What if i dont have aspergers and its just my personality

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Naz
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19 Oct 2011, 6:24 pm

I am a girl and i self diagnosed myself to have Aspergers which gave me an explanation of why i was a certain way. But somtimes i thing i could be wrong. Even though i am socially awkward, depressed, get anxious walking through or being in a crowd and worry too much about what others might think about me. But i dont kw if i hear voices, i hear my voice a lot since i talk to myself in my head and i hear my mums voice like shes calling me when i am in my room even though she didnt. My voice changes accordingly to whom i speak to, if its a close friend or family i feel completely normal and liberated. But with someone i dont kw i struggle to maintain a stable tone, have minimum eye contact, feel really anxious and i think alot on what to say and how to reply. I cant really carry on conversations and am not really sure how to act and sometimes i stare too much . But when i feel comfortable with a stranger i dont feel anxious or awkward. does this have to do with my personality or is this of an Aspie trait? But i thought a person with Aspergers will display their traits regardless of the person their dealing with. As long as i remember i didnt have any meltdowns, i dont think i am sensitive to sounds or lights May be i am just socially awkward which has to do with my bringing up and doesnt have to do with aspergers. Any thoughts?



swbluto
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19 Oct 2011, 6:28 pm

Naz wrote:
i hear my voice a lot since i talk to myself in my head and i hear my mums voice like shes calling me when i am in my room even though she didnt.


You might want to get that checked out. That actually isn't symptomatic of aspergers, that's more like schizophrenia, schizotypal or schizoaffective.



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19 Oct 2011, 6:44 pm

As said, the hearing voices part isn't AS. However I hear voices in the same way you describe, but it has never concerned me. I think it might be a sound memory relay or something.

A good way to try and determine further is to search for more and more symptoms of AS. The more you can find that you do have, the more confident you will feel in your self diagnosis I believe.

Here's some:

You said you're not sensitive to sound or light, but are you sensitive to certain textiles or smells? For example, touching velvet used to make me dry reach.

Do you love routine and have a very specific way of going about certain things, which makes you really distressed if it is disrupted? Eg. My breakfast always consists of exactly 1/4 cup gf museli, 1/4 cup rice bran, 1 piece of chooped crystallized ginger, 4 prunes cut in half, bornhoffen yoghurt etc etc. I find it very upsetting if any part of my breakfast routine changes, or any ingredient is missing or in the wrong quantity. I also tend to follow the same meal patterns over a period of time, or get obsessed with a certain food for months and sometimes eat it several times a day. Food is just one example, this can apply to anything.

Do you take things literally? Are you always the last to get/laugh at a joke, and do you have difficulty understanding sarcasm? (you may be great at using sarcasm yourself - some aspies are, but still not good at picking up on it when others use it).

Are you clumsy and uncoordinated? Have you always had weak muscles, particularly with your arms?

I hope this is helpful.


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19 Oct 2011, 6:53 pm

AS is part of a person's personality; so you can't really conclude anything from the fact that it feels natural for you to be this way--because it IS natural. If you have AS, you were supposed to have it; it's not some change from the norm, but the way you grew to begin with.

If you have problems with social interaction only, rather than the more broad range of traits associated with Asperger's, you might be more correctly diagnosed with PDD-NOS (just atypical autism--in this case, atypical because you have only the social traits), or social anxiety disorder/social phobia (if your problems are due to anxiety).


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19 Oct 2011, 7:12 pm

Hearing voices isn't a part of AS nor does it always have to do with schizophrenia.

There's the magnetic reverberation theory that suggests that when Earth's magnetic field is pelted with solar storms that it actually reverberates it can affect lifeforms on Earth, and not just animals. In the human brain it affects the temporal lobes responsible for the management of sound, visual information, and emotions. people experiencing alien abductions has been tied to it and my symptoms seem to be worse.

There's also temporal lobe epilepsy where people hear or see things not there and have strange behavioural outbursts. The voices are usually short and incomprehensible. Well, to me they are.

Hearing thoughts in your heads like memories or even just as you think them does not make you schizophrenic either. When I remember memories I have the voice of someone speaking in my head, exactly like they did before. When I read my interval voice changes depending on the characters. There's nothing so scary about having an internal voice. I have one going right now as I type.

I think when you think you hear someone's voice you half expect them to or something is getting mixed in your brain. I actually have had my mum call my name during a song and every time I listen to that song I still hear her voice. It's weird and I am weird.

Schizophrenia is when a voice separate from your own starts talking to you or you have such vivid hallucinations you believe them. My sleep paralysis is like that. Thank God it ends quickly.

Anyway, back to the OP. I think it would be an indication of anxiety if you felt uneasy around everyone. In Autism we are weary of new things and it takes us time to get used to them. I hate having to meet new people because I at first don't really like them, but then I eventually get the hang of them.
I've had severe social anxiety before and I was scared of everyone.

You could just have AS mild or have a few symptoms that wouldn't qualify for a diagnosis. PDD is usually the closest diagnoses then.


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20 Oct 2011, 11:51 am

Yeah. Anyway, people with schizophrenia don't tend to really hear voices "in their heads". It's more like, the voice is coming from the TV, or from the air next to them, or the wall... you know. Somewhere outside their heads. The big problem in schizophrenia isn't really the hallucinations so much that the person has problems figuring out which sensory experiences are real (i.e., are triggered by stimuli in the world outside them) and which ones originate in their own brains.

