Could I be subconsciously faking aspergers? :(

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Dimorphic
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07 Nov 2012, 8:33 pm

Hello, everyone. I'll try to keep this short, but I am feeling very guilty right now and need some expert opinions, because I have only started properly reading about aspergers a couple of weeks ago. Honestly, I am certain that I do have AS. My educational councillor believes I have it and so does my teacher who has a son on the spectrum. I am undiagnosed officially, but have been diagnosed with certain cognitive processing difficulties.

I have real difficulties connecting with people on both a social and emotional level. I cannot do, and am uninterested in, small-talk. Please do not engage me in it or I will just flap around awkwardly and ask you how your day is going about 10 times, just each time worded differently. For example, I use a word-processor in college to help me write down what I'm thinking, when a nice girl who sits 2 seats away from me commented on how I did some theatrical sort of pressing the 'Enter' button with my wrist. I think she meant it in a nice, observational type way but I could do nothing but look in her direction and after about 7 seconds, just say "........yep". My brain was just so overcooked in that moment of pressure that I could not function. I felt so detached at that moment, it was horrible. But this happens to me all the time. However, talk to me about science, astronomy, Scandinavian history and neuroscience and we will be here all day. I love it. I also try to formulate rules to everything I see in my day-to-day life. I find eye-contact hard. I have strict schedules which I HAVE to follow, or become distressed. After any social activity I need time to myself (for example when I was at a metal festival last year with some friends, after all the noise and socialising, I went back to my tent for an hour every day for some 'me' time to get back to normal. I am also very unaware of my own emotions. I am androgynous and possibly asexual (I know this doesn't necessarily relate, but I read that it is a lot more common in AS.

I have always been the 'weird, quiet one' in any friendship group I belong to. My friends are aware of this fact, but recently behaved towards me in a way that made me not want to see 2 of them again. I will keep this short, because this is a whole other story, but basically I was mocked in front of people I considered good friends and people I don't really know from work about my lack of communication and seeming lack of interest in girls, because I don't flirt with them. Being called a 'f*****g homo' behind your back and then having that same person try to steal your bike off of you to piss you off as you're going home really hurts.....

All this is exacerbated by the fact that I am, sorry for sounding big-headed, but very good looking. While at work I have been offered a job as a model from a customer I served (which I turned down on principle - I find all models to be disgustingly self-centered and obnoxious) and my parents incessantly nag me to try and become one so I can get a little more money (but I am relatively financially secure at the moment, so don't really need it). My councillor tells me it is so hard for NTs to accept that I'm different because I 'look the part' and you'd assume I'd be really good socially..... But I'm really not. I would much rather read a book on astronomy or the Vikings than go out with a beautiful girl, which I see as an efficient understanding of priorities, although my friends think that is stupid (even though I haven't told them that is what I would rather do yet - I try to appear NT, obviously.)

I have real self-confidence issues as well. I do doubt myself at every turn and am always questioning my validity as a person, which I think may be the reason I feel I may be fake in terms of AS...... But I am so sure I'm not, at the same time.
My guilt stems from reading so many people commenting on how 'fake' people who pretend to have AS just make everyone else with it look bad and discredit it as a syndrome. Also the fact that I am professionally undiagnosed (at this point) makes me feel fake for associating myself with it when it's not even set in stone.....

I'm very sorry that this is such a long post, but I am lost emotionally and need some outside opinions. Am I just crazily self-conscious or do you think there is some reasoning to me thinking I'm fake? For example, if I make a thread asking if I'm faking AS then there must be some subconscious knowledge that deep down I don't have it?

EVERY response is MASSIVELY appreciated.
Thank you all



shyengineer
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07 Nov 2012, 9:09 pm

How old are you? It sounds like you are in high school. That was the hardest time for me because people are dicks at that age.

Firstly, try not to worry about sexuality too much. I can't really offer much advice because I'm straight. But young people in general are too interested in it. You will get a gf/bf, kiss, have sex and all that you want when the time is right with the right person. Don't try to label yourself or force yourself to find out. Just do what is comfortable for you. Most non-straight people hide it at school and come out after school when they have a new group of friends/partner they are comfortable with.

I do actually agree with the good looking aspect. I knew a guy in school that was good looking and very shy. The assumption that people made that he was a ladies man was wrong, and it confused them because he wasn't fitting their little model of the world. Look on the bright side, your good looking, probably more so than them. It must annoy them!

Self confidence takes a lot of work. Just try to look at things more positively and appreciate what you have and are good at. Focus on those and not the negatives.

As for AS, no one can say over the internet. But you do have some distinguishing features and some personal references, so it might be worth talking to a professional if that's what you want. Otherwise keep reading and talking about it on forums.



Evinceo
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07 Nov 2012, 10:36 pm

What's the difference between having a mental trait and subconsciously faking it? Ether way it's there.



jacked
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07 Nov 2012, 11:10 pm

Sounds like you have it, remember we get it in differing ways like a fingerprint.
My son has it similar to me but has different comfort zones than I due to life experiences.
That causes different characteristics. It is important for you to know. I believe in diagnosis, mainly so others have a family history and you can help pass the information as needed. It will help you understand yourself.
Then you can try to navigate life on this planet in a way that suits you, hopefully avoiding anxiety.

