Why do severe autistics hit themselves?

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bdhkhsfgk
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03 Jan 2010, 6:30 am

I've encountered a few severe ones, and I find it ridiculous that they hit themselves, can you explain this?



03 Jan 2010, 6:41 am

I've hit myself and I'm borderline. I did it because I got frustated and it was my way of controlling my meltdown because I wanted to hit other people and throw things. I didn't know what to do with the feelings inside me.



Last edited by Spokane_Girl on 03 Jan 2010, 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PunkyKat
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03 Jan 2010, 6:43 am

Frustration


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Danielismyname
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03 Jan 2010, 6:51 am

The most able people with an ASD can do it. See that documentary "Make Me Normal" and the teenage girl with AS who has what is commonly referred to as a "meltdown".

It makes me feel good when I do it, and I'm not severely autistic by any means either (mildly to moderately across the board).



Descartes30
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03 Jan 2010, 6:52 am

The problem with psychology and learning disorders is that it is very hard to generalize. While that is true that frustration can cause many Autistic people to hit themselves, it is not always about giving yourself pain. Many of our Autistic adults hit themselves when they are happy, and some of them we have to encourage not to hit other people as "play". Some of them have abnormal muscular responses that can cause them to hit themselves, but it's easier just to say that it's an expression of large amounts of emotion, sometimes good and sometimes bad. From my observations, the less functioning of an Autistic you are, the more often you will hit yourself for any reason, not just bad emotions, because it's no longer about punishment or the redistribution of emotional pain. I'm not a doctor of psychology, but I do read a lot of psychology and have hands on experience with developmental disorders.


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tweety_fan
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03 Jan 2010, 7:41 am

PunkyKat wrote:
Frustration



I have hit myself for that reason, other times it is because i am upset, other times because i am stressed.

I know I shouldn't do it, but it is really hard to break the habit.

(i am not severely autistic)



CockneyRebel
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03 Jan 2010, 7:55 am

I'm bordering on AS and HFA and I used to hit myself as a punishment for not behaving in the social manner that my mother wanted me to behave in,, or for having problems that were "all in my head", so to speak. That all stopped, as soon as I moved out.


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Dianitapilla
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03 Jan 2010, 8:00 am

I read hitting as well as hard hugging releases stress caused by overstimulation or overwhelm. has something to do with the limb? sorry... don't know how to call it in english... but there are researches you can find on internet.


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03 Jan 2010, 9:18 am

I think it's self stimulation. Just to feel something to relieve the deadness inside. I do it occasionally and it's kinda enjoyable :wall:



RampionRampage
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03 Jan 2010, 10:02 am

Sometimes frustration/anger/hurt is so hard to bear - I can feel it physically. It's kind of like when people hit something immediately after getting wounded. Transfers the pain elsewhere and handles some of the shock. If I am harming/hitting myself, it's because everything is so intense and I can't figure how to make it stop. I literally feel like I'm crawling out of my skin.
I would imagine the more trouble you have with handling the outside world, the more likely/frequently you might do this.

I've seen NTs with other issues, or in extreme grief, do this as well.


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ChangelingGirl
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03 Jan 2010, 10:30 am

Danielismyname wrote:
The most able people with an ASD can do it. See that documentary "Make Me Normal" and the teenage girl with AS who has what is commonly referred to as a "meltdown".

It makes me feel good when I do it, and I'm not severely autistic by any means either (mildly to moderately across the board).


I agree. I have an Asperger's diagnosis, and I engage in self-injurious behavior sometimes, in many of the stereotypical autistic ways (hitting, hand-biting, head-banging). I dont'do it nearly as often as I used to or as often as the "severe" autistics whose parents go on the Internet say their child does, but I do it sometimes in meltdowns.

As for the ridiculous factor, I can understand that you would be upset if you see someone self-harming. I for one dont'do it in public (not anymore at least, I used to when I was little). However, it is quite possible that some autistics who are in a meltdown will not be aware of the presence of others.



veritestreet
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03 Jan 2010, 10:36 am

I noticed that when I am very stressed and sad I cannot give affection to my cat and that it bothers me if she approaches me.

When I am feeling fine, I do not care.

I surprised myself last night. I felt so stressed when I laid down and the cat put her face into mine and put her mouth and whiskers tickling next to my mouth, I had an impulse to throw her.

I would naturally never do that and would feel worse if I did. But I thought it was sad and unlike me. And strange.

BTW, this is my first post.

I am married to an asperger's / autism person, but separated. He is in denial about it and anti-mainline medicine. And he lives next door. He is not allowed into my place. We have a difficult time communicating. Even on-line text communication will get confused.



LiendaBalla
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03 Jan 2010, 10:40 am

bdhkhsfgk wrote:
I've encountered a few severe ones, and I find it ridiculous that they hit themselves, can you explain this?


[Lienda edited this. I felt it would just look better this way.]
I don't know how much choice goes into it. One common scenario comes to my mind right now.

-person fails a small task in thought or deed they believe they are 'expected' to finish
-From what they can tell, people now have added proof of their "failure and inability", because it happened infront of others
-The mind in some spots just seems to want to remember past chemical similarities whether anyone chooses it or not. Does it all the time, I think.
-stress and feeling of failure set in and cause chemical reacions in the body
-brain starts reacting accordingly
-hitting or prompt resolution insues



Last edited by LiendaBalla on 03 Jan 2010, 11:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

RampionRampage
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03 Jan 2010, 10:46 am

bdhkhsfgk wrote:
I've encountered a few severe ones, and I find it ridiculous that they hit themselves, can you explain this?


LiendaBalla wrote:
bdhkhsfgk wrote:
I've encountered a few severe ones, and I find it ridiculous that they hit themselves, can you explain this?


Ridiculess? I didn't know meltdowns and emotion were choises.


What I was thinking. You'd think someone with ASD would be less judgemental of ASD-related behavior than that.
Who's to say that he's only a few crossed wires from being one of the 'ridiculous' people? He should be more understanding, and grateful that he doesn't struggle with it himself.


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poopylungstuffing
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03 Jan 2010, 11:45 am

I am mild and I have done it on occasion all my life.
It is usually a sign that I am having a meltdown...extreme anger and frustration with myself...anger and frustration with someone else that I am directing inwards rather than outwards...frustration with figuring out or processing my emotions...



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03 Jan 2010, 1:05 pm

When I'm by myself, I often knock on my head to get my anxiety in check -- or to attempt to halt a line of thought that I know leads down a bad road. Knocking on my head calms me for some reason. I'm not even officially diagnosed with any ASD.


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