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Spinetrak
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19 Feb 2008, 7:38 am

I'm almost 100% positive that there were threads about this but I couldn't find any using the search function, so...

What are the differences between shyness and AS. Are there any ? What exactly is 'shyness' ? Are shyness and AS related in any way ?
The reason I'm asking this is because all my life I've been labeled as 'extremely shy'. When I first read about AS some more than a year ago (when Nikki Bacharach died), I felt that not just me, but also my father, fit the diagnostic criteria of AS. But without a formal DX I can never be sure and I ask myself all the time : what if I'm really just that, an 'extremely shy' person ?

Side note : My search popped up this thread. According to Gilmartin's criteria, I'm not a 'love-shy man', though I fit in some of his critera, but not all by any means. For example, I'm not a virgin. I've had two long term-relationships (I guess it's not that much for a 28 year old, though, especially that the last one ended more than 4 years ago). But still, I find it difficult to initiate conversations with women, but I find it difficult with anyone alive, so that doesn't matter, I guess.

Side note 2 : I read the wikipedia article on shyness. It says that there is some genetic connection between autism and shyness. Also, it seems to me that a lot of traits of AS are identical to the traits of shyness. It also links shyness to mercury poisoning.

So, what is the current official standpoint on this subject ?

(God, I hate opening threads :D)


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nomad21
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19 Feb 2008, 7:52 am

That's a very good question. I think the difference can easily be distinguished by checking for the other symptoms of AS... limited interests, sameness, stimming... you get the point. Do you show the other symptoms, or is the social isolation the only symptom you show?



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19 Feb 2008, 8:07 am

i wouldn't always trust wikipedia.... i am wary of blaming mercury poisoning for everything.


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2ukenkerl
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19 Feb 2008, 8:21 am

Sedaka wrote:
i wouldn't always trust wikipedia.... i am wary of blaming mercury poisoning for everything.


It isn't blamed ENOUGH!! !! ! Even when I was a little kid, it was WELL KNOWN it was POISONOUS! That was about 40 years ago! When I was a little kid, and got my first filling, I asked what the stuff REALLY was. SILVER didn't sound right, as I figured it could corrode and that the melting point was too high. They were reluctant to tell me ANYTHING past amalgam. If they mentioned mercury, I would have yelled and run away. Today, I pay more just to avoid the garbage.

And even the ADA has had to admit that amalgam is NOT stable! They tell their dentists to treat it like a biohazard! It is interesting how they tell dentists and non dentists the exact opposite.

Anyway, I think I was shy before I really had any mercury, and am less shy now. Shyness IS a symptom of AS/autism, but that is as far as that goes, and doesn't mean you are autistic, etc....



Danielismyname
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19 Feb 2008, 8:26 am

Shyness: sitting away from people for you're "shy", scared, anxious [not social anxiety], you're an introverted and quiet person; hard to initiate conversations due to being "shy", "timid", "passive". You can interact socially how others expect you to, you can read verbal/non-verbal cues and communication just like anyone else. You body language is fine, your eye contact is fine, you can modulate your voice to the situation. You can form relationships like anyone else, you can do what those your age can do.

Asperger's: sitting away from people because you have no idea in hell how to talk to them, and if you're one who figures out that perhaps they'd be interested in hearing your obsessive interest, or you like talking about it, you go over and initiate conversation in a one-sided, verbose, and sometimes insensitive manner. You lack eye contact (sporadic to none at all), you have no idea what the gestures the people use mean, why they throw their arms around, why they make these funny faces; why they sometimes walk away from you when you were clearly talking to them. Why they continue to ask you to speak up, and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to speak in a way that everyone can understand. Perhaps they say you're rude when you point an interesting fact out, this confuses you. You may also become very uncomfortable with the situation, uncomfortable in that you feel like you're going to die any minute now, that's how overwhelming it can be.

If one has undiagnosed Asperger's, they'll probably think nothing is wrong with them until they hit the wall of mental illness; they'll wonder why they cannot make friends, why they cannot do what others expect them to, all of this leads on to anxiety and mood disorders.

28 and two romantic relationships? That's very, very good for someone with AS.

Think of AS as autism, but with adequate speech.



Last edited by Danielismyname on 19 Feb 2008, 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

zee
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19 Feb 2008, 8:27 am

Good topic, I've noticed too that some people seem to equate shyness with AS, even though they are totally different things. The wiki article states:

Unlike those with autism, people with AS are not usually withdrawn around others; they approach others, even if awkwardly, for example by engaging in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic while being oblivious to the listener's feelings or reactions, such as signs of boredom or haste to leave.[3] This social awkwardness has been called "active but odd".

I think that describes it perfectly, at least for myself. I'm often hesitant in talking people because I think they'll misinterpret what I say, and it takes a lot of effort to pick the right words. Moreover, since Aspies don't make eye contact, this seems to add to the idea. But the reason we don't make eye contact is because it disrupts our concentration, not because we're 'shy'.

So what is shy? That's a difficult question to answer. I would say someone who is afraid of talking to new people.



Spinetrak
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19 Feb 2008, 8:31 am

nomad21 wrote:
That's a very good question. I think the difference can easily be distinguished by checking for the other symptoms of AS... limited interests, sameness, stimming... you get the point. Do you show the other symptoms, or is the social isolation the only symptom you show?

