The lost girls | Spectrum

This is maddening. But it happens all the time.

 It took 10 years, 14 psychiatrists, 17 medications and 9 diagnoses before someone finally realized that what Maya has is autism. Maya loves numbers, and with her impeccable memory, she can rattle off these stats: that the very first psychiatrist she saw later lost his right to practice because he slept with his patients. That psychiatrist No. 12 met with her for all of seven minutes and sent her out with no answers. That during her second year at Cambridge University in the U.K., industrial doses of the antipsychotic quetiapine led her to pack on more than 40 pounds and sleep 17 hours a day. (Maya requested that her last name not be used.)

But those numbers don’t do justice to her story. It’s the long list of diagnoses Maya collected before she was 21, from borderline personality disorder to agoraphobia to obsessive-compulsive disorder, that begin to hint at how little we understand autism in women.

Her conversation with psychiatrist No. 14 went something like this:

Do you hear things that others don’t?
Yes. (Maya’s hearing is excellent.)

Do you think others are talking about you behind your back?
Yes. (Maya’s extended family is particularly gossipy.)

The psychiatrist didn’t explain exactly what he was trying to assess. Literal to a fault, Maya didn’t explain what she meant by her answers. She left his office with her eighth diagnosis: paranoid personality disorder.

Read the full article at: The lost girls | Spectrum

7 thoughts on “The lost girls | Spectrum

    1. VisualVox

      I’m sorry to hear that. How rotten. It’s hard to know what to do with that, but I hope that your examples can serve to keep others from going through the same sorts of events.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks – it’s hard to know what if anything I can do, but I talk to people at least, if I think anything in my experience might be helpful to their situation (trying not to impose my own stuff on them or turn the conversation to me me me…)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. VisualVox

        It really is… the best we can do is “show up” and do the best job of representing our own situation, so others might better understand. It’s a process…


  1. Pingback: The lost girls | Spectrum – hollywoodautistic

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