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Danimal
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27 Apr 2014, 10:13 pm

I am curious. Do you think that religious beliefs help you with your Aspergers? Do you think nonbelief helps you? I'm not focusing on Christianity. Whatever your religious beliefs, do you think it helps?



Ilovemyaspiegirl
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27 Apr 2014, 10:27 pm

I'm a NT mom and a Christian and I'm interested to see the replies to this post. Thanks for sharing! We NTs can use all the help we can get in understanding our loved ones and these forums have given me many ah ha moments. So thank you all for sharing your world with us!



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27 Apr 2014, 11:07 pm

Yes, it definitely has had a huge impact for me, as a then undiagnosed Aspie (I was diagnosed in my fifties, so I lived most of my life undiagnosed until recently).

In my early twenties I was floundering at university, despite having a very high mark from high school (sufficient to get into the best medical school in the state). And I couldn't see how other people were able to have romantic relationships while I didn't know how to get into and stay in a relationship, even though I wanted to. I also had significant anxiety and depression.

I was fortunate to come across a religious group with a strong focus on emotional and other kinds of rehabiliation. They were pretty standard Protestant in beliefs, but fairly ecumenical in outlook, as they tended to attract people from a wide range of churches who were having problems coping with their lives. The group was on good terms with all the other local churches - they were not a cult or anything. I lived within this environment for a number of years, including an intensive live-in program for several months. The daily structure and the social skills training were great for an Aspie, and it enabled me slowly to build up the resources to cope with full time employment and a relationship. I now work in a well-paid IT job and have been married for 30 years and have a couple of grown up children. These things had looked pretty unattainable when I was in my twenties.

Aspies are probably less likely to go along with an idea just because it is popular - so religous belief just because everyone does it, is not so likely to work for an Aspie. But if they have their own personal convictions that they made for themselves, then they are probably more likely to be faithful to those convictions because, well, we don't like change and we don't care to follow the crowd and social fashion so much.



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28 Apr 2014, 2:12 am

Growing up in a church, I constantly felt scrutinized and judged to the point of paranoia - I suppose that was a hold over from the way my peers in school treated me. As an adult, my church is one of the few social contacts I have, and it's one of the few places today I feel I have any degree of social confidence. But as my daughter is also autistic, my wife and I have been offended from time to time due to the lack of understanding by some some church members when she has her occasional melt down.


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einsteinmyhero
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28 Apr 2014, 2:32 am

I am PRACTICALY atheist.so what.to me, raised church, no real difference.



jrjones9933
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28 Apr 2014, 7:24 am

Magick and mysticism helped me a lot in terms of opening up my mind to untapped potential, teaching me to select my concentration and focus, and leading me into a group of sexually open intellectuals where I finally learned what it felt like to feel at home in a group.

YMMV, not all magicians and mystics prove mentally healthy, but so it goes with any spiritual group. You have to keep your eyes open and watch out for sociopaths.



kraftiekortie
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28 Apr 2014, 9:43 am

I'm an agnostic who believes in tangible evidence of things. I'm not an atheist because I don't preclude the existence of some Supreme Being---who knows?

Religion has no bearing on my functioning. It would be nice, though, if there is actually a place where one goes after one passes away (a relatively pleasant place).



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28 Apr 2014, 11:25 am

I have been both religious and irreligious at different stages in my life. I have found it to be neither helpful nor hurtful to my aspergers. Just neutral.

Religious institutions, on the other hand, I have found to be hurtful. They are very non-accepting and judgemental. Even if I was religious I wouldn't join or step foot in a religious institution.



TallyMan
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28 Apr 2014, 11:34 am

I haven't found my atheism/Zen Buddhism to have much/any impact on my Aspergers. Though the Aspergers (OCD aspect) makes it difficult for me to meditate in the conventional manner.


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Nepsis
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28 Apr 2014, 9:55 pm

Religion and/or spirituality is one of my "special interests".
I am fascinated by various religions and trying to grasp truth and God.

