Do you feel that autism is a catch-all diagnosis?

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AquaineBay
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07 Aug 2022, 4:46 pm

Yes, I believe that Autism has become a catch-all term. People today use it when someone is weird or says something that someone deems "stupid". I have also seen too many times where those that are self-diagnosed say they have autism but, the only thing they can list is a bunch of traits and stereotypes that is related to autism. Some start saying stuff like "Autism therapy" and "Autism traits" which then I have to say: "Autism is a disorder not a personality trait!"(I might make a t-shirt with that phrase on it due to how often I see this.)

What annoys me even more is when you question the person and they fight tooth and nail or insult you because they identified with autism and now they act as if said thing was taken away they lose their identity and have nothing(Which gives me the impression that they are using autism as an excuse to not have to hold themselves accountable for the actions and mistakes they made through life).

People seem to forget that the core of autism and how you are diagnosed with it is based on your social skills. That is static and across the board regardless of your co-morbidities or traits or whatever else you have not pertaining to your social skills. If you look at any diagnostic criteria or articles for autism the first thing they mention is your SOCIAL SKILLS, anything else is sub-categories. Autism is the only disorder I know of that has so many "grey areas" when every other disorder is pretty much black and white...you have it or you don't. ADHD, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, etc. No one fights to get these other diagnosis and try to change it up like crazy but, Autism seems to be this special diagnosis that everybody wants.


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07 Aug 2022, 4:56 pm

AquaineBay wrote:
ADHD, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, etc. No one fights to get these other diagnosis and try to change it up like crazy but, Autism seems to be this special diagnosis that everybody wants.

Inaccurate.

Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and so on have been quite "popular" in China at least in the last 10 years. I've heard psychiatrists complain about it.
And ASD is a more fresh target.

This happens when information is not sufficiently popularize/discovered but people seem to have some impression..


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shortfatbalduglyman
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07 Aug 2022, 5:58 pm

Yes

"On the spectrum" sounds so vague

Many things are "spectrums", such as gender identity and sexual orientation



Pteranomom
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07 Aug 2022, 7:56 pm

There are many different conditions that are all lumped together under the label "autism."

This isn't necessarily bad or invalid, mind. There are many different conditions lumped together under "disabled," too. The fact that blind people are very different from people who can't walk doesn't make "disabled" a bad category.

As our understanding of neurology and the brain and development advance, we will be able to distinguish many different kinds of autism.



DanielW
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07 Aug 2022, 8:25 pm

No more than its SUPPOSED to be



Pteranomom
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07 Aug 2022, 8:38 pm

AquaineBay wrote:
Autism is the only disorder I know of that has so many "grey areas" when every other disorder is pretty much black and white...you have it or you don't. ADHD, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, etc. No one fights to get these other diagnosis and try to change it up like crazy but, Autism seems to be this special diagnosis that everybody wants.

Well, no.
I think you are speaking from the point of view of someone who has spent a lot of time learning about autism (naturally!) but not as long learning about these other conditions. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, my mother is diagnosed bi-polar, and a close friend has schizophrenia.

All of these conditions exist on "spectrums," just like autism, even schizophrenia! There are people with severe schizophrenia, like my friend who spent many years homeless and having conversations with invisible telepathic aliens, but there are also people who only hear voices occasionally and are still able to hold down jobs and are otherwise not severely impaired.

Another form of schizophrenia is catatonic schizophrenia, in which the person hardly talks or moves at all. Of course as person with these symptoms could also be mute, autistic, depressed, or have had a stroke...

As for bi-polar, we have multiple kinds--bi-polar one, two, three--based on level of severity, so there's your spectrum, and of course many Of these people people have comorbidities like OCD or BPD or anxiety disorders.

ADHD is *absolutely* a diagnosis people fight for, because then you get Adderall! Adderall is basically a wonder drug. It'll make your kid behave and get better grades, it helps adults slog through boring jobs, and the side effects include decreased appetite and weight loss.

On top of that, if you're a student in the US, you now qualify for special accommodations at school like extra time on your tests. I got an extra 50% longer time for my APs and SATs than the NT students because of my diagnosis, and I had Adderall.

Did you know how many "tiger moms" are out there getting their kid diagnosed with ADD just so they can score better on the SAT?

