help I need, and that is because most autistic screening and diagnostic tools were developed and based, primarily on, observations and behaviours of boys.

I was reading an article by a clinician who was expressing her views and opinions that I happen to agree with.  That was in relation to specialist research and those closest to the individuals in questions, which was the matter at hand of, missing girls with symptoms who do not fit the “typical boys presentation”.  This brings me back to an article I previously wrote with regards to three tests added to the mix, one for the female, one for the male, and a combined more generalised one and see what that produces.  I very much would like a test more relevant to my sex plus a more generalised to give me the answer, it would be very much appreciated. PDA is one of the better questionnaires, especially with wording, that has not had me wanting to pull my hair out.  My next articles will include the different profiles, will include PDA, an area of personal interest I will be delving into.

Anyways this article written by the clinician, helped me to be able to, word, that as a female parent, by my own and many professional opinions, am in fact Autistic, but where I fit seems to be the time consuming and frustrating process, that is like pulling teeth out, the most mentally, invigorating, deteriorating experience I have ever been through, which believe me you, says a lot.  My children are raised by a self diagnosed ASD (awaiting diagnosis if relevant) but a clinically diagnosed ADHD female mum, they are not going to meet the levels of ‘norm’ for your criteria necessarily or to the T, I work really hard flipping their stuck mindset and helping them gain broader and greater understanding.

For that reason, I listen to what my children’s words and body tell me, that is why I listened to my tween’s teacher as she explained, my daughter met the criteria for both ASD and ADHD, she even went for a second opinion, but doctors dismissed it, hitting another brick wall.  Therefore with the 10 years of knowledge gathered between raising the two of them, 30 years of being me, and what others have learnt, written or communicated, I am beginning to find answers and better ways of doing things.  Not everyone has the ability to be a self-directed learner and it comes with its costs and sacrifices to.

My daughter is the double of me in so many ways its unbelievable, she see’s the world in the most amazing way, and like her mum can learn and excel at anything she puts her mind to, but her focus is language.  My 3 year old son appears as a mute in nursery at times, didn’t start communicating properly till 3 and really flags a lot of the criteria.  He took years longer with verbal speech but is a little mastermind, when your truly listening and watching, he has to be comfortable too, he’s a possible mathematical Wizz in the making.  So here are 3 possibly undiagnosed Autistic people, who are unreachable and unhealable by those who could, but simply unobtainable due to stigma and stereotyping.

That is why as a female parent, who by my own and many a professional opinion, am in fact autistic, and now that I am in touch with someone from the National Autistic society I might actually get somewhere with the diagnosis, hopefully one step closer to those that can give it.  Because of how easily dismissing the process can be, (I’ve been in it since 12) I’m scared to let my daughter walk in my footsteps and it isn’t right to be made to feel this way.  I have a feeling things are about to change though, for the better and maybe my trio can be helped

I started by looking and reading a little into biological science, which tells me I’m delving into a subject that is, extremely confrontational and debateable.  As a minority myself I agree and disagree with what is to follow but they are personal opinions, I’m not educated enough and have nowhere near enough information to say anything without a shadow of doubt, but I need to start somewhere.   This is just what I’m coming across on my personal journey for answers into where my cluster fits on the spectrum.

This is the beginning of research, delving into the mystical world that has become the  differences between males and females.  Something I see often happening, is sex differences put solely down to culture differences, but science suggests a biological difference between the male and female, in relation to the brain.  These differences are not absolute, have been generalised as the majority and tend to be skewed depending on ones sex.

I looked through a narrow scope into why males appear geared towards math, where as females language, why women are more emotional, how the sex’s feel pain differently, how males are more likely to suffer neurological disorders, where as women are more likely to suffer mood disorders.  The gender difference’s apparent before birth and, why it appears women handle stress better than men, and finally why we are led to believe males have weaker impulse control.  But what if you are a minority?

Changes are noticeably presentable from birth, but even before that, taken to the development stages when you are still in the womb, things are different.  Gender is determined immediately upon fertilisation, meaning the sperm is the only one that knows what sex it is going to be, and the egg only carries a stationary X.  The 23rd pair of chromosomes establish the sex of the baby.  So to illiterate more clearly, the female egg contains one X chromosome, whilst the male sperm carries either the X or Y chromosome.  Once they meet the egg becomes XX=Female and XY=Male, so in a nutshell

“The baby’s gender is known before it is even consider a foetus” during the first few weeks the external and internal genital structures are the same, but this is just the process within the development stages.

The foetus gonads will either become ovaries or testicles, the phallus either a clitoris or a penis, and finally the genital folds will become either Labia or scrotum, depending on whether or not testosterone is present, which in turn determines the “default sex” of either categories of male or female.  Remember the sex is determined by the males sperm , to the mystery of whether it is carrying either an X or a Y, because the egg holds only an X.

Intersex describes a variety of conditions, where the minority of individuals who are born with, a sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit typical presentations, of a male or female.  Examples would include a person born with genitals that are between the usual descriptions of, male and female parts, or, they could be born with both XX and XY chromosomes.

A way that has been described to try and help understand intersex, were words written to think of gender like the colour spectrum. As sex organs vary in shape size and dimension, of course it seems only common sense, that so would the sex chromosomes determining the default sex.  As these conditions are very rare, however, they do still exist.

“It is argued to be a humanistic way, of categorising people into gender categories, not the original way of nature”

As gender is determined upon fertilisation, at around the 16th to 18th week of pregnancy, the foetus produces a bud called a genital tuber, at the site of the genital.  By the end of the 20th week, the external sex organs should be fully formed for both the male, and female sex of the foetus. At around 26 weeks, the female foetus generally starts developing thicker corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres, than a male foetus.  This information helps explain why women tend to use both, whilst men tend to lean towards the left hemisphere, which leads me on to my next point, that might explain what you have just been reading.

I often hear people saying that he or she is not in their right mind, but if looked at in a biological sense, women are the ones more in their right mind the majority of the time.  I say this because men mostly use the left hemisphere, to process information, where as women are more skilled at using both hemispheres, as we see happens because of differences in the making, of males and females in the womb.  So there is an obvious difference between males and females, which would affect the workings of their mind, would it not?

“So in a literal sense women are the only one’s in their right mind.” but what about the minority of males who do not fit this notion?

It is believed women are more likely to suffer mood disorders, than Autism and ADHD, because male brains, synthesise serotonin, far more quickly than the female brain.  Obviously when looking into biological factors, it’s then placed into categories and researched for many a year, seeing patterns develop, so yes the majority of people fall into the criteria’s described, but now doors are opening for more insight and analysis into the minds of the minorities, who may be more alike to some once classed, part of  majority, than we once thought.

Standardised intelligence test show no statistically significant differences, between males and females. When looking at the brain we can see lots of differences, take the findings that suggest that genders tend to slightly lean towards, categories with regards to their abilities, in maths and language.  Males are said to have a larger inferior-parietal lobules (IPL), than females, which is an area of the brain that is thought to, influence mathematical abilities, which matures in boys about, 4 years earlier than girls?!

