Can you be Aspergers and schizophrenic at the same time?

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16 Jul 2022, 5:12 am

Can you be Aspergers and schizophrenic at the same time?

Ive heard of many people that have them both diagnosed but ive also heard (from some psychiatrist) that you cant have both.?



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16 Jul 2022, 5:59 am

Asperger and other autism spectrum conditions are something one is born with, while schizophrenia is something you can get at any point in life, right? I would say one can have both, or if they can't, then at least one of my friend's doctors had to be wrong because he was diagnosed with Asperger when he was a child and with schizophrenia in his late teens. The earlier diagnosis wasn't cancelled when the later came in as far as I know.



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16 Jul 2022, 6:07 am

Yes. You can have them at the same time. I don't know why that psychiatrist would think that you can't. But then again, I know some psychiatrists who have said idiotic things.


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16 Jul 2022, 9:03 am

Yes you can. I met someone at uni that had both conditions. He also had profound astral projections (out of body experiences) and could see people's halo's / Auras. Some people now use the time Highly sensitive person for such people.

Everyone avoided him like the plague and he was shunned mercilessly. Except for me. I didn't know why I was interested in him and drawn to him. My autism diagnosis at that point was 3 decades in the future.

A difficult deck of cards to be dealt with for sure. It did not make for social success.

I met another person more recently that also had OBEs and could see halos / auras. I think she may have been Autistic too. I regret not opening myself up to her and getting to know her better as someone let me know that she liked me and was interested in me.

There have been many females that have been interested in me, but due to my own anxieties and fears I spurned all these opportunities that could have really enriched my life and helped me grow as a person. More fool me. BUt life is easier and more comfortable alone.



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16 Jul 2022, 9:30 am

Yeah. I do. There's some others around here with both. They have a genetic overlap.

No one will know it, because I don't respond to the monsters I see and their voices. It's all just background noise now. Seen and heard worse things from life, so it's cool. I'm also that social outcast in society, but that's cool too. Paranoia? I dunno, life already made me think people are often out to get you, so it makes sense to me. Disorganized thinking? Yeah, that one is annoying. Delusions? Probably. Seeing signs that don't exist and thinking they have meaning when it comes to me. Nihilism. Negative symptoms? Can't really tell them apart from autism.

I get by.



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16 Jul 2022, 11:08 am

Sure you can have both.



shortfatbalduglyman
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16 Jul 2022, 10:43 pm

they are not mutually exclusive.

autism used to be called "childhood schizophrenia" and "engineer's disease".



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17 Jul 2022, 6:39 am

I'm not much on the hallucination side, the meds are doing quite a good job at erasing them everytime I have an "episode", although it usually takes a few months after we've increased the dose.

Far greater problems with delusions, paranoia, and negative symptoms. I constantly have to give myself a "reality check" to make sure I don't go down a road of delusional grandeur I'll regret later.



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17 Jul 2022, 8:14 pm

A person can have both conditions.


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18 Jul 2022, 4:01 pm

The reason there's doubt about whether you can have both is because many of the symptoms of autism (atypical nonverbal cues, lower sociability, poor social understanding, weird mannerisms, executive dysfunction, etc) are also symptoms of schizophrenia. The main differences are age of onset (though schizophrenia can sometimes have onset in early childhood, it's quite rare) and that schizophrenia also causes stuff like hallucinations and delusions. So it's tough to say whether schizophrenia + autism would be meaningfully distinct from schizophrenia alone.

Personally, I'd argue that if the autism symptoms had onset in early childhood and the psychotic symptoms didn't, and remission of psychosis isn't resulting in any substantial change in the autism symptoms, it's reasonable to diagnose someone with both. Especially if the autism diagnosis came before any psychotic symptoms started. But I could see a lot of cases where someone would meet criteria for both conditions, but probably only has schizophrenia.



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18 Jul 2022, 8:52 pm

Ettina, it will also be hard as adults with autism can exhibit delusions and/or hallucinations in a transient manner when highly overwhelmed, i.e., days to weeks. This could lead to a misdiagnosis of comorbid schizophrenia if the clinicians don't get the duration of such down accurately. To complicate matters, comorbid depression is common among adults with autism, which will bring about anhedonia, so a lack of pleasure in interests can look like the individual is developing schizophrenia with the aforementioned transient delusions and/or hallucinations.

Symptom onset of both, as you say, is the key to determining such. Childhood schizophrenia is hard to distinguish from autism, albeit autism will tend to have that narrowly defined interest that brings the individual pleasure, where it'll be mostly absent in childhood schizophrenia (there'll be a lack of pleasure in interests with the latter). Complicating matters, childhood schizophrenia has a strong correlation with a cormorbid ASD. :|

Obvious autism, with the positive symptoms of schizophrenia starting up around the right time, especially proceeding stressful life events, will be the typical comorbid presentation as you describe. At least the quite evident one.

I also have that fun paradoxical laughter/pseudobulbar affect. Which can be funny in a way.