Anyone been in this situation? Advice?

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Verdandi
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30 Apr 2012, 3:38 am

Neutrino wrote:
I've never taken an official test but I've taken a few online ones. On the reading the mind in the eyes (or whatever it's called) I think I score just below average or average. Did a tone of voice test as well and scored quite a lot below average on that. I mean, I know when people are angry and stuff but I think my biggest problem is determining whether a person is serious or not. Often I have to ask "are you serious?" or "sarcasm?".


Yeah, I can tell when people are happy or angry, but I don't really catch a lot of others.

I am talking about online tests based on official tests.

I don't think the reading the mind in the eyes test is necessarily accurate. However, one interesting thing came up here some months ago - someone was describing how her sister would look at the eyes and then not only identify an emotion, but provide a social story to explain why the actor's feeling that emotion. That second part kind of amazed me.

Neutrino wrote:
I mostly have a "neutral" face. People often ask me why I'm angry or why I'm sad or if I'm ok even though I'm perfectly fine. Of course I'm not fine all the time, but you know what I mean, right?


Yes, I do. I've been told I was obviously angry when I was just overloaded, and then I get told I have to practice showing appropriate expressions so other people don't make mistakes. :roll:

Neutrino wrote:
I know what you mean. Also, I hate when people (friends) are like "hey let's go to the cafe" and I say "ok" and then they mention that like four of their friends will be coming along as well. People I don't know. Then all I want to do is run away.


I remember this one occasion I asked a friend if he'd like to go see a movie. Little did I know he invited about 20 other people. So we get there and it's this huge crowd, and I kind of freaked out.

It wasn't as bad as it could have been because I knew everyone who was there and was on good terms with them (we were all part of a live-action roleplay group), but I was really upset at the way an occasion I had arranged had turned into something I very much did not want.

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Anyway, do you reckon an extreme introvert would have such problems with people breaking their routines or changing their plans? I know for sure I'm an introvert. Definitely. But I doubt I'm "just" an introvert. Do you know what I mean?


I believe the issues with routines are characteristic of autism, but not of introversion.



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30 Apr 2012, 3:59 am

Neutrino wrote:
I think I'm rather good at interpreting facial expressions (I'm not good at showing them myself though), but I'm less good at interpreting tone of voice. I like sarcasm, but I'm not always sure when people are sarcastic. I don't know when people are joking if it's not exactly my kind of humour.

About the routines. If I break my own routines (which basically never happens) it's fairly ok. I can change my own routines. But if someone else break them I get annoyed. For example, if someone's taken the locker I usually put my things in at work I get really frustrated and kind of swear quietly to myself. I think when people change my plans for me it's even worse. I can change my own plans. That's ok. But if I've planned something and someone else suddenly (less than one day in advance) changes that I get seriously angry or annoyed. So angry or annoyed that I go completely blank for a while, almost shake a bit and can't seem to understand why the heck someone would do something so bad to me. Do you know what I mean?


You sound like me. My breakthough in terms of realising I was autistic was when I was watching a tv programme about personality types which included a facial recognition test which viewers answered online (so they could get an overall view). My husband and daughter are rubbish at this, whereas I have no problem with it. They didn't have a clue, whereas I knew the answers to all of them.

Then they gave the answers. I was utterly floored. I KNEW the answers ... but I had every single one wrong. I went over the test and I couldn't see the answers they gave. They must have made a mistake because my answers were obviously right. Then they gave the national results. Most people agreed with the official answers. I was like 8O



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30 Apr 2012, 4:07 am

Verdandi wrote:
I believe the issues with routines are characteristic of autism, but not of introversion.


But can't routine and doing things in a certain order all the time have to do with OCPD as well? Or am I wrong? It drives me crazy because things overlap and I don't know how to know what the heck is "wrong" with me (don't get me wrong, I like who I am but I don't really understand myself).

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
You sound like me. My breakthough in terms of realising I was autistic was when I was watching a tv programme about personality types which included a facial recognition test which viewers answered online (so they could get an overall view). My husband and daughter are rubbish at this, whereas I have no problem with it. They didn't have a clue, whereas I knew the answers to all of them.

