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Old 02-10-2007, 03:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Think I'm Autistic....

Has anyone ever investigated autism in relation to their social anxiety and shyness? I've been looking at some of the descriptions of autism and many of the characteristic really describe me. None of the psychologists or psychiatrists even mention the possibility that I am. I've read that there are differences of degree of autistic, some are very high functioning but not without problems. I really like to know if there is some connection between autism and social anxiety. If anyone knows anything about this please share.

Here is some of the characteristics of autism:

Autism is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder with the following symptoms : Impairment in the development of reciprocal social contacts, impairment in the verbal and non-verbal communication and impairment of creative or imaginative play. The following difficulties may appear :

Delayed speech or idiosyncratic use of language
Pedantic language
Limited imagination or detail oriented imagination
Difficulties imagining people's emotional and cognitive states
Rigid behavioral patterns
Stereotype movements, repetitive motor mannerisms
Clumsiness, motor coordination difficulty
Limited but intense areas of interest
Difficulty with eye contact
Difficulty with reading and sending body language
Difficulties with changes, need for routine
Not at ease when there is no structure, must know what's coming next
Mind blindness, can't read between the lines, takes everything literally
Does not need and/or have the ability to make contact with peers
Inertia, doing things slow
Incapacity to multitask
Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds
Having meltdowns when in stress, needing a lot recovery time
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Think I'm Autistic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan
None of the psychologists or psychiatrists even mention the possibility that I am.
Your doctors are going by the criteria listed in the DSM-IV for autism. You have to meet a total of six characteristics that fall into three categories to be diagnosed with autistic disorder (I just learned about this in my exceptional child psych class).
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Think I'm Autistic....

You can read any disorder and think that you have it for some time - its natural but it is only your imagination.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Think I'm Autistic....

There have been quite a few posts in the past on this topic so doing a search on this site may help answer some of your questions. When you read the description of what autism is, it may sound very similar to social anxiety, however, there are very key differences. Social anxiety is defined by anxiety and fear of interacting in social situations. Autism could potentially lead to social anxiety (so could any number of things), but often the individual does not suffer from any type of anxiety and instead has difficulty reading facial expressions and empathising with the feelings of others while socially interacting. It's unlikely that you are autistic. It's not something to be taken lightly. The signs of autism often show themselves pretty early in a child's development.
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default re: Think I'm Autistic....

I was reading those autistic characteristics and thought what is autism really? Why hasn't anyone mentioned the possibility that I could be autistic? I don't know how to find out if I am or not? I have trouble speaking and verbalizing even to my dad. I speak very simple, mostly in one sentence responses. Your right, I should have done a search...
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Old 02-10-2007, 04:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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While it may seem like autism is really undefined, it isn't that obscure especially when you see the signs in those who have been diagnosed. Do you have to abide by a very rigid schedule? (this is one of the characteristics of aspergers- a form of autism- and while not ALWAYS a characteristic, it's often there). When I say a very rigid schedule, I mean when you were a child and the teacher said it was time to go from one play station to the next, would you throw a complete fit and refuse to abide by the rule? That's one example of an Asperger-like behaviour. When someone is annoyed with you or upset, do you misread their body language and continue talking despite what others would view as obvious signals that they want you to stop? This might be another problem faced by someone with a slight form of autism. People with Aspergers can be very high functioning and are often very intelligent but, have a hard time with social interactions. I can see where you would say- well, I also have a hard time with social interactions. But, that does not mean that you have Aspergers. No one has mentioned the possibility of you being autistic likely because they have not seen any signs pointing them in that direction.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Think I'm Autistic....

Quote:
Autism is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder with the following symptoms : Impairment in the development of reciprocal social contacts, impairment in the verbal and non-verbal communication and impairment of creative or imaginative play. The following difficulties may appear :

Delayed speech or idiosyncratic use of language
Pedantic language
Limited imagination or detail oriented imagination
Difficulties imagining people's emotional and cognitive states
Rigid behavioral patterns
Stereotype movements, repetitive motor mannerisms
Clumsiness, motor coordination difficulty
Limited but intense areas of interest
Difficulty with eye contact
Difficulty with reading and sending body language
Difficulties with changes, need for routine
Not at ease when there is no structure, must know what's coming next
Mind blindness, can't read between the lines, takes everything literally
Does not need and/or have the ability to make contact with peers
Inertia, doing things slow
Incapacity to multitask
Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds
Having meltdowns when in stress, needing a lot recovery time
Maybe a mild form of it, i saw that thing on cbs/abc or whatever about that autistic math wizard who learned Icelandic language in ONE WEEK...hardest language to learn apparently in one week.