The frontal and Temporal areas of the cortex, are larger in females, and are thought to influence language, matured approximately 6 years earlier, than the males.  All these words I have written to date, are just me summarising my findings so far from what I’ve gathered, and this is a subject I do not specialise in, I’m learning for vast and varied reasons now. It is a very debateable subject obviously, because a minority or girls can be maths wizzes or vice versa, minority of boys can be language masterminds, that comes down to individual choices, opportunities and circumstances. Personally I excelled in all subjects at school just some more acutely, some of my most traumatic problem’s arose during high school, with social communication and interactions, where my biggest cost, was my education.  These are the years where I learned to become a chameleon the best, with some of my harshest lessons.

So, from that we see above the majority of males mature quicker mathematically, by approximately 4 years, and the majority of females mature 6 years earlier, than males in language.  There and always minorities and splinter groups, who do not fit where the majority of others do.  Take the way we feel pain, there are even differences there between males and females.  When men experience pain, they tend to activate their right amygdala, where as for women, they tend to activate their left amygdala, which leads us to believe, women feel more pain.

“The left amygdala is more closely associated with the ‘internal functions’, this is the reason behind why it is often thought and expressed, women experience more pain than men do”

According to biological science from where and what I’ve been reading, males are more likely to be dyslexic and autistic, than females, this is noticeably explained in the skewed differences in ratios, between males and Females.  It is also said, that males are more likely to experience Tourette’s  and ADHD.  Females appear to be found, and thought, to be more likely to suffer, mood disorders.  The reasons for this is because, females have larger hippocampus, and deeper limbic systems, than males.  Therefore allowing females to feel the full range and depths of the emotional spectrum, more so than males. Is that why this minority female, keeps getting caught up in the Bermuda triangle effect of, Autism, ADHD and bipolar?

I wonder what a visual image of my brain would give insight into for someone, me in particular.  Since someone once said to me I am like the human equivalence of the Rubik’s cube, it has kind of stuck in my mind since, because no one seems to have figured out the riddle that is me.  If someone specialising in neurology or psychology was to take an active, time-scale appropriate interest, into researching my brain, I wonder what findings would be discovered, as I’m already aware I’m a minority thinker.  Maybe one day that will be possible, but at the moment, it’s a fantasy, my reality is just words, opinions, views, theories and a lot of both reliable, and unreliably communicated evidence, and experiences, in the search for the answers, to my questions.

I’ve been reading that, when it comes to differences in intelligence, between the two sexes, there are more males than females that differ, and become more skewed on the results.  Male IQ has greater variance from one perspective, than the female IQ.  This is why females appear to be more clustered around the middle, where as the males occupy the extreme high and low end, of the intelligence scale.

Studies have shown that the majority of women, handle stress better than men.  Science shows that whilst both the male and female release the hormone oxytocin during stressful events, the difference is by combining oxytocin with the female estrogen, it produces a calming effect, whereas male testosterone only makes men more aggravated.

It is coming to a point in need to finish up writing this article, before I end up writing the never ending story, that never gets published.  I will stress, I am no expert, just someone currently going through the process of life, just like you.  If I’ve worded something that upsets or offends, I assure you that was, and will never be my intention.  I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my words, message me personally, shared and helped me on my feministic journey into the spectrum.  If you have a story that’s related please comment.


I personally am recieving extreme difficulty waiting, like many of my readers and those taken the time to message, just to see someone who can analyse and determine, whether or not i have autism before gaining access to, the help that is available.  I’m aware we do not have a vast number of people that specialise, but something does need to be done here to accomadate.  So the studies indicating it is more challenging for a female, undiagnosed in childhood, to obtain a diagnosis later, i fuly agree with, from first hand experience.  I am living proof this is the case, for getting access to the help already out there, that one requires, firstly you need the label that is the diagnosis.  I was suspected back in spring 2016, referred and awaiting specialist input, many a moon ago.  This week is the first time i have met with someone, who does specialise in an area i need help with, who looks like she can and will help, where she is able, she gave me hope, that things are changing, and that space may be possible.

www.naturalempathiser.com for more reading, understanding and depth

Further Reading

  1. My Feministic journey, into the spectrum
  2. Trip down Memory Lane
  3. Mirror-Mirror, Show me my true reflection
  4. My Journey through Mental health
  5. The words of Lilly falls Beautifully unfinished
  6. Welcome to the natural empathiser

 

Why do women on the spectrum, fall short on some diagnostic tests?

Life can be alienating and challenging at times, especially if you’re driven primarily by both intellect and intelligence, head strong and far to independent in thinking at times.  If your someone who does not seem to fit the female, or any stereo type for that matter, and not so common at all as it would appear, a minority, life can have its more challenging complications in a sense. The more learning done through time seems to highlight, that personally, I don’t think in the common sense kind of way the majority do.

Many a time I have been asked question’s, answered and returned In kind, been given insights and returned them, have helped and been attempted to be helped, for more than half or all my life. In some proceptions and perceptions it hasn’t worked yet though, not in the ways it should, well that has and is my opinion as of late, after what I’ve been reading and learning.  This is yet another branch, and the reason behind the question, why do women fall short on the diagnostic tests for autism? (More acutely me).

A clinical psychiatrist once told me she would be very interested in reading my analysis and views on where I fit on the spectrum.  This is why I am going to be dedicating a separate section headered in my side bar on the Natural Empathiser, titled My Feministic journey into the spectrum, in a question based theme, in the order there done and published, A book Blog so to speak. To many questions needing answered in my head that keep bouncing off one another, needing an out let.

Questions along the lines of what are the statistical differences between diagnosing a male or female? Are the features harder to recognise? In what way do you consider something a repetitive behaviour or restricted interest? What does it mean to show signs or not? What signs would you like me to show you, me or the chameleon? When I show me I confuse, frustrate or simply annoy the person trying to get the answers, becoming disabled or appearing disorderly under certain lights.

Before going further I will give a brief outline of the journey being diagnosed autism entails, from my knowledge and understanding at this time over years of gathering and experience.  Hopefully getting my point across that the diagnosis can come with many terms and labels, as I have discovered.  Names associated with the spectrum include Autism, Autism spectrum disorder, (ASD) or condition (ASC), three types atypical/classic/Kanner autism, Asperger syndrome or pathological demand avoidance to name but a few.

There are constant changes, some more recent than others, being done to the main diagnostic manuals for the ‘autistic spectrum disorder’ (ASD), which is predicted and most likely to become, the most commonly given name when referencing someone diagnosed on the spectrum.  Obviously additional terms will be used for deeper understanding and analysis, but ASD is the one word it is categorised and generalised as, when describing the particular autism profile showcased by the individuals.

