Page 1 of 2 [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

fifthgear
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 28
Location: Rhode Island

30 Jan 2015, 5:29 pm

Hello,

I am 44 yo gay male. I've been lurking on the site for a few days. I have recently begun to take seriously that I may have aspergers, autism or some other developmental disorder. In the last few years several people have hinted that I may have something like this, but I hadn't considered all these comments together until recently. I may expound more on this in the discussion forums. Anyway, lately I have been taking all the online self assessment tests (every single one rated me pretty high on the spectrum - see my avatar) and reading up anything I can find on the subjects. The real problem is that I suffer from a seeming cornucopia (meaning an endless supply) of neurosis which have developed and are getting worse with age. For this reason most DSM-5 conditions I read about seem to apply to apply to at least some extent. However, I can remember back to when I was younger (less influenced by these neurosis), in which case conditions along the spectrum do seem to apply to me better than anything else. Below I'll expound on just a few of these. Fair warning, I do tend to go on-and-on, but will try my best to only mention a few highlights.

I’ve spent most of my life wishing the aliens who left me would return to take me home. No, I’m not deluded. This was never a belief, but rather an interpretation of how I've always felt socially. I don't fit in, never have felt like I belong in this social world. It’s what I’ve told myself since around age 12 to get myself through most days.

I just purchased a book on Amazon for adults who are only just now discovering their asperger’s. I’ve never before read anything that seemed so autobiographical. I don’t advocate self-diagnosis, but many years of visiting many psychologists has failed to find any satisfying reasons for my depression, anxiety, uncountable number of social issues, long lost self-esteem, occasionally suicidal thoughts, bi-polar-like ups-and-downs often coinciding with periods of extreme agitation or anger, life-long insomnia, and this list goes on much longer…

I’m recently unemployed (I quit) because I could no longer take the stresses. After 18 years of struggling at a job to just make it all work while ever sliding downwards, I felt finally on the verge of loosing my mind. Quitting felt like I was saving myself. I’m now living off a very small rapidly depleting savings. However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act I at least have insurance.

On the more positive side I do have my mind. I am highly logical. Have extreme difficulty with non-literal and non-verbal communication. I have over the years learned to mimic others, and have enjoyed brief periods of time where I was able to be a social person. I have a reasonably good memory. Numerous special interests (though never more than two at a time). These special interests do tend to dominate my life. Once I get on the track of learning about something, getting my mind to think about something else is then like trying to steer a ship. Generally I can't. I just continue to work on my special interest. Generally these special interests are something in the formal logic, formal languages, maths, sciences, philosophy (anything but aesthetics). I purchase text books and read and do the exercises from cover to cover. I do love learning, and find escaping into my studies as a way to relax.

I need a diagnosis for my own piece-of-mind; the peace-of-mind of finally knowing what label I may attach to myself. I need to finally know that I’m truly from planet earth. A firm place upon which to begin constructing an identity.

Thanks for reading,
fifthGear



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

30 Jan 2015, 6:47 pm

Welcome to the Forum.

I hope the discussions here will help you to obtain a sixth gear.

You will learn about the experiences of others who have (or believe they have) an autism spectrum disorder.

What are you especially interested in?



RoadRatt
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2014
Age: 58
Gender: Male
Posts: 46,029
Location: Oregon

30 Jan 2015, 9:36 pm

Hey fifthgear welcome. :sunny:


_________________
No power in the 'verse can stop me. - River Tam (Firefly)


fifthgear
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 28
Location: Rhode Island

30 Jan 2015, 10:48 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Welcome to the Forum.

I hope the discussions here will help you to obtain a sixth gear.

You will learn about the experiences of others who have (or believe they have) an autism spectrum disorder.

What are you especially interested in?



Thanks for the welcome.

