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Old 01-21-2019, 07:49 PM #11
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

I am going through the same thing right now. As a child, I had severe meltdowns almost everyday. Back then as with every disabled child I was diagnosed with ADHD but as an adult nobody tells me I act like I have adult ADHD. Anyway my other main symptoms are bad social skills and obsessing over certain topics.

I have had mental health professionals including both tdocs and pdocs that thought I was on the autism spectrum, but they all say that nowadays I'm not disabled by that, instead my severe bipolar/schizoaffective is the focal point of all my treatment.
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:35 AM #12
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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Originally Posted by PsychoPhil View Post
For an autism diagnosis you need to have had symptoms before the age of three. Did you participate in pretend play, did you stim, or did you have other quirks your parents might remember?
That's not true.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:14 PM #13
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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Originally Posted by catnip123 View Post
I am a woman who was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was 49 (seven years ago). I started reading every book I could find about Asperger's and found The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Tony Atwood to be very helpful. You can buy it on Amazon.

It described Asperger's very thoroughly and often explained how things might be different for girls and women.

I've found some books on related topics to be very helpful also. Please let me know if you'd like that information.

I'll be happy to help you out if you have any questions that you think I might be able to answer.
I appreciate your feedback @catnip123. I am 52 now, and never considered that my strangeness could have been related to autism until this very past year. It's relevant to me that we are not so far apart in age. When I was a child, no one ever sought treatment for psychological things. It just wasn't done. I haven't read any books on it, just yet, but I have seen several that I would like to. And thank-you, for your input on that as well. All my research has been limited to internet information so far, Ted Talks, YouTube, and really anything I could locate, blogs and whatnot. I never thought about autism, for myself until now, because every profile I had ever seen had been for men, and I gather their experiences are much different than for women, and where women attempt to assimilate into society by being chameleons, especially for high-functioning autism, if what I'm researching is correct.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:25 PM #14
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
My sister is 27 and was diagnosed with Aspergers when she was 3-before it was a thing. Now it all falls under Autism spectrum disorder. I may need to read up on it more but she was always a little "boy crazy" bouncing from BF to BF. I hesitate to link this to the disorder though because I do not want to generalize something in too much of a subjective way.
I appreciate your feedback sarahsweets. Any intimate relationships have been a challenge for me, whether they were women friends or male boyfriends/one husband. I'm too old now to consider "boy-crazy", in the scheme of things. I have been in a committed relationship for the last 9 years of my life. The interesting thing is that person also has a mental health diagnosis, my partner. And we seem to just "get" each other. We have never legally married. I was done after my one and only divorce in 1996 to an alcoholic and physically abusive man. When I was younger, it was very difficult to maintain any personal relationships with friends or partners. I don't have any close friends at all. In my history, many people have attempted to take advantage of my kindness, and I eventually learned how to stand up for myself and let toxic relationships go. But that took a really long time for me as a 52-year old person now.
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:35 PM #15
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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I'd suggest to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis, kimberlym. That way you'll be able to get the help you need and deserve. I'm sorry you're struggling with this, I hope things will get better for you soon. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. Sending many hugs to you
I so appreciate your feedback @ MickeyCheeky. I fully intend to seek a diagnosis. I just haven't been financially able to look into any type of medical treatment, physical or otherwise, in the past 3 years, and didn't even consider that autism might be a possibility for me, until this past year. I was a 49 year old losing the only job she had known for the previous 17 years prior due to an employer shutting down, then deciding to go back to school to further education, accomplishing a degree I had never had, working an internship, and now looking for a new job again. I've been without resources for a while, but I fully intend to pursue them when I'm back in the position to do so, meaning I need employer-paid benefits again to seek medical coverage. But I will look into this from a professional point of view, as soon as I am able.
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Old 01-25-2019, 06:09 PM #16
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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Originally Posted by DarknessIsMyFriend View Post
I think I fall somewhere on the Aspergers side as well. I told 2 doctors this in the past as an adult and they don't see how I could have Aspergers since I appear "normal" enough to them. Thing is though I was diagnosed as a child.


