Are "they" sure AS doesn't get worse with age?

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EXPECIALLY
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14 Feb 2012, 6:44 pm

I do know that there is also an unfortunate chance of developing psychosis or schizophrenia but that's not what I mean.

I noticed a change around 23...interesting because of the genetic link between AS and schizophrenia, this is right around the time one might also become mentally ill.

But it wasn't like that at all, it's more like I'm just developing into the childhood portrait of AS, although my social skills are obviously not as lacking as a 5 year old's might be since I've lived 27 years and have learned a lot, but I do not have as much control as I used to.

I never had so much trouble with TOM before, now it's like I REALLY don't understand people, when they speak if they don't use very clear and direct language. I just can't get their meaning, because it's so hard to diverge from my own thinking. Any extra words they use confuse me, I won't comprehend them and have to ask them to repeat if what they're saying is important, I used to ENJOY witty banter.
wise but I
I should add, I'm still capable of humor but it feels like MUCH more of an act now, and often times when people laugh at me I'm not even trying to be funny.

Those are the main things that have really changed, I feel fine otherwise and my concentration has actually improved in some areas, I feel like I'm less affected by ADHD and more affected by AS, I suppose. It's been four years since I've TRULY felt like my old self, but I haven't lost my mind so I'm starting to think this is just the new me.

I was reading a few articles Paul Cooijmans, not sure if he's a psychiatrist or not, he also sounds like an Aspie but this caught my eye:

"A general fact about genetic traits is that they become stronger as one grows older. "You become ever more like your father" is a popular expression that reflects this. For Asperger, this means that the negative aspects, such as rigidity, too will become ever more of a burden throughout life. It also means that one must be very critical with regard to possible therapies or "cures" for Asperger, as applied to some children nowadays. The effect thereof cannot be judged on short term. One has to follow such a person into old age, because of the fact that genetic traits become ever more expressed as one gets older. A possible effect in childhood of therapy may be deceptive; one's true genetic nature will come out eventually, in adulthood."

MY father is schizophrenic and the links between AS (more so than autism) and schizophrenia were discussed earlier in the article, so this really speaks to me. As much I hate to consider the fact that I may be following in his unfortunate footsteps, I REALLY don't think that's the case. What he's saying about AS isn't common thought among most doctors ASFAK, I've only heard about schizophrenia becoming apparent later in life and one's "true genetic nature" coming out.

Anyone have a similar experience as me? Perhaps this more common among women?


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Last edited by EXPECIALLY on 14 Feb 2012, 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WhiteWidow
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14 Feb 2012, 6:54 pm

with time?

Well right now I'm alienating a friend who meets with me every couple weeks to talk philosophy. But now I just want to be alone and drop our plans Friday. I've also began drinking tons of coffee and taking more medication to cope with the fact that I'm single.

And I was definitely not like this beginning of January.



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14 Feb 2012, 6:58 pm

WhiteWidow wrote:
with time?

Well right now I'm alienating a friend who meets with me every couple never cueeks to talk philosophy. But now I just want to be alone and drop our plans Friday. I've also began drinking tons of coffee and taking more medication to cope with the fact that I'm single.

And I was definitely not like this beginning of January.

It never cuts me off in the subject line until after the post is submitted LOL.

With age.


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14 Feb 2012, 7:32 pm

I actually seem to handle things better now, but I think that's because I'm dx'd and have a better understanding of how my mind works, why certain things bother me like they do, and how to deal with the symptoms better. I'm 47 and was dx'd a few years ago. I also think that being middle aged, I'm more comfortable with myself in general and with the world. I have much more confidence now than I did in my early 20's and I feel that my quirks are my prerogative and if someone else is bothered by them, they can just go on, I don't have to impress them nor care if I do.

I know that I am very prone to depression, but after having it severely quite a few times I'm able to pick up on when it's starting and do something right away to nip it in the bud. In my case thats start my antidepressants back. My mother is borderline, and luckily I've dodged that bullet, although I had picked up quite a bit of her attitudes and beliefs that I had to shed decades ago. That was more along the lines of learned behavior than feelings though.


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leozelig
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14 Feb 2012, 8:12 pm

My symptoms have gotten worse with age. I did also think I was becoming schizophrenic, a few years ago (before I ever heard of asperger syndrome) but some things didn't add up. I've had to take big changes in my lifestyle and eating habits in order to function again, but now I'm slowly getting better. I did lose some cognitive skills though.

