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Mike_GX101

Can delusions of grandiosity be a part of Asperger's

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Dr-David-Banner
On Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 9:27 AM, Nesf said:

I don't think so, in my experience people with ASD suffer from a lack of self esteem rather than delusions of grandiosity, though I think that some make grand plans which then don't come to fruition.

It is often one of the symptoms - basically narcissism. Given autism is an inward, self orientated mindset, narcissism can follow from that. I feel I am narcissistic in some ways and very aware I don't follow popular thinking trends or be easily influenced by the "done" thing or view. I loved the way too Muhammad Ali in the sixties would think how he wanted to think and not just follow the pack. He was almost the first to publically refuse to fight in Vietnam and was briefly the most hated athlete in America. 

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Sanctuary

It's important to distinguish narcissism from individualism. While both may do things differently and "not follow the crowd" the narcissist does so very deliberately in a desire to gain attention - the "look at me, look at me" syndrome. Individualism though is often not this sort of deliberate, ostentatious choice but may just be someone acting in a way that feels comfortable to them or even be the only approach they know or can perform. Some may actually want to do things in the way others do but find it too difficult. For example some autistic individuals may want to socialise and join in the activities of others but they find it too difficult or stressful to do so and this leads to them following a more individual path out of necessity (although some with ASD have no interest in socialising or doing the things that neurotypicals do).

While it is true that many with autism spend a lot of time in some sort of introspection this also is usually very different to narcissism. The narcissist admires him / herself and likes to focus on his or her supposed virtues; others engage in a far more critical introspection, fretting over their supposed faults and limitations and I feel this is much more true for those with autism. Social isolation also often leaves little choice but some degree of self-preoccupation.  Overall while there may be some autistic individuals who fit a narcissistic personality type most do not.

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Dr-David-Banner

I know it's off- topiic but last night I watched a dvd on Lance Armstrong and his fall from grace. Although clearly neurotypical, Lance was portrayed as being a big-head and craving to win and be at the top. However despite the public outrage over Lance,  I felt I could understand how he became corrupted in a dog-eat-dog sport, drugs included. There was so much money in the Tour de France and it's clear doping was universal. I think the outrage against Lance was due to his aggressive denials over drugs and his legal lawsuits against those who stated he was doping. Very strange to see Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying of rivals when he was also very kind to children with cancer and gave so much to charity and cancer research. Also what the film revealed was the bitterness and resentment felt by former team-mates who had gotten caught doping and then turned on Armstrong. I had this weird feeling too when it struck me how group and team mentality dominated everything. Sports-wise years ago I chose bodybuilding as I feel my ego is too big to endure being in a team. I would hate being eclipsed by more popular athletes. Same goes for music. I need to write my own tracks rather than fade into a group. Lastly too what struck me was the way the French fans are allowed to run by the cyclists in the mountain stages or even dart out in front of them. In my case that would have made me angry to put it mildly. Anyway I think I am a bit narcissistic in certain ways. Those times when my efforts to be really good in a special interest were taken lightly or ridiculed, it fired me up to work ten times as hard. When sportsmen like Armstrong get carried away, I can at least relate to part of it. Maybe in his case the drive came from being raised by a single mother and needing to be noticed.

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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