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I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

Hi everyone, I've just recently heard of this platform and thought to share a small story. I don't quite know where else to write this so I thought this might well be the place for it.

 

I have worked hard to advance a career in mental health, working with clients without being fixated on their diagnoses, since I preferred not to burden them with unnecessary stigma. Recently, in the course of my training, I began to reflect more and more on the appropriateness of Autism Spectrum Disorder for my younger brother. It dawned on me that the same reason why my parents refused to heed our relatives' suspicions of ASD for him when he was younger, had perhaps influenced my own views of mental health over the years. My younger brother never did see a healthcare professional, and due to his high level of functioning, had never received a diagnosis.

 

I am aware of the medical student's bias, or.. overly diagnosing the self and family members upon acquiring more knowledge in the area. Ironically, my supervisor has noted that I have consistently failed to include ASD as a differential for my clients. I am now mindful that there may be something to my inability to confront this.

 

Presently, my younger brother is living with my partner and myself. Thankfully, this is somewhat temporary as he will be moving away for work soon. In the meanwhile, the extent of his communication difficulties has put a strain on us. It is stressful for me to think about whether he was going to suicide whenever he leaves the house for alone time. I am not his keeper in the sense some other forum users use the term 'carer', but I am supposedly his main support while our parents are away believing that things have turned out for the better since his childhood.

 

I am undergoing some long term support to care for myself, and will be bringing this up in my next session. I just... want people to understand that I find it difficult to identify as a 'carer' for someone who would never seek help. As written in the topic title, I am still grieving for this 'blind spot' when it comes to ASD or some sort of PD in a family member, and what it meant for me to have been living with this chronic stress without realising it. Part of me feels possibly validated, but the other part also knows that this can only be confirmed by a healthcare professional, which cannot be me. 

 

If this makes sense to anyone reading this, please let me know. I'd be deeply appreciative of any type of support offered. Thank you in advance. Smiley Happy

 

5 REPLIES 5

Re: I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

I am truly sorry for you trying to cope in this very sad situation. I am a career for my husband who had schizophrenia. I have been a carer for 20 years, his schizophrenia is late onset. Our role requires so much of ourselves, the journey is a roller coaster ride, anger, resentfulness, overwhelming sadness for my husband, feelings of helplessness, I could go on and on. Our world is turned upside down, I have had support from psychologists, I am on medication for anxiety, I try to have my own space and time out........very important but one would think that after twenty years I would be able to accept my husband’s condition, I haven’t! Our life is not normal but I just keep trying to hang in there. I honestly feel that it is getting on top of me but I keep telling myself there are so many worse of than me. Thinking of you Raine

Re: I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

Good morning @aredhel90

 

It seems like providing respite care of your brother has been an eye opener for you.

 

As you would no doubt be aware, diagnosis is only part of the story, getting appropriate care and treatment far more important,  which also can also be a rough road.

 

A diagnosis however does lead to accessibility of services.

 

Understanding our own fears around this is important too, it is well documented how carer response influences outcomes for patients. 

 

To me acceptance means not focusing on the diagnosis, but rather .concentrating my energy into ensuring that we live as well as possible in spite of the diagnosis

 

 

Re: I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

Re: I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

@Former-Member and I have talked about these kind of things in the past.

Smiley HappySmiley IndifferentSmiley SadSmiley Happy

Hi @Raine  & @aredhel90

 

Having the knowledge of a life time of a person's narrative certainly effects how we can view them and put descriptors on them.  We aslo need to work out the consequences of our own actions and how that effects them and where responsibilities lie.

 

I think it is more wise to admit subjectivity and than to pretend or espouse an objectivity that is in my mind really impossible.

 

Yes we want to aspire for fairness.

 

We can normalise and pathologise ...

 

Some Diagnoses can be scarier than others, but a lot depends on how much support the individual has.

 

Thoughtfulness about the issues can improve one's therapuetic practise and family life.

 

I self identify with Aspergers, but I am not really totally in any one box ... too plump.

Re: I am a psychologist and I am grieving for me and my brother, who probably has undiagnosed ASD

How are you going @aredhel90

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