Plenty of people have hallucinations and aren't disabled by them--they hear voices; they know the voices are hallucinations; they go on with their lives. We have people here who have synesthesia--they see music, or hear colors, or taste sounds, but they know that those experiences represent their own experiences rather than colors or sounds or tastes in the world outside themselves. That's why synesthesia can't be called psychosis. And then, people with dissociative identity disorder--multiples--might talk to each other in their heads, and hear each other as audible voices; they can't be called psychotic either because they know that those are mental experiences caused by sharing a brain with one or more other personalities.

It's really the lack of insight that's such a problem for people with schizophrenia, or with any other disorder involving psychosis. It's that they aren't able to figure out which sensory experience is triggered by a real stimulus. I think that if we could find medication that'd let someone with schizophrenia distinguish hallucinations from actual sensory data, that'd be as good as, or perhaps better than, the antipsychotic drugs we use today.


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20 Oct 2011, 2:49 pm

This question, to me, sounds a lot like asking, "What if this pilsner is really beer?"

The effect is the same. You either like the beer or pilsner, and drink it, or you don't. What difference does it make what it's called? By the way, pilsner is a type of beer, just as AS is a personality type.

What if it's not your personality, and really is Asperger's? Again, the effect is the same.

Basically, you are what you are, whether it's your personality or can be called by a specific name like Asperger's. You're still going to experience the same difficulties either way. The question is one of semantics, which is okay, but doesn't really change the answers.

If your personality fits the description of AS, then you have an AS personality, and consequently, you ARE AS.

If you don't, you're not.

It's really that simple.


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abc123
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20 Oct 2011, 4:40 pm

Could you get an assessment?
I now have a diagnosis. I did wonder if I really had AS. Some bits fitted but others didn't it may be worth looking into diagnosis of women. There is a book called aspergirls. AS can be expressed differently in females e.g. you may not have a special interest. Also people can cope and mask it. I think I can appear NT generally as people just think I am shy. I'm not sure I have a special interest and wasn't sure about the routine element. It is more that I don't like things being unpredictable rather than being obsessive about doing specific things. I don't like noise and crowds and get easily distracted but don't have sensitivities that seem wildly abnormal. I can get very emotional and anxious, more than other people. I'm slightly clumsy and bruise myself a lot.
I have however had problems with employment and keeping friends although recently the last one is a lot better. I am married too.
The other element is that it is a spectrum so you could be close to NT.



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20 Oct 2011, 5:00 pm

For hearing your Mom's voice when she isn't there, it is most likely the case that you are merely expecting to hear her voice at some point and then interpreting random sounds that you hear as a fragment of the voice. This is basically an auditory illusion (see link). For instance, say there is a fan running somewhere in your house, like from the fridge. There are likely other noises nearby, like from random vehicles passing by in the street or birds outside. The sound waves overlap randomly, combining ("superimposing") into new wave patterns based on their strength and originating source location. At the time the wave patterns reach your ears, a small segment of this sound may sound a bit like what your Mom's voice sounds like when she says your name, only for a split second.

Here we bring in the psychology: according to the study posted above, when our brains receive sound information, it has to fill in the gaps of what it received as it often doesn't hear everything perfectly due to noise in the environment. The study researchers were studying a case where the participants heard a sound and had to figure out whether it was continuous or broken up. Apparently sometimes when the sound was broken up, the participants still heard the sound as present even when it wasn't actually there, as their brains filled in the gaps. The article writing about the paper says, "the mechanism may work rapidly or anticipatorily and thereby facilitate stable hearing of fragmented sounds in natural environments." In a similar way to this, your brain subconsciously anticipates hearing your name and so you end up spontaneously interpreting what you hear as what it is not. The authors do not make the following analogy, but this sounds like the visual effect (persistence of vision) that allows us to see animation -- a series of moving images -- as one fluid image. The difference here is that the frames of the auditory "image" come from many random directions and are reassembled in your brain.

Side note: It is also true that hearing voices fits with schizophrenia; in fact, it is said to be one of the first signs. However, as was previously stated, the voices are supposed to seem more like an outside entity, and, indeed, be believable. If you had schizophrenia, apparently you aren't supposed to be doubting the validity of the sounds, as you are. As was said by another person, it is the confusion of reality that is really more of a big deal than the symptoms (or rather, that is the key symptom). I'm reminded of the supposed reaction of John Nash to his diagnosis of schizophrenia in the movie "A beautiful mind" (note that I read that the real Nash disliked the movie and found it not very accurate) where we see him asking someone that he already trusted to be there if they could see the other person or thing, too, as during his recovery it was shown that the hardest thing he had to do was tell the difference between his hallucinations and reality.

Another note: Also, as you describe yourself as a girl, unless you are using the word in the annoying way that people use to call women girls, you are statistically unlikely to have early schizophrenia. As you can see in the first two figures on this page: link, onset in females is generally at least in the late teens.

Yet another note: Yes, you do sound socially anxious; this is more common than you may think, actually. There was an article on the CBC news about this very recently: link Edit: Well, actually it was about an article talking about whether people who claim to be shy actually have social anxiety or not, but from it they found the instance of shyness and social phobias in the youth population.


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