About People Who Self-Diagnose as Autistic


Hello everyone! So today I’m going to talk about a subject that might tick off some people, especially those who tend to hang out on Tumblr a lot. I’ve noticed that it has almost become fashionable or a cause for pride for people to research mental health or psychological conditions (or in this case a neurological condition) and then decide for themselves that they suffer from said condition. This worries me for several reasons which I will discuss here.

#1 – What if you are wrong? Put simply, many psychological conditions share almost the exact same symptoms. Even among professionals, misdiagnosis is an enormous problem in many people getting the help they need. I have no issue with people saying that they suspect that they may have autism. I just wish people wouldn’t say they have it for sure unless they have been adequately evaluated and diagnosed. I do understand that in the US at least, it can be an issue getting diagnosed because health insurance is a crap-shoot, and many people don’t even have access to regular health care, let alone psychological healthcare, but if you don’t know for sure whether you have autism, bipolar, another mood disorder, borderline, sensory integration disorder, or one of the other many conditions often misdiagnosed as autism, please don’t make definite claims.

#2 – You can actually do damage to the Aspergers or autism community. You may not think of it that way, but if you DO NOT actually have autism and yet go around claiming you do, you are likely feeding into certain stereotypes about autism that are already a problem or you are inaccurately portraying what it is like to be autistic in this world. Some of us who live with autism every single day can tend to get a little annoyed about that. Although some in the community have no issue with self-diagnosis, we are ALL different and some of us don’t like the whole self-diagnosis phenomena.

#3 – People who self-diagnose sort of have a reputation for being attention seekers. I do not think this is the case all the time, like I said, I think some of it has to do with lack of adequate healthcare, but I do believe there are a few at least that are doing it for the attention and that is really irritating.

#4 – Unfortunately, some people already see high functioning autism as a BS diagnosis, and when they see people just randomly deciding they have it without any kind of actual medical oversight, it tends to feed that destructive belief. Yes, they are the assholes to feel that way in the first place, but we don’t want to feed the assholes any more than we want to feed the trolls.

As a final note, I want to reiterate that I do not condemn people thinking or suspecting they have autism, just claiming an actual diagnosis without one. If you do suspect you may be autistic, doctors that diagnose adults can be hard to find, but they CAN be found, so don’t give up. It took me quite a while to find one who would test adults, and I only found him by contacting a professor at a local college who specializes in autism research and asking him if he knew any doctors who diagnose adults, so that might be a way for you to seek out a diagnosis as well.

Also, there are self-assessments made by professionals that can be useful in deciding if you might have autism, but they are NOT meant to be diagnostic material in themselves. However, they can help a great deal in figuring out if you might be autistic and are often used by professional doctors to assist in diagnostic criteria, so using them can be helpful in narrowing down whether you display autistic symptoms or not.

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Hi! I am an artist, author, and blogger who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome. I have won several awards and honors for my writings and artwork. I suffer from a few severe mental illness and chronic pain conditions (Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, Ehlers Danlos, Degenerative Disc Disease, etc.), which greatly affects my life and makes me want to advocate for others going through similar things. Other interests of mine include reading, writing, drawing, watching cartoons and movies, collecting toys, hanging out with my family, and annoying my 3 cats.

15 thoughts on “About People Who Self-Diagnose as Autistic”

  1. Excellent points! I’m glad that you wrote about this. People sometimes pick a “mental illness of the year” and without really knowing that much about it start labeling based on personality types and subtle traits. It really does hurt people who truly have diagnoses by perpetuating misunderstanding.

    I have bipolar disorder and have struggled with it for years. My eldest nephew has formerly known as Asperger’s disorder. So did my younger nephew, who also had bipolar disorder. Both of their lives have been/were extremely affected. Unfortunately they didn’t get quite as much help as they needed, in my opinion. My youngest nephew committed suicide from depression this past June.


  2. I don’t think it is very well known that the assessment process for ASD diagnosis is actually incredibly rigorous. Hours and hours of appointments, IQ testing, interviews with parents, childhood history, etc. The same goes for mental illness diagnoses. It’s not just a label your GP can slap on you in a 10 minute consult! And I agree it that this misconception does diminish the experience of those with a correct diagnosis.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it was a long process for me when I was diagnosed, but it was worth it to know for sure. I would recommend anyone who can get officially diagnosed do so, because if it is something else, it might need treatment and if it is autism, there are things that can help some of the symptoms that are most bothersome. I do realize here in the US though that access to healthcare is a huge issue in itself. However, I feel we should work to try to change that rather than just have everyone start diagnosing themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for this. My son is 6yo and has ASD he speaks in ASL and some language. He struggles daily just to get out of bed, get dressed, eat enough food, not hurt himself.