Then they gave the answers. I was utterly floored. I KNEW the answers ... but I had every single one wrong. I went over the test and I couldn't see the answers they gave. They must have made a mistake because my answers were obviously right. Then they gave the national results. Most people agreed with the official answers. I was like 8O


Yeah, you know what? I took an online test someone here on WP linked to. It showed a certain number of short videos and then you had to determine how the person was feeling at the end of each video. I was certain I aced it but I got like 9 out of 22 correct or something. Crazy.



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30 Apr 2012, 4:33 am

Neutrino wrote:
But can't routine and doing things in a certain order all the time have to do with OCPD as well? Or am I wrong? It drives me crazy because things overlap and I don't know how to know what the heck is "wrong" with me (don't get me wrong, I like who I am but I don't really understand myself).


I don't have an easy answer to this. I think, from reading what people have said, that an autistic routine can be changed by choice - it's not so bad when you change it, so you know what's going to happen because you made that decision. This may not be true for everyone, and I am not able/willing to change some of my routines even when I feel it might help to do so.

I don't know what OCPD is like for routines. I think with OCD it's an anxiety disorder so not doing things can cause a lot of anxiety, and doing those things can relieve the anxiety. But not doing one's autism-related routines can also cause anxiety.

I would guess that perhaps hinging the question of having autism on routines alone won't work. You'll need the other stuff too - repetitive behaviors, intense interests, social impairments, communication impairments, etc.

Neutrino wrote:
Yeah, you know what? I took an online test someone here on WP linked to. It showed a certain number of short videos and then you had to determine how the person was feeling at the end of each video. I was certain I aced it but I got like 9 out of 22 correct or something. Crazy.


I got 4/22 on that test. I was sure I had most of them right, too. That's what I meant by not being able to perceive my impairments.



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30 Apr 2012, 5:02 am

Verdandi wrote:
I would guess that perhaps hinging the question of having autism on routines alone won't work. You'll need the other stuff too - repetitive behaviors, intense interests, social impairments, communication impairments, etc.


Well, have some of that as well. When it comes to intense interests for example I only have one interest at a time and it's like my whole life revolves around it. I do everything I possibly can to gather as much information about it as possible. It's all I think about, all I talk about, all I spend my time doing (except for working and sometimes hanging out with my boyfriend) etc. Right now I'd say my special interest is to solve this whole thing.

Not sure what you mean by "repetitive behaviours" and I don't know if this counts but except for my routines I kind of get stuck on things. I get stuck in certain ways of thinking (I'm a master of black-and-white-thinking), I listen to the same songs over and over and over again, I watch the same movies very often, I eat the same food often etc. I just get stuck on things and I don't necessarily want to change it. Also got some repetitive movements.

When it comes to social impairments I often feel like a social failure. I do have a boyfriend and I have a couple of close friends but I can't meet new people. And it takes a great amount of energy to keep my friendships alive. I often feel like I get some sort of social hangover after I've been socialising with people. The only way I meet new people is if someone seriously forces me to (and that doesn't work very often either). I don't know what to talk about, where to keep my arms, it's a little bit uncomfortable looking people I don't know in the eyes. I often sit quietly and wonder how people can be so socially successful and so relaxed. I often think people in my surroundings are shallow and stupid. I don't mean that I'm necessarily smarter than they are but I think they're so annoying for not understanding the way I think. I often ramble and people often don't understand my "train of thought".

Sorry for the rant, I just wanted to explain myself here since I guess you probably understand me better than the people I surround myself with. I often feel alienated.

Verdandi wrote:
I got 4/22 on that test. I was sure I had most of them right, too. That's what I meant by not being able to perceive my impairments.


Ok, then I think I know what you mean by not being able to perceive impairments. I might be the same then.

EDIT: There's a lot more I could say, of course. I could give loads of examples of things which make me different from the people I've met during my lifetime.



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30 Apr 2012, 6:06 am

Neutrino wrote:
Well, have some of that as well. When it comes to intense interests for example I only have one interest at a time and it's like my whole life revolves around it. I do everything I possibly can to gather as much information about it as possible. It's all I think about, all I talk about, all I spend my time doing (except for working and sometimes hanging out with my boyfriend) etc. Right now I'd say my special interest is to solve this whole thing.


