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JacobV
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16 Feb 2014, 5:38 am

it seems to me that having a genuine friend or confidant reduces the chance of depression. I am assuming this is why pratically EVERY NT works so hard to keep at least 1 or 2 friends in their lives. Having someone to talk to, someone to hear every day experiences and stories from, having someone to make you feel like you're not alone in this world makes you feel good, it takes away the dark hopeless thoughts we have and it gives us a reason to want to hang on in this life... if anything just to be there for that friend.

Could this explain why so many aspies are so hopelessly depressed? Do friends play a much more important role than society realizes?

I was wondering if any other aspies here have experience living in different countries... I grew up in a Belgium. Over there there idea of friendship is very different as it is in the USA where I live now. In Belgium, friends tend to be for life. It seems to me that in the US people pick friends who can further their careers or share some narrow interests. it saddens me. It's almost as if nobody wants to have an aspie friend unless they are aspies themselves.

Maybe antidepressants aren't the answer. Maybe changing jobs or moving isn't the answer either... maybe all we need is a friend.

I haven't had a genuine friend since high school over 10 years ago (i'm 31.) I have stopped trying to befriend NT's because I feel like I can't be myself around them. I have a couple of aspie pen pals and that is what keeps me going now. Wish I had an aspie friend in real life but aspies are few and far in between.



Misery
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16 Feb 2014, 6:09 am

Hmmm, you know, this exact forum is the sort of place that might be ideal for you to make a few friends. People here are likely to be much, much more understanding of all the autism-related stuffs, for instance.

I can agree too on the bit about people here in the States.... they really do often seem to choose friends for exactly those reasons. Obviously not ALL the time.... but it's enough of a trend to be pretty annoying.

That said, through forums and the Net as a whole, I've met a number of long-lasting friends.... people I've known for years now, and who are good at putting up with my general bizzare nature, even. Heck, I've got one of them gonna be flying up here (the lucky snot lives in Florida, while I'm stuck in the freezing hole in the ground known as Illinois) for a couple of upcoming anime conventions that I'm gonna be going to. Have done things like that with others, too. Only one of them is on the spectrum, the rest are NTs.

It's totally possible for you to find and meet real, lasting friends, be it here on the Net or at some mall or something, whatever.... but you have to believe that you can, or you wont. As well as not give up on it.

I personally just let it happen when it happens, instead of seeking it out, because that takes too much effort.



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16 Feb 2014, 6:17 am

Friends (the typical kind) = depression (or perhaps insanity)



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16 Feb 2014, 7:04 am

For me it is:


For an NT:
No acceptance from the group (i.e. no friends) = Depression.

For a person with AS:
Not being able to survive independently (i.e. having to put up with bullying and social hierarchies) = Depression.


If a person with AS can hold down a job, get a boy/girlfriend, and otherwise live independently, I think he would be quite content. But that is rarely possible in todays society (neither holding down a job or finding a boy/girlfriend without extensive social pressure).

It is the social pressure that depresses me. My "strong" side is actually being able to be alone for extended periods of time without feeling lonely. But that is part of the problem, I truly am not a social person (unless I'm treated well, but that is not a sign of being social, to be social you have to not mind some bullying).



JacobV
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16 Feb 2014, 7:19 am

Misery wrote:
Hmmm, you know, this exact forum is the sort of place that might be ideal for you to make a few friends. People here are likely to be much, much more understanding of all the autism-related stuffs, for instance.

I can agree too on the bit about people here in the States.... they really do often seem to choose friends for exactly those reasons. Obviously not ALL the time.... but it's enough of a trend to be pretty annoying.

That said, through forums and the Net as a whole, I've met a number of long-lasting friends.... people I've known for years now, and who are good at putting up with my general bizzare nature, even. Heck, I've got one of them gonna be flying up here (the lucky snot lives in Florida, while I'm stuck in the freezing hole in the ground known as Illinois) for a couple of upcoming anime conventions that I'm gonna be going to. Have done things like that with others, too. Only one of them is on the spectrum, the rest are NTs.