I talk to people pretty much every week who either swear by their ADD meds or are desperately trying to figure out how to get them.

There's no clear-cut diagnosis for ADD (or bi-polar, for that matter.) The symptoms are really more extreme versions of stuff everyone does, like "sometimes I forget stuff" or "sometimes I feel happy and then I feel sad."

Schizophrenia is more clear-cut because of the voices, but as I said, it's still not 100%.

People pursue diagnoses if they think the diagnosis will benefit them. For ADD, they want the meds. Can't blame them. People pursue bi-polar diagnoses for the same reason: they want medication to make them feel better (and make their lives more livable). Having watched bi-polar up close, I don't blame them.

People pursue autism diagnoses for similar reasons: parents want help for their children, and "autism" is the diagnosis that entitles a child to that help. The folks here who were diagnosed as adults were most likely also seeking help and understanding for their difficulties.

As far as I know, people don't really pursue schizophrenia diagnoses. IMO, This is probably because schizophrenia is easier to diagnose (do you hear voices?) and because it is much harder for the schizophrenic person to realize that something is wrong. An autistic person can tell that they aren't like NTs. A schizophrenic just thinks you weren't blessed with telepathy.

But this is... Not a good thing.



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07 Aug 2022, 10:25 pm

Yes, I do think it is a catch-all diagnosis. There are enormous and diverse gaps between the ways autism manifests and effects people. I also doubt autism even has the "one common cause" that researchers have searched in vain to identify. Even here on WP we don't really know which symptom (or group of symptoms) is most prevalent right across the whole cohort. We do know that there are substantial differences across the spectrum, yet categorising these in any collective and meaningful way has not yet been achieved. That amounts to minimal scientific progress across the past 45 years. What a waste or resources.

It also suggests - at least to me - that the whole predominant paradigm of current and past investigation is unfit for purpose.

I've met other AS people who are so like myself that it was as if we were separated at birth; I've met others who seemed like aliens to me as no doubt I seemed to them.

However the catch all approach has been very useful (sadly) in promoting and maintaining stigma and prejudice. As individuals we are debased to "them", so we can be conveniently framed (subtly and unsubtly) as threats to "social normality". Science is not strictly objective; it functions within a collection of assumptions, framing, social categorisations, invisible prejudice, poorly designed studies, power and control.

Or perhaps I'm just in and off mood today :(



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08 Aug 2022, 1:46 am

SendInTheClowns wrote:
However the catch all approach has been very useful (sadly) in promoting and maintaining stigma and prejudice. As individuals we are debased to "them", so we can be conveniently framed (subtly and unsubtly) as threats to "social normality".

I think the opposite; most of us used to just be categorized as "retarded" and treated like trash, or willfully disobedient and beaten for misbehaving. Now there's increasing recognition of the things autistic people can do, especially if they have the right supports, and that our behaviors are caused by neurological differences rather than a desire to be bad. This is a huge improvement



CockneyRebel
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09 Aug 2022, 1:20 pm

i don't think that autism is a catch-all diagnosis. I think the people who get the diagnosis really are on the spectrum, or else they wouldn't be diagnosed at all.


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AquaineBay
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09 Aug 2022, 3:54 pm

Pteranomom wrote:
AquaineBay wrote:
Autism is the only disorder I know of that has so many "grey areas" when every other disorder is pretty much black and white...you have it or you don't. ADHD, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia, etc. No one fights to get these other diagnosis and try to change it up like crazy but, Autism seems to be this special diagnosis that everybody wants.

Well, no.
I think you are speaking from the point of view of someone who has spent a lot of time learning about autism (naturally!) but not as long learning about these other conditions. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, my mother is diagnosed bi-polar, and a close friend has schizophrenia.

All of these conditions exist on "spectrums," just like autism, even schizophrenia! There are people with severe schizophrenia, like my friend who spent many years homeless and having conversations with invisible telepathic aliens, but there are also people who only hear voices occasionally and are still able to hold down jobs and are otherwise not severely impaired.

Another form of schizophrenia is catatonic schizophrenia, in which the person hardly talks or moves at all. Of course as person with these symptoms could also be mute, autistic, depressed, or have had a stroke...

