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Daf25
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10 Mar 2015, 6:36 am

I don't know how to start this. My whole life I've known I'm different and "weird", but then again, lots of neurotypical people feel that way. If I looked at myself right now from someone else's POV, I don't think Autism would be obvious or even noticeable, but when I think about myself as a child, I honestly can't see any other explanation as to why I was the way I was.
I just didn't 'get' the social context of it, it was like everyone else had this odd social sixth sense that I didn't. I was so... literal. I took everything literally, every word, every sentence, every situation, every action towards me, I would take it seriously. Even if someone was joking, I thought they were actually mocking me and I took a very defensive attitude. This led to me being constantly on the defense of what felt like bullying.
This defensive state made everyone in the classroom feel like I was too sensitive, or attacking them, so I quickly became the odd one out. I've never, ever been able to get out of that categorisation. It doesn't matter how many friends I make, how much I try to be normal, how much I talk or express myself emotionally. To this day, I'm always left out. I have been left out of friend groups many times, literally and emotionally. I've never gotten used to it and it still hurts.
I also remember some instances where I rigidly followed the rules, like when I forced a friend to read the whole manual book before playing the Nintendo game. When I look back on these things I don't know why I did them, I can't fully understand my thought process. Over time I've learned some social skills, but I'm still the outcast.
All these + some other issues might have led me, now 17, to develop both depression and social anxiety. I worry, in very weird ways, about social rejection, bullying and shunning. I have very low self-esteem and I feel like I need to be accepted by everyone to be worth something.
I know there is something wrong with me, something inside of me that people around me don't have. It's very hard and weird to explain, but I don't think like other people. I can't relate to them, to their problems, their worries. My worries are, on some level, the same as theirs (being accepted in society, making a good impression, passing that test, etc), and on another level they are completely different. My brain doesn't work in the same way.
I've met a couple of people throughout my life who I connected with on a deep level, where I felt like they were outcasts too, in some way or another, but after a while I begin to realise that they still don't have this thing that I have.
One day I curiously came across the Wikipedia article for Autism, and browsing the different types I was a little shocked when I discovered that my younger-self met almost every criteria for Asperger's.
Some random facts that I think might be relevant: I'm a woman, I'm left handed, I have digestive problems (genetic) and I probably have slightly above average intelligence.
I left out a lot of things here but this is already majestically enormous. I have 3 questions:
1) What do you think? Anything that sounds/doesn't sound like Autism?
2) How do I get diagnosed properly? Where do I find a phsycologist? I read some doctors go as far as to believe women can't be autistic.
3) What are some self-help techniques that I could use to cope with this?



ASPartOfMe
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10 Mar 2015, 9:59 am

The idea is not to find out if you have Aspersers but to find finding out why you are having difficulties in life. There are some traits that could indicate Aspergers, it could indicate some other condition as Autism shares a lot of traits with certain conditions, or it could be as you mentioned a neurotypical personality type. You can not determine if you are on the Autism spectrum from just reading the Wikipedia article on it.

Getting professionaly diagnosed can be difficult so I would do a lot of research to be more sure before going that route. In the last day there are posts with good places to start. If you want a professional diagnosis we can give you advice on how to proceed.


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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


EzraS
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10 Mar 2015, 11:06 am

To me it's not so much what one has, but how much extreme difficulty it's causing them and looking to address those difficulties. Sometimes for some people it's enough to just be able to put a name to something that's been a mystery in their life.



Daf25
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10 Mar 2015, 11:24 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The idea is not to find out if you have Aspersers but to find finding out why you are having difficulties in life. There are some traits that could indicate Aspergers, it could indicate some other condition as Autism shares a lot of traits with certain conditions, or it could be as you mentioned a neurotypical personality type. You can not determine if you are on the Autism spectrum from just reading the Wikipedia article on it.

Getting professionaly diagnosed can be difficult so I would do a lot of research to be more sure before going that route. In the last day there are posts with good places to start. If you want a professional diagnosis we can give you advice on how to proceed.


What if the reason I'm having difficulties in life is the Asperger's? Or rather how it's shaped my view of the world and viceversa? I did more research than that, I was just explaining when I started suspecting it.
And yes, it'd be nice to get advice for a professional diagnosis. I'll look deeper into it.



Daf25
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10 Mar 2015, 11:28 am

EzraS wrote:
Sometimes for some people it's enough to just be able to put a name to something that's been a mystery in their life.

Yeah, I'm one of those people. I like to label things, including myself, I feel like it helps me understand who I am. If I'm not autistic, I'll just keep trying to figure it out.



Adamantium
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10 Mar 2015, 1:18 pm

Daf25 wrote:
I have 3 questions:
1) What do you think? Anything that sounds/doesn't sound like Autism?

Yes--and you already know that: such an understanding on your part is a necessary precursor to a post like this. The question is: are you right? That is something that may be confirmed by a professional.
Quote:
2) How do I get diagnosed properly? Where do I find a phsycologist? I read some doctors go as far as to believe women can't be autistic.
The answer is geographically contingent. If you reveal your general location, someone here can probably point you to diagnostic resources in that area.
Quote:
3) What are some self-help techniques that I could use to cope with this?

That would depend on the symptoms you want to ameliorate.
As far as I can tell, there is little to be done about the communication problem. It may be useful to question your interpretation of the reactions of others and consider how your own actions may appear to an external observer.

If you suffer from anxiety and depression, I strongly recommend that you seek therapy for these. It doesn't really matter if you are autistic or not. It's easier being whatever you are if you are not battling depression or anxiety.

If you find that you are very strongly affected by overstimulating social situations or sensory input and have episodes of inexplicable incompetence or reduced functional ability after those sorts of experiences, you may be accustomed to getting into some negative states of self-recrimination about these periods. If anything like that is happening, it's very helpful to recognize that overstimulation of various kinds can have this kind of profound effect and that it's OK to protect yourself by reducing the stimulus or giving yourself a very controlled environment and extra time in which to recover. Also a good idea to leave the self-recrimination behind.

Regardless of weather you are autistic or not, exploring these aspects of yourself will surely be of benefit.



ASPartOfMe
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10 Mar 2015, 2:29 pm

Daf25 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
The idea is not to find out if you have Aspersers but to find finding out why you are having difficulties in life. There are some traits that could indicate Aspergers, it could indicate some other condition as Autism shares a lot of traits with certain conditions, or it could be as you mentioned a neurotypical personality type. You can not determine if you are on the Autism spectrum from just reading the Wikipedia article on it.

Getting professionaly diagnosed can be difficult so I would do a lot of research to be more sure before going that route. In the last day there are posts with good places to start. If you want a professional diagnosis we can give you advice on how to proceed.


What if the reason I'm having difficulties in life is the Asperger's? Or rather how it's shaped my view of the world and viceversa? I did more research than that, I was just explaining when I started suspecting it.
And yes, it'd be nice to get advice for a professional diagnosis. I'll look deeper into it.


Reading WP is good. If there is an adult support group in your area that might be a good. Most do not require a professional diagnosis and they would know resources in your area.


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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