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Sunday, February 26, 2017

The husband of an Aspie weighs in

Two days ago I got a comment from someone married to an Aspie; he captured the syndrome perfectly:

Stumbled upon this blog... very enlightening reading the comments section. I have an Aspie son, guess they call it autism spectrum disorder now... I also have, IMHO, an Aspie wife... no formal diagnosis, nor will one ever come. When we go to professionals, they always ask, "is there someone with it in the family?"... I brought it up to her that she might have it ONE time, and that her Dad even might have it, and she was pissed and she responded that she thinks I have it (LOL).

I have read that female Aspies tend to integrate into society better... they learn the tricks to fit in more readily than males. This would be true for the social version of my wife... but at home she seems to almost be a different person. Here are my wife's "symptoms" for reference:

1. Takes no blame
2. Never cries
3. Loves animals more than people as evidenced by her own admission, and her actions (we have a veritable zoo at our house, she's obsessed with collecting them)
4. Extremely repetitive
5. Frequently uses the wrong words in a sentence... that almost sound correct
6. Terrible grammar
7. Horrible math skills
8. Does not get sarcasm... which sucks because I am a sarcastic bastard.
9. Is flustered to the extreme with clutter... anything laying on the kitchen counter that doesn't belong there can infuriate her
10. Tells the same anecdotal stories over and over, and expects full attention
11. no ability to empathize with me or our son
12. cannot fathom basic logical concepts, she just expects things to work the way she expects them, in spite of logic.
13. had a lonely childhood, trouble making friends, ended up hanging with the foreign exchange students... other outcasts...
14. no concept of money matters, what things cost, budgeting, etc... thinks if you want something, just buy it.
15. takes any scrutiny as intense criticism, like she might say, "how was dinner?" and I might say, "ok, but I wouldn't want to eat it again if I had a choice," and her response is, "then you can make your own damn dinner from now on."
16. lack of self awareness, or self reflection... she always sees issues with people as their problem... this has created a huge rift between her and her son, she has stated that she wouldn't mind just sending him away because he doesn't make any sense to her and just pisses her off (on purpose), he has stated that he hates her and wouldn't mind if she went away.
17. Uncoordinated
18. Says inappropriate things in public. On more than one occasion she has said private comments that I made to her to a friend or relative right in front of everyone...

My son, while difficult, is generally happy-go-lucky... he whines a lot, has a lot of bad habits and behavior, is very defiant at times, but generally is a good kid... I would say he is an order of magnitude easier than my wife.

Look, I realize there is a "spectrum" of disorders out there... I personally think my wife is on the Aspie side... do you agree? Funny that I have brought this up to several counselors with their fancy community college degrees (sarcasm), and they are very dismissive, like "I am the professional, there is no way you could make that diagnosis on your own, you should focus on yourself." Pisses me off... one reason I avoid talking to "professionals." Anyone else have that experience?

Wondering if there is anyone else out there in a similar situation as mine. I have nearly walked out my wife several times... mainly for the well-being of my son... but I do love my wife and feel almost like she would be hopeless without me. I have suffered mentally and physically from the stress of my household... it is tough keeping it together some days, it is quite literally like we live the same stressful day over and over again, same arguments, same discussions, same issues.

The commenter brings up a couple of facets of Aspergers which I've noticed but haven't mentioned here before.

Ironically, Aspies are often the last people who'd even consider the possibility that they have Aspergers Syndrome. They never admit they're wrong about anything, and can't take blame, and if they're undiagnosed, may scoff at the possibility that they have it, simply because to do so would be, in their minds, to somehow admit fault.

They do seem to like pets. Dogs and cats never make fun of them, or point out their inconsistencies. Aspies need the uncritical love more than most. (Uncritical affection is why most people like pets, but it's even more motivation for Aspies, who not only often find other human beings critical, but who have a hard time taking criticism.)

I've noticed they lack common sense with money, too. If they something, they buy it.

The commenter's experience with "professionals" in the field rings true as well: they are quite territorial, and set great store by credentialism. They seem to think that opinions derived from classroom study are superior to long term, firsthand experience. (Who had a better feel for chimps, your average graduate student in primatology who'd taken a few trips to the zoo, or Jane Goodall?)

This commenter's real world experience gives him far more insight than anyone who just read about Aspergers Syndrome in a book.


Jokah Macpherson said...

Interesting comments about pets. I don't hate animals but I don't really enjoy them either and would prefer not to have a pet at any time in my adult life. This puts me in a tiny minority in the current culture.

I get incredibly bored when my friends' conversations inevitably turn to anecdotes about all the times their dogs exhibited perfectly ordinary dog behavior and how it shows what incredible, unique interesting personalities their dogs have.

The part about uncritical affection definitely jives with my experience. I've often thought of pets as the equivalent of pornography for family life.

One of my biggest pet peeves is passing someone on the sidewalk walking their dog, offering a standard friendly greeting, and then having the person ignore me completely but say something to their dog as we pass. Logically I know it's them exhibiting poor social skills but emotionally it's always a huge blow to the ego.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Also, I feel really bad for this guy. It sounds like a tough situation he is in. I kind of wonder what attracted him to his wife in the first place. Like what positive traits overcome being judgmental and thin-skinned all the time?

John Craig said...

