Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sometimes We Know.

This was my other contribution to #DearMentalHealthProfessionals.
#dearmentalhealthprofessionals Sometimes we actually have a pretty good idea of what is up with our brains. Because we live in them and all.
This is along the same lines as us not being incompetent just because we have mental health issues. Lived experiences matter. Paper qualifications might be good for an average, but that doesn't mean it trumps an individual with individual experiences.
Now, how does this relate to actually doing a thing?
Well, I've already said how well-researched self-diagnosis (not the same thing as going "I'm so bipolar lol," by the way, though a person who really is bipolar or autistic or whatever else may make jokes about it) can be valid.  If it can be valid (it can,) then maybe "I really think X might be what's up with my brain" is a thing mental health professionals should be taking seriously (they should.) Is there room for error? Sure, there's always room for error. Professionals can be wrong, why would I say individuals can't?
Rather than saying the individuals couldn't possibly know and being determined to prove them wrong, why not ask? Ask why they think they have/are neurology X? Why do they think they might be autistic? Why do they think they might be bipolar, or depressed, or have anxiety? Listen to those answers. If any of the reasons they give are relevant to the thing they think they have, look into it. Really look into it. If it seems like a not-quite-fit, look into the things that often get mistaken for what they think they have. Look into things that have their reasons in common with what they think they have. Even if we don't know the exact thing that is up with our brains, if we think we have an idea, it's going to have some good information in it. Use it.
The fact that a professional was willing to look at what I thought was up? That's why I have a paper diagnosis today. I already knew what was up. But I know how people react to self-diagnosis, often, and I had an opportunity where if the professional was willing to listen, I might be able to get a paper one. She did. And funnily enough, I was right about what was up with my brain.
Because sometimes we actually have a pretty good idea of what is up with our brains. Because we live in them and all.

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