Another point to note is, someone diagnosed or symptomatic of the spectrum, may also have learning disabilities, mental health issues and other conditions separate to the diagnosis of ASD, which can and often does, complicate the diagnosis period. In my case the Bermuda triangle, ADHD, ASD and Bipolar type 2, the trio from the start of this journey that still seems quite accurately insightful, but needing further analysis from those qualified. I believe that for more consistent and linkable communication, for all parties involved, possibly lessening the confusion, can be obtained with more frequent periods of time spent with the individual in question.  In my current opinion, if possible, it would help or at the very least give more insight, into the individual whether autistic or not, or so one would think.

If the clinician or person assigned to aiding an individual lacks experience in autism, or other conditions/illnesses, they can make numerous assumptions that are incorrect, both informative and misleading, disabling and influential at times, and vice versa for the patient to the professional.  People or systems, whether consciously aware or ignorantly, that do not take the issues related to autism into account, are part of the problem that needs a solution through teachings and learnings.  The reason I say this, is because you could find your self stuck on the long road around, instead of cutting right through the middle, which can be a dissatisfying and detrimental cycle to become stuck upon.

For years I’ve had professional and unprofessional opinions telling me I am or am not this or the next thing, so who do you listen to when your own voice can be so confusingly frustrating at times, forever entwined with the voice of many? A wise woman pointed out that to much information can be a bad thing as well, but I argue against this to some degrees, it’s knowing what to do with the information in question that can lead to the most interesting discoveries.  Moving this piece, creating or uncovering a new piece to fit the gap,  manipulating and imposing the abilities to expose insights into seeing the bigger, more precise and clearer picture.  Words and how they are implemented paint a picture, body language paints another, and so forth.

Back to explaining the diagnostic manual and the one in question being referenced, being briefly described to give some insight for those interested. It is the tenth edition, which is the most current, for the International Classification of diseases, (ICD(10)).  Inside this book, which I am yet to find time to properly delve into, contains a number of autism profiles such as Asperger’s, under the Pervasive Developmental Disorder heading defined as,

recordable abnormalities in reciprocal and social interactions alongside patterns of communication.  Also restricted stereotyped repetitive patterns of interest and activities determining how they function in all relevant situations

There is a manual that is not most commonly used in the UK, it s the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual.  It is predicted to significantly influence the next edition of the  ICD which is used by many diagnosticians.  It has been recently updated so the diagnostic criteria are simplistically more clearer, and now includes sensory issues, which is where I score extremely high in comparison to the other criteria, followed closely with social and communication.

Here is where my interest spikes because if this is the case, it would be extremely useful to me, and I hope it does significantly influence the next edition of the ICD.  My reasons to support this statement are as follows. I am living proof of how detrimental these issues impact day-to-day living and because I do not have the diagnosis, I can not access the help and support to hopefully change that cycle, impacting my children and those attached.  It also includes support needs and other factors that impact on the diagnosis.  So what is the current criteria for being diagnosed with the official label of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

To get a full diagnosis instead of a partial if my knowledge is correct, you have to meet all 3 of the criteria for social communications and interactions, restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests (including sensory behaviour) present from early childhood, that influences and impacts day-to-day living.  Also you have to be able to answer these questions which can be challenging if communication falls under your disability.

“Knowing where to draw the line is challenging for everyone and is at the end of the day, a choice influenced by vast and varied circumstances, situations or events, but a decision down to the individual.”

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, documents the behaviour of the adult, when they were children.  I am a 30 year old female adult who’s gender is female, with at least average intelligence, by my own opinion and others. Without a shadow of a doubt, I would now agree and say, that it is in fact, an extremely challenging group of individuals to diagnose. It seems, where women are concerned anyways, the ones diagnosed have dramatic signs in one domain, usually communication or social interactions, and mild to moderate signs in the other two domains.  Whereas more commonly documented research highlights that the majority of males show more moderate signs across all three domains.

The reasons for looking into Autism started off personal, and still is to some extent but runs much deeper now, I don’t know if I would be this persistent if it only involved myself.  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on perceptions and conscious knowledge and understanding ,when I’m looking into it I have three people in mind, a pre-schooler boy (3-5), tweeny girl (10-13) and a mature female adult (25+).  From what I am learning there seems to be a pattern developing, a focal point seems to be that women more commonly flag up for one criteria, where males more consistently flag up for all 3, this is not always the case though.  Even in the majorities of the minorities, you have splinter groups where they are outnumbered and often missed.

I keep hitting a brick wall where the population seems somewhat divided on their views with regards to sex differences.  I keep hearing quotes and references along the lines of;

“giving the scope of the study, surely if there are sex differences or whatever else they are bound to show up??”

Not necessarily because to me it seems common sense their are differenced between sex’s in some regard or another, taking further to difference in the individual.

The gap between differences in sex and individualism seems confusingly wide to myself and others at times, therefore I intend to look further into this when the time arises.  What I do know is that our body make-ups are different, grouped into the male and female sex at birth.  What stems from that is another story entirely, and one I am still at the baby stages of learning and understanding.

There are current consistent patterns developing over time and analysis in the majority, in relation to repetitive behaviours and restricted interest.  Studies that point to the possibility that both women and men present differently and would benefit from, diagnosis tools that take gender differenced into account.  Is that just me or is that yet not again common-sense to the process of finding answers for the individual?

My opinion is starting to lean toward the notion there should be questionnaire’s structured around these criteria’s and differences considered and implemented.  I’m never going to struggle getting an erection, I do not have a penis??? The medication is not effecting my man hood, or the questions are not relevant because you are aiming it at the wrong sex, therefore the question and questionnaire is a point-less and irrelevant in some shape to me, the individual in question.  Therefore it is just one point that gives credit to the argument, that it is mostly male orientated and research based at this present moment, that can change.

Are we beginning to blur the lines too much between individualism and sex differences, this remains a question pin balling around my head.  Both sex’s and those stemmed from it are stigma and stereotyped in some way, everything can be and is expected to dance to the steps orchestrated and choreographed by societies expectations and wants, from whichever and whatever group you may fall into, given the current timeline.

The ADI-R appears to highlight the possibilities caregivers and parents tend to recall, fewer repetitive behaviours during their childhood for women than men, which then trudges up more questions.  Am I caught up in the loop of researchers relying on the ADI (R) to diagnose me?  If so is that why even the partial diagnosis is so hard to obtain here in the UK for a female, the other diagnosis given beforehand fail in comparison on an emotional wellbeing level.

I thank my persistent, dog with a bone nature or I would probably still be stuck on the slippery slope of depression.  There is no fail safe guaranteeing I will not fall back onto it if all patterns and behaviours were so transparent.  I’m not saying that the ADI (R) isn’t one of the best ways for identifying those behaviours, I’m not saying it is either.  What I am saying is they are all relevant in highlighting different linkable, comparable and relevant information.  What is done from this information is down to the individual and those involved.

Leads me yet again to the thoughts that maybe, 3 test specifically designed and structured for a male, a female and both sex’s combined, as the root basis.  What would branch from there is something unknown and above my knowledge, understandings and education.   By adding 2 gender orientated questionnaires alongside the combined into the mix already there, might increase the likelihood of reaching more individuals.