Difficulty with eye contact YES - but not so much before, eye contact is so personal, its like seeing someones soul, really seeing THEM...depending on my mood if i were to look at someone i almost feel like they could sense how i felt or i could change the situation...maybe i'm just ****ing crazy i don't know

Difficulties with changes, need for routine YES - comfortable in a setting that i know, when it changes i get scared and dont' know how to deal with it. Structure = good

Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds Maybe - I have problems with touching only because I feel awkward if someone doesn't want me to touch them, i over think and over analyze how someone would want me to touch them...ermmm its not easy for me...going in for hugs no problem you know whats going to happen, random playful touching not so bad....maybe i just need to get used to it more.

Incapacity to multitask - NOPE ...i think anyway, i multi task like crazy on the computer anyway...too much at times that i can't focus properly on one thing...or maybe thats what this means. doh
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyg
While it may seem like autism is really undefined, it isn't that obscure especially when you see the signs in those who have been diagnosed. Do you have to abide by a very rigid schedule? (this is one of the characteristics of aspergers- a form of autism- and while not ALWAYS a characteristic, it's often there). When I say a very rigid schedule, I mean when you were a child and the teacher said it was time to go from one play station to the next, would you throw a complete fit and refuse to abide by the rule? That's one example of an Asperger-like behaviour. When someone is annoyed with you or upset, do you misread their body language and continue talking despite what others would view as obvious signals that they want you to stop? This might be another problem faced by someone with a slight form of autism. People with Aspergers can be very high functioning and are often very intelligent but, have a hard time with social interactions. I can see where you would say- well, I also have a hard time with social interactions. But, that does not mean that you have Aspergers. No one has mentioned the possibility of you being autistic likely because they have not seen any signs pointing them in that direction.

Yes, but I think what I was thinking that maybe some people who might be autistic might have other pronounced characteristics and maybe they don't have Aspergers syndrome. If you follow that list there were quite a few different characteristics. Actually, I can read facial expressions very well, I can tell easily if someone is either happy or sad or friendly or unfriendly. I don't have trouble picking up on those things. I did have many of the other characteristics though. I went through and put in bold the one's I struggle with. Yes, I struggle severely with the social anxiety but it also goes beyond that into other areas. I'm confused about it.

Delayed speech or idiosyncratic use of language
Pedantic language
Limited imagination or detail oriented imagination
Difficulties imagining people's emotional and cognitive states
Rigid behavioral patterns
Stereotype movements, repetitive motor mannerisms
Clumsiness, motor coordination difficulty
Limited but intense areas of interest
Difficulty with eye contact
Difficulty with reading and sending body language
Difficulties with changes, need for routine
Not at ease when there is no structure, must know what's coming next
Mind blindness, can't read between the lines, takes everything literally
Does not need and/or have the ability to make contact with peers
Inertia, doing things slow
Incapacity to multitask
Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds
Having meltdowns when in stress, needing a lot recovery time

If having more than 10 of these symptoms means you are autistic than I would be classified as autistic. I don't know what the deciding factor is which classifies you as autistic.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Think I'm Autistic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halcyon
Maybe a mild form of it, i saw that thing on cbs/abc or whatever about that autistic math wizard who learned Icelandic language in ONE WEEK...hardest language to learn apparently in one week.
Yes, that's what I'm wondering also. If there could be a mild form of autism and it get's overlooked or not diagnosed?
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Think I'm Autistic....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halcyon
Maybe a mild form of it, i saw that thing on cbs/abc or whatever about that autistic math wizard who learned Icelandic language in ONE WEEK...hardest language to learn apparently in one week.
Yes, that's what I'm wondering also. If there could be a mild form of autism and it get's overlooked or not diagnosed?
i'm not sure...good thing to ask when i see my doctor next

