I'm 25 and just found out I may have Aspergers Syndrome

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VVingless
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07 Jul 2016, 12:25 am

This is my first post, I'll try to keep it short but I'll sharing a little bit of my story.

I've seen seeing a therapist for a little over a month now and he seemed to think I had aspergers after just a few weeks - we even went over some symptoms in the DSM IV and he said it was a likely possibility. This didn't exactly come as a surprise, however, and I have suspected that I fall in the spectrum somewhere, though I was never sure of the severity. As far as I can tell I don't have cognitive impairment or delays, though I'm obviously too biased to judge that myself. I definitely have noticed poor social skills and physical clumsiness throughout most of my life and those two symptoms alone are severe enough to make this diagnosis seem plausible.

To be honest, I'm not so sure I care that I fall in this spectrum. I began seeing the therapist for my depression and that's been the main struggle in my life for a long time now. My depression started sometime when I was around 13 and has never really gone away since then, so a good half of my life I have been dealing with this.

Incidentally my social circles, relationships, and friendships all began to fall apart around the same time that my depressive symptoms began. My therapist seemed to think that my depression was caused by the social problems (which themselves were caused by Asperger-like symptoms) however I have always believed it was the other way around, that my social problems were simply a reflection of the depression.

I've tried damn near everything to handle the depression and so far I haven't really found anything that has "cured" it, and I suspect nothing really can completely. So it's hard for me to even care that I could have aspergers or fall into the spectrum because that doesn't seem like as big of an issue. I personally think it's highly likely I have PDD-NOS at the very least, but so what? How does that change anything? If anything it will just continue to give me a victim mentality and excuse myself for my behaviors instead of trying to fix them.

I've always been highly introverted, and it seems to be getting even more extreme. I do so many things alone and at this point I almost seem to prefer it this way. Almost all of my friendships have fallen apart (though I can't say this was all my fault) and my dates never go anywhere. At this point in my life I've began to experience some intense social anhedonia and even a loss of interest in romantic relationships at times, and this is bothering me quite a lot. It's very difficult to improve my social skills or social life in general if I lose all desire to do it in the first place.

I don't really know what to do anymore. The depression greatly decreases my desire to socialize and my lack of socializing seems to increase my depression. I can't seem to form or create any meaningful relationships regardless of my depression because my asperger symptoms make it very difficult to connect with others.

I'm pretty damn frustrated with it all and sometimes I have seriously wondered if I will end up being a total recluse when I'm older, and I'm not so sure that's what I want. I really would like to have a group of fun friends, I'd love to have an understanding and cool girlfriend to grow with over the years, I'd love to just be a social and charismatic guy, but as I get older it seems like it's just a pipe dream or something.



SocOfAutism
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07 Jul 2016, 7:49 am

Welcome VVingless! <- Is that right? Two Vs?

I think that the depression is keeping you from being able to fully consider the implications of being autistic, and I think it's entirely possible that being autistic caused your depression. I'm just taking all the information you provided as facts. So, if you consider that at a very sensitive time in your life, 13, something in you realized that you were different and the world wasn't made for you. Your attempts at socialization did not go as intended or expected and the feedback you received from your peers was confusing. This is a huge deal, but especially when it happens at that age-while you're already having an identity shift and lots of biological and psychological changes. I could easily see that kicking in depression.

I think you should work with your therapist to get out of the depression through whatever means necessary. If they recommend trying medication, exercise, counseling, whatever, you should do that. Then when you feel it "clearing," I would come back to this identity issue and reconsider it. I DO think it matters.

You will hear other people here say that it doesn't matter. Their views are valid. But I think that it's important to recognize when and how you are different and respect yourself for that. Work out your own routines and methods for things. Be aware of it and be kind to yourself about it. And know that you can always find other people like you to talk to when you need it.



VVingless
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07 Jul 2016, 5:37 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
Welcome VVingless! <- Is that right? Two Vs?

I think that the depression is keeping you from being able to fully consider the implications of being autistic, and I think it's entirely possible that being autistic caused your depression. I'm just taking all the information you provided as facts. So, if you consider that at a very sensitive time in your life, 13, something in you realized that you were different and the world wasn't made for you. Your attempts at socialization did not go as intended or expected and the feedback you received from your peers was confusing. This is a huge deal, but especially when it happens at that age-while you're already having an identity shift and lots of biological and psychological changes. I could easily see that kicking in depression.

I think you should work with your therapist to get out of the depression through whatever means necessary. If they recommend trying medication, exercise, counseling, whatever, you should do that. Then when you feel it "clearing," I would come back to this identity issue and reconsider it. I DO think it matters.

You will hear other people here say that it doesn't matter. Their views are valid. But I think that it's important to recognize when and how you are different and respect yourself for that. Work out your own routines and methods for things. Be aware of it and be kind to yourself about it. And know that you can always find other people like you to talk to when you need it.


Yep that's right, Wingless was already taken haha.

