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I feel stuck, and I don't know what to do now...


soph ie
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Warning for length- I need to rant lol

 

I finished school this summer, this was not a good time for me, I struggled with my gender and sexual identity (still am!) and had to battle parent and teacher expectations. My parents (particularly my mother) are manipulative, and I have developed a low self esteem and self worth as a result, so also battling my own expectations vs reality of my grades was difficult. 

After finishing school (and failing my a levels) I wanted to find a job. Now I had always wanted to be a teacher, but knew Uni wasnt for me so I found an apprenticeship in childcare. I applied almost as a joke, thinking I wasnt going to get it, but eventually did. 3 months in, I am wayyyy past my depth and idk if this is the right thing for me anymore. I looooove working with children, the actual job is great and I love interacting with the babies and children. However, the admin side iof things is really stressful and difficult. I feel like this would be manageable in terms of it would be worth it for the rest of my job, however I am also not getting along great with the room leader or other staff members at the setting. I am questioning about whether I am autistic or have ADHD (or both), and feel like getting a diagnosis may help with explaining to the room leader how I may not be able to reach her expectations and I'm not just ignoring her or being deliberately annoying, and that I am trying my best. However I am really bad at asking for help (thanks to my lovely mother) and struggle a lot with the unknown and not knowing what is happening next in a new situation (possibly to do with a potential dignosis).  This makes it really hard for me to access help, or to see about testing for a diagnosis of something such as ADHD and/or autism. I like to know what is coming up so I can plan what to do in a variety of situations, but I have no idea what testing would involve, or the potential situations that may arise from it, and thinking about this makes me quite overwhelmed and stressed. I understand that getting a diagnosis (if there is one and Im not just a nutcase lol) would help me in many ways, but it feels like the symptoms making me feel like I would need a diagnosis are the same ones that make it difficult to do so. To cut a long story short though, Im very stressed atm, and I'm not sure if the level of stress is normal for the job, or if I am just not able to cope well with the job, due to a potential diagnosis and this is making me stressed. Idk if I should quit my job and find somewhere else, or if there are ways that my employer could support me around a diagnosis.

I have accessed in the past both online therapy for a while, and a series of in person sessions more recently. As I came to the end of these face-to-face sessions, I felt like I was only just starting to warm up to the therapist, and was only then feeling comfortable enough to share some of the deeper things I really needed to talk about, but due to only having a limited number of sessions available to me, I only ended up with limited time to talk about what really mattered. (more of fear of the unknown/uncomfy in new situations thing), so this was never as helpful as it needed to be as I just cant settle in with time to talk about everything. 

I dont know if there is some kind of miracle way out, whether its a way to manage anxiety of the unknown somehow, to quit my job, or to carry on and hope everything fixes itself (my current and usual plan which is not really working lol). If anyone has any insight or experience as to what happens in an ADHD or autism assessment, this may help me be able to understand and plan in my head what will happen to ease some anxiety of the unknown, this would be very helpful. ❤️ I struggle with confidence, especially talking to superior figures, so I dont feel able to talk to my boss about it, and similarly why I struggle with starting the process of a diagnosis.

Thank you for reading this, and sorry it was so long, I just felt the need to spill my brains and see if I could get any advice or insight, or even just someone who I can relate to. 

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  • Digital Mentor
On 12/10/2022 at 9:20 PM, soph ie said:

Warning for length- I need to rant lol

I finished school this summer, this was not a good time for me, I struggled with my gender and sexual identity (still am!) and had to battle parent and teacher expectations. My parents (particularly my mother) are manipulative, and I have developed a low self esteem and self worth as a result, so also battling my own expectations vs reality of my grades was difficult. 

After finishing school (and failing my a levels) I wanted to find a job. Now I had always wanted to be a teacher, but knew Uni wasnt for me so I found an apprenticeship in childcare. I applied almost as a joke, thinking I wasnt going to get it, but eventually did. 3 months in, I am wayyyy past my depth and idk if this is the right thing for me anymore. I looooove working with children, the actual job is great and I love interacting with the babies and children. However, the admin side iof things is really stressful and difficult. I feel like this would be manageable in terms of it would be worth it for the rest of my job, however I am also not getting along great with the room leader or other staff members at the setting. I am questioning about whether I am autistic or have ADHD (or both), and feel like getting a diagnosis may help with explaining to the room leader how I may not be able to reach her expectations and I'm not just ignoring her or being deliberately annoying, and that I am trying my best. However I am really bad at asking for help (thanks to my lovely mother) and struggle a lot with the unknown and not knowing what is happening next in a new situation (possibly to do with a potential dignosis).  This makes it really hard for me to access help, or to see about testing for a diagnosis of something such as ADHD and/or autism. I like to know what is coming up so I can plan what to do in a variety of situations, but I have no idea what testing would involve, or the potential situations that may arise from it, and thinking about this makes me quite overwhelmed and stressed. I understand that getting a diagnosis (if there is one and Im not just a nutcase lol) would help me in many ways, but it feels like the symptoms making me feel like I would need a diagnosis are the same ones that make it difficult to do so. To cut a long story short though, Im very stressed atm, and I'm not sure if the level of stress is normal for the job, or if I am just not able to cope well with the job, due to a potential diagnosis and this is making me stressed. Idk if I should quit my job and find somewhere else, or if there are ways that my employer could support me around a diagnosis.

