Underlying Cause of Asperger's Syndrome: Existential Dread?

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Scarlet_N
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04 Apr 2008, 9:05 pm

I agree, in my case.

Sometimes I look around at most of the NTs around me who treat the less important things in life as if they are the important, and vice versa.

And it make me want to crawl in a hole because I wish to discuss the important things.

Say, instead of arguing about whether or not there is God, I would like to discuss the effects that a belief in God would have upon people or societies.

When NTs are obsessing over who is on Dancing With the Stars, I wish to discuss different dances from different cultures and what that reveals about the nature of each culture.

Instead of arguing over who is more beautiful of two women, I'd like to discuss what it is that makes each woman beautiful.

I look around and do not see meaning in the existance of most around me; I do not feel that my existence will make a difference in the grand scheme of things, and I feel that a human lifetime is all too short to accomplish all that I wish to accomplish, learn all I wish to learn, and all that.

Sometimes this can lead to a lonely state of being, even if you are surrounded by people.



RainKing
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04 Apr 2008, 9:13 pm

Scarlet_N wrote:

Sometimes I look around at most of the NTs around me who treat the less important things in life as if they are the important, and vice versa.



Yes. Exactly. They get things backwards.

I'm at a point in my life where I'm going to have to explain to my family how I find art more important than wealth. They think that it's because I'm lazy, but I know otherwise. I just spent two weeks working full-time (irregularly) on some new music (I make music).



Social_Fantom
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04 Apr 2008, 9:19 pm

Scarlet_N wrote:
Sometimes I look around at most of the NTs around me who treat the less important things in life as if they are the important, and vice versa.


I'm the same way. I notice NT's value things that I find to be the most useless and petty. And the things I value (knowledge for example) is petty to them.


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aspiewhostandsalone
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04 Apr 2008, 9:44 pm

On the above posts i agree totally because things like footb all and the celebrities and the news dosn't interest me one bit but im still trying to find out why i'm here and what am i supposed to do as far as what god wants me to accomplish in this lifetime and oh yea im STILL trying to figure out WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WITH AS IN MY FAMILY!??!



anbuend
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04 Apr 2008, 9:59 pm

My own view is that it's not truly confrontation with the meaninglessness or emptiness of the universe, but rather the limitations of a person's own thought processes, and the ultimate emptiness of certain kinds of thought. Most people don't head in that direction, thinking-wise, and I think autistic people are more likely to. Additionally, most people (autistic or not) who run into that stuff, think that's all there is and never look past or outside of it.


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IsThatAFact
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04 Apr 2008, 10:05 pm

Quote:
Existential dread means an uncomfortable or frightening (or sick) feeling upon realization of (or direct confrontation with) the meaninglessness and emptiness of the universe (or nothingness).


Where I have been most of my life - I came to this realisation as a young teenager 30 years later it is the same feeling. I just never understood why no one else saw it (only discovered AS 6 months ago!).

Hence ‘existential dread’ leads to motivational drivers that are different from the norm.



Pepperfire
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04 Apr 2008, 10:15 pm

IsThatAFact wrote:
Quote:
Existential dread means an uncomfortable or frightening (or sick) feeling upon realization of (or direct confrontation with) the meaninglessness and emptiness of the universe (or nothingness).


Where I have been most of my life - I came to this realisation as a young teenager 30 years later it is the same feeling. I just never understood why no one else saw it (only discovered AS 6 months ago!).

Hence ‘existential dread’ leads to motivational drivers that are different from the norm.


Aha.

I have found myself driven to change things, since learning that if THEY won't do it, I have to... It doesn't take away the sick thought that people are idiots. (Even though I have been lucky enough to actually learn that they aren't all). I have made a point of putting time, effort and energy into fighting the good fight. It is my intent to change the world... even if I only manage to change my tiny universe, at least I will have tried. Fighting the "existential dread", if you will, has given my life it's meaning.


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Gosmokesome
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04 Apr 2008, 10:28 pm

I used to feel lots of existential dread but then I just got comfortable to having to add meaning to my own life myself instead of just trying to get things or do things in order to reach a sense of fulfillment. People seem to want things in order to get other things in order to get other things. I have always wondered where they were going. You get 80-90 years and you're going to spend it on getting stuff? But then what else besides spending your time on getting stuff? That is the emptiness and it's facing this emptiness that could be called existential dread. These people seem to think happiness depends on anything else besides just wanting to be happy and then just being happy. It's completely in their control but people just don't seem to want to accept responsibility. Oh well we're all just monkeys, clever monkeys but still very messed up monkeys.