i feel many of those things mentioned on that list, i don't know what good it does me tho saying i might be this or that, i hate to dwell and think i got this now too..great hehe
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and look in between your moments
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I often wonder if I am. Of course, I've never seen any psychologists or psychiatrists or had any psychological testing done, so who knows...
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I feel if I let myself I could spend all my time searching for disorders that fit me - and I did for a while. I stopped when I realized that I could be forever searching for a disease rather than a cure.
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Old 02-10-2007, 06:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy1984
I feel if I let myself I could spend all my time searching for disorders that fit me - and I did for a while. I stopped when I realized that I could be forever searching for a disease rather than a cure.
Yeah, I was sort of like that too. I would look at the past and start blaming things or even myself, but I then I realized my focus was wrong if I ever wanted to improve my life.
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyg
While it may seem like autism is really undefined, it isn't that obscure especially when you see the signs in those who have been diagnosed. Do you have to abide by a very rigid schedule? (this is one of the characteristics of aspergers- a form of autism- and while not ALWAYS a characteristic, it's often there). When I say a very rigid schedule, I mean when you were a child and the teacher said it was time to go from one play station to the next, would you throw a complete fit and refuse to abide by the rule? That's one example of an Asperger-like behaviour. When someone is annoyed with you or upset, do you misread their body language and continue talking despite what others would view as obvious signals that they want you to stop? This might be another problem faced by someone with a slight form of autism. People with Aspergers can be very high functioning and are often very intelligent but, have a hard time with social interactions. I can see where you would say- well, I also have a hard time with social interactions. But, that does not mean that you have Aspergers. No one has mentioned the possibility of you being autistic likely because they have not seen any signs pointing them in that direction.

Yes, but I think what I was thinking that maybe some people who might be autistic might have other pronounced characteristics and maybe they don't have Aspergers syndrome. If you follow that list there were quite a few different characteristics. Actually, I can read facial expressions very well, I can tell easily if someone is either happy or sad or friendly or unfriendly. I don't have trouble picking up on those things. I did have many of the other characteristics though. I went through and put in bold the one's I struggle with. Yes, I struggle severely with the social anxiety but it also goes beyond that into other areas. I'm confused about it.

Delayed speech or idiosyncratic use of language
Pedantic language
Limited imagination or detail oriented imagination
Difficulties imagining people's emotional and cognitive states
Rigid behavioral patterns
Stereotype movements, repetitive motor mannerisms
Clumsiness, motor coordination difficulty
Limited but intense areas of interest
Difficulty with eye contact
Difficulty with reading and sending body language
Difficulties with changes, need for routine
Not at ease when there is no structure, must know what's coming next
Mind blindness, can't read between the lines, takes everything literally
Does not need and/or have the ability to make contact with peers
Inertia, doing things slow
Incapacity to multitask
Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds
Having meltdowns when in stress, needing a lot recovery time

If having more than 10 of these symptoms means you are autistic than I would be classified as autistic. I don't know what the deciding factor is which classifies you as autistic.
It is your untrained opinion that you meet these criteria, save the diagnosing for the professionals.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan

Yes, but I think what I was thinking that maybe some people who might be autistic might have other pronounced characteristics and maybe they don't have Aspergers syndrome. If you follow that list there were quite a few different characteristics. Actually, I can read facial expressions very well, I can tell easily if someone is either happy or sad or friendly or unfriendly. I don't have trouble picking up on those things. I did have many of the other characteristics though. I went through and put in bold the one's I struggle with. Yes, I struggle severely with the social anxiety but it also goes beyond that into other areas. I'm confused about it.

Delayed speech or idiosyncratic use of language
Pedantic language
Limited imagination or detail oriented imagination
Difficulties imagining people's emotional and cognitive states
Rigid behavioral patterns
Stereotype movements, repetitive motor mannerisms
Clumsiness, motor coordination difficulty
Limited but intense areas of interest
Difficulty with eye contact
Difficulty with reading and sending body language
Difficulties with changes, need for routine
Not at ease when there is no structure, must know what's coming next
Mind blindness, can't read between the lines, takes everything literally
Does not need and/or have the ability to make contact with peers
Inertia, doing things slow
Incapacity to multitask
Sensory overload, can't deal with noises, light, touching, crowds
Having meltdowns when in stress, needing a lot recovery time

If having more than 10 of these symptoms means you are autistic than I would be classified as autistic. I don't know what the deciding factor is which classifies you as autistic.
I realize that there are other characteristics of autism. I am not a professional, so I can't claim to have any idea of whether you have autism or not. I have, however, worked with kids and met older people with autism and have done some studying on the topic. The inability to read facial cues and body cues is a very common characteristic and I've always seen that one in the people I've met with autism. The reason I brought up the characteristics that I did was because those were often very marked and noticable characteristics in the people I met. Of course, that does not mean that there aren't different characteristics that could point to the disorder. And that doesn't mean that you couldn't potentially have it. But, it's also inaccurate, in my experience, to say that the characteristics are similar to those of someone with social anxiety.