LOL remember you did ask (I won't be insulted if this bores you and you stop reading)... My particular interest involves systems of symbol manipulation. These are called transformation grammars in formal linguistics. Mathematics is the one everyone is most familiar with, but in the most general sense transformation grammars are descriptive systems for codifying sets of rules for how systems patternisticly evolve over time. Many people are familiar with Backus-Naur Form, the language used to create these grammars, but few people go on to consider or study the theoretical implications of these systems. In formal linguistics one can actually construct three kinds of grammars (categorized by their purpose) for manipulating strings of symbols: generative grammars describe how to build valid sentences in a given language (such as english, math, logic, programming languages, lambda calculus, etc.). Algebraic-type transformation grammars describe how to manipulate strings in a language to produce new strings semantically equivalent. For example in english we have an algebraic transformation rule which says it's OK to replace the english string "I am" with "I'm". The last (and perhaps most interesting) is the Calculus-type Transformation Grammar. A calculus is a set of transformation rules which describe how to transform a sentence to extract some non-obvious information in the source string. While an Algebra can also extract non-obvious information, an algebra always produces something semantically equivalent to what you started with, algebraic rules are usually reversible because no information is lost in the transformation. A calculus produces something NOT equivalent and NOT perfectly reversible. Some familiar examples of a calculus include the set of rules that describe how to add two numbers; also a set of rules that tell you how to manipulate sentences in logic to derive only valid conclusions.

All systems of manipulating strings of symbols follow the same kinds of rules. So while many people struggle trying to learn specifically math, or specifically french, or specifically formal logic, my mind approaches all of these systems in precisely the same way, as simple strings of symbols itching to be manipulated.

I particularly enjoy the underlying philosophical questions associated with formal grammars. The most important of these being, why do systems of symbol manipulation actually work? Think of how well mathematics describes the physical universe. But why is it the case? Many mathematicians believe that math is a fundamental feature of the universe (rather than an invention of man) and that as mathematicians they are discovering rather than inventing mathematical structures. Even more interesting though is that if indeed symbol manipulation is a feature of the universe what implications does that have?

As an example of this, another kind for system that can be formalized using formal language theory are cellular automata. Some people believe the universe is, at its most fundamental level, a cellular automaton. This notion is very closely tied to the various field theories in physics and may lend themselves to being modeled as cellular automaton -- the jury is still out given every field theory is thus far incomplete. Cellular automata exhibit characteristics of chaos (difficult to predict the patterns that will emerge), obey deterministic rules (codifiable as formal transformation grammars), and as such would pretty much rule-out any notion of Free will -- which is a fascinating notion topic I repeatedly return to.

Anyway I use my knowledge of these things to explore deep philosophical questions about existence and the universe. I don't claim to have any answers, but the exploration itself is great fun and gives incredible insight into the questions and perhaps fragments of answers. Most recently I have been using this stuff to explore the question of Time's Arrow (why does time move in just one direction). What I have found in regards to this question is that I can model entropy using pretty much any Calculus-type Transformation Grammar. This is because most Calculi are information lossy. Let me give an example: Applying the arithmetic transformation rules to the string '2 + 3' results in the string '5'. Now, most people think of subtraction as the opposite of addition, well it sort of is, but not a perfect reversal. For example, from the string '5', the rules of subtraction will not get back my string '2 + 3', because some information was lost going from '2 + 3' to '5'. Subtraction requires that I know more than just '5', I also need to provide one of the other numbers in to apply the subtraction to get the 3rd number back. E.g. I need to know to subtract the '2' or the '3' from the '5', both the '2' and '3' were lost during the addition operation. This is quite a bit like entropy in thermodynamics, but even closer to the concept of entropy in information theory. So, formal linguistics does seem to concur with information theory and thermodynamics that time's arrow moves in the direction that it does precisely because information is lost through the operations (in physics we would say 'interactions', but they are the same thing). So it is precisely because information is lost when objects are operated upon that these operations are not reversible in the purest sense. Most macroscopic operations within the universe are non-reversible. That's the entropy theory of time's arrow (and my version of that theory using formal language theory. I don't know if this approach has already been thought of, but what I mention here is something I came up with independently).