I have accessed in the past both online therapy for a while, and a series of in person sessions more recently. As I came to the end of these face-to-face sessions, I felt like I was only just starting to warm up to the therapist, and was only then feeling comfortable enough to share some of the deeper things I really needed to talk about, but due to only having a limited number of sessions available to me, I only ended up with limited time to talk about what really mattered. (more of fear of the unknown/uncomfy in new situations thing), so this was never as helpful as it needed to be as I just cant settle in with time to talk about everything. 

I dont know if there is some kind of miracle way out, whether its a way to manage anxiety of the unknown somehow, to quit my job, or to carry on and hope everything fixes itself (my current and usual plan which is not really working lol). If anyone has any insight or experience as to what happens in an ADHD or autism assessment, this may help me be able to understand and plan in my head what will happen to ease some anxiety of the unknown, this would be very helpful. ❤️ I struggle with confidence, especially talking to superior figures, so I dont feel able to talk to my boss about it, and similarly why I struggle with starting the process of a diagnosis.

Thank you for reading this, and sorry it was so long, I just felt the need to spill my brains and see if I could get any advice or insight, or even just someone who I can relate to. 

Hi there, I'm Aurora, I'm one of the support mentors here. Thank you so much for opening up about what's been going on for you. And no need at all to apologise for the length of your post. Personally, I find writing things down can often help me to process some of the things that are going on for me. Maybe it's the same for you, too 🙂? And like this you've given us a good understanding of what's going on for you at the moment. 

You strike as me a very insightful person and if you think you might have ADHD or autism (or both) then, like you said, I think it's a really good idea to get an assessment. I'm sure it would be good for you to know either way. By having an assessment done, you might also get a better understanding of what support is available to you and what you might find most helpful. What do you think?

I totally get that it is stressful to start the process. My suggestion would be to go to your GP in the first instance. They should be able to make a referral and talk you through the process. One of the things you might find helpful is if you make a list beforehand with all the things you struggle/find difficult. Like this you can make sure that you mention everything you want to and don't leave anything out by mistake. And if you don't feel comfortable talking to them about it, you can just show them the list. Do you think that might be helpful? Also, do you have a friend or family member, who knows what's going on. I'm wondering if you would find it helpful to ask them to come to the GP with you to support you. What do you think? 

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I find that writing forces me to actually try to make sense of what is in my head rather than just try to forget it or distract myself, it makes me put it into words that make sense to not just me but to someone else as well. 

I feel like an assessment might be helpful, if I do have something. If I dont this could cause more stress due to a lack of understanding afterwards, where now I can at least try to form some kind of explanation for myself that a stupid mistake or something I struggle with might be due to undiagnosed autosm/ADHD. If I did, this explanation wouldnt just be a small comfort in my head, I could get support and use the diagnosis to help give a valid excuse for things. 

I dont really have anyone to talk to about it, I dont want to mention it to my parents, as they dont 'believe' in mental illness, and think that 'everyone gets a diagnosis nowadays'. I have talked to an online friend about it, but they wouldnt be able to come with me to the GP. 

I have already made a makeshift list of some things, I quite often plan and list things as it helps me with stressful situations. I have found it helpful, but I also use it to procrastinate and spend more time planning than I do actually doing anything. Already I have made a meticulous plan on how to get to the GP and ring up and everything without my parents knowing I have done it, but in my head I know that I would never be able to actually follow through with the plans, as I get quite anxious about unknown situations and new things that I dont know what to expect.

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On 12/13/2022 at 11:17 AM, soph ie said:

I find that writing forces me to actually try to make sense of what is in my head rather than just try to forget it or distract myself, it makes me put it into words that make sense to not just me but to someone else as well. 

I feel like an assessment might be helpful, if I do have something. If I dont this could cause more stress due to a lack of understanding afterwards, where now I can at least try to form some kind of explanation for myself that a stupid mistake or something I struggle with might be due to undiagnosed autosm/ADHD. If I did, this explanation wouldnt just be a small comfort in my head, I could get support and use the diagnosis to help give a valid excuse for things. 