Many women (men as well for the minority), do not receive a full diagnosis and are often misdiagnosed with conditions such as ADHD and social communications disorder, rather than autism.  The reason for this is because the individuals relevant to this statement do not meet the criteria with regards to their repetitive notions.  I’m forever shifting my compass, from one end of the spectrum to the other just trying to live.

As I have said there are so many different terms associated with the word diagnosis such as autism profiles, diagnostic manuals and tools, alongside varied research and quite commonly said, misdiagnosis.  Life affects everybody in multi-dimensional complex ways on many vast and varied levels of difficulty, depending on the individual.  Subjects I’m focusing on currently are language and cognitive development, emotional intelligence, motor development, avoidance to demands and expectations, anxiety, control and social demands.

One thing I can say that I am sure of,  all these questions both disable and enable, influencing and impacting the individuals involved, both the patient and the professionals.  More so the patient though who is there, probably in crisis but also a choice based on necessity, creating difficulties predictable and not, in obtaining clinical support and access to more useful and beneficial resources.

I for one am extremely clumsy at times, disastrous and end up quite bruised especially on my legs, is this possible dyspraxia. My body language and behaviour is unexplainable to some at times is this border-lining personality disorder. Depending on the current clinician aiding in the search for answers, experiences, insights and views impact what is transpired. Sometimes I am so switched on its intimidating for the majority of personality types, as my passion in what I am discussing or saying, can be mistaken and commonly misinterpreted as aggression, something I’m working on so I don’t retreat back under the rock, I’ve just managed to resurface from under.

A Personal SOS call, to save one’s soul

07 July 2018

It was a warm sunny day, one where I could socialise with no small talk or pretences, debateable and comical at the same time.  During one of the more comical sides to this good hearty conversation, my friend was telling me what type of animal mine and those dearest were in relation to our months of birth.  I came out a fish who is someone that doesn’t have an opinion, we all laughed.  Initial reaction doesn’t fit at all but later after some reflection, I don’t ever have an opinion as such, just a point of view or understanding giving the situation or events taking place, constantly changing to fit an ever changing external and internal environment.

I do not belong to any group or what one would consider social ‘norms’ but I’m okay with that.  The more I open to the ones that do understand me, the more benefits, but I do wonder if those supposed to help will ever be in touch.  Appointments I never receive letters for, due to no fault of my own but the individuals.  I miss appointments, terrible for it, especially if there is no immediate relevance it slips from my thoughts which myself and those attached are aware of.  I’m told it is a part of my disability and there are groups, courses and help that can aid me with coping mechanisms (where are they?? Started this journey Spring 2016.)

I take responsibility and apologise to all relevant, but I’m not paid to help myself, if I could I would.  What I mean by that is, if I had the support or help that I’m told I am entitled to, I wouldn’t miss appointments. Also, if those who are designated and specialised to help, can’t even get the admin side done right what am I supposed to do? I need these little slithers of time handed to me like scraps, not with my GP, he does all he can, but with those specialised to help. I don’t have crystal balls therefore, I lack the ability to know you have made an appointment with me, if in fact you do not let me know verbally or written how am I supposed to attend this, 1hr a fortnight, or the most important which I get no more than I can count on 1 hand, a year.

There are many reasons to why I write, but how or what I am writing about can be influenced or depended on, by anything and everything relevant to the cause. The purpose and reasoning behind this piece of writing, expressed through these words, in this context, is to reach out to those able and willing to help, who have the capabilities, social standing and authority, with the education, experience and knowledge to look in more depth, at this individual who keeps confusing 30 years on.

I am an adult and have been for some time, that makes this harder.  The systems over the past 2 decades have done more harm and created more confusion, that I am only just beginning to scratch the surface of being able to understand.  I am warily empathetic and understanding to the notion that although this wasn’t their intention, that they were only trying to help, you didn’t, because you were too busy trying to fit me into boxes, you’re missing the individual.

These criteria’s and boxes needing ticked are just guidelines and in no way set in stone.  So why do the same patterns that fail keep happening clearly time and time again, if this was not the case through experience and first-hand dealings, I wouldn’t be writing this particular blog.  This cycle needs to end or be shaken up because I don’t care what label fits, so long as I can start living instead of barely existing at times, because the real tangible pain resonating in my brain, is from that metaphorical wall I keep running head on into.  How many times can I keep doing that before irreversible damage might be done, doesn’t bare thinking about. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have the funds or social class to privately finance that, or I would probably have had results and answers or understanding many years ago.  I’m only speculating because I have the brain and physical abilities to not be in the poverty stricken, from however you choose to look at them words, but I am.  Most of the damage needing repaired could have been avoided if one was to just look at the individual and take the time, not try to fit the individual into the disabling system when she’s already disabled enough.  I have started this, to voice my own alongside the echo of other people’s voices I have heard.  I want to try and communicate my inner thoughts, feelings and understanding transpired into written words, made by men and women alike, for more in depth understanding and communication with one another

Writing is therapeutic to me, and I have done it for so long for many vast and varied reasons, both personal and not.  What I am hoping to achieve by publishing and putting both my personal and generalised writing out there, is simply put, a platform for one’s self and others to express their hopes, dreams, failings, and discoveries relevant to my purpose and their own.  I’m just communicating in my best form, to be able to get my message across, hopefully with a response, to what I or others can aspire to be, past and present determining the future, as practical and mental teachings through learning continue their cycle.

I use my memory plus the knowledge and information gathered through all aspects available at the time, to conclude or come to an understanding or reasoning, given the facts and information available or sought out at that past moment.  I’m always watching and observing everything around me, some never written, or verbally voiced, just known to me myself and I, with regards to my perceptions and takings.  I’ve always been a people watcher, which may sound a little creepy but that is not the case, just paying heed.  What I mean by that is I’m always observing my surroundings, noises, vibrations, smells, energy etcetera.

I use the memories available and relevant to the event or situation in question, plus the knowledge and information gathered through all aspects of life known and familiar to me.  I then conclude given the facts and information available to me at that, moment in time to an answer with at least some understanding or a direction to find that useful information.  As I have said I’m always watching and observing everything around me, it’s something I can’t help.  I became an extreme people watcher during traumatic years in my early teens, but I suppose I always have been.  From there, I learn from what I have saw, felt, heard, learnt, or experienced, good or bad.

I like seeing the familiar in a new way, raising the level of perception above ‘normal’, making myself aware of my own self, in the fullest way possible which can contradict with a lot of personalities at times, where this is not their ‘norm’.  Take these very bold outlined words, then start adding some colouring to them, it could produce what follows. Evil, in a colloquial sense (which is just everyday speech), is the opposite of good. Branching and stemming from them words could produce a word more precise but commonly a religionists-associated word, which is “wickedness.”  As defined in philosophy, it is the name to describe the personality and instinct of individuals, which selfishly but often necessarily, feel the need to defend their personal boundaries against foreseen and unforeseen attack.

