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Adult with PDA?
  • Lynnski
    Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    I have recently come across PDA after suspecting I have Aspergers for the past few years, however PDA fits a lot better with my behaviour and thought process. I have a lot of trouble with things other people seem to find easy, and have particular difficulty regulating emotions. My family are the ones who pointed me in the direction of first Aspergers and now PDA. My mum is somewhat looking for answers as to why I was so difficult as a child, and my older sister is a social worker and has noticed similarities in kids she looks after who are on the spectrum. My issue is however, that I struggle to go to Doctors appointments because I get so anxious and embarrassed telling others about how I can't cope, so getting a professional opinion seems like a mountain to climb. Despite their knowledge of mental health disorders and them pointing me in the direction of PDA, not one of my family seem to understand me at all. I have severe panic attacks and find it very hard to subdue the flight and fight response, often flipping out or literally running away. Whenever I do have a meltdown they simply ignore most of it, don't address me or talk to me, or quite often tell me to leave the room and go somewhere else to 'sort myself out'. This always leaves me feeling alone and confused, I am upset yet being treated like I'm deliberately doing something bad. I get addressed by my full name which adds to the feeling of being told off, and then am often stuck in the frame of mind that none of them care about me.
    My most recent meltdown was a few days ago, my Dad has recently passed away after a long battle with cancer and it has been a struggle to get through the past few months. I live with my partner in a different city and have had to travel back to help care for him several times a week for the past few months. This has left me feeling rather trapped, I cannot plan anything and have had to force myself out of the house to go and see him when all I've wanted to do is stay in my safe warm bed. It was very hard seeing his fall from grace and I miss him terribly, even though we didn't always get along. So a day after his passing I have travelled to my Mum's house in mourning, where my two sisters were. My mum and dad have been divorced for many years and previously didn't get along, however she did help a lot with his care in final months and their friendship returned. I didn't really have any expectations for the day, I don't really know what you do when someone dies, but felt horrifically anxious on the way there. I was soon put in a car and taken, with no real warning, to tour a crematorium. I thought we would just be driving up and having a quick look, my Dad had only been gone a day and I didn't feel like much should have to happen immediately, yet there I was being shown a small chapel that was designed for the funerals of children. I freaked out a bit, started to get rather upset, and went outside to cry and ring my partner who calmed me down somewhat. Then before I had completely collected myself we were off again, now to a pub where my mum had decided we would have the wake (somewhat taking over the planning). Again I felt like this was all happening too quickly and I couldn't process anything, I asked repeatedly if we could just go home, but instead was told we would have lunch. I was on the verge of a massive panic attack by this point, hyperventilating, shaking, sweating. I tried to calm my breathing and focused on that, I really wanted to flip the table I was sat at, smash all the glasses and scream at the top of my voice, but I knew that wasn't appropriate or good. I also really wanted to run away, but nothing ever good comes of this so refused to give in. However, my family, who had ignored my obvious issues up until this point, all now started telling me to go outside, that I obviously needed some fresh air. My mum tried to gently coax me from my seat but this was enough to make my self control slip and I bolted from my chair, ran out of the pub and down the road. I couldn't stop my legs if I tried. My mothers response to this was to run after me, shouting after me about how I was embarrassing her in front of everyone, I didn't care. She eventually caught up to me, grabbing the back of my bag and pulling my hair out in the process. She managed to get a hold of my bag, which sent me into a panic as my wallet was in there and I needed it to be able to get home. We struggled and I felt like I was going to punch her, I didn't want to but she was trapping me and wouldn't let go of my bag! I knew I couldn't control myself so told her twice that if she didn't let go I would hit her, which I did after she responded with no. This was a warning, not a threat, it was going to happen and I couldn't control it. She let go and I ran away, all the way to the train station where I bought a ticket and went home. This was a day ago now and not one of them has tried to contact me. I've messaged my sisters, telling them that I am here for them if they need me and want to talk about how they feel now my Dad is gone, but they haven't replied. I am now left feeling very alone and isolated, missing my Dad incredibly. I don't understand how I always feel like I am the problem, they never see me as being upset and confused. I spend a lot of life feeling lost, like I've been given half the instructions and am having to figure out the rest. I guess I'm writing this post in the hope someone will tell me I'm not crazy or wrong, confirm my suspicions that I am 'different' and give me more confidence in getting to the doctors, and hopefully I'll feel a bit less alone. Thank you.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,581
    Hi Lynnski

    Hello and welcome to the PDA Society Forum.

    Really pleased you have found the forum and made your first post, I hope others will be along to welcome you and also reply to your post.
    There is also an Adults Private section where only Adults with PDA and the 'admin' can make posts - hope you get access to the section soon.

    Many adults with PDA suffer with high anxiety, panic attacks and Emotional Regulation difficulties mainly because of their need to avoid any demands, requests or expectations placed on them. You may also feel anxious because you may have difficulties with Social Communication or Interaction Skills?

    Every individual with PDA is different due to their varying degree of strengths and difficulties, no 2 are identical but all have the criteria/symptoms of PDA which I'm sure you will have read on the website.

    Maybe your family see your difficulties (particularly with Anxiety) and they feel that visiting the GP would help you to gain the support you need to overcome some of your difficulties?

    Is so hard to talk to a GP when you feel that you barely know them but they are bound by the laws of Confidentiality and they are there to listen and give you the support you need, whether that is therapy, medication or a referral for a diagnosis etc etc.
    You can take your partner or a friend with you to the appointment to help you talk to the GP or you could write the GP a letter to read before you arrive for your appointment, this would really help the GP understand your difficulties and the GP would then only ask you a few more questions.

    I am sorry to hear that you feel unsupported by your family, they must know about PDA if they told you about it but maybe they are struggling to know how to support you if they haven't known about it for very long?
    In time I hope you can let them know how you feel, what happens when you get anxious and how they can support you more effectively.

    I am so sorry to hear that your father has passed about, it must be a very difficult time for you and all of the family.
    In my experience most families feel that once their loved one has passed away they need to make all the funeral arrangements asap. This is because all the relatives an friends of your father will want to know the date of the funeral so that they can make arrangements so that they can attend the funeral.
    Most people like to arrange the funeral asap so that it can take place within 2/3 weeks. The sooner they can register the death and book the crematorium, the sooner they can have the funeral.
    I am sorry that your mum and sisters did not explain to you that's what they would be doing the day you visited and therefore you were unprepared for what happened.
    We can all show emotions in different ways, it sounds like your sisters and mum were feeling very sad after your father had passed away and they were trying to make the arrangements for the funeral but didn't respond too well to your anxiety/panic attack.

    I do hope, that in time, as you all learn more about PDA your family will be able to support you better and you will be able to tell them more about how it affects you.
    It sounds like your partner is very supportive, could your partner help your family to understand how to help and support you?

    You aren't at all crazy, I think your suspicions are probably right and I really hope your partner will support you with a visit to see your GP.
    I hope you can make contact with other adults who suspect the have PDA via this forum ia facebook etc

    Adult PDA Support Network
    PDA Adults Global Group
    Adult PDA Support Group - Helping YOU find your way in the MAZE

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