It's totally possible for you to find and meet real, lasting friends, be it here on the Net or at some mall or something, whatever.... but you have to believe that you can, or you wont. As well as not give up on it.

I personally just let it happen when it happens, instead of seeking it out, because that takes too much effort.


Funny... my female aspie pen pal says the same thing... don't seek it out, just let it happen... well i've done that for many years and nothing has happened. I believe this only works for female aspies. Why? Because nomatter how weird you act or how weird you come off, the opposite sex will ALWAYS be interested in spending time with you. This is true for both aspies and NT's. It's just the nature of males both human and animal... we'll put up with just about anything to have a female around... wether as friends or more. Sex sells.. marketing people can tell you that. (sex as in the gender attraction, not the act). Most of what men do everyday is either to find a female mate or keep a female mate. This is why there are girls-nights at clubs and bars and this is why men pay for dating services online while women don't. I appreciate your kind words tho



JacobV
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16 Feb 2014, 7:26 am

qawer wrote:
For me it is:


For an NT:
No acceptance from the group (i.e. no friends) = Depression.

For a person with AS:
Not being able to survive independently (i.e. having to put up with bullying and social hierarchies) = Depression.


If a person with AS can hold down a job, get a boy/girlfriend, and otherwise live independently, I think he would be quite content. But that is rarely possible in todays society (neither holding down a job or finding a boy/girlfriend without extensive social pressure).

It is the social pressure that depresses me. My "strong" side is actually being able to be alone for extended periods of time without feeling lonely. But that is part of the problem, I truly am not a social person (unless I'm treated well, but that is not a sign of being social, to be social you have to not mind some bullying).



Social pressure depresses me too. I'm as indepedent as i've ever been right now (FT job and my own self-supporting apartment) but frankly i'm feeling as depressed as ever... I don't know why... maybe because I realizes that while i work as hard, if not harder than NT's, I will never get the joy from it like NT's do. Could it be that aspies need friends more than they realize? perhaps more than NT'd so?



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16 Feb 2014, 7:41 am

No friends=depression for me, too.



autisticyoungadult
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16 Feb 2014, 1:32 pm

This has been bugging me for a while now. In my lifetime I've had only one true friend and find it quite tasking to search for new friends when the majority of people I know are annoying brats and douchbags. My high school is just an example of an institution where in a crowd of 1700 students, every student has to fall into a certain cique in order to get the attention of others. The jocks would usually hang out with their fellow jocks since they shared the special interest, which was sports and partying. The Latinos would hang out with their own since many of them live near each other and share the same personality traits. Other cliques follow the same pattern as the previous mentioned two groups. My life is just so distanced from all the other students due to choosing not to fit in and would rather have an discussion about life instead of who was dating who or did you watch some instant reality TV that I believed is leading the pathway to stupidity in America.



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16 Feb 2014, 2:04 pm

autisticyoungadult wrote:
This has been bugging me for a while now. In my lifetime I've had only one true friend and find it quite tasking to search for new friends when the majority of people I know are annoying brats and douchbags. My high school is just an example of an institution where in a crowd of 1700 students, every student has to fall into a certain cique in order to get the attention of others. The jocks would usually hang out with their fellow jocks since they shared the special interest, which was sports and partying. The Latinos would hang out with their own since many of them live near each other and share the same personality traits. Other cliques follow the same pattern as the previous mentioned two groups. My life is just so distanced from all the other students due to choosing not to fit in and would rather have an discussion about life instead of who was dating who or did you watch some instant reality TV that I believed is leading the pathway to stupidity in America.


I think we (to some degree) will have to accept that,

The more willing you are to try to fit in, the more friends you will make (but those are likely more superficial friendships).

So for those of us who do not value fitting in, we have to accept that (true) friends are a rare thing to come across.



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16 Feb 2014, 2:08 pm

JacobV wrote:
it seems to me that having a genuine friend or confidant reduces the chance of depression. I am assuming this is why pratically EVERY NT works so hard to keep at least 1 or 2 friends in their lives. Having someone to talk to, someone to hear every day experiences and stories from, having someone to make you feel like you're not alone in this world makes you feel good, it takes away the dark hopeless thoughts we have and it gives us a reason to want to hang on in this life... if anything just to be there for that friend.