The reason I think the two are seperate is because I can also draw a correlation between the onset of these issues and the start of puberty. I had a long running hypothesis that I had problems during puberty with hormone production (test in particular) that caused the depressive symptoms to manifest. I actually had a very active social life when I was a kid, but when I started 7th grade (at 13 years old) a vast majority of my friends went to a different school district and I ended up losing contact with them. It wasn't long before I started to run into more severe social problems. I always assumed that my social problems were a result of my depression simply because I had classical symptoms of depression that always persisted, regardless of the current state of affairs in my social life. Looking back on this though, I could be misinterpreting it.

But I could very well be wrong. I suppose I've been so used to being shy and highly introverted that I haven't considered what it would be like to have a rich social life for a meaningful length of time. I have spent a great time of time trying to understand myself through introspection and meditation but I have only just been diagnosed within the autism spectrum, and I've avoided considering these implications simply because I've always assumed my depression was an independent issue that was more rooted in my neurophysiology rather than external situations such as my social life.



SocOfAutism
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08 Jul 2016, 7:56 am

Ah okay.

I still think that you need to at least reduce the depression before you can unravel the autism spectrum part. You kept saying that you didn't care and it didn't matter. I'm not sure how you can accurately answer important reflective questions if you're feeling so much apathy.

It could be that you're having social anxiety, or something else instead of autism. No matter what "it" is, you won't know what it means to you if you're still depressed. You'll be able to figure it all out much easier if you first have a handle on the depression.

I also urge you to treat the depression as it can be dangerous and seriously hamper your life. When you get deeply depressed it becomes like a bad tooth- you've lived with it for so long that you no longer remember what it's like to be without it.



VVingless
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08 Jul 2016, 6:12 pm

SocOfAutism wrote:
Ah okay.

I still think that you need to at least reduce the depression before you can unravel the autism spectrum part. You kept saying that you didn't care and it didn't matter. I'm not sure how you can accurately answer important reflective questions if you're feeling so much apathy.

It could be that you're having social anxiety, or something else instead of autism. No matter what "it" is, you won't know what it means to you if you're still depressed. You'll be able to figure it all out much easier if you first have a handle on the depression.

I also urge you to treat the depression as it can be dangerous and seriously hamper your life. When you get deeply depressed it becomes like a bad tooth- you've lived with it for so long that you no longer remember what it's like to be without it.


Maybe I wasn't clear in what I was saying, but my goal has always been to fix my depressive symtomps first, and that is still my main goal. The problem is that nothing really seems to work. The only thing I haven't tried is medication, but I'm against doing that for a variety of reasons. I do happen to think that if I fixed the depressive symptoms that not only would I be able to understand the extent of my social ineptitude, but also be able to improve my social skills at a much quicker rate.



Maxima12
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09 Jul 2016, 7:07 am

It is possible to cure your depression without medication and I highly recommend that way, but it is very hard. I myself can get easily depressed, and when I do, I make tremendous effort to get out from depression. I usually get depressed when I fail to talk with some person that I like when there is a chance for that. I don't have any friends too and that also makes me sad/depressed sometimes. I don't know if I have ASD or not, some symptoms such as: not so good at nonverbal communication, very bad at making and keeping friends, not making eye contact while talking to someone, have poor general knowledge, I also have one hobby, well it's more then hobby, I'll rather call it obsessive interest, then I hate loud noise, I can't hear what someone is telling me when there is noise, I always thought my hearing was bad because of that, but when I tested it, it was normal, so I knew that problem was in processing, and I also thought that the same problem problem that was causing problems with sound processing was causing all other problems that I mentioned, I just thought that I had very low IQ, but when I tested it it was it was normal, so I got really confused, and then I found out about ASD, at first I had huge desire to visit specialist to see if I have it or not, but then after some time of thinking I don't really see why should I do that. Specialist will probably give me some medication, if I ask him about ASD, he is probably going to say that it is too hard to say anything for sure, but he might also say it is not really important too, he will probably give me diagnose of depression (even if I don't have it) or OCD, or anxiety(which I do have). I have an appointment with psychiatrist tomorrow, I was waiting for that more then 2 months, I really had huge desire to see if I have Asperger's syndrome or not, but now I don't, so I will cancel appointment.

P.S.
I am really sorry for my bad English.



SocOfAutism
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09 Jul 2016, 11:26 am

Maxima12- It seems like a shame to cancel the appointment if you've waited so long. Why not go and see what the psychiatrist says?

The thing is, for both you and VVingless, you don't have to do everything the psychiatrist tells you. Ordinarily, when they prescribe medication, they do not recommend that you ever go off of it, even if it's just a light antidepressant. I'm not a doctor, but I do think that's a little ridiculous. You can use a light antidepressant to get out of your current depression, then use your improved emotional state to make the necessary changes to your life. Maybe you need to stop doing something or start doing something. Increase or decrease something. Whatever. It can become clear when you're not so depressed. Then after you've given it three months or six months, you can taper off the medication yourself. If everyone took every medication exactly as needed, at least for people in the US, we would all be on 10 medications at once. Or more!

My point is that you can give something a try without making it something permanent.