...very sorry for the long reply. It's very difficult to shut myself down on this stuff.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

30 Jan 2015, 10:51 pm

That's all right.

I'm more into applied linguistics. I'm not theoretically-oriented. I'll read in more depth tomorrow, when I have more time.

Thank you for your reply.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

31 Jan 2015, 12:12 am

Of course, the universe determines everything at macrocosmic level. However, at the microcosmic level, I operate with a considerable amount of free will.



fifthgear
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 28
Location: Rhode Island

31 Jan 2015, 12:44 am

But the question being screamed into my ear is, can your prove that your thoughts aren't predetermined? Nobody has yet to do so. Every sentence and error that I type could have been predetermined. I would be none the wiser, thinking instead that these are all my own creation. If the universe is a cellular automaton, then yes even our thoughts would be predetermined.

At this point in time quantum theory harbors no salvation for free will. Indeed nobody understands mathematical quantum theory beyond how to use it. There are many about what the math means about the underlying nature of reality, these ideas are called 'interpretations'. These are where the multiple-world interpretations (parallel universes) comes in, as well as interpretations which hold that the apparent observed random events of quantum theory are merely our ignorance of the starting conditions.

But I am playing Devil's advocate here. I have no evidence on a decision of free will vs. determinism beyond the philosophical arguments that exist. However, many well respected scientists do take a position of determinism (Sean Carrol, physicist at Fermi Lab; Sam Harrison, neuoscientist; etc.). The most I can really say is that determinism doesn't appeal to me. However, being an atheist and materialist, the only positions currently known to be consistent with materialism is determinism. Nobody knows how to get consciousness or free will out of the laws of physics. But controversies are fun! It means there's something more to think about.



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

31 Jan 2015, 12:53 am

I'm an atheist/agnostic myself. I believe (i.e., I have "faith") that I am operating, primarily, under the aegis of free will. Not much was "predetermined" for me by an outside force (except, in some some measure, by genetics). I can't "prove" that this is so, just like I can't "prove" that there are,(nor there are not) deities (unless I have "faith").

I think you'll do well in the PPR (Philosophy/Politics/Religion) subforum.



LeLetch
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2010
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 207

31 Jan 2015, 4:02 am

Philosophically minded people are often assumed to have a spectrum disorder.

I am not a doctor.

Regardless, you have autism, or one of it's related friends.

I think i'm going to photoshop a picture that conveys the above information in a 'cute cartoon animal/badge' format.


My 57 autistic friend didn't get diagnosed until a few years ago.

This is common.

Here is some proofy type stuff:

