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leyper

Does anyone of this ring any bells?

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leyper

Hi

I’m 45 year, male, and for the past few years have suspected that “something is not quite right” with me. Sorry if that offends, I honestly don’t know how best to put it. I don’t know if I have Asperger’s or not, but the more I hear about it, the more the pieces seemed to fit. So I thought I’d throw this out there to the community to see what people think.

I wouldn’t say I’m shy, but I’m not great socially. I don’t struggle to strike up a rapport with people, but it’s usually based on me hiding behind humor and quickly fizzles, and after that I really find it hard going to keep conversation or even think of things to say. Social events can go one of three ways; 1. Anxiety kicks in before the event and I pull out. 2. I make myself go, but end up retreating into myself and leave early. 3. I go, have a great time, but you won’t find me on the dance floor or instigating conversation. Not a hope.

I can sometimes form very deep emotional connections with people around me (work colleagues, friends etc) with whom I feel I have shared similar life experiences. Those people are generally unaware of my strength of feeling toward them.

I always overthink and analyse stuff, to a point where I starting picking up on subtleties that aren’t there, start making assumptions (that seem very real and plausible to me) and then over-complicate things by trying to fix issues that were never there in the first place. This causes me great anxiety and a feeling of being tangled in my own web, which gets worse the more I try to fight my way out.

I DO THIS ALL THE TIME.

I often under- and over-empathize: sometimes situations where I should feel sad, I feel very little. Other times (usually with those I have formed a deep emotional connection with) I empathize to a point of becoming overwhelmed with feelings of heartbreak. More often than not it’s one extreme or the other.

I’m very introspective and self-critical. I’m very critical of my own work/actions and that of others.

I have an acute sense of loyalty and honor, and find it very hard to forgive if my trust is betrayed.

I regularly put my foot in it by saying something offensive without realizing it – and am genuinely mortified if someone is offended – and then want to fix it (and end up making matters worse!).

Seasonal times where expectations of happiness are high (i.e. Christmas) tend to get me down. Even something as benign as shopping for cards or hearing a Christmas song can trigger a bout of depression.

The only melt-downs I've experience are triggered by my own tangled web-weaving, and are I wouldn't describe them as melt-downs. The only way I can get out of the resulting deep funk is by me "rebooting" i.e. going to sleep. 9 times out of 10 I wake up "fixed". 🙂

I could go on. There’s probably lots of obvious stuff I’ve forgotten to mention, but I’ll leave it for now.

I’ve done the online Asperger’s test several times (I leave it a good long while between so that I forget what I’ve previously answered) and always come out right on the borderline.

Does any of this ring any bells with anyone?

Thanks!

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Peridot

I recognize/relate to about 80% of that.

I'm not officially diagnosed but I do think it's safe to say I'm not "like most people" even though most people might say that of themselves. Maybe there's an uncharted area in psychiatry which results in there not being an official name for "what" some people are where they aren't necessarily autistic but they do differ from the "average Joe" so to speak. I'm really not sure.

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RiRi

@leyperHi, welcome to the forum! 🙂 Yep, a lot of it rings a bell for me. The saying something offensive without realizing and then trying to fix it and making it worse. The not being shy and being able to go up to someone but not being able to hold the conversation. Your shutdowns. I don't know too much about it but some people on the spectrum are more prone to shutdowns than meltdowns or viceversa or both. I feel like you might be on the spectrum. Someone on here has said that people who come here and have researched and come to the conclusion that they're on the spectrum usually are/are. Some of the things you've mentioned don't apply to me but I have seen other people on this forum that do. Like, not being forgiving, some people on here seem like that. I think this relates to the inability to let go which can manifest differently amongst people on the spectrum. Everyone on the spectrum is different. 

I hope my post has been helpful in some way and wish you good luck if you decide to go for an official diagnosis. 🙂

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RiRi
10 minutes ago, Peridot said:

I recognize/relate to about 80% of that.

