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When Gustav Koi (69) grew up in Arendal in the 1950s and 60s, no one talked about Asperger's syndrome. Only at the age of 59 did he get the diagnosis himself.

Photo: by Heather Mount on Unsplash

This writes ABC Nyheter.

Have been reading a lot about Asperger's syndrome

ABC Nyheter writes that Gustav Koi - when he was diagnosed - did not know anything about Asperger's syndrome. They add:

From not knowing anything, Koi has read everything he can come across about Asperger's.

He is not a researcher or professional, but due to great interest in his own diagnosis, he has been in contact with many other adults who have this diagnosis on the autism spectrum.


A long way before the diagnosis was made

Gustav Koi tells ABC Nyheter about how life was in the time around when he got married. Then he struggled with depression and he sought help for these difficulties. ABC Nyheter writes: 

- The psychologist said that it was a mixed personality disorder. Even I thought it was ADHD, but it was not. I was told that I had a mild form of chronic depression (dysthymia), but that it had nothing to do with it.

Neither his wife nor Koi managed to settle down with this. He went to the GP and said he wanted a proper examination. This resulted in him being offered admission to a psychiatric ward at Sørlandet Hospital in Arendal, Norway. After a ten-week examination, with countless tests, the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome was made.


Family life became overwhelming

Getting the diagnosis became clarifying for both himself and the family - as it gave some answers to what the difficulties were about. Gustav Koi tells ABC Nyheter:

- My wife noticed early on that I was not like others. Especially when we had small children, and she was left with a lot of responsibility. I was there, but I might not have brought the necessary sense of responsibility with me from home, and in combination with Asperger's…

He explains that everyday life with work and family required a lot of him. Too much. And that's why he was on sick leave.

- I needed to be by myself when I got home. But I could not be, because I had a family. The weekends were the worst. Then there were a lot of emotional demands that I could not handle, says Koi.


Live well with the diagnosis

Today, Gustav Koi lives well with the diagnosis Asperger's Syndrome, something he elaborates on to ABC Nyheter. He talks both about the importance of recognizing the limitations that come with having such challenges, and also about all the possibilities:

- If you think "I can not do this because I have Asperger's", then you stagnate. Everyone has talents and abilities that they can develop, says Koi and continues:

- Society often tries to get you to be in one way, and there is certainly a lot of good in it, but people who struggle to fit into the social norm, have other resources that are important to society. I like to do something creative, something I can create. This has always been the case.



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