What have been the causes of my own depression during my lifetime? I think about this topic a lot.

First, I generally focus on the future. When things are going well and the outlook for the future looks OK I am generally in a content mood. When things are going poorly and the outlook for the future looks dim, I become sad/depressed.

Second, I tend to worry a lot. I worry about big things (e.g. that the financial system will ultimately collapse). And small stupid things (e.g. whether I should return the pants I just purchased because it doesn’t “feel” just right). I generally try to keep my mind busy (e.g. writing in my journal, reading wrong planet, playing spider solitaire, etc.) to redirect my focus elsewhere.

Regarding the friend thing, when I was young, I did get depressed about not being able to establish “genuine” friendships with others. The “people” I was closest with were my stuffed animals. They were the only ones that understood me. LOL. As I grew older, my friendships (there are 3 maybe 4 people I consider friends) are simply people I do things with. They help me pass the time.



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16 Feb 2014, 4:31 pm

Quote:
For an NT:
No acceptance from the group (i.e. no friends) = Depression.


I feel this one. The whole cause of my depression is this. I have more of a ''I am lonely, I feel sorry for myself'' type of depression. I see happy couples or happy friendships around me and that makes me sink more deeper into depression, especially when I try to join in so I can meet new people or be accepted, and I fail miserably. Well, I don't fail as such, no matter how much I chat, smile and make eye contact, people can still sense that I'm a quiet and boring person and they can't be bothered with me. It's when people know that I have Asperger's that they actually ignore me even more than if they don't know I have it. Well, actually, that's only youngsters. Usually older people who know I have Asperger's will accept me and try their hardest to join me in the group, probably because they have learnt that just because one has Asperger's it doesn't mean we all hate people and don't want to join in. We just need a little bit of encouragement and we will soon feel confident enough to connect and become just as likeable and interesting as the next person. We just find it a little harder than most people to start off a friendship. Well, that's my experience anyway. When people include me into their group, I immediately feel confident and happy and I soon become part of the group, if they are nice enough people.

But anyway, that is where my depression comes from. At work if I find I am being spoken to a lot by people and accepted in a group and having a good joke with them, I feel much happier and I can almost physically feel it battling away the depression inside me. Then when I get quite a lonely day at work where there are more unfriendly youngsters in that day who just get absorbed into each other and talk about the same s**t and don't include me or make me feel like I shouldn't include myself without the risk of getting a rejected glare, it is then that I feel the depression creeping back.


_________________
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Diagnosed with AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder


Misery
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16 Feb 2014, 8:19 pm

JacobV wrote:
Misery wrote:
Hmmm, you know, this exact forum is the sort of place that might be ideal for you to make a few friends. People here are likely to be much, much more understanding of all the autism-related stuffs, for instance.

I can agree too on the bit about people here in the States.... they really do often seem to choose friends for exactly those reasons. Obviously not ALL the time.... but it's enough of a trend to be pretty annoying.

That said, through forums and the Net as a whole, I've met a number of long-lasting friends.... people I've known for years now, and who are good at putting up with my general bizzare nature, even. Heck, I've got one of them gonna be flying up here (the lucky snot lives in Florida, while I'm stuck in the freezing hole in the ground known as Illinois) for a couple of upcoming anime conventions that I'm gonna be going to. Have done things like that with others, too. Only one of them is on the spectrum, the rest are NTs.

It's totally possible for you to find and meet real, lasting friends, be it here on the Net or at some mall or something, whatever.... but you have to believe that you can, or you wont. As well as not give up on it.

I personally just let it happen when it happens, instead of seeking it out, because that takes too much effort.


Funny... my female aspie pen pal says the same thing... don't seek it out, just let it happen... well i've done that for many years and nothing has happened. I believe this only works for female aspies. Why? Because nomatter how weird you act or how weird you come off, the opposite sex will ALWAYS be interested in spending time with you. This is true for both aspies and NT's. It's just the nature of males both human and animal... we'll put up with just about anything to have a female around... wether as friends or more. Sex sells.. marketing people can tell you that. (sex as in the gender attraction, not the act). Most of what men do everyday is either to find a female mate or keep a female mate. This is why there are girls-nights at clubs and bars and this is why men pay for dating services online while women don't. I appreciate your kind words tho




Nah, that one is but a misconception. I'm not a girl. And my friends are all male, as well, cant say I know any girls, really. Yet still, it has worked for me many times.