I also relate to what you said about people laughing when you're not trying to be funny. Sometimes, I'm just expressing my feelings or thoughts, and people think I'm joking. I have no idea what's about but it happens with people who don't know me well.



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14 Feb 2012, 8:32 pm

Well something has gotten worse with age in my case......not sure if the AS has, I know the PTSD has only gotten worse untreated depression is said to get worse which I have and so if AS does get worse I suppose I have much to look forward to. But yeah I can relate to some of the stuff in the OP about not seeming to have all the mental capabilities I once did. Also it seems like instead of growing the f*** up and being able to deal with things and not take things to personally I've only gotten worse at that or at least have not improved any.

and I'll stop here before I start ranting.


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TheSunAlsoRises
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14 Feb 2012, 8:46 pm

EXPECIALLY wrote:
I do know that there is also an unfortunate chance of developing psychosis or schizophrenia but that's not what I mean.

I noticed a change around 23...interesting because of the genetic link between AS and schizophrenia, this is right around the time one might also become mentally ill.

But it wasn't like that at all, it's more like I'm just developing into the childhood portrait of AS, although my social skills are obviously not as lacking as a 5 year old's might be since I've lived 27 years and have learned a lot, but I do not have as much control as I used to.

I never had so much trouble with TOM before, now it's like I REALLY don't understand people, when they speak if they don't use very clear and direct language. I just can't get their meaning, because it's so hard to diverge from my own thinking. Any extra words they use confuse me, I won't comprehend them and have to ask them to repeat if what they're saying is important, I used to ENJOY witty banter.
wise but I
I should add, I'm still capable of humor but it feels like MUCH more of an act now, and often times when people laugh at me I'm not even trying to be funny.

Those are the main things that have really changed, I feel fine otherwise and my concentration has actually improved in some areas, I feel like I'm less affected by ADHD and more affected by AS, I suppose. It's been four years since I've TRULY felt like my old self, but I haven't lost my mind so I'm starting to think this is just the new me.

I was reading a few articles Paul Cooijmans, not sure if he's a psychiatrist or not, he also sounds like an Aspie but this caught my eye:

"A general fact about genetic traits is that they become stronger as one grows older. "You become ever more like your father" is a popular expression that reflects this. For Asperger, this means that the negative aspects, such as rigidity, too will become ever more of a burden throughout life. It also means that one must be very critical with regard to possible therapies or "cures" for Asperger, as applied to some children nowadays. The effect thereof cannot be judged on short term. One has to follow such a person into old age, because of the fact that genetic traits become ever more expressed as one gets older. A possible effect in childhood of therapy may be deceptive; one's true genetic nature will come out eventually, in adulthood."

MY father is schizophrenic and the links between AS (more so than autism) and schizophrenia were discussed earlier in the article, so this really speaks to me. As much I hate to consider the fact that I may be following in his unfortunate footsteps, I REALLY don't think that's the case. What he's saying about AS isn't common thought among most doctors ASFAK, I've only heard about schizophrenia becoming apparent later in life and one's "true genetic nature" coming out.

Anyone have a similar experience as me? Perhaps this more common among women?


In your early twenties, did you give up anything that required you to socialize more often than you do, now ? Let's say, even around, late teens ? You have to bear in mind IF you don't practice and stay engaged socially, your skill set will level off and you might see some decline. Also, genetics will play a role in outcomes.

Listen, there is a reason that a number of high profile Autistics have social skills that seem pretty damn good. Getting out, lecturing, public speaking, and VOLUNTEERING has help them immensely as they age.

*just an opinion and should be taken as such

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14 Feb 2012, 8:54 pm

I suppose some stuff gets worse and some stuff gets better. It depends on what you've experienced and who/what you know. I'm a bit of a control freak/perfectionist and wore myself out raising my kids. I was a single mom for the final 12 years. I've been forced to mellow out because I have high blood pressure. Either I do or die. Yoga helps a lot.

You can condition yourself in a lot of ways. Your focus alone WILL affect who you become. This is why it's a great thing to identify AS early in life, but it is what it is, eh?

I can't imagine being allowed to develop without the obstacles our societies provide as a matter of course. Just a tiny, little heads up would have been so helpful.

I wonder if it's the AS getting worse or just the effects of a human brain loosing plasticity.


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Last edited by unduki on 14 Feb 2012, 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Feb 2012, 9:02 pm

Mine are getting worse but I think it has to do with some current stress and just recovering from a regression (brain damage).