I suppose the birth of the natural empathiser is my own brand of realism, put out there for others to see if they so choose.  I want to give a little insight into the type of personal writer I am and aim to be through professional  and personal experience, and hopefully express my purpose in publishing my writing.  The purpose and intention of this blog is both personal and completely relevant to the society we live in.  My intention and way of life is to manipulate and exploit everyday knowledge, memories, and words, to a level of perception above the ‘norm’ to become aware of my own world, and others in the fullest way possible to one’s self.

Natural empathiser for me is a communication platform to those who may be able to assist, in some way on this quest for answers.  The reason I am doing it this way is primarily, because I don’t fancy changing my degree plans to accommodate, an approximate 10-year journey becoming a doctor or another pathway getting a PhD in Science, to be able to study and understand the human brain, in a more in-depth scale.  If I’m honest I really considered it, thanks to my university I seen a little sense because I don’t have to.  Many have already done this who could help if they so choose to spare me those precious moments of time.  Allowing me access to their knowledge and understandings of neurology (the brain) and psychology (mind and behaviour) more specifically, helping me solve the riddle that is me, and why I have been described the human Rubik’s cube that hasn’t been solved yet?

Someone out there has the answer, I’m following thesis, theory, hypothesis, fact, reason, well that is after sifting through the endless amount of pointless, irrelevant, misguidedly confusing jargon. It’s like a needle in a haystack unless you have a clear path, as I’m beginning to believe, by seeing the mechanisms and clockwork of my brain, visually.  This could help see the bigger picture so to speak, or be just another piece, regardless it will give insights and answers I never had before, where hypothetically and statistically, it is failing, or so it appears through the knowledge I have gathered and the way I am still treated.

I considered changing my degree plan to focus on neurology, to gain access to knowledge regarding brains, mine more specifically.  Do you know how long that would take me, how much time I do not have to spare for that especially when there are people with 10, 20, 30, 40 years’ experience already there.

May you be a specialist in neurology or psychology, as I need both to see the bigger picture.  If you are reading this and can help then this blog is targeted at yourself because to me you are unicorns, I have only ever heard, read, or spoken about yourselves, but never had the privilege in 30 years, of meeting that person who thinks outside of these boxes, and is interested in my individual, with the ability to truly appreciate it. Not necessarily true in some senses though, I have met a GP and a clinical psychiatrist meeting this description plus many others, but unfortunately their time is not a resource easily attainable, in the time scales necessary to this individual.

Sometimes help can be more disabling than enabling because it is too big a web of generalisation, too easy to become tangled and stuck. If an individual does not fit within the present order or required mental criteria, that we are not supposed to fit into exactly, what are they to do?  This led me to the question of how you help people suffering unnecessarily, because they cannot gain access to the help required for a multitude of reasons.  If you have a story, idea, solution or just a place where you can be amongst like-minded people, or a question you would like me to investigate, then please post or get in touch, I aim to respond within 24/48hrs, but responses should be much quicker. 

My Website is about voicing mine and others current predicaments, or stories needing to be voiced.  If you have a story you would like me to voice for whatever reason, you are unable to yourself, then hopefully I can help you with that, if you get in touch naturalempathiser@gmail.com.  To read my blogs/writing and gain some insight into who the natural empathiser is, and what the hopes and purpose of these group/pages/social media are take a look at my website in the making at; www.naturalempathiser.com, before contributing to the groups that follow. 

I’m trying to create a community of insight and understandings to clear up confusions where possible.  I read too many blogs repeating the mistakes I once appeared to do by blaming the people following the systems.  Follow or join the community I hope grows through time and understanding.  I am new to this and delving into a lot of unfamiliar territory but I’m a fast learner, so pages and groups have only been set up several days, but will hopefully be completely up and running within the next few weeks. 

 Follow or join the beginnings of;

www.facebook.com/naturalempathisers

www.twitter.com/nempathiser

www.linkedin.com/in/natural-empathiser-b044a2166

www.pinterest.co.uk/naturalempathiser

 

Trip Down Memory Lane 27/02/2016 – 05/07/2018

A Reflection of the day dated 27/02/2016, on current day dated 05/07/2018

Join me on my trip of self-discovery and hopefully, having it confirmed one way or another whether I am Autistic, Bipolar Type 2, ADHD (current diagnosis) or a combination of all 3 from the people that have the knowledge, understanding and experience to look at the individual, and have the time to help me. 

I am a mature female, in a relationship and a mother, but I am just an individual, someone looking for answers and help that shouldn’t be this difficult to access, but unfortunately it is.  The end goal is that from confirmations more acute and relevant to one’s-self, help and doors will open to allow me to learn new ways and techniques to combat these disabilities, as alone it’s getting to hard and in some ways, it is preventing me from moving on, or living the life I possibly could.  This desire for isolation and space is getting stronger and stronger, but no way of having it.

I see so many blogs and think that used to be me, before I learned this or that, but there is still so much I am ignorant to, that impacts my day to day living.  Maybe by showing where I once was, to where I am now, it might allow for broader insights and understanding.  Hopefully without imposing too much strain on my own mental health and wellbeing in my present. It has been challenging for people to help because I am so closed off, but I am trying to be more open, but I am selective in that because I have taken many a burn, theoretically speaking through systems, procedures and people trying to help.  

I suppose this is the journey delving into my most traumatic and invigorating experiences to date, learnings, and misunderstandings still to be, or already cleared up.  After the original entry Grammarly corrected, there will be a little personal writing in my present.  This is a walk down my memory lane, the words will be what they were at the time.

Please remember, these are my personal diary entries at the time they were thought and believe you me, in a lot of ways my opinions and attitudes have changed for the better.  Also, I may have been highly medicated on some of the craziest combinations that altered my perceptions and proceptions in varied ways.

Please read from an empathetic view point and walk in my shoes, figuratively speaking, for the time it takes reading my words, because this is, was, and will continue to be, my life, so let’s see what my refection shows. 

Saturday 27th February 2016

Wow words so effective depending on the persons perception at the time of hearing.  The ‘Ability’ (Disability) depending on the persons personal or ignorant view point or experiences.

I have an

·         Ability

·         Disability

·         Order

·         Disorder

Doesn’t matter how many of either I have because I am so self-awakeningly ‘Wild’ and self-tamed.  Let’s try the shit sandwich delicate flowers approach. I am already full of mindfulness and one with my natural environment.  I have fought every disability I have, every disorder I have through watching humanity and society.  Sometimes I truly believe I am poison but let’s look at the reality with a little riddle ‘love me right and you will be all right…… hurt me and I’ll hurt you by exploiting your disorders, disabilities, ignorance or selfishness.

I never do anything half-heartedly, I give you my best but lose hope I will drown with you, but I will always, regardless, float even if I must watch or make the person drown so I can swim away.  I am unique there is no label for me, take away my abilities, learn my disabilities becomes so obvious.