The idea of "just let it happen" works fine, but... at the same time, you have to be ready for it to happen. If you aint bein talkative enough, stuff like that, it aint gonna happen. Which I suppose can be an issue for those on the spectrum. Sure used to be an issue for me, though that's partly why I do better with it if I meet someone online initially. If you just sit in one place all the time and wait without doin anything, yeah, it aint gonna happen.

This of course isnt to say that it'll happen super easily.... as you've correctly stated, there's too many people out there that seem to get into "friendship" for the wrong reasons. But still, it can work, and I do still think right here is a good place to start. Heck, you can chat with me if ya like, though I dunno that I'd be all that interesting to talk to.



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17 Feb 2014, 5:29 pm

JacobV wrote:
Social pressure depresses me too. I'm as indepedent as i've ever been right now (FT job and my own self-supporting apartment) but frankly i'm feeling as depressed as ever... I don't know why... maybe because I realizes that while i work as hard, if not harder than NT's, I will never get the joy from it like NT's do. Could it be that aspies need friends more than they realize? perhaps more than NT'd so?

My AS was diagnosed a little time after than I started the elementary school. Courtesy of my doctor my classmates have received that information I'm a child who like if others don't care about me. Many years later when I've known this I was very angry, because I wanted nothing more than somebody who understand me, so it's only made worse my situation. So yes, I think aspies need friends, but that type of friends who understand us. But we almost never find such people, because there is only a few in the world, so we can't realize this. We can see only that we don't feel good ourselves around people. (But don't feel good totally alone too.)



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17 Feb 2014, 6:04 pm

This is my experiences and prospectives on life and these such matters.

I have many social deficits, some I noticed are basic instinct to others, so it takes me time to recognize and understand them. Its about like seeing them but not connecting. There are patterns normals follow, but just because I now can recognize them does not mean they feel to be a part of my natural intuition. these little quarks can get in the way of functioning relationships.

I didn't have as much sheltering when I was young and over the years, people DO often abuse others whom are different, esp autistics. much has to do with my body language and social deficits, it seems to attract others negative side, about like a bad aura I have which I cant see but others can. this makes me an easy target. this does not help when one is prone to depression anyways, and the social rejection does nibble away.

We need much social support in order to help us integrate and adapt, but in many cases, such as my own, there was not much. so what tends to happen is your finding your self having more negative experiences with people then positive ones, and the more you try to isolate your self the more pronounced the negative experience become because of little positive support to balance it, making an individual, even though lonely, want to retreat even more. without that support there is little else you can do.

And lastly, like it or not, I cant just live with anyone, most people annoy the crud out of me (and I them), so even though I would like to say I am not all that picky, I quite am.



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17 Feb 2014, 8:06 pm

Complete social isolation = Depression
Loss of independence = Depression also

Caught between the devil and the deep blue see, unless I can find a very non clingy friend/partner/lover who likes me, which I probably won't do unless I learn to keep my thoughts to myself. I understand my thoughts if no one else does but I forget I live in a world that takes everything really seriously.

I wonder actually if other people act on every thought they have because ever thought I have written down people think I am going to act on it, when in actuality it was just a string of words that ran through my head.

Also they take me seriously/literally when I am joking and vice versa..this does not help. It completely bollocks up communication actually.

Add in my different belief system...can't be arsed to be obsessed with the ego..life is far too short, you only have one of them and limited time in which to do all the things that look like they are fun. I just feel sad that I have no one to join me in having that fun because something are more fun when there are two people than when there is just one.

I was thinking today how stuck I am in the sense that I don't want to be this alone but people tend to = distress and drama and trouble.

I want someone I can talk freely around I think...I have never found that. The one person I could talk to about anything (my mother) is dead. Most other people can't handle my thinking and I do like to explore my thoughts...