1) Gay: It's complicated. Sexual deviancy is supposedly a sign. I do not like using the word deviancy. It has negative connotations that i am not implying. I believe that people with autism are more likely to be open to non-traditional things. Both my real life autistic friends... ugh, have sexual interest in the same sex. It's wildly complicated, for each of them.
2) Cornucopia: It's my own theory, but the DSM-5 seems to be making less distinction between autism and other related disorders. I believe that autism is part of a family of disorders that are all related to irregular early childhood over development (+10%) of the Amygdala. My rudimentary understand of this suggests that this phenomenon of over development is responsible for many fear-based neuroses.
As such, i believe that having one mental diagnosis inherently makes you have a little of all the related ones, sortof.
This should explain the: Depression, anxiety, self-esteem, occasional suicidal thoughts, bi-polar tendencies (please be aware that it is possible that the bi-polar diagnosis is often used as a catchall diagnosis by medical professional who are at a loss) and maybe the insomnia too.
3) Social issues: Sometimes i suspect that this is only an indicator of autism because autistic individuals tend to over-specialize in what they like to such a degree that everything else is ignored, including, socializing. Then again, there's other factors, any my views on how they affect social stuffs would take me longer to type than i'm willing to get into.
4) Your special interest rant was A) a common special interest among those of us here, and B) Was intense. You couldn't have produced that without a considerable amount of prolonged obsessive focus.
5) It is extremely common to have an indepth knowledge of language. It's necessary to achieve an indepth knowledge of your specialized interest of choice. Well... the language thing just happens. Specialized Knowledge is most commonly transmitted via text, i think.
6) Systems of symbol manipulation work (for humans) because of the process known as "chunking".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magica ... _Minus_Two
Simple symbols are attractive (to humans) because they can be understood as a single piece of information within short-term memory. Or something. This is why symbols have power. They enter the subconcious without the need for memory recall. Or something.
This is point number six because i have autism, and if you tempt me, i will write a paper about this, which only about 1/1000 people would even be the slightest bit interested in reading.
It's point number six because your post was basically a thesis on this as well.
7) You're talking about Free-Will vs Determinism. I have banned my real life autistic friend from saying the word 'Determinism'. I suspect he uses it as an escape hatch to explain as to why his life has not gone as HE planned, or something.
I told him that if he kept using the word determinism to explain everything, i was going to open a rift in the fabric of time-space by creating a paradox, and offered as proof that i was going to smack him everytime he used it, and because he is such a staunch defender of the theory, it would be morally hypocritical of him to ever hold me responsible for my own pre-determined actions that i clearly can't control. If smacking someone who uses determinism is an uncontrollable law of the universe (he can't morally defend himself), then any prolonged discussion of the theory could result in severe injury or even death to it's advocates. Therefore via natural selection, will not the scientific community eventually be composed entirely of people who don't believe in determinism, thus proving it's falsehood? The will of the universe is indeed powerful! It's as if everything is predetermined. A paradox! (In all fairness, i'd never and have never smacked him).
Do you like my joke? I like my joke.
8) As for time moving forward, i don't know why people think that. Such a strange assumption. Interestingly, we can predict the future, but this becomes less accurate over time. Memory is exactly the opposite of this, where things things in the near past can be remembered more clearly than in far past. As human perspective taints everything anyway, then i call it drew, and claim that we are static timeless entities.
I had two beers. Sorry.
9) Fifthgear is a metaphor for the speed your mind operates when it tries to relate all this inter-related information together in a big-picture web. If i am correct, just admit that you have autism, and give me a cookie. A symbolic pictorial representation of a cookie will suffice.
Also, please beware of mania. Attempting to find meaning in everything can result in this. You may be more pre-deposed than the general population. Just guessing. I'm not a doctor. At all.
10) Welcome!

*wanders away*



kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

31 Jan 2015, 8:41 am

I wouldn't call the OP's statement of purpose a "rant." I would call it a "statement of his special interest." A rant is when something is said/written in anger.



LeLetch
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2010
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 207

31 Jan 2015, 8:59 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
I wouldn't call the OP's statement of purpose a "rant." I would call it a "statement of his special interest." A rant is when something is said/written in anger.


Ya know, he might not have noticed that slip if you didn't point it out.

I just assumed that a rant was a long-winded monologue.

Thankfully, i have you.

It's your fault if the OP is offended.

Consider being more sensitive in the future. The OP is new and has feelings that deserve to be respected. This may be difficult considering all the autism and nit-picking in this forum, but i'm sure we can accomplish it if we work together.



fifthgear
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 28
Location: Rhode Island

31 Jan 2015, 11:51 am

Hahaha! This is great fun. I certainly do hope to enjoy this forum for a long time to come. I do believe that I have something in the Autism Spectrum, or some other developmental disorder. That's why I am here. My next step is to get a professional assessment. I do need to know for certain as I need an explanation for why I encounter the world as I do. I believe a diagnosis will allow me to begin to construct an identity for myself for the first time ever.



LeLetch
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2010
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 207

31 Jan 2015, 12:16 pm

fifthgear wrote:
Hahaha! This is great fun. I certainly do hope to enjoy this forum for a long time to come. I do believe that I have something in the Autism Spectrum, or some other developmental disorder. That's why I am here. My next step is to get a professional assessment. I do need to know for certain as I need an explanation for why I encounter the world as I do. I believe a diagnosis will allow me to begin to construct an identity for myself for the first time ever.


