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Waterfalls
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12 Feb 2014, 11:15 pm

AS is sometimes perceived as being associated with lack of empathy. I have a lot of empathy for what I pick up on, but I seem to see things a little bit differently, so might have no empathy for other things that I don't see at all. I read the page on the website and did not make sense to me. Describes a parent with AS not noticing their child struggling with too heavy a pack. People with AS can be incredibly empathic, and that example would not be something I missed. On the other hand, figuring out when to leave a social occasion is extremely difficult. People are so busy being polite, they mislead and act interested, it's impossible to sort out what to do and get it right and then people don't want me back. Figuring out that a pack is too heavy is predictable and obvious and honest, unless the child denied it, and maybe even then.

Stitched we all want acceptance and understanding. If you are finding some here for what you have to say, I am glad for you



marshall
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13 Feb 2014, 12:44 am

I can relate to the OP. I often find myself having difficulty carrying on more casual conversations (I get bored or don't find the jokes funny enough to laugh along with), but when someone describes a negative emotional experience I empathize so much I wind up having a meltdown. My empathic ability is useless. It overloads me. My own emotions are so intense they resonate with the environment like a tuning fork.



btbnnyr
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13 Feb 2014, 2:49 am

HSP probably, and probably not ASD.


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foxfield
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13 Feb 2014, 7:21 am

What you are describing definately could be AS

Think about it, a large proportion of people with AS describe the experience of eye contact as being too intense to handle. They commonly describe looking at the eyes as difficult because they "contain too much information". In other words, those people with AS are describing an [b]oversensitivity[\b]to interpersonal signals.

Google "autism and empathy". its a good site with many useful articles.



Stitched
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13 Feb 2014, 8:49 am

foxfield wrote:
What you are describing definately could be AS

Think about it, a large proportion of people with AS describe the experience of eye contact as being too intense to handle. They commonly describe looking at the eyes as difficult because they "contain too much information". In other words, those people with AS are describing an [b]oversensitivity[\b]to interpersonal signals.

Google "autism and empathy". its a good site with many useful articles.


The interesting thing is that as a child, i heard looking someone in the eye while talking is a sign of respect and confidence. Once i heard that, i went out of my way to do it, to get accustomed to it, so i could be "normal". Now, i can look people in the eyes when i talk, though i do shift my gaze from time to time, with certain people its harder to maintain than others. Normally when i do shift my gaze, i'm aware i'm doing it and will bring myself back to look at them, rarely this causes a weird feedback loop, where i start to get too anxious and will look at them, and then look away and then back at them, and it could go on for awhile until the conversation changes or ends. So, there may be some merit there, but i've also conditioned my mind to handle that load the best I can.



marshall
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14 Feb 2014, 3:11 pm

Stitched wrote:
The interesting thing is that as a child, i heard looking someone in the eye while talking is a sign of respect and confidence. Once i heard that, i went out of my way to do it, to get accustomed to it, so i could be "normal". Now, i can look people in the eyes when i talk, though i do shift my gaze from time to time, with certain people its harder to maintain than others. Normally when i do shift my gaze, i'm aware i'm doing it and will bring myself back to look at them, rarely this causes a weird feedback loop, where i start to get too anxious and will look at them, and then look away and then back at them, and it could go on for awhile until the conversation changes or ends. So, there may be some merit there, but i've also conditioned my mind to handle that load the best I can.

I think steady eye-contact is a cultural phenomenon in the west. A lot of people aren't innately wired for eye contact with strangers. In some cultures it's even considered rude. You only really have to look when there's nonverbal signals being exchanged. The amount of eye contact that's truly necessary varies greatly depending on the type of conversation. It can be as much as 100% or as little as 20% of the time. I think most people have to look away when they're thinking hard or trying to recall something. Looking away is a signal in-and-of-itself, it lets the person know you're thinking. Not looking away ever is weird and scary. Our culture puts too much emphasis on being assertive and aggressive. It's just annoying if you're not that type of person.