I think you should be careful when looking at characteristics that seem very vague because they don't really have any bearing on giving an adequate diagnosis. You could talk to your doctor about it and he/she should be able to give you some specific information to work with and may even be able to set your mind at ease by giving you a "yes" or "no" answer. Best of luck. I hope you find your answers.
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:28 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I just re-read some of your posts and see what I over-looked before. I'm sorry. I see that you were saying that there is potentially another form of slight autism (aside from Aspergers) that goes undiagnosed in people. Alot of research has been done in the field of autism and while it's always possible, I would be surprised if that were the case.

The characteristics that you highlighted could also (in most cases) be explained by social anxiety- sensitivity to light, being unable to interact with peers, needing structure, being uneasy when something changes, having breakdowns, and some of the other ones. Alot of the things you mentioned, I also have suffered from at one point or another. You are lucky that you can read people's facial expressions and body cues as that is something that many people struggle with and is something that people with autism can conciously try to improve. The ability to do so can help you with your social skills.

The other characteristics can be improved with exposure and CBT techniques so, whether you have autism or not, you can try to improve through different cognitive processes. I'm not trying to be rude and doubt your claims, however, I think that since autism, like social anxiety, does not have a specific "cure" or medicine you can take to make all the "symptoms" go away, you can work with what you have and improve your situation despite what you label it. But, again, I'm not a professional. It's just an opinion. Getting a doctor's diagnosis would definitely be a good thing.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyg
I just re-read some of your posts and see what I over-looked before. I'm sorry. I see that you were saying that there is potentially another form of slight autism (aside from Aspergers) that goes undiagnosed in people. Alot of research has been done in the field of autism and while it's always possible, I would be surprised if that were the case.

The characteristics that you highlighted could also (in most cases) be explained by social anxiety- sensitivity to light, being unable to interact with peers, needing structure, being uneasy when something changes, having breakdowns, and some of the other ones. Alot of the things you mentioned, I also have suffered from at one point or another. You are lucky that you can read people's facial expressions and body cues as that is something that many people struggle with and is something that people with autism can conciously try to improve. The ability to do so can help you with your social skills.

The other characteristics can be improved with exposure and CBT techniques so, whether you have autism or not, you can try to improve through different cognitive processes. I'm not trying to be rude and doubt your claims, however, I think that since autism, like social anxiety, does not have a specific "cure" or medicine you can take to make all the "symptoms" go away, you can work with what you have and improve your situation despite what you label it. But, again, I'm not a professional. It's just an opinion. Getting a doctor's diagnosis would definitely be a good thing.
crazyg, I was wondering why you would be surprised if the symptoms were the result of autism? I didnt mean to be self centered or woe is me about it. I know everyone here is suffering in some way and I just wanted to talk about it..that's all. I don't know what's going on either. No, the two psychiatrists I've seen haven't mentioned the possibility of autism but they haven't really done an evaluation on me either. They just prescribe medication and when I report back that things haven't improved they then prescribe a different one or keep increasing the dose until they are satisfied that I tried it long enough without success. I've tried the talk therapy with two psychologists also. I believe them when the tell me that my thoughts are irrational but I still have the symptoms described above. I'm working on an audio series now but am losing my determination and persistence to keep on with it. I know there is no cure for autism so maybe it was my way of giving up and trying to accept myself the way I am. I haven't been able to do it. Sorry, I'm kind of mixed up right now.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:42 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Logan,
I know what it's like to feel mixed up. I totally understand your need to find some answers. I've been there myself...and, still am sometimes. I just meant that I'd be surprised your symptoms were a result of autism because they sound like they're are rooted in social anxiety....but, then you're right...these types of things can be very hard to diagnose. I just wish you wouldn't feel bad about your situation. And the thing is, there is hope. You should not give up and just accept the way things are. Don't get me wrong- I'm sure there's nothing wrong with you as a person, but if you want to feel less anxious then you can do something about that. I know it's not easy....I really know. But, please don't give up.
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Old 02-12-2007, 04:33 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Thank you crazyg. I haven't made any progress and after seeking help and frustrated. I've been feeling really alienated lately, out of touch, lost in my own head. thank you for your support.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I am autistic and it's much more than being impaired socially. I get annoyed with loud sounds and have meltdowns. I also repeat a rigid schedule and get annoyed if something interferes with that. I always listen to the same song for hours is a example. There is a certain time in the morning that I HAVE to listen to songs or else I will be annoyed.
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