Is shutting down emotions an aspie thing or NT thing?

Page 1 of 1 [ 9 posts ] 

Roman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,298

19 Oct 2012, 4:20 am

I have heard some people say how aspies can "shut things down" when they are overloaded or upset. I disagree. I think NT-s do it a lot more than aspies. Whenever there is a miscummunication and an NT gets upset at me, they "shut down" and pretend to "not care any more". On the other hand, as an aspie, I want to work through issue and become obsessed about it, while NT-s don't want to listen. So yeah I think shutting down is an NT thing rather than aspie thing.



item
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 24 Sep 2011
Age: 41
Gender: Female
Posts: 8
Location: Sydney, Australia

19 Oct 2012, 4:41 am

I think when Aspies shut down from emotion, this is because they are so overwhelmed from processing the emotion that their brain sort of freezes (lacks working memory and returns to DOS).

Whereas what you are describing as an NT shutting down is really the ability to compartmentalise emotions and just change the topic (open a new program to continue computer analogy).

So, two very different scenarios which can't be compared.


_________________
I've been looking for something, something I've never seen
We're all looking for something, something to be
~Rob Thomas


Roman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,298

19 Oct 2012, 6:31 am

item wrote:
I think when Aspies shut down from emotion, this is because they are so overwhelmed from processing the emotion that their brain sort of freezes (lacks working memory and returns to DOS).

Whereas what you are describing as an NT shutting down is really the ability to compartmentalise emotions and just change the topic (open a new program to continue computer analogy).

So, two very different scenarios which can't be compared.


Two things:

1. It is not true that aspies shut down. I am an aspie and i dont shut down.

2. It is not true that shutting down is the only thing attributed to aspies. They ALSO say that aspies develop special interests to "switch away" to where its safe. So that would be in line with what you say about "change the topic". You admitted that "changing topic" is an NT thing yet that is what they attribute to aspies.

In either case, my special interests are NOT about avoiding the issue (contrary to what others say about aspies). Quite the opposite, most of my obsessions are ABOUT various problems I have encounter and grudges associated with them. The reason I obsess about said issues is that NT-s "changed the subject" too soon, so the issues left unadressed.



Joe90
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 18,743
Location: Maidstone, UK

19 Oct 2012, 11:45 am

I think NTs are better at hiding emotions what they know they don't want shown. Like today a bus-driver was on the bus who I do NOT like at all, and neither do many of the other regular passengers, but when I got on I was shaking with anger because of having this ugly bastard drive my bus, and I couldn't help but glare at him then I sat down and almost cried with irritation. The others who didn't like him still hid their irritation and tried to act civil, and sat down calmly.


_________________
Female
Aged 30
On antidepressants
Diagnosed with AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder
Empathy score: 61 out of a possible 80. (High)


Roman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,298

19 Oct 2012, 10:49 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I think NTs are better at hiding emotions what they know they don't want shown.


This brings up two interesting questions:

1. When NT-s "hide" their emotions about topic X, but I want to discuss topic X regardless, then they would accuse ME of reading into little things that don't even matter. Well, if I take your view that topic X actually matters to them and they simply hide it, then their accusation that *I* am worrying about something that doesn't matter is a lie.

2. Suppose I don't hide something else (issue Y) that I later decide I SHOULD HAVE hidden (issue Y ruins my case when it comes to issue X). In this case when I go back and say "I didn't mean Y" or "yes Y matters but only a little bit, I can ignore it", NT-s would tell me "you have to be honest with yourself". Well, when THEY ignored issue Z from get go, they are not "honest with themselves" are they? So their idea that I have to be is also a lie.

Bottom line: NT-s construct a huge set of lies in order to pretend that they don't hide anything when they do.



aspiemike
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,181
Location: Canada

20 Oct 2012, 9:43 am

I find when I go through an obsessive episode of some sorts, I have to find a way to get myself out of it. The sooner I deal with it, the better. When I do deal with it, I find my emotions aren't quite the same anymore. However, I think obsession is what overwhelms me the most and causes any emotional shutdown I may have. If I get into a situation where I feel overwhelmed (sensory issues at a social gathering, pub, party,) I have to step away and be alone for a few minutes to recharge a little.

After thinking about it, I think obsessions may play a role in the shutting down of emotions.



VAGraduateStudent
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Age: 43
Gender: Female
Posts: 340
Location: Virginia, USA

20 Oct 2012, 2:41 pm

I've been thinking about the difference between ASD and NT emotions a lot recently and am considering researching it. Sociologically speaking, the only way I think they could be different is if emotions are formed from our interaction with/observations of other people. In which case the different/decreased connection that people on the spectrum seem to have might let them develop different emotions. This could be the case, because some emotions/concepts do not exist in some cultures. Like "schadenfreude" (taking enjoyment from the suffering of others) does not exist in all cultures. If there were such a thing as "autistic emotion", which is different from "neurotypical emotion" this would be fairly exciting academically, but would put people on the spectrum in an interesting position- more likely to be seen as disabled/having a mental disorder, but also more likely to gain protection as a social group.

Another way they could be different is if the neurological differences in people on the spectrum effect their emotions. I know less about this, so I can't speak about this extensively, but it would be pretty interesting if this were the case as well. I know enough about neurology, however, to DOUBT this being significant. You have to have some pretty major brain differences to have ANY noticeable differences in things like emotional expression. As in, they'd do an MRI and boom, there it would be. Autism is not diagnosed via brain structures, so the differences must be pretty minor.

