At what point is a special interest considered weird/bad?

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Joined: 16 Jun 2012
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02 Oct 2012, 6:08 pm

Though I am not a fan of his, I will quote Dr. Phil here, as his answer was the most logical thing I have ever heard said on television: It is unhealthy if it "starts to negatively impact your life." If one is so engrossed in their interests, it prevents them from caring for their lawn, keeping up with chores and most importantly, caring for oneself, it is no longer "healthy." An interest that drives one to harm others can also be deemed unhealthy (caution should be exercised when claiming an interest makes someone desire to harm others, as the actual desire to do so lies within the mind of the individual, not in the interest).

I have an interest that is often considered weird or "bad" based solely on the subject alone (firearms and weapons systems). People often believe that those who express such an interest are destined to become violent, psychopathic murderers, but the fact of the matter is the ones who have this fascination and commit violent acts allowed the interest to pervade every aspect of their lives and combined it with an underlying sense of anger, rejection and hatred and wishes to act out in a violent manner towards others. The interest in weapons alone didn't contribute to the crimes perpetrated by "spree/rampage killers."

It is also important to understand that what is unusual is not inherantly "bad" or "wrong." By that logic, we are "wrong" and therefore "bad" merely for being wired differently.


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Joined: 28 Sep 2012
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02 Oct 2012, 7:13 pm

Ettina wrote:
To me, 'weird' and 'bad' are separate things.

A special interest is weird when it is shared with very few other people, or you express your interest in a way that differs a lot from most people. A lot of people are prejudiced against weird special interests, just as they're prejudiced against anything weird, but really it's just part of diversity and they should accept that. In fact, sometimes these interests can be quite useful - pretty much every person who is autistic or suspected-to-be-autistic and highly successful made a career out of a special interest, usually an unusual one.

A special interest is bad when it leads you to do things that harm yourself or others. For example, if your intense interest in poisons leads you to start poisoning people, that's bad. Or if your intense interest in World of Warcraft leads you to regularly forgo eating and sleep in an attempt to take down the hard bosses, that's bad too.

Remember that a lot of what is written about AS is colored by prejudice. We're an oppressed minority - people want us to rewire our brains for the convenience of NTs. Take what the mainstream says about AS with a grain of salt.

Thank you.

I often use the term "special interest", or something similar, too.

In my opinion, it's okay to be weird. Everyone is a little weird! :)

Living with one neurodevelopmental disability which has earned me a few diagnosis'


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Joined: 15 Oct 2013
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02 Dec 2013, 6:42 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
If your special interest is all you want to talk about, or 90 percent of the posts that you make on WP are about your special interests and you don't take an interest in the special interests of the other members here.

Funny you should mention that. After seeing your special interest is (and has been for a long time) The Kinks esp. Mick Avory, I actually looked into this a while ago. That's quite a good special interest. Very interesting history - and he's still going strong!

My latest one (for nearly a year now) is the Common Myna or Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis).

Good on you CockneyRebel :)


Your Aspie score: 151 of 200
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Formally diagnosed in 2007.

Learn the simple joy of being satisfied with little, rather than always wanting more.


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Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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03 Dec 2013, 1:29 pm

It is when you're obsessed with something like bus-drivers, and you get yourself involved with the bus-drivers then get a name for yourself, then knowing that you have their attention you so badly want to get this particular bus every day that you really want to quit your local job and want to find a job where you have to get on this particular bus to get to it, but you spend a lot of time worrying that this particular bus company might suddenly go bust and the bus services might stop or go into a different company and you plan on having a breakdown or committing suicide if that happens.

Just use that as a template example for whatever your special interests are, and then you will know that you're no longer in control of your special interests, they are in control of you.

Aged 31
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Joined: 29 Oct 2013
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03 Dec 2013, 1:42 pm

Sometimes, one has to step inside in order to regain control Joe. Thought any more about applying for that licence yet? Take action. Grasp the nettle. Become who you have always been. I mean it -- go for it. Good luck.


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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
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03 Dec 2013, 2:24 pm

If your interest(s) are so repetitive that they get in the way of your functioning they will be considered a criteria for a positive diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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04 Dec 2013, 9:15 am

One of my favorite saying is: "You know you have a drinking problem when your drinking causes problems."

I apply that same logic to my special interests. As others have said, so long as something is not harmful, either directly or indirectly through neglecting basic life management, then what the heck - I allow myself to enjoy it.