English literature and essays possibly indicate autism

I was just looking for some advice. I have been questioning whether I may have autism for a few years now. I have regular periods of thinking yes I am and then other times I’m like of course I’m not. The one thing that is playing on my mind at the minute is whether people with autism struggle with English literature and analysis words. Just a bit of background, I am currently doing a masters degree, however, during my time at secondary school I really struggled with the analysis required for essays especially in English and Literature. I just could not wrap my head around what they were wanting. I was forced to do it for A-level as well as I could not do any of the other subjects in the block. No matter what I wrote I always got the same grade and comment. Whenever I asked for help they would reply ‘you’ll be fine’ and would leg it out the room as if I was the devil. My mum even had me tested for dyslexia but I was too old for the test so it was inconclusive. No one would help me and I could not get my head around it. A chair is a chair. Its blue because the author wanted it to be blue. How am I supposed to know what was going on inside the mind of someone who lived in the eighteenth century. Why do we have to pick out themes why can’t we just read it for what it is. I just did not get it. It even got to the point where the May half term before final year 13 exam we were given 4 essays to do, I got so overwhelmed I just didn’t do them. It had got to the point in sixth form where I was working on essays from the time I finished school till 4am and still only had a paragraph. I would constantly have meltdowns, go to throw my laptop out the window. I was constantly on burn out and no one cared. I ended up breaking down the morning I went back after the half term because I was panicking that much that I hadn’t done them, my tutor was one of my English teachers who came out and told me it didn’t matter and that he would go through them with me so long as i had drafts. I got a grand total of 2 minutes during the next days tutor where he read the drafts and his great feedback was ‘yeah that’s right’. I finally got free of the 7 years of torture and did a undergraduate degree in history which I fully excelled at, almost 1sts across the board. Which is a miracle to say i only scrapped 1 B at A-level but I understood the subject matter - it was facts and figures and sources and historiography and it all just clicked for me. I finally felt I could do something. I then made the stupid decision of doing a Museum Studies masters and current module is about photography. I am no photographer and I am just getting flashbacks to english with analysing the photos. Its just a photo, lecturer asked for us to take pictures so i held up my camera and pressed the button. there was very little thought into it but they want essays on 1 picture and I just don’t get it. The reading for this field is also so confusing. Its all abstract ideas I cannot get my head around and makes no sense. Its taken me 14 hours to read and understand a 18 page article, yet in history I could do it in 1 hour.

My question really is, is this a problem autistic people have or is it just me?

There are other things as well. I cannot make strong friendships. Any friendships I do make have a shelf-life of 2 years tops. I cannot deal with taking over a task when asked, I have to have started it. I have to have written clear instructions on how to do even the simplest things like using the washing machine. I have to have a routine/to-do list. I very often don’t get through my to-do list. I cannot go into new situations alone. I hate going out for social stuff - no pubs or clubs for me, but also hate just going to a drink or hanging out with 1 friend. I become a mute in groups. I hate seminars where I am picked on to speak. I seem to cling or idolise people who help me. If you do something to me I don’t like you will forever be on list of people I hate and will have to work pretty hard to get off it (most lecturers did manage to get off the list and I was very proud of them). I cannot do public speaking. I hate loud noises and bright lights (that could also be migraine though). I just know that when i get my own house and have to deal with food and use by dates etc I will need a spreadsheet to be able to cope. I have to have clear days when I am doing what chore. I cannot do small talk. I cannot do empathy very well. Chats die when I add something. I’ve never had a clear friend group always dotted between many but only one or two people in each. I never know what to say when I open my mouth. I don’t word things well. My mums always telling me I have a problem with tone - its how you say it not what you say. I have to do the same round at night ensuring plug sockets and lights are off, checking the door is locked a certain number of times otherwise i cannot sleep. I have to do tasks and chores in the same order. Mum thinks its funny to move my shampoo etc on my shelf in the bathroom and not put it back in the same order when she cleans it then gets mad when I have an outburst.

I just don’t know if its me, or if it is something omegle.2yu.co I’ve not been diagnosed with yet. I have been diagnosed with Depression and Social Anxiety but also have trichotillomania and potentially OCD but not confirmed just spoken to therapist about. I just feel there is something more but I don’t want to bother the doctors at this time if it’s just me and I’m the worst omeglz person on the planet

Autism is one of those topics that could fill several libraries and still we’d never get to the bottom of it. While many people on the autism spectrum have difficulties with abstract thought and empathy (in this case, putting yourself in the author’s shoes, as it were), there could be other reasons for it too. There’s no way to tell what’s going on without a full diagnostic approach that also looks at your childhood development. Not something we can do here, as we’re all family carers or friends caring for someone else.

I strongly suggest you look at https://www.autism.org.uk/ - the National Autistic Society - which has a section on getting a diagnosis on their website, plus a forum page that almost certainly will cover this sort of thing and give you an idea whether to pursue it or not.

What I would say is that if you think you may have autism, you should follow it up.