Aspergers and Avoidant Personality Disorder

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swashyrose
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09 May 2021, 9:10 pm

I find both tick all the boxes for me but is it common to have both? One of my therapists brushed aside the possibility of my having Aspergers (after a psychologist disagnosed me) and said it’s in fact avoidant personality disorder. My current therapist seems dubious about my Aspergers too but her point of reference is her son who has it and will of course be very different to me. She keeps commenting that I’m very sensitive and avoidant. I’m starting to feel she’s veering towards suggesting APD. I don’t think she’s experienced with women on the autism spectrum. I’m feeling very confused and frustrated. Nothing seems to help me with me ongoing difficulties with confidence, anxiety, executive function or successful friendships. My executive functioning difficulties are constantly making life difficult for me but whatever suggestions or diagnoses are thrown at me, it doesn’t get better.



Redd_Kross
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09 May 2021, 10:00 pm

It's possible you have both. Or indeed Pathalogical Demand Avoidance.

If you're worried this therapist is understating your autism due to personal bias then I'd recomend doing online ASD tests and taking the results with you. But I wouldn't rule out doing some APD and PDA tests as well.

If you're still unhappy then it's probably time for a new specialist.



cbd
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10 May 2021, 6:46 am

how long have you had a therapist ?

the therapist might be gauging response ..

https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/facial-features-provide-clue-to-autism-severity

the first image is explains a tell tale sign of Autistic Spectrum Disorder .

you could probably assess your own features .

from what ive observed . people with ASD .. the corner of their mouth aligns directly with the centre of their pupils .

i could give you probably 20 examples .

most people with ASD , when they fully smile , their mouth stretches wider than most NT's .

8)



swashyrose
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10 May 2021, 3:29 pm

Redd_Kross wrote:
It's possible you have both. Or indeed Pathalogical Demand Avoidance.

If you're worried this therapist is understating your autism due to personal bias then I'd recomend doing online ASD tests and taking the results with you. But I wouldn't rule out doing some APD and PDA tests as well.

If you're still unhappy then it's probably time for a new specialist.


Til your reply, I’d never even heard of pathological demand avoidance but I researched it and it’s like a perfect description of my struggles *^* I hope I can find coping strategies based on this epiphany, thanks for your help!



ASPartOfMe
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10 May 2021, 7:23 pm

An Introduction to Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) -

Quote:
Pathological Demand Avoidance of PDA is becoming more widely recognized as a distinct profile of autism.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


autisticelders
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11 May 2021, 5:10 am

Who would not be avoidant after a life time of not being able to understand motives, why people were constantly angry with me, saying I was thoughtless, uncaring, mean, bad, etc etc etc and me not being able to understand what people wanted of me, when every interaction was a demand for me to do something for them, to be abused by them, or to otherwise be unpleasant or emotionally painful? Especially when one has no "tools" to use to be self assertive, to understand the options for how to respond in any given situation, to express or defend oneself?
Knowing about my autism helped me understand everything in my life from the "right" perspective, but long before the autism diagnosis I got therapy to become healthily self assertive, to set boundaries and to recognize when I was being intimidated and manipulated, and I learned I had options in how I reacted to others.
That helped a lot.
Especially in situations like therapy, if somebody demands I respond to them about things I feel helpless to protect myself over, you bet I am avoidant!! ! It is just too emotionally scary and anxiety producing.
If this therapist can not establish trust and communication after severa lto many sessions, and you feel you are not making progress, maybe keep looking until you do find one who "gets you". A therapist who does not listen to you but instead "tells" you (not teaches you) things might not be the right one.
It is a lot to sort out.