I figured out that talking about nothing but my interests was probably causing me problems when I was around 27 or so. I remember, because I was at a convention and met employees of a roleplaying game publisher that published my favorite roleplaying game - my special interest at the time. Anyway, I spent a long time talking to someone who worked there about the game, not varying the topic, and eventually she gave a secret signal to a co-worker to find a tactful way to get me to leave. I found out about the signals, because I was also part of the board of directors for the organization that was running the convention, and we were given the signals so that we could rescue people from overenthusiastic fans.

Anyway, after that I made more of an effort to find ways to not talk about my interests, although I couldn't really explain why it wasn't a good thing to talk about them all the time. Just that it put me into an awkward situation.

The person who got the signal and got me to leave the other person alone ended up being a friend of mine, too, for at least a few years. Weird how that turned out.

And autism has been my central interest ever since I finally accepted that I was autistic. I think that's fairly common. I saw someone put it once as "perseverating on autism."

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Not sure what you mean by "repetitive behaviours" and I don't know if this counts but except for my routines I kind of get stuck on things. I get stuck in certain ways of thinking (I'm a master of black-and-white-thinking), I listen to the same songs over and over and over again, I watch the same movies very often, I eat the same food often etc. I just get stuck on things and I don't necessarily want to change it. Also got some repetitive movements.


I mean things like that - I think those are called perseverations, where you do the same thing over and over again. Eating the same food is a classic. I said earlier I rarely laugh, but there was a scene in the film Adam where the main character (who has AS) opens his freezer, and you see that he has it filled with multiple microwaveable dinners, all exactly the same. I laughed because that's how I am. If given the opportunity, I eat the same food over and over again. If I go to restaurants, I always order the same dish. It takes a lot to convince me to try something else - I currently have a range of three different sandwiches I will buy at Subway, but for close to 20 years, it was exactly one sandwich. The only difference between the three is the kind of meat (one is a club with turkey, ham, and roast beef; one is a buffalo chicken sandwich; one is a cheese steak sandwich).

What kind of repetitive movements? I rock, I flap my hands (esp. when excited/happy about something), I flick my fingers a lot, I do a lot, but not nearly as many as I did as a child.

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When it comes to social impairments I often feel like a social failure. I do have a boyfriend and I have a couple of close friends but I can't meet new people. And it takes a great amount of energy to keep my friendships alive. I often feel like I get some sort of social hangover after I've been socialising with people. The only way I meet new people is if someone seriously forces me to (and that doesn't work very often either). I don't know what to talk about, where to keep my arms, it's a little bit uncomfortable looking people I don't know in the eyes. I often sit quietly and wonder how people can be so socially successful and so relaxed. I often think people in my surroundings are shallow and stupid. I don't mean that I'm necessarily smarter than they are but I think they're so annoying for not understanding the way I think. I often ramble and people often don't understand my "train of thought".


I think the "social hangover" is a common introvert experience, but most of what you describe (this plus the other paragraphs) sounds a lot like what I've seen other autistic people say on this forum. It certainly strikes me that it's worth looking into, if it's causing you serious problems.

I found the best way for me to meet people is to interact with them on the internet before meeting them face to face. For some reason, it makes the entire process easier. I know for the past five places I've lived, when people showed up unexpectedly (to me) I didn't want to interact with them or even have them know I was there. I won't even talk to relatives if I don't know they're showing up - that's a mix of social issues and breaking my routines. I don't know if the online thing would work from you, but what you're saying about needing to be forced to meet people resonates with me.

I tend to view people as shallow when they're being emotional. I don't know why they're being so emotional or overreacting to whatever set them off (at least to my perceptions). I know this view is incorrect, and relates to my own rather tenuous relationship with my own emotions.

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Sorry for the rant, I just wanted to explain myself here since I guess you probably understand me better than the people I surround myself with. I often feel alienated.


No worries, nothing to apologize for. I don't know whether I understand you or not, but I will say you have described several things that resonate for me.

Quote:
Ok, then I think I know what you mean by not being able to perceive impairments. I might be the same then.

EDIT: There's a lot more I could say, of course. I could give loads of examples of things which make me different from the people I've met during my lifetime.