Well, I do stim, I have limited, but not so narrow interests (you can check it in my profile, though it needs an update : recently I'm more obsessed with WWII movies), I prefer sameness and I have some strict routines etc., but naturally these don't 100% convince me that I'm any way autistic.
I fit the DSM IV criteria, though, but not exactly fit Gillberg's criteria. But I don't believe in self dx.

Sedaka, you're absolutely right, I don't always trust wikipedia, that's why I asked the question here.


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Last edited by Spinetrak on 19 Feb 2008, 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Danielismyname
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19 Feb 2008, 8:33 am

Zee, that quote is somewhat erroneous as there are many individuals with AS who're socially withdrawn.

The eMedicine article explains it quite adequately:

Quote:
Some individuals may display selective mutism, speaking not at all to most people and excessively to specific people. Some may choose to talk only to people they like. Thus, speech may reflect idiosyncratic interests and preferences of the individual.



Spinetrak
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19 Feb 2008, 8:56 am

Danielismyname wrote:
Shyness: sitting away from people for you're "shy", scared, anxious [not social anxiety], you're an introverted and quiet person; hard to initiate conversations due to being "shy", "timid", "passive". You can interact socially how others expect you to, you can read verbal/non-verbal cues and communication just like anyone else. You body language is fine, your eye contact is fine, you can modulate your voice to the situation. You can form relationships like anyone else, you can do what those your age can do.

Asperger's: sitting away from people because you have no idea in hell how to talk to them, and if you're one who figures out that perhaps they'd be interested in hearing your obsessive interest, or you like talking about it, you go over and initiate conversation in a one-sided, verbose, and sometimes insensitive manner. You lack eye contact (sporadic to none at all), you have no idea what the gestures the people use mean, why they throw their arms around, why they make these funny faces; why they sometimes walk away from you when you were clearly talking to them. Why they continue to ask you to speak up, and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to speak in a way that everyone can understand. Perhaps they say you're rude when you point an interesting fact out, this confuses you. You may also become very uncomfortable with the situation, uncomfortable in that you feel like you're going to die any minute now, that's how overwhelming it can be.

If one has undiagnosed Asperger's, they'll probably think nothing is wrong with them until they hit the wall of mental illness; they'll wonder why they cannot make friends, why they cannot do what others expect them to, all of this leads on to anxiety and mood disorders.

28 and two romantic relationships? That's very, very good for someone with AS.

Think of AS as autism, but with adequate speech.

Well, according to this, I'm AS. I used to deliver speeches about music and movies all my life to people who didn't give a damn at all. Eye contact (check - though I learned how to fake it), not readig gestures (check - but this can be learned too to some degree), I've been told all my life to 'speak up' (check), oral exams were always a hell. Overwhelming situations (check). Anxiety and mood disorders (check), ask my poor mother about it.

But actually, I didn't want this to be an 'Am I AS or not ?' thread. I just asked the question in general, because I've been thinking about this subject a lot recently.


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Obstinate
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19 Feb 2008, 9:34 am

Anyone with AS sometimes wonder too much of if they're saying too much to people. To most people I don't say much because I know they won't be interested, but if it's a really close friend I say so much that oftentime my mind hits a blank and my mouth just keeps moving haha.



Lateralus
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19 Feb 2008, 9:48 am

Quote:
Shyness: sitting away from people for you're "shy", scared, anxious [not social anxiety], you're an introverted and quiet person; hard to initiate conversations due to being "shy", "timid", "passive". You can interact socially how others expect you to, you can read verbal/non-verbal cues and communication just like anyone else. You body language is fine, your eye contact is fine, you can modulate your voice to the situation. You can form relationships like anyone else, you can do what those your age can do.

Asperger's: sitting away from people because you have no idea in hell how to talk to them, and if you're one who figures out that perhaps they'd be interested in hearing your obsessive interest, or you like talking about it, you go over and initiate conversation in a one-sided, verbose, and sometimes insensitive manner. You lack eye contact (sporadic to none at all), you have no idea what the gestures the people use mean, why they throw their arms around, why they make these funny faces; why they sometimes walk away from you when you were clearly talking to them. Why they continue to ask you to speak up, and no matter how hard you try, you can't seem to speak in a way that everyone can understand. Perhaps they say you're rude when you point an interesting fact out, this confuses you. You may also become very uncomfortable with the situation, uncomfortable in that you feel like you're going to die any minute now, that's how overwhelming it can be.

If one has undiagnosed Asperger's, they'll probably think nothing is wrong with them until they hit the wall of mental illness; they'll wonder why they cannot make friends, why they cannot do what others expect them to, all of this leads on to anxiety and mood disorders.

28 and two romantic relationships? That's very, very good for someone with AS.

Think of AS as autism, but with adequate speech


If that is true then i am just shy then.



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19 Feb 2008, 10:01 am

I've known plenty of extroverted NTs who desbribed themselves as shy. Explain that. :shrug:


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19 Feb 2008, 10:35 am

I have both. I used to not be shy at all but I would do things that I didn't know were inappropriate and get constantly ridiculed or harassed and so I started to feel that it was better to do nothing at all to avoid all the trouble. So now when I am unsure I just don't do anything. I am trying to work on that though, I may be better some time by the end of this century.



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19 Feb 2008, 12:55 pm

Shyness is when you find it hard to interact with strangers but feel pretty free with old friends

Asperger is when you don't know how to interact with anybody, not even your brother or sister.


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19 Feb 2008, 12:58 pm

i have both