Friday, November 18, 2016

Putting Things Into Perspective

I recently went in for testing to see if I have Autism or ADHD. I had been diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, and wanted to get tested again as an adult. As for the Autism, I was told many people with BPD also are on the spectrum, and I seem to fit many of the criteria. I took an initial ADHD test, and scored very high on inattentive. However, after doing the hours long testing sessions, it was determined that I am neither on the spectrum nor do I have ADHD. So, how come I fit the criteria so well? Simple, it can be explained by BPD or my anxiety. Here are a few examples.
  • Trouble concentrating and focusing is a diagnostic criteria of Anxiety.
  • I become inattentive of things both when I am feeling frustrated (a sign of BPD) and because of my anxiety. This plays into the distress tolerance piece of BPD.
  • My difficulty in social situations is both an anxiety piece as well as a BPD piece. I thought I had Autism because I have a hard time carrying on a conversation when I'm not taking about my interests, or sometimes I will become anxious and want to leave a conversation abruptly. This is because BPD causes my sense of identity to always be in flux, so how I interact with people is always in flux. I am also looking for a way to control my surroundings.
  • My inability to retain information verbal information is due to, again, my anxiety as well as BPD. Because I constantly have anxious thoughts it makes it difficult for me to focus.
  • I learn best with small, manageable piece of information and multiple ways of retaining that information (for example, being able to write it down).
I was, however, diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disability (or learning disability NOS). What does this mean?
  • There is a large discrepancy between my verbal ability and my visual ability
  • It's a disorder which is usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills. 
  • I have difficulty with visual reasoning, spacial awareness, visual organization, visually fitting things together, and reasoning for things I see. Examples of this would be; a test where I had to copy shapes, visualizing a mental map, looking in my closet and visualizing how everything will fit so I can see all my clothes.
  • Challenges with mathematics and handwriting are common. The handwriting piece comes in when I have have to copy something (from the board for example).
  • Has difficulty generalizing previously learned information. This means I have a hard time integrating pieces/details into the bigger picture (which is odd because I'm an INFJ). 
  • Hyper focusing 
  • Rigid thinking 
Some of these points can also be explained by BPD (rigid thinking, hyper focusing, social issues); so there is overlap.

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