That's a common usage for this forum. :)



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30 Apr 2012, 7:30 am

Indeed, I also have that feeling of knowing once and forall. My need of knowing stemmed from counceling that picked up autistic traits which regarded a few things such as eye contact difficulity, hitting "brick walls" during studies, inability to emotionally connect with anything, lack of any sence of creativity and sexuality problems.

Now within the process of any diagnosis will perhaps give me that sence on relief, even if I'm cleared of all problems and I'm perhaps NT.


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30 Apr 2012, 10:34 am

Verdandi wrote:
I mean things like that - I think those are called perseverations, where you do the same thing over and over again. Eating the same food is a classic. I said earlier I rarely laugh, but there was a scene in the film Adam where the main character (who has AS) opens his freezer, and you see that he has it filled with multiple microwaveable dinners, all exactly the same. I laughed because that's how I am. If given the opportunity, I eat the same food over and over again. If I go to restaurants, I always order the same dish. It takes a lot to convince me to try something else - I currently have a range of three different sandwiches I will buy at Subway, but for close to 20 years, it was exactly one sandwich. The only difference between the three is the kind of meat (one is a club with turkey, ham, and roast beef; one is a buffalo chicken sandwich; one is a cheese steak sandwich).

What kind of repetitive movements? I rock, I flap my hands (esp. when excited/happy about something), I flick my fingers a lot, I do a lot, but not nearly as many as I did as a child.


Yeah, I do that too. I order the same dish at restaurants and I don't really like trying new food in general. I'm very picky. I hardly ever cook myself. Just like you, and the Adam guy, I buy a lot of microwaveable food (either salmon and mash or spaghetti bolognese) and eat that most of the week. I only eat "proper" food during the one or two evenings a week when I meet my boyfriend. Also, I always eat the same things for breakfast; sandwich with ham and lettuce, a banana and orange juice.

When it comes to repetitive movements I do things such as rubbing my hands together, rubbing my feet together or move my feet from side to side or move my toes back and forth. I pace. I rock back and forth quite a bit. The rocking back and forth is voluntary sometimes and involuntary sometimes. But it feels good so I do it anyway. I also rub the skin above my left eyebrow a lot. Especially when I'm worried or when I'm thinking. When I was younger I used to rock from side to side a lot. Even in my sleep.

Verdandi wrote:
I think the "social hangover" is a common introvert experience, but most of what you describe (this plus the other paragraphs) sounds a lot like what I've seen other autistic people say on this forum. It certainly strikes me that it's worth looking into, if it's causing you serious problems.


Well, that depends on how you define "serious problems" I guess. I think my main problems are the fact that I can't really meet new people, my anxiety issues, and my aggression issues. Besides that I think I'd really feel a lot better if I knew what I have. That is, if I have AS or something else. I want to be able to understand myself and I want to learn how to handle things. Like I mentioned before; I'm pretty sure I'm not "normal". So, do you think it's worth looking into?



Last edited by Neutrino on 30 Apr 2012, 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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30 Apr 2012, 10:40 am

PerfectlyDarkTails wrote:
Indeed, I also have that feeling of knowing once and forall. My need of knowing stemmed from counceling that picked up autistic traits which regarded a few things such as eye contact difficulity, hitting "brick walls" during studies, inability to emotionally connect with anything, lack of any sence of creativity and sexuality problems.


Just so I know (I've been thinking about this since I read it), does "hitting brick walls during studies" mean you go outside and literally hit brick walls or is it a figure of speech?



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30 Apr 2012, 11:26 am

Neutrino wrote:
PerfectlyDarkTails wrote:
Indeed, I also have that feeling of knowing once and forall. My need of knowing stemmed from counceling that picked up autistic traits which regarded a few things such as eye contact difficulity, hitting "brick walls" during studies, inability to emotionally connect with anything, lack of any sence of creativity and sexuality problems.


Just so I know (I've been thinking about this since I read it), does "hitting brick walls during studies" mean you go outside and literally hit brick walls or is it a figure of speech?


It's a figure of speech. It's when you are working fine, but then suddenly come to a complete stop and can't get going again.



