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Ettina
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04 Jun 2012, 8:45 am

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=inside-the-wrong-body

It's an article about how people with anorexia typically have a poor sense of their bodies.

I don't have anorexia (I've never even dieted) but I resonated with this description so much. They described many issues that I have, and that I've heard other autistic people describe.

And they have a test for it, too. Here it is:

Step 1: Set a stopwatch for a minute, and focus on feeling your heartbeat. Count how many heartbeats you feel, and write the number down.

Step 2: Set a stopwatch for one minute and press your index and middle finger on the artery just below your thumb. Count the heartbeats you feel that way.

Step 3: Wait two minutes, then do step two again.

Step 4: Take the average of your two regular pulse measurements (steps 2 & 3) and then calculate:

1 - (estimated heartbeat - average pulse)/average pulse

Ignore the plus or minus, what matters is how far off you were. If you got .80 or higher, you have good interoception. A score between .60 and .79 is moderately good, and a score under .60 means poor interoception.

For me:

estimating pulse - 36
taking pulse - 61
taking pulse - 74
average pulse - 67.5
interoception score - .53

So I have poor interoception - which explains why I don't know when I'm hungry. I also find when I look in the mirror, sometimes my reflection looks vaguely wrong, like I thought I looked different from how I really do. My guess is the only reason I'm not anorexic is because I don't care if I'm thin or fat.



Mego
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04 Jun 2012, 12:20 pm

My image in the mirror always looks wrong too. The weird thing is that everytime I look in the mirror I think I look different than I did several days prior. :? I also cant see that my sister and I look similar beyond the differences.

Anyways, good article and the magazine itself seems worthy of a subscription.



lostgirl1986
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04 Jun 2012, 12:33 pm

Oh my, I was just talking about this with my mother the other day how when I was younger I had a lot of endurance for things. I didn't always recognize when I was hungry or when I was sick. I didn't like taking Tylenol and medicine because I felt it wouldn't work anyway. I didn't mind sleeping on uncomfortable surfaces or the floor. Sometimes I didn't even realize I had to go to the washroom as badly as I really did, I could hold it in all day. If I was too hot or too cold I usually wouldn't do too much about it. I still don't bundle up with heavy stuff at winter even though our winters here can get quite cold. When I get hurt sometimes I don't react as much as most people would, but only for certain things.



Matt62
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04 Jun 2012, 2:26 pm

Hmm, I had a terrible self-image during High School, fueled in part by an undiagnosed depression. I even flirted with the idea of purposefully being anorexic. Which is rare & strange in males.
Still, its photos & things like recordings that of me that, frankly, weird me out no end!

Sincerely,
Matthew



FishStickNick
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04 Jun 2012, 2:32 pm

The first time I tried this, I got .90, but I found myself counting even when I didn't feel my heartbeat in step 1. The second time I tried it, I scored .74, so in the moderate range. I'll try again later on just to be sure...



Ettina
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28 Jun 2012, 1:55 pm

Quote:
Sometimes I didn't even realize I had to go to the washroom as badly as I really did, I could hold it in all day.


I used to have accidents because I wouldn't notice I needed to pee until it was really urgent.



TalksToCats
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28 Jun 2012, 2:24 pm

Interesting.

My personal body sense, especially as a child, was terrible. I frequently ended up dehydrated because I forgot to drink. I also forgot to go to the bathroom.

I still can forget to eat and drink (I no longer forget about the bathroom...).

But interestingly, it got a lot lot better, since I've learnt some mindfulness exercises and practiced them.

I still bump into things more than I should and often have difficulty really appreciating the person in the mirror is me (I know intellectually - just don't relate to it emotionally at all.)

(I've never had any issues with eating disorder though)



arisu
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28 Jun 2012, 2:25 pm

i would have figured that i would be on the lower end. i'm one of those people who forgets to sleep, eat, and use the bathroom. i have an extremely high pain threshold and often bruises and cuts go unnoticed until i'm showering.

i am very aware of my mind's inner workings though, if not my body's.

according to this test though, i'm at .0814. so i'm not sure what that means.


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CyborgUprising
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28 Jun 2012, 3:14 pm

I tend to have an unusually high pain threshhold (I've broken ribs and did not even know aside from some slight discomfort) and never could tell I needed to eat/drink until I felt nauseated. I am insensitive to cold but hypersensitive to heat (this is why I can only sleep if my room feels like a morgue). I also run into things, which makes people question as to whether or not I'm intoxicated. I have seen a marked improvement after regularly using deep pressure, though.



itsme82
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02 Apr 2017, 8:44 am

Ettina wrote:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=inside-the-wrong-body

It's an article about how people with anorexia typically have a poor sense of their bodies.

I don't have anorexia (I've never even dieted) but I resonated with this description so much. They described many issues that I have, and that I've heard other autistic people describe.

And they have a test for it, too. Here it is:

Step 1: Set a stopwatch for a minute, and focus on feeling your heartbeat. Count how many heartbeats you feel, and write the number down.

Step 2: Set a stopwatch for one minute and press your index and middle finger on the artery just below your thumb. Count the heartbeats you feel that way.

Step 3: Wait two minutes, then do step two again.

Step 4: Take the average of your two regular pulse measurements (steps 2 & 3) and then calculate:

1 - (estimated heartbeat - average pulse)/average pulse

Ignore the plus or minus, what matters is how far off you were. If you got .80 or higher, you have good interoception. A score between .60 and .79 is moderately good, and a score under .60 means poor interoception.

For me:

estimating pulse - 36
taking pulse - 61
taking pulse - 74
average pulse - 67.5
interoception score - .53

So I have poor interoception - which explains why I don't know when I'm hungry. I also find when I look in the mirror, sometimes my reflection looks vaguely wrong, like I thought I looked different from how I really do. My guess is the only reason I'm not anorexic is because I don't care if I'm thin or fat.


0.89

The weird thing is, I don't actually ever feel my heartbeat. Even if I run hard sprints, I don't. But for this test, I focused and suddenly I did get a good clear sense of feeling my heartbeats, each one very clearly.

That's how in general my body functions anyway - it does not get in the way by default but it will give me all necessary signals when needed and I have a very good deep sense of my body on the whole, it is hard to explain though how this works, it is not entirely conscious.



harry12345
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02 Apr 2017, 9:40 am

I am struggling to detect my heart beat by feeling. I'd need to be excercising to notice it.

I know when I need to "go", but if I am doing something I wait a lot longer than I should and then need to go in a hurry. I've never understood why people take books/papers into the loo to read whilst waiting.

Hot / Cold. Neither has ever bothered my in the past. I wear the same clothes at work all year round, yet some people are wearing coats inside in winter (when the thermometer is showing 19degC) and then they are wearing t-shirts complaining they are boiling when it is 22degC. They nearly pass out when it gets above 23degC........ Heat does bother me more so now, and more than cold.

Walking into things is weird for me. (Bear with me) I really like watching motor sport (Formula One in particular) and I have a very good sense of what is termed The Racing Line. When I am walking, and driving to an extent, I will follow that same racing line. On the upstairs landing skirting boards there are rubber scuff marks from my slippers because I've got so close to the wall with out walking into it. I can miss the living room door by the width of my jumper.

However, if I am in an unfamiliar building I can be so clumsy it is unreal. Uneven floor surfaces are a nightmare for me as I always keep my feet flat to the floor. I always get chair legs, and things that are sticking out.

Why do people always want to pass on the wrong side? We drive on the left in the UK, why do they want to pass on the left also?