        I’m really struggling with adults in their 30-40 with college education, jobs, and friends who “can’t get a diagnosis” dominating the autism conversation. I want everyone in every part of the spectrum to get help and be heard. Everyone should get the treatment they need but that requires the work of finding diagnosis and therapy.

        I think if you really believe that you have ASD then you need to make the huge sacrifices in time and money to get a diagnosis that includes what your ASD looks like and what therapy you need. (In case your wondering we sold our house and moved towns to get my son the help he needs – I work 2 jobs to pay for his therapy) once you get a diagnosis, Then like my little boy you need to get up and do the work. He has been fighting through therapy since he was 2. Get your self diagnosed ass to OT, CBT, DBT whatever and do the work. And then make room in the conversation for people who have a lot to say but only a few word to say it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for commenting and telling me your story. I understand completely how it can require immense personal sacrifice to obtain a correct diagnosis and get the best treatment. Your son is very lucky to have such great parents!


  3. Even the ‘experts’ misdiagnose. I had doctors tell me for years I had ‘treatment resistant depression’ & generalized anxiety disorder. A psychologist did a quick quiz with hardly anything about me & declared I had Avoidant Personality Disorder. Another did not spend much time but said I had Asperger’s. Eventually I was diagnosed bipolar which replaced major depression. Then a psychologist assessed me for hours & said that I do not have autism nor avoidant personality disorder but I have PTSD & social anxiety in addition to the bipolar. Bipolar confirmed by more than one psychiatrist. Diagnoses confirmed by another clinical psychologist. In my 40s. I have sensory issues, social anxiety, stim etc but apparently I am not autistic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true, even the experts can and do misdiagnose, so even if experts struggle for correct diagnosis, how much more will amateurs tend to jump to the wrong conclusions? As I said in the post, I think it is fine if you suspect a certain diagnosis to bring that up with a professional, because your suspicion may turn out to be correct, but it also might turn out to be something else altogether. There has been a bit of confusion over the years about my own diagnoses, but I try not to let that get to me too much. In the end, I guess the labels shouldn’t matter the most anyways, working on improving functioning and experience is most important I suppose.


      1. My avoidance of eye contact hasn’t caused me too many problems apart from when I was made to have forced eye contact with a man when I was 12 & I became extremely distressed & several adults swarmed around me trying to cast out demons which was also very distressing. I stim everyday which would look the same as fidgeting. I do it to discharge anxious energy & to help ground myself if I’m shutting down. I’ve been told off for doodling in meetings for ‘not paying attention’ but the doodling helped me listen.

        I was told that is actually better for me to not have an autism diagnosis because it is seen as a ‘quirk’ & that I would likely be denied treatment for PTSD because they could say that I was always like that rather than an trauma injury at 5 years old. I had the social anxiety before age 5 & didn’t speak.

        So what I have been diagnosed with instead are conditions that aren’t curable but are treated eg my bipolar with meds & my PTSD with trauma therapy to reduce the impact on my daily life. Whereas the attitude towards autism in adults in New Zealand & Australia is that it is a quirk & it doesn’t need support or treatment.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is sad that the attitude towards adults with autism is that way, but I’m not surprised. Here the attitude can definitely be like that as well. I’m diagnosed with autism, bipolar type 2, and ptsd lol, so I guess they could just pick from the lot for me. I think a lot of them overlap or can be indistinguishable. My stimming is also very much like fidgeting. I’ve been forced into eye contact as well and that never ends well.


  4. Very curious and intrigued about where you found/how you formed your logic. It seems very outerworldly. Though I will give you credit for being slightly more respectful than the guys article in which I found yours from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My opinion/ideas came from an assortment of books/articles about autism and diagnosis, being a part of several autism-centered communities and groups (and simply listening to others’ experiences and points of view on the subject), and of course, my own perspective and evolving thoughts and feelings on the subject. My ideas/feelings are not locked in stone though. I am always open to hearing opposing viewpoints.


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