I've just been diagnosed with Aspergers - Please help?

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IfSummerCouldSmile
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25 Sep 2011, 6:19 pm

I've just been diagnosed with Aspergers and I just feel really weird about it. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it, to be honest.

It all started when I got depressed and suicidal. I started self-harming as a negative coping measure, then my mum found out and took me to the Doctor's. My GP referred me elsewhere then they referred me to Camhs (I'm only 14). They assigned me to one of the psychologists who specialised in autism, because the second people who I saw, they thought I had OCD or autism. After that, they diagnosed me with depression and gave me trazodone (antidepressants with sedative effects) because of my sleep complaints. Fast forward about a year, I felt happier, but the trazodone had begun badly affecting my sleep so I came off them and continued seeing the autism doctor because he'd been assigned to me. Then randomly one meeting, he comes out with "We think you have Aspergers Syndrome." My little brother has autism and when my older brother wasyoubger, there was a lot of talk about Aspergers so I already knew a bit about it. Then they got my mum in, officially diagnosed me, then sent a letter a few says later, discharging me.

Which brings us to now. All that started about 2 years ago. The thing is, the diagnosis explains a lot of how I am. I speak differently to my peers and I've always felt somewhat alienated. Then I stumbled across wrong planet when researching Aspergers. It made me think a lot. After all, it's one thing being different to most people, but another to feel like you belong with another group. It makes me wonder, how many of the quirks in my personality are Aspergers related and how many are simple quirks?

Some of the things I think could be Aspergers related are my:
-Speech- I have a lisp and beyond that, my vocabulary is beyond that of most NT adults, never mind my peers. I like knowing more words, it's easier to say what I feel or think. Also, I refuse to use text language when online or texting. As far as I'm aware, I do not have a monotone voice.

-Social- I find it difficult to talk to people without a purpose. Smalltalk is torture for me and talking to someone I do not know is just as bad; at least with people I know, I know how to pad the conversation so they keep interested. I find eye contact difficult and intuitively reading facial expressions (I was interested in the workings of brain etc, before my diagnosis), but I can decode body language and all that if I analyse it consciously.

-Attention- Sometimes, I can get so into a book, or a game (books especially) that I lose contact with the world. I could read a thousand page novel and if I get into it, I won't even feel hungry, or tired until it's done. Some activities like that consume me. Also of note is how I zone out. I just lose contact with the world, bit not focussing on anything at all. I've been hurt before and not come back. Sometimes, I descend into a dreamlike state if I zone out too often in a short period. This happens most when I'm tired.

-Academics- I'm easily the top of my year when it comes to school. I think this is because of an innate desire to learn and partially natural ability, which I've been encouraged to feed. My analytical and (mostly) logical mind help me with school I think. I particularly like the sciences, as they satisy my yearning for knowing the "why's" in life, Languages because I pick them up quite easily and Maths because often there's one answer that I can work towards my way. I feel weird with how well I do. In group work, there's always people who say things like "I wanna be in Emily's group" or "Yes! We've got Emily." There's always a part of me that glows at times like that. After all, who doesn't want to thought of as "the best", but other times, I hate how good I do and I wish I could just be a normal, average achieving person. It worries me that I have no idea what to do with my life and I don't think I have a special interest area like most aspies apparently do. If I did, it would be either Maths, Neuroscience or chemistry.

-Self-esteem- My self esteem is awful. I think my over achievingness was partially because I never felt like I was good enough. Not for my family, for school, but for me. I dislike my appearance, but I think this is because no guys have ever shown any interest in me. I was always the weird one, but knowing the reason for my alienation doesn't make me feel any better. 

-Empathy- I can understand how people feel for the most part, but that's a case of noticing really obvious emotions or putting together different factors and thinking about similar times and how I've felt. I'm often quite blunt as well.

-Strong Beliefs- I am unbelievably stubborn. When it comes to things I believe in, I will not budge. In my head, my values and morals are very clearly set out and I adhere to them like glue. Some simole things like, I believe that one should always use manners and be polite, to show respect and because you owe it to the world to spread some positivity. Other things like my dedication to the voluntary work me and some other young people do. 

-Routine- I'm unsure of whether I'm a spontaneous person, or one who does better with routine. I get fed up of some things very easily, but some things have to be the same. I have to say goodnight to my mum a certain way. I say "goodnight mam." She says "goodnight Emily" then I say "I love you" then she says "I love you too." This has to be the last thing she says to me, or we have to do it again. If we don't do it properly, I probably won't sleep properly. It started with the oddly morbid but nice thought that if I died, or got murdered in my sleep or something, I love you would have been the last thing I'd have said to her.

There's other stuff too:
-I seem to be extra sensitive to touch
-I can taste lots of flavour in foods commonly thought of as plain and I can't eat strong foods.
-I often don't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning, no matter how tired I am. It kills me at school.
-I'm clumsier than most of my peers
-I get stressed easily
-I'm naturally very disorganised
-I'm very individual-I don't like to follow trends
-I can be quite rebellious, when surrounded my too many rules
-I use and understand sarcasm (is this normal for an aspie?)
-I draw and write poetry and stories, so I'm not purely analytical etc.