I know this is a long reply, but I wanted to chime in on Joe90s really cool observation, which is that NTs can hide their emotions better. I think there is definitely a lot to this, but it can also be very hard for NTs to gauge ASD emotion. This leads to the perception that there is "less" emotion, or a "thinner" emotional range. This is because of the decreased expression in most autistic faces, the decreased body language, vocal range, tendency to share feelings, etc. And just a simple misunderstanding of spectrum behaviors that DO express emotion when they're there. ASD Andy thinks NT Nancy is a mystery, but maybe NT Nancy thinks ASD Andy is just as much of a mystery.



noobler
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 62

20 Oct 2012, 6:09 pm

if you study cultures you'll find schadenfreude exists in all cultures but they'll name it differently

some people in southern asian communities might call you a demon outright, because that's what they associate with it, whereas we'll use the freudian/psychiatric/psychological term

the reason is because both science and religion are philosophies about how best to find information and organize information into a world view, with their own kernel of "absolute truths" to go from to some extent, although it's simplifying both and I won't get into it any further


note: that satan means "rebel" in hebrew, so you've gotta really wonder about etymology in these cases, we're emotionally dogs, and they're emotionally cats, whereas we're sociologically cats and they're sociologically dogs - did you know cats can be quite social in large feral communities of 100 of them even?



Roman
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,298

21 Oct 2012, 2:26 am

VAGraduateStudent wrote:
I've been thinking about the difference between ASD and NT emotions a lot recently and am considering researching it. Sociologically speaking, the only way I think they could be different is if emotions are formed from our interaction with/observations of other people. In which case the different/decreased connection that people on the spectrum seem to have might let them develop different emotions. This could be the case, because some emotions/concepts do not exist in some cultures. Like "schadenfreude" (taking enjoyment from the suffering of others) does not exist in all cultures. If there were such a thing as "autistic emotion", which is different from "neurotypical emotion" this would be fairly exciting academically, but would put people on the spectrum in an interesting position- more likely to be seen as disabled/having a mental disorder, but also more likely to gain protection as a social group.

Another way they could be different is if the neurological differences in people on the spectrum effect their emotions. I know less about this, so I can't speak about this extensively, but it would be pretty interesting if this were the case as well. I know enough about neurology, however, to DOUBT this being significant. You have to have some pretty major brain differences to have ANY noticeable differences in things like emotional expression. As in, they'd do an MRI and boom, there it would be. Autism is not diagnosed via brain structures, so the differences must be pretty minor.

I know this is a long reply, but I wanted to chime in on Joe90s really cool observation, which is that NTs can hide their emotions better. I think there is definitely a lot to this, but it can also be very hard for NTs to gauge ASD emotion. This leads to the perception that there is "less" emotion, or a "thinner" emotional range. This is because of the decreased expression in most autistic faces, the decreased body language, vocal range, tendency to share feelings, etc. And just a simple misunderstanding of spectrum behaviors that DO express emotion when they're there. ASD Andy thinks NT Nancy is a mystery, but maybe NT Nancy thinks ASD Andy is just as much of a mystery.


These are interesting points! I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for my social isolation, I would have been a lot less obsessive. Most of my obsessions involve grudges about rejection, so if I had more of a social support system I won't be so much worried about any isolated incident when I didn't get along with someone. The few "positive" ones, on the other hand, are the ways of entertaining myself. So if I were more sociable I would have had plenty of entertainment from group activity and I won't need the one for myself. Besides, if I were familiar with 100 different forms of entertainment rather than 2 or 3, I would be a lot less likely to obsess over said 2 or 3 forms; and, of course, lack of familiarity with things is again due to social isolation.

Speaking of cultures, there are some that are obviously "more autistic" than others. For instance Jews rock back and forth during prayer, and also their religion involves a lot of details with exact numbers (its okay to carry so many grams for so many meters on sabbath, but you can't carry half a gram more than that or half a meter further than that). In the past I was speculating of "biological" theory that Jews are genetically more autistic than others. But perhaps it is also possible to argue Jewish culture is an example of non-biological autism that has been created through social conditioning.

But what is your opinion regarding sensory issues? In my case I simply don't have them. But in case of others that do, can you really explain them in these terms (as in, people haven't been to bars enough so they are not used to sensory stimulation)? I guess it would still be difficult to explain why some aspies have sensory reaction to texture of clothes that they wear. Or are you saying that different parts of the brain are connected and in some ways engaging in social activity helps rewire the brain in a way that sensory issues are going away (after all, most infants -- aspies or NT -- do have sensory issues since they cry whenever their environment is slightly different)?

Also what is your opinion on "refrigerator mother" theory of 1960-s? Most have rejected it because they view autism as purely neurological. But since you believe it has non-neurological component to it, are you saying that at least some aspects of that theory should be reconsidered?

As far as "schadenfreude", I think it has evolutionary origin just like altruism does. In case of altruism you want the other person to prosper so that they will help you fight common enemy. In case of "schadenfreude" you want the other person to suffer so that they won't be strong enough to compete with you for resources. Of course in today's society it is no longer relevant, but perhaps that is what is going on subconsciously which can't be helped due to evolution.