I find that sometimes I feel like I do have a mental illness rather than autism. I have felt that for many years. I was wondering whether I should be recategorised because maybe I am not autistic. I may have a mental illness instead. I was too scared to let them recategorise me when I went to an appointment a few years ago. I walked out of it when the forensic psychologist displayed an attitude that I found quite degrading. They accused me of shouting at them. I’m absolutely sure that I did not. I found their treatment so upsetting on the second appointment of three that I ran out in tears crying and refused to go back for the last one. That was before all the events of the last four years happened, just after I had got kicked out of university. I thought that I was doing the right thing at that time but now I’m not so sure. I did find risperidone helpful a long time ago but I wasn’t left on the medication after the age of 22. I had complained about weight gain and the psychiatrist didn’t think that I was benefiting from taking the medication at that point. This medication was an anti-psychotic. I was left on antidepressants but if that isn’t the part of my brain which causes my issues then they aren’t the right medication type to be on.
I fought everyone for years because I thought that they were being nasty to me due to my issues… but maybe they were right. There are times I hear thoughts that sound like voices and I’ve heard other peoples voices in my head over many years of my life. They can be very annoying if you don’t like them. I sometimes have a reason to be paranoid but maybe sometimes it goes to abnormal extremes. I can’t go back to get what I would have got in the services if I’d let them do their assessment at that time. I’ve been discharged by forensics, which I was happy about, then I was under local mental health for a while but now I don’t see anyone. I can’t just go back and say that I’ve thought about what I may have ran away from previously out of fear and have since decided I want to revisit that because the NHS is stretched enough. I missed my chance. I had my appointments. I walked out of them. In their eyes I’ve wasted public money.
I could go private but ongoing treatment will cost a fortune once everyone is switched over to universal credit: free prescriptions aren’t allowed on the new benefit being rolled out to all of us on Employment & Support Allowance. I’m not a danger to myself or others enough to go into hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act. I have heard a lot about the local mental health unit and I feel that this type of environment would make me worse. Anyway, I don’t think they would section me because I even tried to overdose a few years ago and the system wasn’t even concerned at that point. I tried to do that due to feeling so desperate and trapped by everything going on at that point. I could have a settled life if I let the system diagnose me with a mental illness. It may even be easily treated with lifetime medication. I may not have to suffer any more but my fear of being diagnosed with a mental illness rather than autism makes me scared. I don’t want to be written off or labelled as a danger when I am not. I don’t want to be treated more horrendously than I’ve already been by others. I don’t want to let others in any more because of things that have happened in the past. I also don’t want to be punished for life if I could get treatment for whatever mental illness I may have and then be given a second chance by people and society—the restraining order removed, criminal record reviewed and possibly removed too.