So yeah, I wouldn't count on getting a doctor's help on this matter. If you truly think you have Aspergers, then reading books and learning as much as possible about yourself is what I would recommend. Only you have the knowledge about yourself to know what you are and what you should do. Nobody knows you better than yourself.



Mental health diagnosis shouldn't define you, nor should it matter if you are something that society considers "weird" or "different". You are you and nobody has the right to judge or condemn you for being what you are.
I so thank-you for your feedback @ DarknessIsMyFriend. Thinking I might be a high-functioning autistic person is such a new concept for me. I'm really at the beginning of the whole concept. But I have been reading and watching everything I can to make things clear for me. Things just weren't addressed psychologically by doctors when I was still a child. I was taken every single time there was a physical ailment (and I had a lot of them. Tubes in my ears for chronic ear infections, which has left me with a hearing impairment as an adult. My tonsils were removed when I was 5 years old-ish. Then I had a bladder surgery at a really young age. And my parents agonized over the physical things that were wrong with me), but my mannerisms weren't that strange, not strange enough for parents that are attempting to discover why their child might be acting out. My parents were having marital difficulties of their own and were separated before I was 4 years old, so their focus was skewed also. I know now that some of the mannerisms I did have could have been considered autistic traits now, by researching things in this day and age, but no one ever thought twice about it when I was so young. Things were different when I was young. There were no seat belts. Kids played outside and no one ever had to consider their safety. We didn't live in the immediate circle of our parents' attention. I was always off on my own, playing. No one was standing watch over me.

I haven't really worried about how people or society "define" me. I just feel like I have tried really hard to "blend" in, and I've always wondered why. It was never really a prevalent thought for me until recently, because I started to worry about saying the wrong thing while trying to look for a new job, or when jokes and sarcasm fly over my head, people tend to look at me as if I'm "ditsy", and I know I have said the wrong thing (I get strange looks very often), but given the fact that I received a degree and graduated with honors, just this past year, I know I'm not an idiot. I take things very literally, and it's just often hard to fit into the rest of our society. I tend to isolate myself, and not be among others, unless I absolutely have to. And lately, I have to. I'm searching for a new job, and it has been so tough doing interviews. I feel like I'm "performing" at every one of them, trying to appear more social than what I actually am. Trying to say the right thing. Trying not to say too much. I have a tendency to overthink, and to give people too much information too. I have had to learn to read body language and speech inflections from others, and when it seems like I have made a mistake, I shut down and shut up.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:07 PM #17
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychoPhil View Post
For an autism diagnosis you need to have had symptoms before the age of three. Did you participate in pretend play, did you stim, or did you have other quirks your parents might remember?
My parents won't remember any quirks @PsychoPhil. One parent is deceased now, and the other is aging and losing memory. And what they did know, they didn't seem to associate with anything but me being an "odd" child. But I remember my quirks. I did both. I participated in pretend play, and I did stim too. I had imaginary friends before that age. They were all based on Disney characters. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and the like, I believe because that was pretty much the only exposure I had had to cartoon-ish-type characters at the time. I have a photo where I was told I went to Disney World in Orlando FL, but I have no memory of the experience at all. I was under two years old. I was sitting on a fake dolphin, something similar to those things you used to put a quarter in, and it would rock back and forth for a minute, and my parents were in the picture. I remember they weren't real-life sized, my imaginary friends. They were small, 6-10 inches in height or so, because I would always be looking down at the floor to interact with them and speak with them. And I had a baby blanket that was given to me by a grandparent who worked in a blanket factory. It was a receiving blanket from when I was born, and it was always with me in my crib, bed, whatever it evolved into. It had a silky binding on it, and I developed a picking habit, which I still have, to this day. About 7 years ago, my partner convinced me to put the blanket away and find something else to pick, because it was disintegrating into nothing. ( I used to tell my family. It will be written into my will, that I am to be buried with my blanket. That's how strongly I felt for it.) So, I washed it, bagged it, and tucked it away for safe-keeping so it would always be there. I won't tell you the other fabric I found for its replacement. It's embarrassing. But I still pick, and if I can't find the source when I go to bed, I am upset, and I have to find it before I can sleep, even now, at 52 years old. Anyone that has ever known about my blanket, mostly immediate family and any very close friends I might have had (of course, any intimate partners would have to be let into the loop, because I won't sleep without it), would tease me mercilessly for still having it at my age. My grandmother, the person that gave it to me, begged me to put it aside. She didn't think I should have something like that as an adult. She died around 1992. My father, who is still alive at 76 years, has forgotten about the blanket, because I don't carry it with me anymore, and he is not aware of the fabric I use now to replace it. It's concealable. My mate, my partner in life for the last 9 years if my life now, my person...is very aware of my stim obsession with "picking". I also try to avoid picking at my skin, but that is a compulsion as well. I have picked at my face, my collar bone area, my shoulders and back. If I pick on my skin, it is very apparent outwardly because it can be seen. I went through a period where I couldn't help picking at my face, and it was obvious. I had scabs and the like. I had to find an alternate area, or an alternate material to pick.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:27 PM #18
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

