Asperger's vs SA - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Asperger's vs SA


This has been a question myself and many others are grappling with. Is it aspergers or social anxiety? I think the clue to figuring it out is what is the core feature you have. If it's anxiety then it's NOT aspergers but social anxiety or AvPD or a combo of both.

Aspergers has other core features not related to social anxiety. Also some people with aspergers don't have social anxiety. The only thing sa has in common with aspergers is being socially awkward, things such as difficulty maintaining conversation or turning thoughts of what to say into words.

In social anxiety this inability to socialize is due to anxiety itself not in the inability to read social and emotional cues properly. Neurotypicals process emotional information from facial expressions with the amygdala but people with aspergers use the prefrontal cortex. Social awkwardness in aspergers extends to other behaviors like standing too close to others while talking to them or talking about their interests to the point of annoying or boring others and not reciprocating interest in others.

I now know I don't have aspergers as my main features are this:

1. Remarkable lack of ability to make conversation with people not accustomed to.
2. Strong feelings of pressure to make witty, highly interesting non-stop conversation to get people to like me.
3. Anxiety lessens after warming up to people or able to relate to them more or they carry the conversation and are easy to talk to.
4. Anxiety at the thought of a wide range of social encounters. Ex, invited to join conversation.
5. Avoidance of highly anxiety provoking encounters. Ex, avoiding dating, avoiding going out for drinks with co workers.
6. Avoidance of revealing information about myself due to fears of judgement and rejection. Ex, not talking about my weekend, not talking about what music/movies I like.
7. Feeling inadequate in certain social encounters due to feeling anxiety and being socially inept. Ex, sitting in a group feeling uncomfortable and not contributing to conversation.
8. Sensitivity to judgement and rejection depending on who the critic/rejector is and for what reason they did so.
9. Inability to enjoy myself in social occasions like parties or outings because of anxiety and fear of looking socially inept and appearing inadequate.
10. Feels like people pretend to like me but secretly think I'm a loser or will ditch me at some point. This includes people trying to be my friend or romantic partner.

Upon looking at the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for aspergers it's pretty safe to say I have avoidant personality disorder with social anxiety. The only thing I can relate to is social ineptness and having to use my prefrontal cortex to try to figure out want someone just staring at me wants rather than it being an automatic intuition knowing they just want to ask or say something to me. This can lead to feelings of anxiety from being unsure of what they want and then ignoring them out of fear of being wrong about guessing what they wanted and saying something foolish.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:17 PM
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Well it's pretty obvious when you have social anxiety, it's not really something you can be wrong about because it's just social anxiety. Like knowing when your leg hurts most people can tell. A lot of autistic people have social anxiety as well though so you could also have ASD. But the social anxiety is pretty unmistakable if you're a socially anxious person.

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One that ceases to deepen
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 07:18 PM
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I'm pretty sure I have AvPD + SA as well. That being said, I will probably never get a diagnosis. Would be nice to have that sort of confirmation, though. In my mind, at the very least I know there are things off with the way interact with other people and the way that I see myself that directly impact my daily life in ways that are crippling. I'm anxious about things I shouldn't be socially, and hyper-aware of things I don't think most people care as much about. I'm extremely self-conscious, inward, and quiet. And I feel incapable of developing meaningful relationships with people.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
Well it's pretty obvious when you have social anxiety, it's not really something you can be wrong about because it's just social anxiety. Like knowing when your leg hurts most people can tell. A lot of autistic people have social anxiety as well though so you could also have ASD. But the social anxiety is pretty unmistakable if you're a socially anxious person.
Many people with social anxiety are wondering do they have aspergers and their social anxiety stems from that? As you said about social anxiety it should be pretty obvious if they have sa or not. So it also should be pretty obvious if they have aspergers or not. Many are reading about aspergers and relating to the social awkwardness aspect while ignoring many of the core features. If they can't relate to the diagnostic criteria of aspergers then it's a pretty open and shut case.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samboychippies View Post
Many people with social anxiety are wondering do they have aspergers and their social anxiety stems from that? As you said about social anxiety it should be pretty obvious if they have sa or not. So it also should be pretty obvious if they have aspergers or not. Many are reading about aspergers and relating to the social awkwardness aspect while ignoring many of the core features. If they can't relate to the diagnostic criteria of aspergers then it's a pretty open and shut case.
Well no because social anxiety is almost a disorder that's a single symptom, like the problem is the anxiety and the degree of anxiety is considered to be the disorder. AvPD is a bit more complicated since it centres around a defence mechanism in response to the anxiety and there's also some evidence that SA and AvPD are part of the larger neutotype of the schizophrenia spectrum but that's inconclusive. Autism is even more complicated since it's a neurotype that effects a lot of different things (interests, movement, sexuality, sensory processing,) and is probably misdiagnosed a bunch. I have seen people complaining that schizophrenia is frequently diagnosed as autism and possibly vice versa, and there is a historical connection between the two:

https://www.spectrumnews.org/feature...schizophrenia/

same with borderline personality disorder and some other conditions, they are also misdiagnosed and have overlapping traits. You're not going to be able to conclusively say you have most conditions in the way you can for social anxiety disorder. Many people, especially women are also not diagnosed until adulthood showing how complicated it is.

Edit: although I agree if you only have social awkwardness as a symptom that's not enough to go off, you'd need to think about if you have peculiar mannerisms that people comment on even when you're not socially anxious, sensory processing issues, dislike of change etc, family history of certain disorders too.

Something I've noticed even among autistic people without SA is they still tend to suppress themselves a lot, mostly the women due to being more socially aware of their differences (and caring slightly more.) I was watching a YouTube video recently by someone who makes videos about The Sims and the upcoming game paralives, and it was a female YouTuber and she joked about having to reign in her autism while reacting to the video (she is diagnosed.)

Also it has been noted in neuroscience differences in brain regions between men and women with autism especially in social domains, so they found that one area linked to socialising in female autistic people's brains was more like neurotypical males, whereas autistic male brains weren't like neurotypical males or females or autistic females. And there are a bunch of other differences too.

It's definitely quite complicated and research is still ongoing into what autism is.

Lucy's bitten
Neck is bleeding bad
The teeth have long departed
Yet the desire burns strong
On in desire for destruction
One on which she'll depend
One that ceases to deepen
Too near bitter end


Black through the mountains
She turns her loosening ring
Guardian angel sings
"I think you've lost your wings, but you're still yours
You're still yours, you're still yours"

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