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Old 04-02-2019, 06:51 PM #1
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Default I think I may have HFA or Aspergers

So Iíve always thought maybe I may have High Functioning Autism or Aspergers. My whole life Iíve felt different from everyone (not in a superior kind of way) Iíve just felt like an oddball and or weirdo. I just donít know how to act in social situations, and I feel awkward in public. For example, at my step dads family reunion, I hadnít seen my cousins in a while and I wasnít sure whether I should hug them or shake their hand or fist bump them and it was really awkward. I can have a conversation with people but sometimes I mess up and say something stupid because of my anxiety. Also when I was little and even now, I canít look people in the eyes, I donít know why, when I got to be a teen I ended up growing my hair to cover my eyes as an excuse. With every job Iíve had Iíve always felt I did a terrible job at them since I couldnít follow directions and didnít get what my trainer was saying and Iím going through that right now and it just makes me feel depressed and stupid, I also felt that way in school, the only subjects I was good at were the ones I was interested in and I really hyper focused with those ones. Now donít get me wrong, when it comes to a subject Iím super interested in Iím really smart at that, even if I only have a few things Iím interested in (politics, video games, technology) when I was younger my teachers had a meeting with my mom, thinking I had ADD as well. Another thing to add, I was always sensitive to light/the sun, when water hit my face I hated it (especially in the shower) and loud noises were terrible (monster truck show for example) I donít think I have extreme autism however since Iíve proven to do things independently (such as buying greyhound tickets and booking a hotel and going out of state to see my girlfriend) I just feel I have high functioning autism and or Aspergers. What does everyone think?

Also one more thing to add, sometimes I randomly find myself rocking back and forth, and Iíve been doing this since my early teens.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:21 PM #2
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Default Re: I think I may have HFA or Aspergers

Have you been evaluated by a psychologist to determine if you have this diagnosis or have you tried taking online quizzes. The symptoms you mention do sound like possible HFA.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:29 PM #3
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Default Re: I think I may have HFA or Aspergers

If we think of the disorders you've mentioned as being on a spectrum, and, if we allow that spectrum to be very broad, with no arbitrary cut-off point (btw - all such cut-off points are arbitrary,) then we probably can place you on that spectrum. This happens to be the direction that modern psychology/psychiatry is going in for lots of disorders/personality types. (We've got bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia. Etc.) There's merit to that kind of thinking, and there's some difficulty with it. But, let's say - for the sake of argument - that you are on "The Spectrum." Let's say a psychiatrist is willing to diagnose you as having ASD (autistic spectrum disorder.) What does that get you? What would you do with that? Where would you go from there?

Those questions, by the way, are very much in the minds of psychiatrists when they are contemplating making initial diagnoses for clients who come to them weighed down by the difficulties of their lives. It is trending now for everyone to want a diagnosis of some kind. Invest enough time, patience and money and see enough psych-professionals and you (along with anyone and everyone) can get yourself a psych diagnosis. There's even a good chance you can pick out the one you want. I am not saying you are just like everyone else. I totally believe you have had great difficulties in the ways you have described. I totally believe you have "a condition." You are right to be concerned and to have someone be concerned about you. Getting a diagnosis of ASD might help you. There's also a good chance it might not. Furthermore, there's a chance that thinking of yourself as "mentally ill" and suffering from a "pervasive developmental disorder" may cause you to live a less healthy life than you otherwise might.

The difficulties you describe are real and tough to live with. They certainly do have a cause, or a set of causes. You are right to want to trace your difficulties to what may be at the root of them. I fear that picking a label out of the DSM is not the most useful way to do that. Ultimately, you want to live a happier life. Getting assigned a diagnosis may do little to get you there. I think you need to look at the important relationships in your life, going back to babyhood and on into childhood and further. Look at what struggles those people in your life were having and how that impacted you. The other useful thing to do is plan to overcome your deficits to some degree by developing your competencies in life, socially and otherwise.

"But wouldn't getting a diagnosis lead to effective treatment?" My answer to that is: "Not really." There is no pill that fixes the kind if difficulties you describe. There is no series of weekly appointments with a therapist that will lead to some life-altering breakthrough. Psychiatrists and therapists will be happy to sell you their services. Go, if you like, and get the diagnosis, the trials of medications and the therapy. Maybe something in that vein will prove helpful in some marginal way. But don't throw away your life living as a "mentally ill person" who needs to be "medically cared for." It won't get you anywhere good. Instead, keep dating and keep trying to hold down a job. Further your education. Get involved in what goes on in your community. Join some clubs. Partake in life as fully as you can. Life has tons of stuff to teach you. Some of the social skills you lack are learnable. You won't learn them in a therapist's office.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:43 PM #4
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Default Re: I think I may have HFA or Aspergers

Maybe you're on the spectrum. If that were to be confirmed by a doctor, would that change the way you see yourself?
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:01 AM #5
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Default Re: I think I may have HFA or Aspergers

Some wise words from other posters.

Personally, I don't care for labels. They're like wearing other people's cloths, a bit too small, a bit too big, a bit too scratchy and uncomfortable for me. What's most important, I think, is to get to know yourself, and like yourself, for who you are.

A lot of us are shy and anxious in social situations. It's ok, good I think, to enjoy thoughtful time alone. That's where I find contentment. But I know it's important, on occasion, to put ourselves in those uncomfortable situations, keep pushing the boundaries. Kind of like working out those social muscles. They come in handy from time-to-time.

Few friends? Some of us are just super selective in who we call a friend. I think it's important, friendship, not something to be taken so casually. And no one could be a more loyal friend, or husband.

The ability to be hyper focused, as someone with Asperger's, is a rare talent. Not everyone can fall in love with a subject, spend hours, days even, completely absorbed in a project. Channel that into something useful, and you'll be quite successful in life. Normal just can't compete.

I don't care for labels. Its more important, I think, to get to know yourself, and like yourself, for who you are.
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