I use my resources till they have nothing useful for me to survive no more.  Time for a switch off but something I would love to learn is, where does someone think they have the right to be deluded and ignorant, to think just because you’ve took away somethings freedom and offered it something meaningless, does not mean you can own, possess, or control it.  They’ll just play your game till it is time to break free.  I achieved a lot and now my bubbles burst, and my walls broke, the waters putting out my flame, but my brains fire and I AM the ignition. 

So, if I am free I can never be put out, but it is time to tame me differently.  Just another battle in my war I will never win, but for some reason I am still breathing, and until I take my last breath of life and give it back to my natural environment, I will NEVER stop FIGHTING because I am a survivor of so much pain, but I have dealt with it alone.

I do not talk because if I do I watch the spark go out in that person’s eyes.  So, define disability to me ‘HOPELESS’ no ‘IGNORANCE’ to me is a disability, hope you can find anywhere.  My disorders are my weak watery heart, fiery brain, and a body and ability to ignite or put out anyone’s flame.  Society and people taught me how to do that PAIN, NEGECT, IGNORANCE, UNRESOURCEFUL, HOPELESS, = WEAKNESS vs STRENGTH.

 

Thursday 5th July 2018

Have to say my opinions have not really changed since writing these words if looked at black and white, but there has been some light shone on these words over the years.  New experiences, understandings and just personal growth have all gave those words more shape.  I still have difficulty with words because people’s eyes, body language, energies and words do not always match, so hard to interpret what the person is trying or not trying, to communicate.  Also, I say words so wrong sometimes verbally and written. which can confuse the heck out of all parties involved if you do not know me, if I’m unprepared or uncomfortable. 

To many people, myself included, are fighting systems because they cause more problems.  Since I am not the only person voicing this maybe we should start focusing on that more.  A starting point would be making them more adaptable, understood, and reachable within realistic timescales.

Something I am beginning to become more aware of and question is, if it Depends where oneself fits on the pecking order, which determines how much insight and knowledge they have, or appear to have.  I wonder what my medical records say about this date or the surrounding dates.  After I have put all my written words to digital and posted enough of the past, that I am aware of.  That will be the next step, adding what other perspectives have been on the days or months I am voicing.

When reading this I concluded what I have wrote some years ago, that it is a one track minded, somewhat ignorant view point, but still accurate in a lot of ways.  What I mean by being so self-aware is that it is impossible to be aware of everything at one time. How we broaden that is down to the individual, so I choose to reflect, whether naturally or forced is always going to be debateable. This is something I have always done for as long as I can remember.  Also, I seem to always be aware of things others are not, but at the same time being blind to others, as those considerate and thoughtful enough to have pointed out to me, in a non-judgemental or prejudice way, have said.

The problem doesn’t seem to be feeling emotions because there I do not believe I have a problem, i can just appear as detached at times. That Is because internally the emotions are starting to overwhelm me somewhat as if I’m drowning with you, but to save myself I must figure out the problem, fix it or break away, if what I’m attached to is the problem. Expressing and understanding, knowing what to do with these emotions seems to be the problem, I appear to lack the abilities in this department

When I talk about using my resources, we all do it, but people are my most valuable as I learn at personal record-breaking speed, through them.  I once got asked what my view on friendships and relationships are.  It was asked in an intense, formal, fish bowl environment, I eventually summed it to the one word I always land on after excessive babbling, that word was ‘pointless’.  Because you can become a point-less or a point-more with any relationship.  Sometimes we give too much of ourselves to others but get nothing but problems back in return.  It’s quite hard finding people that understand and relate to me, so they can become pointless because they end.  I have a few strong friendships and relationships where I do not have to be so self-conscious or have the feeling I am walking on egg shells.

 

In the end I always eventually feel trapped and must do something with my surroundings.  Because I struggle living amongst people and in society at times, I can require more support or help, and it can be hard keeping a consistent income. Unfortunately, that means falling into the comfortable, low poverty or severely poverty-stricken bracket of life.  This seems to be the cycle of my life that I am trying and hoping to change.  That just creates nothing but hassles within my day to day living.

I love to study and have found with the university I attend, working from home as a self-directed learner can have its benefits and pitfalls.  I can’t seem to be among people all the time so finding work or career choice isn’t the easiest, but the university I am with seems to be a brilliantly insightful resource, opening doors and suggesting things I never thought of or even knew were possible.  Maybe finding a career that suits my disabilities and abilities might not end up being as challenging as I had once thought

I’m learning some people just want a rant and do not want to delve into too much depth for whatever reason.  Sometimes I can be the worst person to be around if this is the case, because I’m a problem fixer, relationships sometimes want to be ignorant to problems, but not all the time and that is where I come in to use.  What I am trying to Learn is to not give so much of myself away when it has a somewhat crippling effect on myself.  This is proving challenging, but one I am getting better at and hope to continue to do so in the future

I’ve learnt that mental health and wellbeing is so tangled that even the people hired to help, forget, lose track or become so over worked and distracted they become a part of the problem, instead of a solution.  It went so bad from here onwards, I suppose as I share the story will be unravelled, and I truly am taking others on this journey with me, not only to help myself but to change the way it works.  How we portray words determines how we react.  I am a coward, it’s that thought that brings out the fighter and why I am voicing my words. (demand versus avoidance)

 

 

 

 

Investigating personality: An INTJ, diagnosed ADHD females personality traits, explored

In April 2018 I got tired of the repetitive loop cycle 1000 days later of always being assumed to be borderline personality disorder (BPD) whenever my emotions were out of control, and I struggled to verbally communicate in the ways expected.  

This led me down a new path to look into, although I have researched personality in so many ways, by reading and listening to so much that is misleading and helpful both at the same time, no wonder my mind gets tangled.

I believe by fixing my mental health, the questions surrounding and clouding whether I have Autism, may finally come to some form of a conclusion or an answer.

On Monday 30th July 2018 I had an Appointment with someone specialised, able and willing to look further into depths with regards to myself.  She seems to have shed some light where there was once none, with a theory worth exploring.

The way her brain works provided a logical and rational explanation that may be plausible, even more so now I have gathered more insight into ADHD (neurology and psychology)

I will continue to research alongside doing tests scientifically recognised in one sense or another that may or may not be relevant, that may give more insight or create some stepping stones, where there may once have appeared to be none.

I took the Myers Biggs – personality type indicator test at a time where I was lost and needed to be found.  I have to say it stroked my ego exceptionally well, but that wasn’t what I wanted or needed.

This then allowed for deeper analytical insight and the ability to investigate what a certain unhealthy personality type would look like. I have done this by stepping on too many stones in one setting then stemming off from there, following the cookie crumbs so to speak which is the way I work best.

The reasons for doing this were simple, my personality was confusing those aided in helping work out the puzzle that is me.

Therefore, it was a problem needing to be addressed, a solution or at the very least more of an understanding as to be honest, my personality is not of the ‘norm’ and is a constant enigma to oneself at times, never mind the majority of the population, specialised or not.