I suspect that not having an identity is actually a possible side-effect of autism, as opposed to just being angsty because you don't fit in well, due to the fact that most people don't have autism.

I'm been toying with that thought for a while.

Might be because we learn more like each other than normal people learn like each other. I think normal people filter the incoming info. I don't think we do, i think we just eat all of it. Filters are different. Not having one is the same as not having one.

Like that.

Got the idea when i saw an article about mimicry and autism.

As for a professional assessment, my doctor tried to tell me that autism was an childhood diagnosis, as if it wasn't genetic :/ . What she might have meant to say was that they just don't bother with adults, i think.

Hopefully you don't run into that. She also tried to tell me that because i could socially converse with her without derailing the topic towards trains, that i therefore was not autistic. Ughhhh.

It's probably just because i live in a free-healthcare country. There's no mental health funding for adults. Just doesn't exist.

Hopefully you don't end up dealing with the nonsense i just complained about.


Specialist couldn't understand why it mattered if i was diagnosed, if i wasn't particularly interested in being on prescription dope. *sigh*


_________________
Formerly I 80% N 85% T 80% P 15%, INTP, philosopher. Now E 60% N 65% F 90% P 15%, ENFP, ray of sunshine, unless i'm moody.
It clicked one day. I have empathy now. It has downsides i didn't expect. It's going somewhat poorly, since people tend to suck at new things. That's how you know it's true.


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 87,074
Location: Queens, NYC

31 Jan 2015, 12:45 pm

This is the purpose if this Site: for people to have great fun.



fifthgear
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Posts: 28
Location: Rhode Island

31 Jan 2015, 10:01 pm

LeLetch wrote:
fifthgear wrote:
Hahaha! This is great fun. I certainly do hope to enjoy this forum for a long time to come. I do believe that I have something in the Autism Spectrum, or some other developmental disorder. That's why I am here. My next step is to get a professional assessment. I do need to know for certain as I need an explanation for why I encounter the world as I do. I believe a diagnosis will allow me to begin to construct an identity for myself for the first time ever.


I suspect that not having an identity is actually a possible side-effect of autism, as opposed to just being angsty because you don't fit in well, due to the fact that most people don't have autism.

I'm been toying with that thought for a while.

Might be because we learn more like each other than normal people learn like each other. I think normal people filter the incoming info. I don't think we do, i think we just eat all of it. Filters are different. Not having one is the same as not having one.

Like that.

Got the idea when i saw an article about mimicry and autism.

As for a professional assessment, my doctor tried to tell me that autism was an childhood diagnosis, as if it wasn't genetic :/ . What she might have meant to say was that they just don't bother with adults, i think.

Hopefully you don't run into that. She also tried to tell me that because i could socially converse with her without derailing the topic towards trains, that i therefore was not autistic. Ughhhh.

It's probably just because i live in a free-healthcare country. There's no mental health funding for adults. Just doesn't exist.

Hopefully you don't end up dealing with the nonsense i just complained about.


Specialist couldn't understand why it mattered if i was diagnosed, if i wasn't particularly interested in being on prescription dope. *sigh*


I have identified via web several psychologists in my area whose profiles say they specialize in ASD in adults. My fingers are crossed that my experience isn't like yours. I've already contacted one of them for an initial consultation.



LeLetch
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 7 Nov 2010
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 207

01 Feb 2015, 12:16 pm

Seeing an ASD specialist should circumvent alot of those problems.

Good luck, and such.


If you get too bored one day, there's a PM system, and i'm sure we could blabber about a what blackhole is or is not *makes silly face*


_________________
Formerly I 80% N 85% T 80% P 15%, INTP, philosopher. Now E 60% N 65% F 90% P 15%, ENFP, ray of sunshine, unless i'm moody.
It clicked one day. I have empathy now. It has downsides i didn't expect. It's going somewhat poorly, since people tend to suck at new things. That's how you know it's true.