Urban Environment vs. Rural Environment: Which is Better?

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oblomov
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19 Jul 2011, 8:36 am

Currently, I live in the center of the largest city of the most densely populated country in Europe. Most of the country's population is flocking to the urban areas. Having recently received my diagnosis, I'm contemplating doing the opposite.

Even though no two people on the spectrum are alike, is there any evidence that suggests rural settings are more beneficial to people have/are AS than urban settings? I am also curious about your own views and experiences.

A few things I worry about:

- My family, friends and acquaintances all live in my home city. My parents are both reaching the retirement age, but both are fairly healthy. They both have the means to arrange for care if they need it, but they might need me as well? Also, I sometimes find it beneficial to avail myself of their support.
- I'm an unemployed, fairly independent adult male with AS. The chances of me building a new social/support network are slim to none. I'd move out to the country to get away from people, after all.
- Very few facilities and stores are available in the country. A house I'm looking at is a 30 minute to an hour's walk from a town with shops and stuff.
- Will being all alone in the middle of nowhere enhance social anxiety / depression? Or will it in fact relieve the pressure of everyday social interaction and will that outweigh possible loneliness?
- I live alone now, but have a hard time doing the everyday things (grocery shopping, taking out the trash, etc.), but those will require even more effort out in the country.
- Change. Moving even within this city has proved to be very trying in the past. Changing _everything_ about my environs might be more than I can handle? Or may the knowledge that it is a challenge for me alleviate the strain change puts on me?

I worry a lot, so I could go on, but I feel I've given you too much information as it is.

Again, I'm curious about your knowledge, thoughts & feelings on the matter.

PS This is my first proper post on WP. If I've broken any written or unwritten rules, it was by no means intentional.



Surfman
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19 Jul 2011, 8:48 am

Welcome to WP!

Try it for a while, like take a rental home in the country for 2 weeks. Also, some rural areas will be aspie friendly, and others will not. In a way, aspies can hide in a city. Whereas in the country everyone wants to know your business

I'm reading this book below right now, I think it could be helpful

Between night and morning by Kahlil Gibran



purchase
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19 Jul 2011, 8:54 am

I do know the rates of schizophrenia (which i realize is not the condition in question) are much higher in cities.

If you have sensory sensitivities the country is the place to be. As a suburbanite who recently visited NYC for ten days I was at the edge of my rope from all the constant traffic noise and way-too-tall-buildings and masses of people and general fast pace.

But considering your other concerns which would lead you to want to stay in the city, it seems like a tough choice. Would you be comfortable splitting your time between the city and country?



AspieWolf
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19 Jul 2011, 2:08 pm

I have lived in both urban and rural environments and can only state that my choice is to live as far from other people as is possible. I now live on the outskirts of a small town (pop. ~5000) and although it is larger than I would like, it is a much better environment than the previous town of 20000. The necessary facilities are within a few minutes drive, or walk locally, and about 45 minutes to the nearest larger town. Relationships of any sort are a non-issue for me as I have learned to avoid them at all costs. They simply cause more trouble than they are worth. It's a tough lesson to learn, but after 66 years I hope that I have finally learned it. I found the change to this environment to be no problem at all and in fact it has all been for the better. As for the daily and weekly chores, like shopping and trash, I find that there is no real difference.

One issue though that you might encounter is that some rural areas and towns are not especially open to strangers moving in. They might tend to view you with suspicion and treat you as an outsider forever, no matter how long you live there. For those of us with AS though I'm not sure that matters much, unless you are really trying to be social. At least I don't care about this issue personally, but then I live in an area of the U.S. that does not have this problem.

And finally, welcome to WP! I hope this info helps.


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Northeastern292
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19 Jul 2011, 2:56 pm

AspieWolf wrote:
I have lived in both urban and rural environments and can only state that my choice is to live as far from other people as is possible. I now live on the outskirts of a small town (pop. ~5000) and although it is larger than I would like, it is a much better environment than the previous town of 20000. The necessary facilities are within a few minutes drive, or walk locally, and about 45 minutes to the nearest larger town. Relationships of any sort are a non-issue for me as I have learned to avoid them at all costs. They simply cause more trouble than they are worth. It's a tough lesson to learn, but after 66 years I hope that I have finally learned it. I found the change to this environment to be no problem at all and in fact it has all been for the better. As for the daily and weekly chores, like shopping and trash, I find that there is no real difference.

One issue though that you might encounter is that some rural areas and towns are not especially open to strangers moving in. They might tend to view you with suspicion and treat you as an outsider forever, no matter how long you live there. For those of us with AS though I'm not sure that matters much, unless you are really trying to be social. At least I don't care about this issue personally, but then I live in an area of the U.S. that does not have this problem.

And finally, welcome to WP! I hope this info helps.


Ditto. I've found that I do well in both urban and rural areas, but I will say that I did much better in a rural area in high school (the entire school district where I graduated from could fit in the high school from where I came from).

I grew up near Danbury, CT in a place called Brewster (NY) and I was in the Brewster schools for the first and tenth grades. I got suspended from school both years. I move to Northern NY midway through high school and I ended up succeeding well.