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30 Apr 2012, 12:18 pm

MotherKnowsBest wrote:
Neutrino wrote:
Just so I know (I've been thinking about this since I read it), does "hitting brick walls during studies" mean you go outside and literally hit brick walls or is it a figure of speech?


It's a figure of speech. It's when you are working fine, but then suddenly come to a complete stop and can't get going again.


Thanks. I thought so, but I wasn't sure.



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30 Apr 2012, 2:13 pm

Neutrino wrote:
Well, that depends on how you define "serious problems" I guess. I think my main problems are the fact that I can't really meet new people, my anxiety issues, and my aggression issues. Besides that I think I'd really feel a lot better if I knew what I have. That is, if I have AS or something else. I want to be able to understand myself and I want to learn how to handle things. Like I mentioned before; I'm pretty sure I'm not "normal". So, do you think it's worth looking into?


Actually, I think it's more how you define them, since you're experiencing them.

I think it is worth looking into. It sounds like you have something going on.



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30 Apr 2012, 4:32 pm

Verdandi wrote:
Neutrino wrote:
Well, that depends on how you define "serious problems" I guess. I think my main problems are the fact that I can't really meet new people, my anxiety issues, and my aggression issues. Besides that I think I'd really feel a lot better if I knew what I have. That is, if I have AS or something else. I want to be able to understand myself and I want to learn how to handle things. Like I mentioned before; I'm pretty sure I'm not "normal". So, do you think it's worth looking into?


Actually, I think it's more how you define them, since you're experiencing them.

I think it is worth looking into. It sounds like you have something going on.


Okay, thanks a lot for your help by the way. Really appreciate it!



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30 Apr 2012, 6:22 pm

I had a fairly glaring example of how bad my social impairments are today, despite the fact that I am usually unaware of them. I saw my attorney for my SSI hearing. He asked me several questions which I struggled hard to answer in a factual manner, and he frequently misunderstood what I was trying to say. At one point he said that it sounds like I am trying to describe my cognitive impairments and that he believed that my social impairments are far more significant.

He also explained at the end of the appointment that I wasn't describing any distress from my difficulties. I didn't realize he wanted the emotional elements of my problems, just a factual explanation of why I couldn't work. Plus, I tend not to really think in terms of emotions (and have trouble identifying them when I feel them). When he brought up my suicidal ideation, I mentioned how frequently I have it, and how difficult it is to deal with it, he asked why I hadn't brought it up before - I really couldn't say. It mostly didn't cross my mind.

So now I'm really frustrated because I feel that what I was saying is not what he heard, and that I don't know how to frame my disabilities in terms that he or the judge can understand because the elements they look for are elements that are for me opaque and difficult to perceive or understand.

Plus I failed to explain some things. Like he asked if I had social problems going to stores, which I do not. But he didn't ask if I have sensory problems, so I didn't think to mention those until the very end, and then only briefly to point out they're a problem.

And my frustration seems to be heading in the direction of a meltdown, as often happens when my social difficulties become obvious to me. Mostly because the consequences of these impairments are extremely frustrating and it's very hard for me to correct them.



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30 Apr 2012, 7:08 pm

I am in a somewhat similar but still different situation. I am pretty sure I was dxed with Autism before I was two years old. And that it has been covered up. Which would be JUST what my mother would DO. Since I have many AS symptoms, & still stim I am pretty sure I am on the spectrum. I was nonverbal until over 3 years of age. My mother's explanation is that I was "jealous" of my sister, as I lost speech upon her birth. Yeah, right..

Sincerely,
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01 May 2012, 5:41 pm

Just thought I'd tell you I talked to my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend today. She's some sort of psychologist who gets to diagnose children, adolescents and young adults with autism, AS, personality disorders etc. She's one of the first people I've ever told about this whole situation. We talked for a while, she read my whole list of traits I've written down and she told me about things she noticed when she first met me about half a year ago. She said she thinks it's possible I have AS. She said that she's never really experienced anyone coming in with a list like mine and leave without a diagnosis. She said that she's not 100 % sure but everything I've told her about and everything she's seen points towards me having AS.

Even though I don't know for sure this is huge for me! To have someone, who is a professional, telling me that I haven't been imagining things feels great! She said it's definitely worth looking into and that I should see someone about it.

Thought you should know.