For those unfamiliar with the test, I will explain a little about it.  Myers Briggs is a designed Psychometric test categorised into 16 Profiles, allowing for deeper analysis and insight into your behaviour and way of thinking.

Obviously, it’s not individualised as there are approximately 7.5 billion people in the world so if everything was even sliced, 468,750,000 million people per personality type, that’s a lot.

Therefore, I have put together this individual’s thoughts into words who is already clinically diagnosed and labeled in some perspectives, as a minority female amongst the whole population, unique

In this case, categorised as INTJ female, the results from taking the test are as follows alongside explaining the initials more commonly seen but not necessarily understood, that make up the contents of the table

My results for the Myers Biggs Personality test

Introverted – is to be energised by Spending quiet time alone or within a small group, more reserved and thoughtful

68%

Intuitive – can have more of an abstract level way of thinking, interested in theories, patterns, and explanations, often more concerned with the future than the present, described as creative

55%

Thinking – is in relation to making decisions with their head, more interested in the most logical and reasonable choice

70%

Judging – indicates an appreciation for structure and order,

55%

Extraverted – is to be energised by spending time with people, busy and active surroundings, more expressive and outspoken

32%

Sensing – is where one focuses on 5 senses, more interested in the information they can directly hear, see, feel etcetera.  Hand on learners, commonly described as practical

45%

Feeling is someone who tends to make decisions with their heart, more interested in how a decision will affect people, does it fit with their values?

30%

Perceiving – is a person who generally prefers flexibility and spontaneity, they like to leave things open in case they want to change their minds

45%

At the end of the test, you receive one out of the 16 personality type letter combination variations, consisting of 4 letters. The 4 letters received will depend on the top half where your percentage scores are highest.

This is a reflection of the answers that you give, allowing for insight to be gained into the patterns of your behaviour and way of thinking, determining what one out of the 16 personality types, given this tests criteria, best suit your individual but comparable personality.

Now, or when you have the four letters produced and resulted from the test that has determined what personality type more suits your choices, understanding becomes the next challenge.  Each of the 8 code letters stands for a preference in your style of thinking or behaviour. Split into four categories as follows

  • I versus E: Introverted or Extraverted – refers to how oneself manages their energy
  • S versus N: Sensing or Intuitive – looks into how a person processes information
  • T versus F: Thinking or feeling – describes how people make decisions
  • J versus P: Judging or perceiving – focuses on how people approach the structure in their lives

My 4 letter code result

  • Introverted (I) – 68%
  • Intuitive  (N) – 55%
  • Thinking (T) – 70%
  • Judging (J) – 55%

This personality type is more rare, making up approximately 3% of the population and only around 1% of them, are female.  Common names associated with this personality type are the scientist, Strategist, and mastermind to name but a few.

Some of what I found was relevant to myself such as, the descriptions of having the capabilities to absorb highly complex theories and material, creating structure from theoretical abstractions and a brilliant strategist.

I really enjoy and thrive off theoretical challenges that are easily approached in a calm, collected and analytical way, due to the way my brain naturally thinks in a logical, rational and reasonable way, when I am in the right mind.

The Myers Biggs – personality type indicator test is a form of psychological typology, that is an introspective self-report questionnaire, meaning a test you do yourself for many a clustered spectrum of reasons.

It allows for some insight and understanding to the way you think, putting words to it in a literal sense.  It is designed to give indicators and insight into the different psychological preferences in relation to, how people perceive the world around them and make decisions.

Another test highlighting I see the world differently was the RAADS Autistic screening test, where the results are found in the context of a different article The Ritvo Autism Asperger Diagnostic Scale-Revised; comparing and explaining results in an attempt to understand

I’m usually a good resource for others when problems need fixed or solutions found, but not so good at knowing or taking care of my own needs, sometimes even ignoring and putting another’s first.

INTJ’s are described as original, creative, independent, ingenious and resourceful.  I especially agree with the ability to be a leader but will follow and fully support the person plans, if their idea is more effective or resourceful than mine or another’s.

I do work well on my own though hence why I enjoy being a self-directed learner, in some cases, people could fast track how quickly I am able to learn.  When my confidence and self-esteem get the much-needed attention it requires, maybe I won’t have to rely so much upon being a self-directed learner.

I thought personally that this test would give a good insight in a literal sense for explaining the type of person I was, not for scientific reasons.  When brought up to my CPN and Clinical psychiatrist in an intense appointment, the response was quite blunt and sharply dismissing, more than likely due to time restraints.

I was made completely aware that this is not a recognised screening or diagnostic test within the UK, good to know that due to a system that hasn’t worked for me yet, you plan to stand by it and follow it, therefore giving the impression the results to the test are irrelevant to the purpose, situation or events being discussed, which I disagree with.

On a personal level, they gave me more insight into my personality than ever before, because it gave me a new way to research my personality alongside the meanings to the words, equipping me with the skills and knowledge to better understand.

The reasons for this were to see if I couldn’t untangle the confusion or lack of understanding, associated with myself.

I suppose it all depends on what you want to do with the information contained within the test or what you take from it, which is another story. I didn’t have or feel like the opportunity was there, to simply state that is not why I took the test.

I took it to give words I was unable to give, with regards to aiding in your difficulties figuring or categorising my personality, hoping to be able to help better understand how to communicate, more effectively with one another.

So, for anyone planning on taking it I found it useful as a stepping stone to look further, but there are many stones for which one person can choose to step on, I prefer a controlled open mind instead of a closed ridged cage, much healthier and more effective for this female.   

This is where I found words to aid in answering certain questions asked or wondered, and helped me learn ways to counteract these difficulties, strengthening my abilities to tackle the walls I keep slamming head-on into within my living reality

After yesterday’s appointment, I thought this test just became as relevant as the first time I considered it.  If I have this spectacular minded woman’s way of thinking correctly, I think she may have just put a few missing pieces to the puzzle in place.

I will explain a little in the case earlier articles have not yet been stumbled upon as I have only been blogging for a matter of weeks.  There has been a constant question I can’t stop mulling over which is, Am I Autistic? In some ways, the label fits like a glove, but in others, there is no resemblance.

I am ADHD, my clinical psychiatrist, previous crisis nurse now CPN and this woman I am addressing presently, whose job title is a speech and language therapist, have the opinions and expertise to say I am ADHD.  An article I’m currently working on looking into ADHD has me agreeing even more so now, which I won’t go too much into-depth within this article.

The spanner thrown in to the works yesterday is something i’ve heard many a time before but not in the way this charismatic lady said, a possibility could be that past traumas, life and experiences have gave my mental health a run for its money.

So, pretty much my brains mentality has taken some psychological bashing, which could be the reason I appear to have so many autistic traits at times, circumstances and in some situations, whether I am or not autistic cannot be accurately said at the moment, but hopefully that answer will come through time, support and therapy.

This has led me to a new way of thinking which I plan to explore, but I must give my mind a break, as working on two separate articles linkable to this one, and I’m about to turn this into a lecture instead of light reading if I don’t stay on point.