I dont really have anyone to talk to about it, I dont want to mention it to my parents, as they dont 'believe' in mental illness, and think that 'everyone gets a diagnosis nowadays'. I have talked to an online friend about it, but they wouldnt be able to come with me to the GP. 

I have already made a makeshift list of some things, I quite often plan and list things as it helps me with stressful situations. I have found it helpful, but I also use it to procrastinate and spend more time planning than I do actually doing anything. Already I have made a meticulous plan on how to get to the GP and ring up and everything without my parents knowing I have done it, but in my head I know that I would never be able to actually follow through with the plans, as I get quite anxious about unknown situations and new things that I dont know what to expect.

Hi there, it's great that you have already made a plan and it sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this. What do you think is the biggest barrier that is stopping you from following through with it and what do you think would need to happen to enable you to do it? 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know what stops me from doing it, my brain just doesn't let it happen. I can want to go ahead with something as much as I like, but never have the motivation/confidence to do it. I wouldnt call it motivation or confidence though, I have motivation, mentally I can be 100% ready to do something, but physically it doesnt happen, for example it could be as small as I can be sat down looking at a pile of washing that needs putting away, and even if my brain is literally screaming at me to get up and sort through it, I just cant get up. Or sometimes its bigger like getting an autism diagnosis. I have done online tests (I know these arent accurate but still), and identify with some of the explanations I have read, and feel like I want to go for a diagnosis, but despite planning exactly what I would need to do, I just can't bring myself to do it. Ironically, this probably is linked to what I would be looking at getting disgnosed, and I just dont know what I could do to enable me to do it.

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57 minutes ago, soph ie said:

I don't know what stops me from doing it, my brain just doesn't let it happen. I can want to go ahead with something as much as I like, but never have the motivation/confidence to do it. I wouldnt call it motivation or confidence though, I have motivation, mentally I can be 100% ready to do something, but physically it doesnt happen, for example it could be as small as I can be sat down looking at a pile of washing that needs putting away, and even if my brain is literally screaming at me to get up and sort through it, I just cant get up. Or sometimes its bigger like getting an autism diagnosis. I have done online tests (I know these arent accurate but still), and identify with some of the explanations I have read, and feel like I want to go for a diagnosis, but despite planning exactly what I would need to do, I just can't bring myself to do it. Ironically, this probably is linked to what I would be looking at getting disgnosed, and I just dont know what I could do to enable me to do it.

Ha, I know what you mean with not being able to put the washing away! It's the same for me. It's amazing how difficult it can be to motivate ourselves to do tasks like that! 

I find with big tasks though like getting an autism assessment, it can really help to break it down into small steps and focusing on one step at the time. Then it doesn't feel like such a big tasks. It might feel a bit strange at first but I would recommend breaking it down into very small steps. For example the steps could be something like 1. look up the number of the GP 2. get all the things together you will need while making the appointment: phone, diary etc, 3. think about what you will say to the receptionist 4. call the GP surgery etc. Maybe you could write a list with all the small steps and then tick them off your list once you have done them. Personally, I find it really motivating to tick things off my list and the smaller the steps, the easier it is to tick things off. Would you like to give that a go and see how you get on? If so, you can share the list here if you like or give us an update on how you are getting on. Do you think that might work? 

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I have made a similar type of list already, but I am stuck at the actually going and calling the GP. I dont really know whats stopping me, but I think its a mixture of fear of the unknown, not having the motivation, and a fear that I'm just over reacting or overthinking things, and Id be wasting the GP's time. What if I go in and there is absolutely no sign of me having autism and I have just overthought it to the point where I have convinced myself I have? Theres also the thing that I keep telling myself its not worth the stress because without knowing what accommodations may become available to me, I dont know if its worth me getting so worked up about it for no benefit other than being able to tell myself the things that I find weird or annoying about myself have a name. Idk if any of that makes sense, it doesnt make much sense to myself tbh 😂  It doesnt help that my parents dont really 'believe' in things like autism and just think that everyone goes around labeling unnecessary things nowadays etc., so I cant get any help from them, or talk about it with them. I dont think there is any way around it, its going to be an uncomfortable ad stressful situation whatever happens, I just need to convince myself its worth the stress of going to get an assessment for the outcome.

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Hi just want to let you feel safe that you are not the only one in the world who is going through shit and stuff. Just try to to think positive (I will do that too) and be sure what you want to have in your life. Do something that makes you happy. and don't hang in there too much longer. Change the way you are now and try new things etc.

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10 hours ago, ag said:

Hi just want to let you feel safe that you are not the only one in the world who is going through shit and stuff. Just try to to think positive (I will do that too) and be sure what you want to have in your life. Do something that makes you happy. and don't hang in there too much longer. Change the way you are now and try new things etc.

