A High Masking Autistic Adult's Search for Health Care

The Autistic Autism Consultant
Apr 01, 2024By The Autistic Autism Consultant

I recorded this about 4 months ago, but didn't feel comfortable sharing until I'd figured out if I was going to find a prescriber or need to potentially go to a 28-day program or hospital to detox off my medication due to the difficulty I was having finding a provider.

The appointment I was preparing for was through a national service called MindPath. I like the doctor very much. She was very helpful and agreed that if I'd been taking the same dose of a medication for well over a decade, there was little likelihood of my becoming addicted to it.

Once the Medicaid expansion went through, I did qualify for Medicaid. MindPath doesn't take Medicaid, so I had to switch providers again. I went to the local health department. They have 1 mental health NP who was leaving in two weeks and they hadn't found a replacement for her, so they weren't taking new mental health clients. My primary at the health department wouldn't write me a prescription for Valium. Finally, I went to the doctor that was assigned to me through Medicaid and after seeing their office's mental health person, they wrote me prescriptions for the medications that I needed. Anyway, I was recovering from the anxiety of that for a long time, but am ready to share now.

In my video, I explain some of the challenges that go along with someone on the spectrum seeking medical care. You can also see my anxiety, in that I have a plan, but don't feel it will work and am focused on that.

I say at one point that my anxiety was at a 9/10. I remember this day well after re-watching the video. I had been having a really hard time. Think about what you think a 9/10 anxiety would look like for you and know that this is what a "high masking" autistic person can look like with that high of an anxiety level.

This need to mask is part of why I'm so exhausted after interacting with neurotypical people. If I was alone and not having to mask for a doctor's appointment. I likely would have been rocking and stimming, but that's not allowed if I want to feel like I'm being taken seriously as a competent adult.


people sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytime