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Britte
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08 May 2016, 11:44 am

Jonesy435 wrote:
Haha it's because everyone's been so helpful with their replies, it really makes me think that this kind of phenomenon for probably quite a few people on the autism spectrum has been largely ignored by scientific, especially clinical literature because maybe they just don't realise what we are experiencing because we find it difficult to communicate that to them, a lack of empathy perhaps on there part, or more worryingly to realise this is to rehumanize us from the dehumanising medical literature, to do so would bring about the examination of our strengths as well as our faults. To do so would ultimately make them examine themselves and that's makes them understandably uncomfortable, because it means they are no longer patients with 'the A -word' (used sarcastically) but people too, even more frightening we people outside social norms without being just defective but instead a mix of strengths and weaknesses, just different from their own. Of course this means some of us are left lost and conflicted.

Hey, well I'm really pleased I posted this, but it's everyone else who have made it helpful to you.


Well said, Jonesy!


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Nine7752
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08 May 2016, 2:15 pm

Jonsey435, you're right that this is right in line with Intense World Theory. That's the one "researcher" theory that fits best for me as well. Glad that some are kind of getting it.

As a personal example, this is largely why I am bad at eye contact. I feel like if I look into someone's eyes too long I will get flooded with their emotions, thoughts, and everything about them. I can't stand it because of too much connection, theory of mind be damned. I am probably cognitively wrong about this flooding, but at this point I don't care enough to make it a project to change.


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underwater
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10 May 2016, 10:39 am

Do any of you guys have trouble with over-emotional tv series in the same way as with eye contact? I find I often have to take breaks from any kind of video, and certainly tv series, because I find the story emotionally overwhelming.

One of the reasons I prefer to watch films over tv series is that films don't have cliff hangers. It drives me absolutely bonkers to actually care about what happens in the lives of fictional people.

Do any of you guys relate? It just occurred to me that these things might be connected.



Britte
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10 May 2016, 4:24 pm

underwater wrote:
Do any of you guys have trouble with over-emotional tv series in the same way as with eye contact? I find I often have to take breaks from any kind of video, and certainly tv series, because I find the story emotionally overwhelming.

One of the reasons I prefer to watch films over tv series is that films don't have cliff hangers. It drives me absolutely bonkers to actually care about what happens in the lives of fictional people.

Do any of you guys relate? It just occurred to me that these things might be connected.


Yes, I can become emotionally overwhelmed, to the point that I will refrain from watching further episodes of a series.

Another thing I experience, is immense frustration that will result from a character's failure to perceive the truth of a situation, and/or take appropriate action. I have introspected on this scenario, and I cannot figure out what it is that brings such an intense level of frustration. As it occurs, I feel physical sensations, as if my nerves are being pinched or similar. I don't experience the same effects, or level of intensity from cliffhangers, that you have mentioned.

I have profound responses to films. I will absorb the emotions of particular characters, and experience them, as if they are my own. I will, often, absorb the entire persona of a character, and feel as though I exist within the film. I can become deeply moved by various sounds, particularly, aspects of a piece of music, or the way it might be scored with the film. This happens with various other elements of a film, as well. If music touches me in a certain way, I will, literally, lose myself in the experience, and I can become entranced. When I would go to the theater to see a film, I would be the last to remain, as it could take me ages to process various effects of the film, or I would simply be too mesmerized to move. Upon leaving the theater, I would experience a feeling, I would describe as immense exuberance, and effects of the film would, often, stay with me for several hours.



Jonesy435
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10 May 2016, 4:37 pm

Yeah I'm like this too, with music, TV series, don't get frustrated though, books too. E.g. my English literature lesson today I empathised to such a degree with the characters that my understanding of the text was "excellently spot on". However I spent the lesson rocking back and forth, pulling at my hair, tearing up, stimming quite a bit. Sends tingling sensations done my spine, I shutdown for an hour afterwards, first thing I did was get up and fall over again, so yeah overwhelming haha .

Despite this I love crime dramas and crime fiction, so that's a contradictory, do still react very strongly, just I will keep going with it because I'm interested in that stuff even though it is unhealthy for me, especially as I have a tendency to absorb their personality, like a lot of us agree on.


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JeanES
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10 May 2016, 5:15 pm

Husband and I are both on the spectrum and are both hyper empathetic.

We're still learning to catch ourselves responding to emotions we perceive in the other, without being explicitly told...
because each of us will, at times, pick up fragments of emotion in the other (one read something and got angry, one is frustrated with code, one is in pain) and pick up that emotion and amplify it.

It's funny, too, that we are both highly accurate with casual acquaintances' and friends' feelings in a way that we used to be [more so] with each other... we've been friends for nearly two decades, but being in a relationship - and, even more so, cohabiting - has made interpreting each other's nonverbal cues SO much more difficult.



underwater
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13 May 2016, 4:45 pm

Britte wrote:
underwater wrote:
Do any of you guys have trouble with over-emotional tv series in the same way as with eye contact? I find I often have to take breaks from any kind of video, and certainly tv series, because I find the story emotionally overwhelming.

One of the reasons I prefer to watch films over tv series is that films don't have cliff hangers. It drives me absolutely bonkers to actually care about what happens in the lives of fictional people.

Do any of you guys relate? It just occurred to me that these things might be connected.


Yes, I can become emotionally overwhelmed, to the point that I will refrain from watching further episodes of a series.

Another thing I experience, is immense frustration that will result from a character's failure to perceive the truth of a situation, and/or take appropriate action. I have introspected on this scenario, and I cannot figure out what it is that brings such an intense level of frustration. As it occurs, I feel physical sensations, as if my nerves are being pinched or similar. I don't experience the same effects, or level of intensity from cliffhangers, that you have mentioned.

I have profound responses to films. I will absorb the emotions of particular characters, and experience them, as if they are my own. I will, often, absorb the entire persona of a character, and feel as though I exist within the film. I can become deeply moved by various sounds, particularly, aspects of a piece of music, or the way it might be scored with the film. This happens with various other elements of a film, as well. If music touches me in a certain way, I will, literally, lose myself in the experience, and I can become entranced. When I would go to the theater to see a film, I would be the last to remain, as it could take me ages to process various effects of the film, or I would simply be too mesmerized to move. Upon leaving the theater, I would experience a feeling, I would describe as immense exuberance, and effects of the film would, often, stay with me for several hours.


This. All of this. I don't think I've seen one single thread on this forum that resonated as strongly with me as this one.

I've spent half my life experiencing the lives of fictional characters. I eventually cut down drastically on the amount of fiction I was reading, because, quite frankly, a lot of serious fiction is depressive, and not good for my head. I got depressed in secondary school, and I could never explain to myself why I thought it had just as much to do with the literature we had to read as with my life situation.



Zizu58
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13 May 2016, 5:29 pm

I also see an awful lot of myself in these posts . Very interesting thread indeed .

I'm hyper sensitive to most things mentioned , including a few few types , sounds , textures and touch , other people's emotions etc etc ..

My worrying trait is that when I see sad or traumatic news story or news video clip , say about a child missing or murdered or whatever

I find myself feeling as though it was my child or whatever ... so I somehow manage to feel dreadful , anxious or whatever about something or someone who is NOTHING to do with me at all ! !

I stopped reading newspapers years ago as they made me so anxious ...



Jonesy435
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14 May 2016, 2:01 am

Zizu58 wrote:
I also see an awful lot of myself in these posts . Very interesting thread indeed .

I'm hyper sensitive to most things mentioned , including a few few types , sounds , textures and touch , other people's emotions etc etc ..

My worrying trait is that when I see sad or traumatic news story or news video clip , say about a child missing or murdered or whatever

I find myself feeling as though it was my child or whatever ... so I somehow manage to feel dreadful , anxious or whatever about something or someone who is NOTHING to do with me at all ! !

I stopped reading newspapers years ago as they made me so anxious ...


Yeah I can relate I can't stand watching the news or reading the news for long, it's really quite amusing because when I was younger I would put on a more macho appearance, refuse to acknowledge or react to the news, I'd make off hand comments to quell my anxiety I felt.

Now I'm a bit older and maybe a little wiser I don't do that, I acknowledge that it is effecting me then I will try and escape the room as quickly as possible! Haha


Also wow, I started something good here! :D


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Zizu58
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14 May 2016, 9:32 am

Jonesy435 wrote:
Zizu58 wrote:
I also see an awful lot of myself in these posts . Very interesting thread indeed .

I'm hyper sensitive to most things mentioned , including a few few types , sounds , textures and touch , other people's emotions etc etc ..

My worrying trait is that when I see sad or traumatic news story or news video clip , say about a child missing or murdered or whatever

I find myself feeling as though it was my child or whatever ... so I somehow manage to feel dreadful , anxious or whatever about something or someone who is NOTHING to do with me at all ! !