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19 Jul 2011, 3:09 pm

I've lived in both. The biggest city I've lived in was Minneapolis, and the smallest was a town with a population of 1,000. I much prefer the city, simply because there's more to do. It's not fun living in a town with nothing but a gas station and a grocery store and you have to drive God knows how many miles if you need anything that can't be found in those two places. I'm extremely sensitive to sound, but sensory issues have been no more a problem for me in big cities than they are in rural areas. You occasionally encounter areas that are under construction or young rich douchebags who mistakingly believe that everyone wants to hear the drum and bass that's blasting out of their car, but simply being around tall buildings or the sound of passing cars isn't enough to bother me too much.



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19 Jul 2011, 3:43 pm

oblomov wrote:
Currently, I live in the center of the largest city of the most densely populated country in Europe.


That would be Monaco. You seen Prince Albert and Princess Charlene about? ;)

But it must not be Monaco where you live, since it's all urban, and has no rural area and no middle of nowhere.


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oblomov
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19 Jul 2011, 4:31 pm

Surfman wrote:
Try it for a while, like take a rental home in the country for 2 weeks.
Good idea, I might try that, thanks! Although the reality of abandoning the city 'forever' might be hard to simulate.

Surfman wrote:
Between night and morning by Kahlil Gibran
Tried to find a description of the plot, but didn't succeed. Could you fill me in?

purchase wrote:
Would you be comfortable splitting your time between the city and country?
Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I might :) Could opt to stay with one of my parents when I'm in the city.

AspieWolf wrote:
And finally, welcome to WP! I hope this info helps.
Thank you for your reply. I find it very helpful. And thanks for the welcome!

Northeastern292 wrote:
I move to Northern NY midway through high school and I ended up succeeding well.
Thanks! Always good to hear a success story. I hope it'll stay that way :)

Jory wrote:
much prefer the city, simply because there's more to do.
Thanks! Fair point. I used to do quite a lot here in the city, but haven't these past few years. If/when I feel better I might get really bored out in the country. On the other hand, things might not get better if I stay in the city. All these damn ifs and buts ;)

Keeno wrote:
That would be Monaco. You seen Prince Albert and Princess Charlene about? ;)

But it must not be Monaco where you live, since it's all urban, and has no rural area and no middle of nowhere.
Yup, not Monaco, because Monaco isn't a country. It's a principality/city state. The Netherlands is the most densely populated country in Europe. I know Wikipedia isn't the most reliable of sources, but I'm lazy so: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands#Urbanisation



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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19 Jul 2011, 4:47 pm

I guess it depends on where you are and what the culture is like. Where I live, I wouldn't want to live in a rural area. Too dangerous. I might like it someplace else. I like being in the city where everyone is looking at everyone else and people see what goes on. People are less apt to try anything here.



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19 Jul 2011, 5:08 pm

I live in a very rural area, and it's an even bigger problem than AS. No jobs, no chance of meeting anyone, no choices. Basically it takes the problems of AS and multiplies them. However, my location is a bit extreme: 2 and a half hours to the nearest large town (officially a city but very small), five hours to the nearest city of any size. Most rural areas are a lot closer to cities than that, so your experience may be different.

If you can solve the problem of having no choices, then the pace of life is great. Lots of fields, lots of animals, wide open spaces, wander down to the beach or climb a hill, nobody for miles. That part's nice.



oblomov
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19 Jul 2011, 5:21 pm

ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo wrote:
Where I live, I wouldn't want to live in a rural area. Too dangerous.
Sounds like you're better off in the city, indeed. If that is safer or makes you feel safer, I'd stick to that.

trappedinhell wrote:
I live in a very rural area, and it's an even bigger problem than AS. No jobs, no chance of meeting anyone, no choices. Basically it takes the problems of AS and multiplies them.
Does your nickname describe the way you feel about where you live? ;) Sounds like your environment gives everyone 'Asperger's by circumstance' or something.
Even in the most remote part of The Netherlands, the nearest town or city is one or two hours away by car. Are you thinking about moving closer to civilization, so to speak?

trappedinhell wrote:
If you can solve the problem of having no choices, then the pace of life is great. Lots of fields, lots of animals, wide open spaces, wander down to the beach or climb a hill, nobody for miles. That part's nice.
Sounds great!



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19 Jul 2011, 5:30 pm

oblomov wrote:
trappedinhell wrote:
I live in a very rural area, and it's an even bigger problem than AS. No jobs, no chance of meeting anyone, no choices. Basically it takes the problems of AS and multiplies them.
Does your nickname describe the way you feel about where you live? ;)


Yes. AS can be a problem, but my real problem is the location. No chance of a job, friends, etc.

oblomov wrote:
Are you thinking about moving closer to civilization, so to speak?

I'd love to. More than anything. But that's the "trapped" part. I don't have any marketable skills, except shelf stacking, an the AS means even that is a problem. My only hope is that a computer game I'm working on may start making money, but that's another story.



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19 Jul 2011, 9:06 pm

I like rural better because it`s quieter and there`s less people, however I like to visit NYC once in a while because I don`t hate the city. I use to hate the city so much and be so terrified of it but I confronted that fear at age: 15. I don`t ever wanna live in the city though. Where I live now is loud enough because I live by a highway and it is SO LOUD!! I HATE IT!! !! !! !! !


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19 Jul 2011, 9:12 pm

I WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE A MELTDOWN IF I MOVE TO AN URBAN AREA!! !! 8O


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19 Jul 2011, 9:38 pm

I find that cities are more anonymous. People are less likely to notice or care if they see someone whose behavior they might consider unusual. I like being able to walk around the city and have no one pay any attention to me.