A new theory or hypothesis brought to light after yesterday, had me considering another angle. An ADHD, INTJ personality type female, whose mental health has gone to pot, but probably not the best description.  Another way to word what I’m trying to describe, in more correct or appropriate speech and probably make more sense.  A theory being…….

‘I have a neurological disorder with the literal word ADHD, due to life experiences and being completely unaware, but not clueless internally to the fact I have a brain deficit, my mental health over my current life-course has created psychological disorders, that could be making me appear autistic or Asperger’s.’

A further thought process I’ve just had that I think is noteworthy for consideration in the future, and another avenue worth exploring is maybe I am just an INTJ female which is a minority in its self.

Could it be possible, that the type of personality I have, is the reason my brain fits the categorical criteria threshold, in a literal word of neurological disorders, (ADHD/ASD) with Psychological disorders manifesting in a complex personality type, known as an INTJ?

It could be the complete opposite, the fact I’m this personality type, does it conflict with my neurological disorder, having knock-on effects creating implications on my mental health.  There are a lot of possible theories and evidence explaining in some ways why I think and see the world differently from the ‘norm’.

I have asked and answered so many questions from previous articles over the last week or so, but there are many still unanswered, but over the course of the next few months that looks set to change.

To an unaware or untrained eye, I may appear physically robotic, detached or manically disabled at times for supposed unknown reasons, as I mentally race to get ahead of the dark cloud threatening to engulf me, sucking away all the air, slowly dimming my light, which has only been put out once at 13.

I hate repeating the same mistakes and this is one I have vowed never to repeat regardless, so I apologise if I appear aggressive/passionate about surviving essentially myself. (I’m working on my approach and technique currently, let’s just say it is a work in progress hence this website)

After that appointment on Monday I now have more hope, due to a woman whose skill and passion for what she does, is exactly what I need, an extremely valuable resource where I lack a lot of knowledge and understanding, she has managed to cast light in my shadows, very insightful and I believe what she has said, she will do.

I got tingles to my toes because this lady knows things I am completely clueless to in some aspects and has assured me, she is going to help and get me the support she can, a good sign i hope.

Since my action man and go to guy moved jobs as a crisis nurse to a CPN, and the rules, procedures, systems, and dynamics of our relationship were altered, my family and I have been left to cope regardless, no matter the circumstance, situation or event that has triggered a lack of control, the majority of the time.

The problem being this is not what we are told is going to happen, also neither of us truly understand what is going on, or what we can do to try and manage it.  We are often just left in limbo constantly being confused, as I’m told one thing will get done after another, but yet they never seem to transpire into anything.

When I am like this I require support the most, but it is the one time guaranteed I do not get it.  Really doesn’t make sense to me, if I am not getting through to one individual about my difficulties, if we are failing to communicate effectively, I will find the one that I can as I’m simply just, trying to survive.

I can only do this by keeping my head bobbing above the surface, remember personal circumstances, experiences, learnings and understanding all influences how we are towards others and ourselves any given day, the results are unpredictable and unforeseen at times.

When the need requires attention and can no longer be ignored, let’s say when I am in crisis if the word fits, the wolf wants to come out but is trapped inside the sheep figuratively speaking, or the opposite way around. 

My tones are harder to manage, blunt beyond belief and a very narrow jugular viewpoint with regards to fixing the problem at hand, depending on the personality I am communicating with.

My vocabulary becomes tangled and I feel vulnerable and embarrassed when this happens so I fight for hyperfocus (automatically switch) and I do not use the incorrect words or try extremely hard to find the more sensitive, or appropriate words.

It is quite the opposite really, but the words are harsher, tone direct and always told I appear and become aggressive by certain personality types but not all???  This is not welcomed or liked by those aided in helping me at times depending on their perspectives, opinions, and understandings, but it is for them, future generations such as my children and for myself, that I am trying to communicate a very closed book.

What is not understood is when I am like this, people make me so ill unintentionally with their word choices and views I have no choice but to correct them or point out the error in their ways, but no one likes that.

Funny that’s all my life has been is people pointing out the errors in my ways, maybe the problem is when I’m doing it, I’m accurate in one sense or all, fully aware of the problem at handUnfortunately, I can forget to take the emotions of others into consideration until later reflection, but arguably they’re not taking mine into consideration either.

I apologise my face, body language and tones do not give the correct insight to be able to understand the emotions I am feeling and portraying.

I’m always seeming to be puzzled at times, sometimes appearing as if out of the blue, and not always relevant to the topic, but it is the topic at hand that triggers and links automatically to another thought process, then back to the original topic. 

This has been the case for so long but more recognisable, over the last couple of years since my journey begun with mental health in a formal setting, simply trying to understand.  This problem or way of thinking that has never been changeable but coverable, I believe, is also a contributing factor to the confusion others can have, when interacting with myself.

Yesterday’s appointment has my wheels really turning differently, and had me looking more closely at ADHD, but researched differently.  I fully accept I have a neurological disorder and that my psychological health has been affected throughout the course of my life to date.  I am beginning to become more aware of where I struggle, still clueless but at least a few steps in the right direction for a change.

I am puzzled but more equipped for putting the pieces together now than I was 2 decades or even 2 years ago when the puzzle, once only missing some pieces, got smashed to oblivion. Fragments and pieces are coming together, and a hazy picture can now be seen.

I believe the road of self-discovery may have hit a pinnacle moment, now all that is left to do is wait and see what happens, whilst others try help find the missing pieces that I can’t. There will come a day I will feel the closest I can to the whole, patience is a virtue as they say.

I believe a possible reason for a lot of the issues within my mental health stem from the fact, that at times I truly do not understand people, their actions or why they feel the way they do, even though I have studied peoples actions and behaviour under the most peculiar settings since a young age.  Because this has been and continues to be a detrimental weakness in some ways, steps are being taken to try and combat this.

I have made It my focus to learn to walk in the shoes of others to allow me to see where I was once blind or ignorant.  Sometimes I am far too empathetic which comes at a cost to myself as I am forever second guessing my own self too often, when more often than not I’m accurate the first time.

I try to and often do, consider all plausible and possible outcomes within my capabilities and understandings from any aspect or scenario, which may be a contributing factor to the tangled mindset.

No one knows themselves better than the individual but how others perceive our behaviours can sometimes, only be answered by another’s eyes. Because I do not understand people, their actions or why they feel the way they do I have made it my focus to learn to walk in the footsteps of others.

I would recommend taking the Myers Biggs – personality type indicator test if you require or are intrigued too, take a deeper more insightful look into the way you think and behave.

It is an introspective self-report questionnaire, allowing for more awareness of oneself, where possible career choices can be found that match or better suit your way of thinking.  Either way, I enjoyed the test and the insightful paths that stemmed from it, as it provided in aiding my journey of self-discovery and I hope it gives the insight to others, as it did for myself.

Source of writing www.naturalempathiser.com – feature picture by Sharon McCutcheon