When I was diagnosed in 1984 there was no diagnosis for it. Just a unofficial diagnosis.
They tried fitting me into things and you had to fit perfectly or it was no good.
Finally they gave up and said AS. Now they realize everyone is different.

Take one of the on line tests.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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07 Nov 2012, 11:20 pm

Dimorphic wrote:
. . . However, talk to me about science, astronomy, Scandinavian history and neuroscience and we will be here all day. I love it. I also try to formulate rules to everything I see in my day-to-day life. I find eye-contact hard. I have strict schedules which I HAVE to follow, or become distressed. After any social activity I need time to myself (for example when I was at a metal festival last year with some friends, after all the noise and socialising, I went back to my tent for an hour every day for some 'me' time to get back to normal. . .

On the face of it, yes, that does sound Aspie.

And by the way, welcome to Wrong Planet. :jocolor: :D :bball: Whether you are a 'bridge person' so to speak, or full-fledged on the Spectrum, either way, you are welcome, and I bet you have things to contribute. I myself am comfortably self-diagnosed.

I distill DSM-4 down to four traits:
1) intense intellectual interests,
2) awkward or patchy social skills (I prefer to describe my own as patchy),
3) stimming (rhythmic body motions to relax or maintain concentration. And quote-unquote 'normal' people also stim, such as a person bouncing their knee up and down during a math test. But we might stim more often, or the way we stim might be considered 'bad' or 'unnormal.'), and
4) sensory issues (such as being bothered more than 'normal' by a buzzing fluorescent light. We can either under- or over-perceive sensation. This is a big quality of life issue. And DSM-4 misses out by not discussing it more).



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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07 Nov 2012, 11:40 pm

Dimorphic wrote:
. . . I am androgynous and possibly asexual (I know this doesn't necessarily relate, but I read that it is a lot more common in AS. . .

I think it's fine to be asexual, and fine not to be asexual. And in general, I think people put too much pressure on themselves relating to sexuality. And preaching to myself, I like the idea of medium step by medium step, observing feedback along the way including how I feel about something (this whole approach may be obvious to other people).

And I think sometimes good looking people can be perceived as androgynous. For example, I think the actor Warren Beatty is sometimes perceived that way, especially in his younger days.



rebbieh
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08 Nov 2012, 1:09 am

I ask myself that question every single day. It's like torture.



windtreeman
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08 Nov 2012, 2:05 am

Dimorphic! You literally described the EXACT thought process that ran through my head in the seconds before checking WrongPlanet...I kid you not, less than two minutes ago, I was pondering how I'd structure a topic around my fear that I'm simply portraying what I know to be Asperger's traits despite the fact that I suffer from every single symptom you listed to almost the exact same extent (I bet you left some out due to length and time constraints, but sensory overload is a huge one for me...taste, touch, sight, sound (which you did mention) and smell are almost more critically difficult for me to cope with than my social shortcomings)...I mean, even down to the commonly perceived as good-looking. I'm even an amateur bodybuilder so when people encounter me with my physique, looks and then lack of social skills, awkwardness and the fact that I'm single, I get plenty of derogatory remarks. Anyway, to summarize the point, I too feel excessively paranoid that my Asperger's traits are some sort of subconscious ruse for god-only-knows what reason. I hate to add this, but just yesterday I had my first hour-long appointment with a psychologist who specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders to see if a full assessment is necessary, and although they deemed it was and I have a six-hour appointment full of testing next Tuesday, part of me is EVEN MORE terrified that I've somehow convinced some seasoned expert that I'm something I'm not...I hate making eye-contact, for example, but what if I made even less eye-contact to bolster my self-perceived Aspergers? *insert stimming*



JRR
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08 Nov 2012, 2:07 am

See how damaging that article was? People are now doubting themselves in a condition that is grossly undiagnosed.

If you want to be sure, look up an expert (Psychiatrist who has that as their specialty) and get their opinion on it. Know it'll take a number of sessions if they're even reasonably good.



Dimorphic
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08 Nov 2012, 8:31 am

Thank you all for your opinions. I am feeling like slightly less of a douche now, but the feeling will not completely go away until I have a formal diagnosis.

And @ AardvarkGoodSwimmer, I don't know if you're making a reference to me when you say people put too much emphasis on sexuality, or references to the people I was talking about, but I definitely don't care about it. So what if I don't feel the need to shag every girl I meet, even if they flirt with me? Nothing. That's what.

End of the day, everyone has different perceptions and priorities. If someone can't accept that then they can f**k off back to their NT bubble :p



NutcrackerPrincess
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08 Nov 2012, 9:13 am

I asked myself that question even after I got diagnosed with Aspergers, because I didn't have huge sensory problems and I was very controlled in public, but your symptoms sound exactly like mine and also seeing your super long paragraph..I'd say it sounds a lot like AS.

Again I asked myself this too after the diagnosis, but then when I went for therapy, it became dramatically more clear.



