What is the difference between social anxiety and AS?

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mysterious_misfit
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06 Sep 2008, 12:25 pm

I've been wondering.



Magique
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06 Sep 2008, 12:34 pm

AS is a set of neurological symptoms. Social anxiety is anxiousness in social situations. NT people can be socially anxious, believe it or not. The difficulty people with AS have with social situations can and does cause anxiety, but I am not convinced that it is entirely the same thing. Would people with AS be as anxious if their needs were met without ridicule? If, in an ideal world, a kid like me had been given sensitive guidance in dealing with social skills, help with executive function issues, enough alone down time, and no bullying I don't know that I would have any social anxiety at all. As it is, I don't know that I am actually socially anxious. Self esteem issues, yes. I am an introvert but I have no particular anxiety about going out in society. The discomfort I feel in large crowds is more of a sensory overload situation than an anxiety issue.



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06 Sep 2008, 12:55 pm

Having an ASD can make you socially anxious, in the same way that if you put a person who is blind into a room full of unknown obstacles and unseen potholes and they fall down them often enough, they'll get anxious about being in that room.

Difference for me...I can't 'see' how people are reacting. I can't hear against the background noise to pick out a voice, and if I do, I can't 'hear' the tone of voice. I can't switch attention fast enough between people as I can't process that much incoming info at once. I'm also coping with any flickering lights, overpowering smells, uncomfortable clothing, unexpected touch (which for me is painful if it's unexpected), etc. then I have to work out what they want to talk about, how far from them to stand, when it's my turn to speak - and I can't work out any of this without manaul effort. I end up totally utterly exhausted, and if I get enough wrong, I'm then pretty scared of what might happen.

In a room where I am able to talk to that same group of people in a more aspie-friendly way, I'm not socially nervous at all.



Ryn
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06 Sep 2008, 12:56 pm

AS is behavior, social, sensory, and repetitive behavior issues. Social anxiety is fear of social situations. I first found social anxiety and I knew I had it, but it didn't explain my overstimulation issues, my rocking, stims, and a lot of other things.


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Danielismyname
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06 Sep 2008, 1:09 pm

The DSM-IV-TR:

Quote:
Although some individuals with Asperger's Disorder may experience heightened and debilitating anxiety in social settings as in Social Phobia or other Anxiety Disorders, the latter conditions are not characterized by pervasive impairments in social development or by the circumscribed interests typical of Asperger's Disorder.



Brunny
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06 Sep 2008, 1:11 pm

Social anxiety is one symptom of AS but not all of it. You can have social anxiety without having AS but (disclaimer:I am not a psychotherapist or similar) I don't think you can have AS without social anxiety.



Last edited by Brunny on 06 Sep 2008, 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lionesss
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06 Sep 2008, 1:14 pm

Like everyone else has stated, social anxiety is just one symptom of any ASD. Anyone, "NT" or anyone under the spectrum can experience social anxiety.


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Sora
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06 Sep 2008, 1:48 pm

Brunny wrote:
Social anxiety is one symptom of AS but not all of it. You can have social anxiety without having AS but (disclaimer:I am not a psychotherapist or similar) I don't think you can have AS without social anxiety.


lionesss wrote:
Like everyone else has stated, social anxiety is just one symptom of any ASD. Anyone, "NT" or anyone under the spectrum can experience social anxiety.


I don't have anxiety. So both is possible.

Anxiety is not a symptom of autism, but a possible result and/or a full blown co-morbid disorder such as social anxiety.

Social inability or social difference is the ASD symptom, but anxiety is not. Though apparently, anxiety and social anxiety are very very often found in autistic people throughout their lives.

I'll second the quote out of that DSM-IV-TR that Danielismyname has posted.


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06 Sep 2008, 8:30 pm

Brunny wrote:
Social anxiety is one symptom of AS but not all of it. You can have social anxiety without having AS but (disclaimer:I am not a psychotherapist or similar) I don't think you can have AS without social anxiety.




I have AS and I don't have social anxiety.