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14 Feb 2014, 3:43 pm

marshall wrote:
Stitched wrote:
The interesting thing is that as a child, i heard looking someone in the eye while talking is a sign of respect and confidence. Once i heard that, i went out of my way to do it, to get accustomed to it, so i could be "normal". Now, i can look people in the eyes when i talk, though i do shift my gaze from time to time, with certain people its harder to maintain than others. Normally when i do shift my gaze, i'm aware i'm doing it and will bring myself back to look at them, rarely this causes a weird feedback loop, where i start to get too anxious and will look at them, and then look away and then back at them, and it could go on for awhile until the conversation changes or ends. So, there may be some merit there, but i've also conditioned my mind to handle that load the best I can.

I think steady eye-contact is a cultural phenomenon in the west. A lot of people aren't innately wired for eye contact with strangers. In some cultures it's even considered rude. You only really have to look when there's nonverbal signals being exchanged. The amount of eye contact that's truly necessary varies greatly depending on the type of conversation. It can be as much as 100% or as little as 20% of the time. I think most people have to look away when they're thinking hard or trying to recall something. Looking away is a signal in-and-of-itself, it lets the person know you're thinking. Not looking away ever is weird and scary. Our culture puts too much emphasis on being assertive and aggressive. It's just annoying if you're not that type of person.


Good point, I agree it does seem too aggressive. I was just raised that way.. so it became a foundation for me. To help me feel more confident when talking. By no means am I great at socializing.. I've just adapted enough to get by. If I get away from my script.. I get frustrated and will ramble on. I know what I want to say but comes out in a jumbled mess. Normally confusing people.



Ashariel
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14 Feb 2014, 3:59 pm

I'm starting to have suspicions about my own empathic ability. There have been times when I walk into a room, and I can feel the tension, or the anger. I don't have to look at anyone, I just feel it. Even nowadays, there are times when I can feel that my mom is anxious when I approach the room she's in (before I actually see her), and it makes me tense up.

And when this happens, I've learned to shut it down, and force myself to disregard that information, and put a 'psychic bubble' around myself, so I can't feel anyone else's energy. (I had a lot of psychic and ESP experiences as a child too, but have learned to block that ability as well.)

So I'm starting to suspect that I actually am highly sensitive to other people's emotions, but as a survival mechanism I've learned to keep myself bubbled, and not allow it to affect me.

Still, I have problems with visual cues. I can't interpret facial expressions (or even recognize my own family members, outside of the house). And when I look into someone's eyes, it's just creepy, and they look demonic and evil to me. (Especially the people I love and trust the most, which is disturbing!) So I've learned to avoid eye contact, because I'm unable to accurately interpret visual cues.



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14 Feb 2014, 4:24 pm

The prime requirement for any diagnosis of ASD is that the various traits cause significant impairment of functionality on a regular basis in one or more areas.
Do you find that any of the traits you describe cause significant impairment in your functionality on a regular basis?
If not, then clinically speaking your condition is not ASD and is probably something else related but different.

Just my 2 cents. :wink:



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14 Feb 2014, 4:26 pm

Tania Marshall who has created a female profile of AS (from observations made in her work with women with AS for approx. 15 years) has a blog post on 'sensitivity'. It touches on what has been talked about in this post. Also, people with AS don't lack empathy, in fact some are over-empathic. Sympathy is another matter altogether.

http://taniaannmarshall.wordpress.com/2 ... 6th-sense/


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Stitched
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14 Feb 2014, 4:56 pm

Bodyles wrote:
The prime requirement for any diagnosis of ASD is that the various traits cause significant impairment of functionality on a regular basis in one or more areas.
Do you find that any of the traits you describe cause significant impairment in your functionality on a regular basis?
If not, then clinically speaking your condition is not ASD and is probably something else related but different.