I would say my own spirituality is affected by my being an aspie in that
I go through periods where I feel a need to completely and totally understand
the religion I'm practicing, which, at times in the past, has led me to
get depressed because I start expecting real-world results of it...miracles, proof
that God exists, some tangible event or evidence that these religions I study
so fiercely are true.

And yet no miracles happen, and I have yet to see/hear/or experience any God
beyond the wandering daydreams and fancies of my own mind.
So as time goes on, I find myself taking greater solace in certain forms of
Zen Buddhism, which--in the forms of it which I like--is more of a philosophy
and method towards diminishing suffering in your life rather than a system
of worship and belief devoid of evidence.

I can only speak for myself, but the straight-forwardness, method, and present-moment
cultivating elements in Buddhism seem easier and more logical to accept than the plethora of
symbols, emphasis on intense emotion, and dependence upon belief rather than experience
or evidence which most other religions demand.



linatet
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02 May 2014, 9:13 am

Hmm what do you mean help with aspergers? You mean a coping mechanism? I was once very religious and now I am an atheist and I would say no,no difference for me. Except that I am much happier now as a humanist than I was before.



Berrylicious
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07 May 2014, 7:49 pm

I was raised as a Catholic and I found praying very helpful. I used to go to church every Sunday until I was a teenager or was hitting puberty. As you can see, I ended up being unaffiliated unexpectedly when I was in the middle of high school, even though I was attending a Catholic school. By the time I finished school I walked away from the Catholic Church and stripped my identity as a Catholic. Don't get me wrong. I'm not an atheist. I believe in God, yet I was immersed into a secular society, like people my age I think.

I noted that Canada, Europe, some parts of the US, Asia and Oceania are much less religious than other places. Maybe because people think science is the true part of life and felt religion presents a false history of life and therefore not compatible.

Later on I became skeptical and distrustful of the religious institutions after reading an article criticizing them for their supposed wrong doings, from being homophobic to condoning abuse and war to being judgemental. I also heard the same thing when I was at Griffin Centre. Now that I'm not as religious as I was in the past. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I read about people attacking viciously the Catholic Church for their sexist, backward ways and being negative about sexuality. I also read some articles about people leaving the religion they grew up with behind, feeling that it's too judgemental, too hypocritical, too pessimistic. I went back to church, despite my doubts about it. Although it's good that churches give charity, I don't think I have to worry about not being religious, as long as can give charity, no matter what.



Marylandman889
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07 May 2014, 9:47 pm

I have an ASD and I am a baptized Catholic from a Catholic family (albeit I want to go to another Christian church one day) and I think they have substantially helped me grow in such a society. It feels weird, because most people with an ASD are usually hellbent on no religion at all (which I don't judge them on; it's your life).
But I guess I feel more enlightened than some Christians out there. AKA I don't buy into that "Earth is only 6000 years old" and "Evolution is Evil" stuff.
TL;DR: Yes. I feel comfort in my religion with my ASD. I feel kind of ostracized from the ASD community sometimes though, even though I am not a fundamentalist.



USMCnBNSFdude
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07 May 2014, 10:02 pm

I've been a Catholic my whole life, and a lot of ways, I'd say yes, it's helped.


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Kraichgauer
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08 May 2014, 12:05 am

Marylandman889 wrote:
I have an ASD and I am a baptized Catholic from a Catholic family (albeit I want to go to another Christian church one day) and I think they have substantially helped me grow in such a society. It feels weird, because most people with an ASD are usually hellbent on no religion at all (which I don't judge them on; it's your life).
But I guess I feel more enlightened than some Christians out there. AKA I don't buy into that "Earth is only 6000 years old" and "Evolution is Evil" stuff.
TL;DR: Yes. I feel comfort in my religion with my ASD. I feel kind of ostracized from the ASD community sometimes though, even though I am not a fundamentalist.


I agree with you - I don't see a problem reconciling my faith with evolution and the geological age of the earth.


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