I forgot to mention yesterday that I changed where I was sitting in the office (we hotdesk), so that the two people who pace up and down while on the phone were in front of me rather than behind me. This seems to have helped. They’re just as audible, but not so distracting. It seems that noise behind me makes me more alert and anxious than noise in front of me. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee about where I’ll be able to sit over the next three weeks.
I just got phoned by a variation on this scam. Luckily I was suspicious and googled them rather than phoning them back.
I wish I could be as non-judgemental of myself as I am of others. That said, I am judgemental of others, but then I make myself think about things and realise that what they have done isn’t so bad and they probably have extenuating circumstances. But I can’t even do that with myself. I feel that I know that I’m a bad person and that while it isn’t my concern what other people do, it is my concern to make sure that I do the right thing, so I should beat myself up until I change, which never works. I don’t know what a better method is, though.
Before my meeting with the new psychiatrist on Thursday, I’m trying to write two lists. I don’t always remember what I want to say and I’m worried I’m not going to be confident about talking about alternative diagnoses, so I want to have something written I can give him/her. One list is of the depression symptoms, the other is other problems I’ve been having and other things that make me think I’m on the autistic spectrum, although I’m not sure whether I’ll say that I think I’m autistic. Please let me know if there’s anything I talk about here that I’ve forgotten.
The depression list is:
- Very low mood.
- Occasional thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
- Anxiety, especially social anxiety and anxiety related to work.
- Lack of energy.
- Poor concentration.
- Lack of motivation.
- Easily and frequently exhausted.
- Inability to experience pleasure.
- Disrupted sleep at weekends, albeit primarily on non-work days.
- Panic attacks on the way to work the other week.
The other list of symptoms is:
- Difficulty understanding and describing my emotions.
- Difficulty making eye contact.
- Difficulty reading body language.
- Body language and voice tone that makes others think I’m angry or upset even when I’m not.
- Intense interests.
- Difficulty moving from one task to another and multitasking.
- Poor spatial awareness/get lost easily.
- Difficulty holding a conversation without a prepared ‘script,’ especially small talk.
- Sensory overload from noise at work, in restaurants, etc.
- Fidgeting and stereotyped/repetitive movements (spin on chair, move feet and hands, stroke face, deliberately press on fingers or put in desk drawer).
- Tactile – I like feeling certain objects with my hands or even lips.
- I can’t always tell when people are joking.
- Difficulty remembering or understanding long and/or implicit instructions.
- I tend to stick to routines.
Some of these could be depressive, some I think point towards autism, but it’s hard to be sure. I’ve been told that I didn’t experience all of these as a child, which is one reason why I wasn’t diagnosed with autism in the past.
For some of these symptoms I know the technical terms (alexithymia, ideation, anhedonia etc.). I’ve been to so many psychiatrists and therapists and read so many books I’ve picked stuff up. But I was worried that if I used the terms, I would seem pretentious and showing off and maybe would make the psychiatrist think I was telling him/her what to do. But on the other hand they might be helpful and show that I have done some research. What do you think?