Just my 2 cents. :wink:


At one point it significantly impacted my relationships and social life. Teased and bullied in school. But bullying alone does not mean i have ASD and i can understand that. And by no means am i wanting to label myself as such. But i want a way to better define myself i guess you could say. As ive studied for months on HSP and ASD. And there are many similarities. Though HSP generally.. can be slightly better at being sociable, but are bombarded by the same sensory overload. The mannerism are also quite similar. HSP is also not well known, but research started in the late 80s to early 90s. So we are learning more each day.

My issue is I've gone to intj, hsp and now ASD forums, and people are largely very similar but describe themselves differently. This is why I'm confused. The same topics, fighting with depression, dealing with bullies, having difficulty in relationships or social settings. Now that info doesn't make someone ASD or HSP, but its the trend I see. So whats missing? What connection am I missing? Maybe im just analyzing too much. Idk.



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14 Feb 2014, 5:19 pm

Yes, there are many similarities. You can put 'giftedness' in that list you have made. I first did the Myers-Briggs test as a teen, since then I always get INTJ when I take that test. I also classify as HSP (I bought Aron's book a few years back) and I have Asperger's. I can socialise (I don't particularly like social chit-chat), but I miss certain social cues. So, even though I have developed a lot of coping strategies there are still gaps in my knowledge-base. I know my way of thinking is divergent to mainstream because of my AS and life experiences.

Have you explored Dabrowski's overexcitabilities? I think a commonality in all is emotional overexcitability.


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Bodyles
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14 Feb 2014, 5:30 pm

Stitched wrote:
Bodyles wrote:
The prime requirement for any diagnosis of ASD is that the various traits cause significant impairment of functionality on a regular basis in one or more areas.
Do you find that any of the traits you describe cause significant impairment in your functionality on a regular basis?
If not, then clinically speaking your condition is not ASD and is probably something else related but different.

Just my 2 cents. :wink:


At one point it significantly impacted my relationships and social life. Teased and bullied in school. But bullying alone does not mean i have ASD and i can understand that. And by no means am i wanting to label myself as such. But i want a way to better define myself i guess you could say. As ive studied for months on HSP and ASD. And there are many similarities. Though HSP generally.. can be slightly better at being sociable, but are bombarded by the same sensory overload. The mannerism are also quite similar. HSP is also not well known, but research started in the late 80s to early 90s. So we are learning more each day.

My issue is I've gone to intj, hsp and now ASD forums, and people are largely very similar but describe themselves differently. This is why I'm confused. The same topics, fighting with depression, dealing with bullies, having difficulty in relationships or social settings. Now that info doesn't make someone ASD or HSP, but its the trend I see. So whats missing? What connection am I missing? Maybe im just analyzing too much. Idk.


Your experience on the forums is inevitably slanted by the particular forums and threads you choose to read on each board.
This can easily make it seem like people on all three boards seem similar even though there's probably a much wider variety on all the forums than you've seen.
For instance not all aspies are even remotely intj and many have very little empathy for others, although in some of us the trait is overexpressed.
It's not your fault; we all gravitate towards the forums and threads which interest us the most.

You're not missing anything, per se, it's just that this isn't something you can determine yourself.

Here's the thing, and there's no real getting around it: if you really want a definitive diagnosis, you need to go to a clinical psychologist (or psychiatrist, I suppose) and get one.
Bon chance! :)



Waterfalls
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14 Feb 2014, 7:31 pm

HSP seems to be about responding differently and feeling different, rather than appearing different to other people. ASD seems to be about appearing, seeming different to most people.



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14 Feb 2014, 7:37 pm

marshall wrote:
I can relate to the OP. I often find myself having difficulty carrying on more casual conversations (I get bored or don't find the jokes funny enough to laugh along with), but when someone describes a negative emotional experience I empathize so much I wind up having a meltdown. My empathic ability is useless. It overloads me. My own emotions are so intense they resonate with the environment like a tuning fork.


I can relate to this a lot, unfortunately--though I find as I get older I get better with my emotional regulation, a little less painfully reactive . I think yoga has helped in this, learning to meditate...my psychiatrist calls it "mindfulness". Also, marijuana. Or even better, yoga+marijuana. lol