Asperger's a disorder, not illness? increasing anxiety-->

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Joined: 7 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,767
Location: Michigan, USA

22 Dec 2013, 6:32 pm

Some say that Asperger's is not an illness/disease MAINLY because it supposedly does not have a progression. My response to that claim is that, with my life, at least, my anxiety basically increased from birth to around age 27, and with the increase in anxiety came increase in Asperger traits such as literal thinking, being technically correct, and resentment against my father caused by rigidity.

What do you all think?

Friesland = a province in the Netherlands. Pronounced so that it rhymes the English word "free" (not "fry"). I live in the USA, but I have a Frisian surname and all-Dutch ancestry. Just a minor Aspie obsession of mine.

Sea Gull
Sea Gull

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Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Age: 25
Gender: Male
Posts: 224
Location: Yorkshire, England

22 Dec 2013, 7:12 pm

Not all diseases are progressive. Some diseases, disorders and conditions have a prognosis which remains largely static. Autism is a spectrum of disorders is not typically characterized as progressively getting worse with time. Stressful stimuli and anxiety may further manifest some symptoms like self-stimulatory behavior or being absorbed within intense interests, but the disorder itself is not marked by an innate increase in severity. There is no clear prognosis for it but professionals suggest that autistic people perform best with early interventions, support and accommodations. So I think autistic people have great potential to improve with time.

Also, please note that while terms like "disease" and ilness are quite fluid, terms like "disorder" and "condition" are considered politer and more sympathetic. It may be preferable to use that here.


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Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Age: 61
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Posts: 5,647

22 Dec 2013, 8:34 pm

Autism is not a "disease" it's a neurological disorder, a congenital birth defect.

You don't contract it, it's not something that happens to you. It is a part of who you are, from the day you''re born until the day you pass off this Earth.

Current studies are indicating that it's a condition in which the brain is actually formed with too many sensory receptors, causing it to have trouble processing sensory data because it's taking in more than it was designed to. That's a dysfunction, a handicap, but it's not in itself a sickness.

I was born with 9 extra adult teeth in my skull than a normal person is supposed to have and the rest had to be surgically removed over a period of years and corrected for with braces. It was certainly abnormal, but I don't consider it a "disease." It was just a kink in a gene somewhere.