I'm sorry for bogging you down with this huge amount of writing, but I feel so confused. I'm in a battle to not start hating myself- being told I have Aspergers is feeling more and more like "You've got a lifelong social impairment. There's no cure and you'll probably feel out of place for the rest of your life."

Do you have any advice for someone who's just been diagnosed? And if you don't mind me asking, how does Aspergers present itself in you, if you have it? 

Thanks :)



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25 Sep 2011, 8:01 pm

Relax. You seem to be exactly where I was, horrified with a diagnosis. But you've come to the right place. We're friendly and we know all the good stuff. You're going to be fine. Actually, you're fine now if you only knew it. Asperger's is not a disease. You are not afflicted. You may want to learn some behaviours that will smooth things in your way - we have lots of discussions about that. Hang out here at WrongPlanet, we're here 24/7.

You ask how does it manifest in me. Eye-contact problems, obsessions, isolated, strange sense of humour.

Welcome home. :D



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25 Sep 2011, 8:28 pm

I'm not afflicted or diseased. I'm just different and that's a good thing. :)


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liveandletdie
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25 Sep 2011, 8:39 pm

you just need time to mull it over....it's not terrible and you're still you. best thing you can do with the diagnosis is learn new strategies to use your abilities to your advantage.


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25 Sep 2011, 8:57 pm

When I first realized I was on the spectrum (close to 4 years ago), I ended up not knowing what to do or where to turn, and I ended up just going into denial about it. I wish I had advice for you, but coming here is a great first step. Also, take the time to process what it means.

I strongly recommend reading older threads here or searching for specific subjects you want to understand better. One thing that helps to keep in mind is "if you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person." We're all different in so many ways, even with what we have in common.



Kaelynn
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25 Sep 2011, 9:23 pm

Its really not so bad. :) In a way I kind of like the fact that Im an aspie. Aspies are differnt, smart, creative, honest and funny in their own little way. Im 14 also so trust me I get the feeling of not being like my peers. There are deffenetly down sides to being an aspie. But the way I see it its a good thing, some times. :D



TheBrain
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25 Sep 2011, 9:38 pm

I'm 33 and I just found out last year. You sound a lot like me. I'm still finding things out about myself that I didn't know was part of the ASD. If you want to know anything, ask me. I'm an open book. I think that may be part of the Aspie thing, too. I'm way to honest (or at least I've been told so) and I don't take offense from anything that is true.


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abc123
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25 Sep 2011, 10:13 pm

It's not really that bad. You could try looking for books on the positive side of Aspergers. When I was diagnosed they said it could take 3 months for a lot of people to come to terms with it so I wouldn't worry.
I'm starting to realise that not everything is down to AS. A lot of things I feel NT feel too. Also if I struggle socially I can choose to stay at home and be depressed or I can choose to make the effort to at least try or be more positive. I think about people with physical diabilities and they get out and do things and are positive e.g. wheelchair sports, and I've got off lightly as not a disability in the same way.

I'm 30 and just diagnosed. I've been depressed since I was a teenager and treatment has not worked. I've struggled to keep friends (but do have some longer friendships) and struggle getting employment - I have a PhD but work in temporary admin. I'm not very confident and get social anxiety. I say very little, can take a long time to answer in conversation and quite often go blank.

When I was first diagnosed I started mentally beating myself if I saw anything I perceived to be AS/not wanting to try e.g. being convinced people were ignoring me and it was my fault and then wondering if I would even be able to tell. I joke with my husband and blame a lot of things on Aspergers such as not wanting to do housework.



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25 Sep 2011, 11:10 pm

IfSummerCouldSmile wrote:
It makes me wonder, how many of the quirks in my personality are Aspergers related and how many are simple quirks?


It's funny, I just came here to ask the same exact question... I just found out that I have AS, within the past week... And I have been wondering ever since then what parts of my personality are related to the AS, and what might just be quirks...

But if this helps...


Quote:
-I seem to be extra sensitive to touch
Yes, 95% of the time I don't like it...
Quote:
-I can taste lots of flavour in foods commonly thought of as plain and I can't eat strong foods.
I am super picky about what I eat. For example, I don't use condiments of any kind, ever...
Quote:
-I often don't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning, no matter how tired I am. It kills me at school.
Yes, I have very strange sleeping patterns (compared to a normal person that is). I work from home, so it is easier for me to deal with.
Quote:
-I get stressed easily
Yes, I get stressed VERY easily... sometimes I handle it better than others...
Quote:
-I'm naturally very disorganised
I have been all of my life.
Quote:
-I'm very individual-I don't like to follow trends
I will abandon a song, book, tv show, or artist I like if I think they are getting too trendy...
Quote:
-I can be quite rebellious, when surrounded my too many rules
I don't do well with authority



dandraperuk
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17 Jan 2012, 7:54 pm

I know this post isn't young but oh well. I was diagnosed 2 months ago and though I knew I had asd as soon as I researched it for my sister getting diagnosed officially seams to have affected me emotionally but since I have a VERY hard time understanding my emotions it has been a hard and confusing time and think I have been drunk non stop just to get intouch with my feelings. What is me, what is the asd, WHO AM I???