As for bi-polar, we have multiple kinds--bi-polar one, two, three--based on level of severity, so there's your spectrum, and of course many Of these people people have comorbidities like OCD or BPD or anxiety disorders.

ADHD is *absolutely* a diagnosis people fight for, because then you get Adderall! Adderall is basically a wonder drug. It'll make your kid behave and get better grades, it helps adults slog through boring jobs, and the side effects include decreased appetite and weight loss.

On top of that, if you're a student in the US, you now qualify for special accommodations at school like extra time on your tests. I got an extra 50% longer time for my APs and SATs than the NT students because of my diagnosis, and I had Adderall.

Did you know how many "tiger moms" are out there getting their kid diagnosed with ADD just so they can score better on the SAT?

I talk to people pretty much every week who either swear by their ADD meds or are desperately trying to figure out how to get them.

There's no clear-cut diagnosis for ADD (or bi-polar, for that matter.) The symptoms are really more extreme versions of stuff everyone does, like "sometimes I forget stuff" or "sometimes I feel happy and then I feel sad."

Schizophrenia is more clear-cut because of the voices, but as I said, it's still not 100%.

People pursue diagnoses if they think the diagnosis will benefit them. For ADD, they want the meds. Can't blame them. People pursue bi-polar diagnoses for the same reason: they want medication to make them feel better (and make their lives more livable). Having watched bi-polar up close, I don't blame them.

People pursue autism diagnoses for similar reasons: parents want help for their children, and "autism" is the diagnosis that entitles a child to that help. The folks here who were diagnosed as adults were most likely also seeking help and understanding for their difficulties.

As far as I know, people don't really pursue schizophrenia diagnoses. IMO, This is probably because schizophrenia is easier to diagnose (do you hear voices?) and because it is much harder for the schizophrenic person to realize that something is wrong. An autistic person can tell that they aren't like NTs. A schizophrenic just thinks you weren't blessed with telepathy.

But this is... Not a good thing.

SkinnedWolf wrote:
Bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and so on have been quite "popular" in China at least in the last 10 years. I've heard psychiatrists complain about it.
And ASD is a more fresh target.


I guess it depends on where you live, the environment, and culture which diagnosis people fight for and which ones they don't. Pteranomom I forgot that one of the main things that ADD/ADHD came with was Adderall, so I can see how people would fight for that(even if it's for all the wrong reasons...). Around where I live and the places I hangout online(can't say IRL because mental health isn't talked about at all... at least where I live) Bi-polar isn't talked about that much so I guess I can't really make an argument on that one. Mostly I hear that for women they get diagnosed with it a lot instead of other ones. But, staying on topic I still think Autism has become a catch-all diagnosis and the reasons for it I said in my earlier post. My mother and brother are diagnosed with ADHD and my sister has Bi-polar, guess I need to do more research eh?


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carlos55
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10 Aug 2022, 7:39 am

The original child psychiatrists that officially discovered autism in the 1940’s didn’t have a clue what it was or what caused it.

It’s no different from a scientist observing an advanced alien spaceship and making assumptions about how it works.

All they can do is what any scientist can do when they observe something for the first time without knowing what it is.

Observe, make notes, announce to the world and give it a name.

These days science knows a bit more but not that much.

We know there is about 100 different genes that can cause autism in around 30% of cases.

The cause of the other 70% is unknown.

So it’s now clear there are multiple “autisms” with multiple causes with different impairment levels. From barely noticeable until late life to catastrophic from an early age.

So autism is just an old fashioned umbrella label from the 40’s that’s not yet been replaced but will be one day when the various different autisms can be properly separated and named.

So by that logic “autism” is a catch all diagnosis.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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10 Aug 2022, 8:40 am

Yes but ADHD and schizophrenia are also catch all diagnoses



Andre_L
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10 Aug 2022, 1:09 pm

I agree with whoever that posted the most recent reply. Who wants to identify themselves with a Disorder like I’m a disorder, not me… But some people don’t see Autism as a disorder which is okay I guess. I don’t even like to see myself as different. I’m a human-being like everyone else.



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10 Aug 2022, 1:13 pm

It's a catch-all for autistic spectrum disorders. :nerdy:


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