I don't know my father enough to know if I'm becoming like him. If I take up teaching Yoga and fishing to relax I'll let you know.
I can't ignore the mother traits shining through though. I was pretty close to my mother.


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14 Feb 2012, 9:05 pm

Check overall health, any movement in general health will shift AS symptoms up or down



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14 Feb 2012, 9:07 pm

I think it can get 'worse,' but probably not for the reasons the author of that article thinks. After 10-20-40-60 years a person may get tired of 'faking it' and compensating at all times, and may decide not to worry as much about superficial, surface stuff. From the outside that would look like a regression, but it might actually be more adaptive in terms of less stress.

And there is also the possibility of 'burnout.' That is, pushing too hard for too long until there is a breakdown of mind, body or both. After doing that myself I am a lot less inclined to push myself to pieces for the sake of uber-normality.

Oh, and I might as well post a link to this article, since I haven't done it in a while.



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14 Feb 2012, 9:42 pm

EXPECIALLY,

You are all of 27 years of age. According to your post, it appears that certain aspects of your socialization has been affected...... leaving your other skills intact. You noticed these changes around the age of 23. You don't mention anything about co-morbid conditions, medications, or problems elsewhere.

This is why developmental studies need to be done across the lifespan of the Autist.

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Last edited by TheSunAlsoRises on 14 Feb 2012, 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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14 Feb 2012, 9:51 pm

What a fantastic topic!

I had been wondering this myself. I did think that MAYBE with age, and now I recognise and acknowledge I may have Aspergers, that I am just noticing more.

But it is interesting to read I am not the only person to have been considering this.

I am concur with the bit about socialising less. Now I don't attend school I just have my job (computer based), my partner (who let's face it, is probably AS too) and my sport (horse riding) I've found I've sunk back into a little comfort zone where I don't do anything that I don't feel like.


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15 Feb 2012, 7:45 am

"They" aren't sure of ANYTHING. We neuroscientists have much, much to learn about how the neurotypical mind works, let alone the minds of those of us with neuropsych disorders. "They" aren't even sure AS is autism or a form of NVLD yet, despite everybody saying that it is definitely autism.

Personally, I see no connection with AS symptoms getting worse in late adolescence/early adulthood and schizophrenia/psychosis symptoms first appearing at this time. The likely reason for why psychosis starts at this stage in life, as well as most other neuropsych disorders, is because this is the time when the prefrontal cortex fully "turns on" and starts becoming capable of extremely abstract thought and concepts. We use our prefrontal cortex all of our lives, of course, but almost every neuropsych disorder involves some sort of impairment with the PFC and its executive functioning, whether it be schizophrenia, OCD, depression, or whatever.

The reason I have noticed my AS becoming more obviously "problematic" now that I'm a young adult isn't that the symptoms are getting worse. It's that everyone around me is becoming "adult" and doing "adult" things that I haven't achieved yet and likely never will, so the divide between me and neurotypicals my age is only growing larger. When I was in high school and didn't drive or have a boyfriend, it was unusual, but not all that weird. Now that I'm 24 and still have never driven or had a date, I appear much more impaired and "different." Being Aspie, I've always been much more mature than NT peers in some ways and much more immature/naive in other ways, but now that I'm at an age where I'm really "adult," the fact that I still maintain my immature/naive ways and never will grow out of them makes me stick out more than it used to. I can't believe that most people my age are getting married and having children!


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15 Feb 2012, 8:26 am

Jaz1787 wrote:
What a fantastic topic!

I had been wondering this myself. I did think that MAYBE with age, and now I recognise and acknowledge I may have Aspergers, that I am just noticing more.

But it is interesting to read I am not the only person to have been considering this.

I am concur with the bit about socialising less. Now I don't attend school I just have my job (computer based), my partner (who let's face it, is probably AS too) and my sport (horse riding) I've found I've sunk back into a little comfort zone where I don't do anything that I don't feel like.


The Autists, whom are able to attend school from kindergarten to high school, will often-times begin and end their primary socialization in those institutions. A large number do not go on to post secondary education or become employed. Many Autistics have few friends and rely solely on family (with limited contact) for social interaction. So, in essence, the critical opportunities needed to transition socially into adulthood are unavailable.


This is analogous to sporadically training an athlete in little league, elementary school, and high school football. Then, the athlete receives no college football training and no pro football training yet there is bewilderment why said athlete is unable to perform in the super bowl, straight off the warm up bench.

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15 Feb 2012, 10:03 am

So by the time I'm an old lady, I will be severely autistic?


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