I stopped reading newspapers years ago as they made me so anxious ...


Yeah I can relate I can't stand watching the news or reading the news for long, it's really quite amusing because when I was younger I would put on a more macho appearance, refuse to acknowledge or react to the news, I'd make off hand comments to quell my anxiety I felt.

Now I'm a bit older and maybe a little wiser I don't do that, I acknowledge that it is effecting me then I will try and escape the room as quickly as possible! Haha


Also wow, I started something good here! :D

Yeah , very thought provoking thread indeed ..

Incidentally another one of my oddities is that I can immediately tell if someone I know friend / relative or colleague is feeling sick / worried or whatever . I think at I pick up on DIFFERENCES because my life is full of routine and sameness .

Does that make any sense ??



Jonesy435
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20 May 2016, 2:20 am

Zizu58 wrote:
Yeah , very thought provoking thread indeed ..

Incidentally another one of my oddities is that I can immediately tell if someone I know friend / relative or colleague is feeling sick / worried or whatever . I think at I pick up on DIFFERENCES because my life is full of routine and sameness .

Does that make any sense ??


Yeah I think so, you pick up the patterns and even neurotypical people are creatures of habit, we all our haha, so when their actions or emotional display changes from the norm, you pick up on this and you know that something might be wrong, each time this happens you build up a repertoire of what means worried, feeling sick etc, so each time they break their normal patterns of behaviour and match the worried or sick you know somethings wrong, perhaps. :)


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underwater
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23 May 2016, 2:16 am

One thing that is really important though: I am able to really focus on a person and understand them because I really make an effort. This ability goes haywire when a lot of people are present, and although I can pick up on things that others don't notice in a group, it's a really unreliable talent. Sometimes I am completely blind. Or, rather, I notice something but I can't come up with an explanation for it. I feel bombarded by information I can't act on.

Also, trying to understand relationships between people in a group makes my head explode.



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23 May 2016, 3:40 am

Just to keep it short, new scientific studies have now shown that those on the spectrum do indeed have much higher levels of empathy to those that are not. What they did find was the difficulty in expressing those emotions, that i can certainly understand and relate to. Also about feeling others pain, i do think there could be some truth in this especially when you are hyper emotionally aware, as i often feel the same, i remember having to fix a young lads finger because someone ran over it with a skateboard, i could feel the pain in my own finger and had to remove myself from the situation for a short time as i was about to pass out.. I think like for instance when a friend has a bad situation, i know that people often hug and say things like it will be alright, but i bypass that step as im not too sure if they want the contact or not, so spend some time thinking about a solution to their problem rather than respond in a manner that most people seem to initially do. :)



transsupernatural
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23 May 2016, 9:36 am

I may be wrong but I think ToM can still be defected but the individual still be highly empathic? This is more anecdotal than anything because for me I can "take on" the feelings of others while being pretty hard headed about my views and doing things that imply a lack of ToM, such as assuming someone knows certain data to a story because I know it, etc. My partner, who has ASD, is similar, though I can't say we've ever straight forwardly discussed how he experiences it. He's a lot more emotionally hidden than I. I recently read a paper that defined empathy as being able to understand another's feeling and/or being able to "perspective-take" another's view. I think I can do the former decently well and the latter... not so much.



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25 May 2016, 4:51 am

I think may be the Emotional Empathy And cognitive Empathy which NT's seem to generally get are a little more problimatic for those on the spectrum as we may often feel deep empathy towards someone but cognitively not know how to react.. I have had many instances where i have watched people walk by someone that fell or needed help, only for myself to be the first to assist, only after then people will come forward, i think more out of curiosity than to actually help.. Another instance of this was when a blind woman lost her way on the path and was walking down the middle of the street, i observed everyone's behavior and noticed, people either turning chairs to look away or look in another direction, i then went to aid her on her path, give her reference to where she was, and proceeded to got back to my chair where i was having a coffee, for one person to blurt out in ear shot of the lady, ""That was brave of you!"", response was"" It was necessary"".. I felt a little inner frustration with this for a number of reasons, one the fact he did it in earshot of the lady i was helping, two, that he said it at all, three why did he think it was brave?, four, why did everyone treat her like a ghost!?

This has also been the case when i have dealt with car crash victims, or those in direct need, i find there is very Little empathy in the NT world, but Empathy is a huge factor from an NT's perspective on the Autism Community, seems it not only those on the spectrum that lack empathy ( and i dont think we do, well not all of us) but they lack mind blindness also!