Girls on the Spectrum: How I Was Misdiagnosed

Trust your instincts…

When I was 15, I started to experience mental health issues. I was depressed all the time and couldn’t enjoy anything anymore. I saw several psychologists, but no one noticed that I had autism.

After a few years, I had some appointments at a psychiatric hospital to find out if there was something wrong with me. They were really professional, and I had to take a lot of tests, but they also missed the autism.

Instead, they suspected that I could have a beginning personality disorder. I couldn’t really see myself in that diagnosis, and neither could my parents. But we trusted the doctor and the other specialists. So I started seeing a psychologist again.

I felt ready to deal with things myself when I decided to move to Denmark at the age of 19. But things didn’t go as well as I was hoping for. I started seeing psychologists again.

This time because of an eating disorder I developed when I was 17. I was living at a school and was surrounded by other young people all the time. I started comparing myself with them and noticed how different I was. I had a really hard time coping with changes and new situations. I was also always getting exhausted, much more easily than the others. Still nobody found out that I was autistic.

After my first year in Denmark, a lot of new things happened in my life. I couldn’t handle the changes at all, and developed depression. When I got better, my psychologist noticed that there was still something underlying creating problems for me.

You would guess they finally found out, I was autistic. They didn’t.

Instead, I was tested for a personality disorder again. At least they officially found out that I didn’t have one. But they were again so close to discovering the autism. I heard that it happens a lot that people get misdiagnosed with a personality disorder, when they are actually autistic. They should have just thought one step further.

Months later I talked to my psychologist about me not having a lot of energy. She suspected that it could still be because of the depression. I now know that it wasn’t the depression… but my autism.

I guess you’re wondering how I finally got my diagnosis. I actually got the suspicion myself. I saw a documentary about Asperger’s syndrome and I could immediately see myself in the autistic people there. Everything suddenly made sense. I mentioned my suspicion to my psychologist, the next time I saw her. She actually understood why I thought I could be autistic. She started giving me a lot of tests, and a few weeks later I got the diagnosis.

I finally had an answer to why I felt so different. 

Ever since I started experiencing mental health issues, I knew there was something different with me. I just wasn’t like everybody else. And I should have listened to that feeling. My parents listened to the doctors and trusted them. That’s what you’re supposed to do. I don’t blame them for it. Doctors are the ones who should be able to find out what’s wrong with you. But in my case, we should just have been a little bit more critical. 

If you suspect that your child could be autistic, fight for finding out if you’re right. Your surroundings might not see it. Your child’s school might not suspect anything. Mine didn’t. But if your instinct is telling you that something isn’t quite right, you should listen to that.

I definitely think you should trust doctors. But in my opinion, you should also be critical. Professionals might not always be right. It’s you who knows your child best.

Trust your instincts.

 

IMG_4440-1My name is Nici and I’m 23 years old. I’m originally from Germany but moved to Denmark four years ago. After wondering for a long time why I’m so different, I finally got an Aspergers diagnosis last year. While getting tested for an autism spectrum disorder, I decided that I wanted to write a blog. I only found out that I could have Aspergers because I saw some autistic people sharing their experiences in a documentary. So, my hope is that I can help others in the same way by sharing my experiences with Aspergers on my blog.

 

Nici writes in both German and Danish on www.unbemerkt.eu

Nici’s German Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/unbemerkt.eu/

Nici’s Danish Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/LivMedAspergers/

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