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08 Nov 2012, 11:23 am

Dimorphic wrote:
My guilt stems from reading so many people commenting on how 'fake' people who pretend to have AS just make everyone else with it look bad and discredit it as a syndrome. Also the fact that I am professionally undiagnosed (at this point) makes me feel fake for associating myself with it when it's not even set in stone.....

I'm very sorry that this is such a long post, but I am lost emotionally and need some outside opinions. Am I just crazily self-conscious or do you think there is some reasoning to me thinking I'm fake? For example, if I make a thread asking if I'm faking AS then there must be some subconscious knowledge that deep down I don't have it?


Hi, I think you should tell yourself, that whatever the name for what you have, you have felt this way all your life. I always knew there was something different about me, and wondered why life was so difficult, why relationships with people were so difficult and why I seemed so unlike everyone else. When I first found out about AS about 5 years ago it was like coming home reading all the traits and people's stories on WP. I knew from what I read that I had it. Three years ago I had an assessment by a psychiatrist, which consisted of one interview, no testing and parental input was not possible. They said they didn't believe I had it. I had no idea how to communicate, so I put on the persona that I used every day to get through (and which in my stupidity used at the assessment) and said the "right things" that I thought I should say. When I got home I was so upset. I knew the psych had failed me. I called and asked for a 2nd opinion. He set one up with his colleague.

When I arrived at the 2nd assessment, the first psych sat alongside his colleague whilst he did his assessment. Obviously there could never be any objectivity with him sat alongside, why would he do his colleague the professional discourtesy of telling him he was wrong. What I came out of that with is admittance that I have "overlap with autism spectrum behaviours" and "lifelong difficulties" but no diagnosis. I knew again they were wrong. Over the next few years I read lots of stuff about how females can present differently, and face a lot of difficulties getting diagnosed. Everything I read made me realise that this was why they hadn't diagnosed me. At the time of my assessments I also didn't realise how much my sensory issues were part of the condition so they weren't really gone into. I had got so used to using my fake persona to get by, that I inadvertently used it at the assessments. They felt I was socially engaging and didn't lack theory of mind, based on one childhood incident I described that they misread.

Every test I did came up that I have it. I got a questionnaire from the Neurobehavioural Clinic where I'd had my assessments asking me for feedback (probably because of the new NICE guidelines on the pathway to autism diagnosis) so I poured everything out on that. They were really unhelpful. So I paid to get a non-clinical assessment with an AS expert, who used the AAA and she found that I do have it. When I went to that, I realised I had to "strip myself bare" and show my true self, or I wouldn't get a true result, I also sent her a really long report on me and my whole life beforehand, because I knew I would find it hard to talk (much better in writing). To be able to talk about myself I was unable to make eye contact. In the end I put in a complaint to the NHS and I am pending clinical assessment again. The reason I'm telling you this, is that the process doesn't always run smoothly but if you truly believe you have it then don't give up until it's recognised.

I've also always had similar problem with NTs because people have told me I'm beautiful and typical NTs hate you for it and see that you are gullible and niave as well so use that in some way to punish you for how you look (bullied through school and also in the workplace). Drawing attention from the opposite sex for a female is probably easier than a guy has it in that respect, but then they expect you to be this certain person in a relationship (confident, street-wise, average intelligence or less, independent) and find out you're not.

Don't worry. Listen to your gut instinct. Other people can try to distract you with opinions etc. but stick to what you believe.


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The_Walrus
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08 Nov 2012, 11:53 am

When did you read about it first?

It is possible you might be "faking" some of the symptoms because you identify with the others. However, from what I've read you seem to have it. There is no need for your guilty complex, which probably comes from your low self esteem.



windtreeman
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08 Nov 2012, 12:42 pm

"When I went to that, I realised I had to "strip myself bare" and show my true self, or I wouldn't get a true result"

Yep, I think that's pretty much exactly it. I always try to meet the expectations of others, so when I'm in public, I put nearly 100% of my conscious thought into appearing normal but I knew before I got to my initial assessment, I'd have to try my best to let go of all the layers I'd built up over the autistic traits and be exactly who I am when I'm alone which was incredibly difficult, really and made me feel somewhat embarrassed afterwards because as a child, obviously, I'd received so much grief for being 'that person.' The only thing I left out is that I swear like a sailor when I'm alone, ha. Didn't want to cause any heart attacks. To be honest, and like a previous comment noted, I'm not sure an official diagnosis will alleviate all of these problems (for me) immediately. I think it'll take time to mentally process and I'm sure I'll relive the appointments over and over in my head before I can truly accept the outcome.



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08 Nov 2012, 1:37 pm

All those stories online about people faking it or people thinking they have it or about it being overdiagnosed makes some of us worry about what if we are one of them. I go through it too all the time. I guess if you are mild, you will keep questioning yourself.


To me faking implies knowing you don't have it but you just claim to have the symptoms anyway and pretend you do.


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08 Nov 2012, 2:05 pm

The best you can do is not thinking too much about it. If you will continue thinking about it, you'll probably get a lot worse. Just try to think about it as less as possible.


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