I'm not officially diagnosed but I do think it's safe to say I'm not "like most people" even though most people might say that of themselves. Maybe there's an uncharted area in psychiatry which results in there not being an official name for "what" some people are where they aren't necessarily autistic but they do differ from the "average Joe" so to speak. I'm really not sure.

Have you taken autistic quizzes to see where you fall on the spectrum? If so, what did you get? Asking just out of curiosity. I don't know your symptoms as I don't think you've ever posted them but I have wondered whether you're on the spectrum. 

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Heather
1 hour ago, leyper said:

I always overthink and analyse stuff, to a point where I starting picking up on subtleties that aren’t there, start making assumptions (that seem very real and plausible to me) and then over-complicate things by trying to fix issues that were never there in the first place. This causes me great anxiety and a feeling of being tangled in my own web, which gets worse the more I try to fight my way out.

Hi! I also resonate with most of what you say especially the part I quoted. I like how you worded this because I feel very similarly about my over thinking causing anxiety and creating issues that weren't even there. 

Welcome to the forum! 🙂

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Peridot
1 hour ago, RiRi said:

Have you taken autistic quizzes to see where you fall on the spectrum? If so, what did you get? Asking just out of curiosity. I don't know your symptoms as I don't think you've ever posted them but I have wondered whether you're on the spectrum. 

I remember taking one on here that someone shared/posted and the results stated that I was basically NT. In real life a few professionals in the medical field I spoke to have said they thought I was autistic. Maybe I'm some kind of hybrid. TNA? haha

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RiRi
57 minutes ago, Peridot said:

I remember taking one on here that someone shared/posted and the results stated that I was basically NT. In real life a few professionals in the medical field I spoke to have said they thought I was autistic. Maybe I'm some kind of hybrid. TNA? haha

Maybe you don't have the major things that would make you autistic? Do you have sensory issues, meltdowns/shutdowns, insistence in sameness, rigidity in thinking? If you don't have those or didn't have them as a child then you could just have social anxiety or something related. 

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Nesf

I can relate to a lot of what you said, though I don't easily form deep connections to people, and I have a lot of difficuties with humour. I over-think and over-analyse, and often over-react to things. Social events tend to go for me as you described, though nowadays I rarely attend social events.

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Sanctuary
15 hours ago, Peridot said:

Maybe there's an uncharted area in psychiatry which results in there not being an official name for "what" some people are where they aren't necessarily autistic but they do differ from the "average Joe" so to speak. I'm really not sure.

This is a good point. Diagnosis of autism and many other conditions seem to revolve around clinicians or other experts ultimately giving a "yes" or "no" answer. There is resistance to the idea of degrees of autism except between "high" and "low functioning" autism - many people are unhappy with the idea that someone could be "partly autistic" or in some sort of hybrid state. The reality is though of a spectrum and while some people seem very obviously to be autistic and many others very obviously neurotypical there are individuals for whom it is difficult to decide. A clinician or an expert would have to make a "yes" or "no" decision which can be a simplistic response but often they have no alternative as a decision has to be made. Perhaps we can liken it to passing or failing an exam. Exam boards have to set an overall pass mark or grade but it is possible for someone to "pass" very marginally and another person to "fail" very narrowly; it's also possible that a different marker or assessor might have reversed these decisions. 

Going back to leyper's situation, online tests are certainly useful and in some instances they point very clearly towards or away from autism but in others the results are inconclusive. It's then necessary to examine the test questions and life history in much more depth to see how deep or persistent are the potentially autistic characteristics. This can be done by oneself but discussion with others can be useful and - if so desired - this is what an expert considering a diagnosis would do. Reading more about autism and exploring this forum will certainly help to give a clearer indication. Finally it's worth making the point that even if autism is not the ultimate decision there may be other conditions at work such as social anxiety and these other conditions may also be present with autism.

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leyper

Thanks everyone. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who feels/acts/thinks this way sometimes. I don't know if I'm going to go down the route of getting official diagnosis. Maybe one day.

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