Hey, thank you it really does reassure me to know that others are going through stuff too, and Im not alone. Im trying to find things I enjoy again and do more of it, trying to find new friends I can go out with to distract myself (I lost everyone to Uni). I will try to do like you said and think positive, and try new things. 

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  • Digital Mentor
On 1/18/2023 at 10:09 AM, soph ie said:

I have made a similar type of list already, but I am stuck at the actually going and calling the GP. I dont really know whats stopping me, but I think its a mixture of fear of the unknown, not having the motivation, and a fear that I'm just over reacting or overthinking things, and Id be wasting the GP's time. What if I go in and there is absolutely no sign of me having autism and I have just overthought it to the point where I have convinced myself I have? Theres also the thing that I keep telling myself its not worth the stress because without knowing what accommodations may become available to me, I dont know if its worth me getting so worked up about it for no benefit other than being able to tell myself the things that I find weird or annoying about myself have a name. Idk if any of that makes sense, it doesnt make much sense to myself tbh 😂  It doesnt help that my parents dont really 'believe' in things like autism and just think that everyone goes around labeling unnecessary things nowadays etc., so I cant get any help from them, or talk about it with them. I dont think there is any way around it, its going to be an uncomfortable ad stressful situation whatever happens, I just need to convince myself its worth the stress of going to get an assessment for the outcome.

Hi @soph ie, I can definitely understand your reluctance to actually call your GP and make an appointment. Especially if your parents think that everyone is just using labels unnecessarily. I can imagine that makes it even more difficult to ask for help. 

You mentioned in your first post on this thread that you are feeling really stressed at work and I have also noticed that you posted in another thread about having thoughts about ending your life. I hope you don't mind me talking about your other post on here but I think it might all be connected. I can see that Monsoon suggested that the thoughts you're having might be intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts that just pop into our mind at any time. They are often repetitive and can be quite upsetting or distressing thoughts. Lots of people get them and the most common intrusive thoughts are thoughts are around self harm, just like you were describing them. Intrusive thoughts are often triggered by stress and I just wanted to check if you are still feeling very stressed at work? 

If you are, then I'm wondering, how you would feel about going to your GP to talk to them about how stressed you've been and the thoughts you've been having (rather than asking for an Autism/ADHD assessment). It sounds like you could really do with some support and your GP should be able to help you with this. And if it does feel like the right time to bring it up you could also mention that you were wondering about whether you might have autism and or ADHD. And if it doesn't feel like the right time then you can always ask for some help with that later. How does that sound?  

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I'm still quite stressed, I feel like I'm starting to settle into the routine at work, and have asked to have a day off each week to give myself more time outside of work. The external company running my apprenticeship has gone bust, and no longer will be offering apprenticeships, so there is a lot of uncertainty and stress around that. I don't know if I would be able to go to a GP for the thoughts, I want to be able to, but I just don't know if I can. I dont go to the doctors often, so it is a very new and unknown environment, which I find very stressful. I will try to do this though, it would be easier than asking for an autism assessment because I am more certain that I really am suffering from those symptoms, but the autism/ADHD symptoms are more vague and overlap with lots of different things, so I dont really know what to tell the GP.

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On 1/20/2023 at 9:47 PM, soph ie said:

I'm still quite stressed, I feel like I'm starting to settle into the routine at work, and have asked to have a day off each week to give myself more time outside of work. The external company running my apprenticeship has gone bust, and no longer will be offering apprenticeships, so there is a lot of uncertainty and stress around that. I don't know if I would be able to go to a GP for the thoughts, I want to be able to, but I just don't know if I can. I dont go to the doctors often, so it is a very new and unknown environment, which I find very stressful. I will try to do this though, it would be easier than asking for an autism assessment because I am more certain that I really am suffering from those symptoms, but the autism/ADHD symptoms are more vague and overlap with lots of different things, so I dont really know what to tell the GP.

I can totally understand why you're finding it stressful, having all that uncertainty around your apprenticeship. I think most of us struggle with uncertainty! It's really horrible and can definitely effect our wellbeing! Have you been told, when you'll find out, what's going to happen next? Also, I'm wondering, is there anyone else at your work who is also doing an apprenticeship? It might be helpful, to speak to them about it. What do you think?

What a good idea to ask for a day off each week. It sounds like you're really thinking of ways on how you can balance things out for yourself. Have you noticed a difference, now that you have a day to yourself? 

I know you mentioned before that your parents don't really believe in autism/ADHD. Do you mind me asking, if you've talked to them about feeling really stressed and some of the thoughts you've been having? If so, how did it go and do you think they would support you going to the GP for this? If not, how do you think they would react if you told them about how you've been feeling? Maybe they could go to the GP surgery with you (and wait outside during your appointment if you would prefer to talk to the doctor own ). Do you think that might help with your worries about it being a new and unknown environment? 

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