Pepperfire
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04 Apr 2008, 10:30 pm

Gosmokesome wrote:
I used to feel lots of existential dread but then I just got comfortable to having to add meaning to my own life myself instead of just trying to get things or do things in order to reach a sense of fulfillment. People seem to want things in order to get other things in order to get other things. I have always wondered where they were going. You get 80-90 years and you're going to spend it on getting stuff? But then what else besides spending your time on getting stuff? That is the emptiness and it's facing this emptiness that could be called existential dread. These people seem to think happiness depends on anything else besides just wanting to be happy and then just being happy. It's completely in their control but people just don't seem to want to accept responsibility. Oh well we're all just monkeys, clever monkeys but still very messed up monkeys.


I'm not messed up... just different. ;)


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RainKing
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04 Apr 2008, 10:50 pm

:wink: You are right on, Gosmokesome, Pepperfire, IsThatAFact.



marshall
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05 Apr 2008, 2:14 am

RainKing wrote:
Existential dread means an uncomfortable or frightening (or sick) feeling upon realization of (or direct confrontation with) the meaninglessness and emptiness of the universe (or nothingness).


Yes. I experienced that feeling starting around the age of 13. I think I came up with the thought that “everything is meaningless” only to explain a feeling that was already present in me.

It’s impossible to objectively declare whether something is meaningful or not without any outside context. Since the universe as a whole can have no outside context any declaration of purpose is purely aesthetic and emotional in nature. Of course this thought isn't really a comfort when you're in the midst of a crisis.

I now think that kind of “existential dread” was caused primarily by a biological change in the brain. I see it as a manifestation of the maturing brain. Growing pains of the head, if you will.



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05 Apr 2008, 6:08 am

I've been in an existential crisis for about a year now. I think there are two forms that are often referred to as an existential crisis, but only one of them is true. Often times (picture hot topic kid) people arrive to the conclusion that everything is meaningless without true reasoning, which suggests that their existential dilemma is a result of their depression. I entered my crisis through an obsession with philosophy and debunking metaphysics and ethics. When one follows a purely factual and truthful train of thought, the world is revealed as meaningless and absurd. Essentially the whole human world functions on a lie--it really makes me not want to participate anymore. I think the biggest lie is morality; it's a ridiculous concept.

I think if I had a place in the world things would be different. That's essentially the cure for an existential crisis, something that makes you want to value things. However, existentialism doesn't make things have meaning, it makes you value things. Minds are the one's that hold the value, not the object.



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05 Apr 2008, 9:55 am

Angst marks the spot? topic

The list of "causes" of Asperger's and Autism continues to grow:

Vaccines
Refrigerator mothers or poor parenting
Trauma
Allergies
Drug abuse
Mercury
lifestyle (laziness)

And now...
Angst

Please add to the list if I have inadvertently omitted anything. :roll:


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skeeterhawk
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05 Apr 2008, 10:33 am

Anbuend said:

Quote:
My own view is that it's not truly confrontation with the meaninglessness or emptiness of the universe, but rather the limitations of a person's own thought processes, and the ultimate emptiness of certain kinds of thought. Most people don't head in that direction, thinking-wise, and I think autistic people are more likely to. Additionally, most people (autistic or not) who run into that stuff, think that's all there is and never look past or outside of it.


I have to agree. People feel that their thoughts can somehow reach the absolutes of knowing. There seem to me to be a lot of people who want a momentous sounding phrase to latch onto but who are loath to admit that the phrase has little meaning. An example of such a phrase is "absolutes of knowing". I guess a lot of folks may feel existential dread when the admit that their words and thoughts are never going to measure up to the meaning that they want them to have.

Autism spectrum folks may run into this at a greater rate than NTs because they can't use the "social support" aspect that I'm told that the exists among my normal colleagues. What I mean is that the fact that other folks declare (with feeling) that something or other gives life meaning, it doesn't do anything for me. All I see is the nuts and bolts to be taken at face value. Thus I have found myself the odd one out in church groups, philosophy groups, and even meditation groups. Low social component, low receptivity to "meaning", perhaps greater existential dread.

Personally, I feel that I have worked through this in my own way although one can never be sure when the old mega-bummer feelings may return!



cas
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05 Apr 2008, 1:47 pm

NT teenagers have those "existential dread" realizations so often that it's commonly associated with normal teen age (rightly or wrongly). I've had the thought but it slides off; if there is no meaning then there's no point in dwelling on it. I might as well get on with what I wanted to do, none of which was changed in substance by the surfacing of those thoughts. There's no frightening or sick feeling, perhaps because I never understood why people would bother to "search for the meaning of life" in the first place when there was never any indication or guarantee of any kind of meaning being in place.

But I don't think you can agree that we must make our own meanings and at the same time say that the things other people value are less important simply because you don't value them or don't value them as highly. Not everyone will want to engage with the things you want to talk about or in the way you want to talk about them, and that doesn't imply that it's more important or better or more intelligent to talk about global poverty than it is to talk about Britney Spears.