@ downandlonely....I had indications before I was 3, it just wasn't verbalized by anyone in my generation. I am not severe. No one has noticed me as autistic in my 52 years of life...I believe that is the very reason I may not have been noticed ,for myself..I was high-functioning and seemingly intelligent...but I have had the same awkward prevalent behavior as you have noted you experienced for yourself...I have been aware of symptoms before age 3, not because anyone has mentioned it to me in my family, but just because I needed to recall it for myself, and I have a memory before age 3, some of supplemented by photos, the circumstances, for which my memory can't recall, but my family has filled in the gaps, and I recall circumstances that I don't think I would have achieved without their input...I have memories...really not even full memories...just "flashes" in my mind, of something occurring and how I reacted or behaved...Do you have any of those moments for yourself?

My takeaway from "stim" is a repetitive action used as a self-soothing device to keep us "in check". "We" need something that helps us soothe beyond what our environment has to offer. That is what I have gleaned from "stim"
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:35 PM #19
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

By the way...I didn't know you needed symptom before age 3 either, but I had them. The fact of not being able to read body-language and voice cues has been my my most frustrating thing in trying to integrate with anyone else. I used to joke with people about this one movie I had seen. It was called "Deck the Halls" or some such thing, and it was a Christmas movie, where Danny Devito told his competitive Christmas neighbor, Matthew Broderick, "is that sarcasm?!...Because you know, sarcasm flies right over my head". I never forgot that movie line, and as short as most people claim Danny Devito is, I think he and myself might be the same height, which makes the whole philosophy that much more relevant!
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:11 PM #20
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Default Re: Wondering If I Might be on the Asperger's Spectrum as a Woman

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Originally Posted by kimberlym View Post
I feel like I'm "performing" at every one of them, trying to appear more social than what I actually am. Trying to say the right thing. Trying not to say too much. I have a tendency to overthink, and to give people too much information too. I have had to learn to read body language and speech inflections from others, and when it seems like I have made a mistake, I shut down and shut up.

Oh man this sentence rings so true for me on so many levels.


I still have this problem in high pressure social situations like job interviews. I simply don't know what to say and when, don't know when to make eye contact and when not to, don't know how to sit, what kind of facial expressions to make, or when and how to shake hands. The only way I can even function in a job interview is if I take a lot of time in advance to "plan" and practice how I'm going to say things and when and researching what kind of questions are typically asked in interviews at that company so I can plan accordingly. If they through an oddball question at me that I'm unprepared to answer, I flat out freeze up and panic. Thing is I am really good with computers and tech so I would be qualified for a good paying job in the IT field, if it wasn't for my garbage job interviewing skills.



I'm also very socially awkward. Think of your average 90s computer geek, that's me in a nutshell. I have learned, mainly through difficult practice, how to connect with people on a personal level. I can make friends to some extent now, particularly among people who are geeks, gamers, and other weirdos like me. I can also be very entertaining around people that I know. I can't approach strangers that I have no prior knowledge about without sounding like a socially inept weirdo. This is especially true for attractive women because I flat out get nervous around them the same way like I get nervous in job interviews.
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