Jokah --
I never wanted a pet either, but now that my family has had dogs for a while, I can sort of appreciate them; they are loyal, affectionate companions. (Cats are not.)

I don't see them as family porn so much as child substitutes, though. There was an article somewhere recently that talked about how millenialsl in Manhattan lavish all sorts of attention and money on their dogs, and there was a picture of a couple of (obviously childless) women hugging their dogs. And I wondered if those women realized how their natural maternal instincts were being perverted, in a way, and how their dogs were their methadone, so to speak.

Yes, that shows incredibly for social skills; my first reaction is, I wonder if they heard you.

Steven said...

She sounds like an aspie apart from the part about her horrible math. Many aspies are very intelligent, aren't they, especially in math? I associate it more with high IQ than low IQ.

The one aspie I know seems quite bright but he does have slightly shaky verbal skills- he writes with flair but sort of sloppy at the same time.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Actually, Aspies are supposed to often be weak at math, according to the literature. (And I've seen that too.) I think you're confusing nerdiness with Aspergers. (Aspies are often nerds, but not necessarily vice versa.)

Anonymous said...

Is your comment on professionals applicable to the concept of race? Spending time around black people vs white people shows the difference in intelligence and aggression.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I"m not sure who would qualify as an official "expert" on race relations, or racial differences, but yes, there as elsewhere, experience is the best (and most realistic) teacher.

A high school teacher in the inner city is going to have a much more realistic sense of what's what than a sociology professor at Middleburg College.

Anonymous said...

I feel badly for the commenter. His home life sounds incredibly stressful. If he stays in his marriage, counseling (personal and/or marital) could be helpful. I respect the commenter for sticking it out with his wife, difficult as it is.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
I honestly don't think counseling would help much in that situation. an Aspie will always be an Aspie.

Anonymous said...

"(Uncritical affection is why most people like pets)"

I always looked down on people who liked animals.
Amazingly, I have come to love a cat.
I like the cat, because I like to take care of the cat, and what I like about taking care of the cat, is, that no one takes care of me.
The little cat is lost in the universe, it doesn't know much, it can't do much.
I will help the cat, I will protect the cat, the cat is happy.
In this here little corner of the universe, involving cat affairs, and the slight help that I can offer to this mortal feline creature, ORDER IS RESTORED.

Anonymous said...

A person who has experience and is a professional is best. The professional aspect helps them understand the context and reasons behind the action they witness. For example: Aspies can't take criticism, but they can't take compliments either. A professional in psychiatry (NOT psychology, GOD I can't stand them sometimes) understands the root is mental rigidity and a weak sense of self (denationalization is a common symptom of bipolar, schizophrenia, autism, DID, and other disorders) which leads to a weak sense of esteem rather than a character defect like narcissism. Although it can turn into a character defect if the autist comes under the influence of neurodiversity ideology. (Like a person who is not born evil becoming a bastard after embracing radical fanatical islam)

Jane Goodall had to have first hand experience and be well learned or at least interested in finding the context behind what she saw and put it all together. Maybe not being a professional is needed but wanting to think about what goes on.

I am proud of this guy because he said his son is behaving a bit better than his wife, that may be because he is raising him better after catching it early. Unfortunetly some neurodiversity groups oppose any intervention because "it won't let them be their true self" which is bullcrap. "Different, not disabled" is bullcrap.
(NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the term by the autism research charity Autism Speaks
Which is "Different, not less" which has a completely different meaning).

John Craig said...

I forgot to mention that, wanting to be needed is a big incentive for pet owners too. You're not alone there.

(Maybe you're not the psycho you think you are.)

John Craig said...

Anon (Ambivalent Misanthrope?) --
Everything you say is true. But I've just met too many professionals (psychiatrists as well as psychologists) who seem to have no clue about sociopathy to completely put my trust in them. I don't understand autism the way I do sociopathy, all I can do is recognize patterns of behavior. (I.E., I don't know what causes autism, though I'm not sure anyone does; and I don't understand brain structure and the possible organic roots of sociopathy.) But, there are some professionals who don't even seem able to recognize patterns of behavior.

I have to admit, I didn't tell the complete truth about Jane Goodall; she later went back to get her PhD in primatology. But that was only after she'd spent time in the field, after she already had a far better "feel" for chimps than most degreed primatologists.

Agree completely about that "different not disabled" stuff.

Anonymous said...

I meant depersonalization, not denationalization. Damn autocorrect.

Anonymous said...

And yes, "Different, not less"
"Different, not disabled"

Mark Caplan said...

One line in the reader's letter struck me as worthy of commenting on:

"I do love my wife and feel almost like she would be hopeless without me."

Some of you amateur shrinks out there probably know what term is used to describe that kind of relationship.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Actually, I don't. What is the term? (A lot of people like the feeling of being needed.)

Anonymous said...

This is off topic but I want to share since this post is about disability.
Liberals claim they are the ones fighting for the rights of the disabled and mentally ill but in actuallity a huge number of conservatives were the ones fighting for the rights of them.
During aktion t4 in nazi germany, did protests come from the socialist and communist parties?

The biggest protest came from the churches. This is a proclamation from the catholic church during the time:

"For as the Apostle with good reason admonishes us: "Those that seem the more feeble members of the Body are more necessary; and those that we think the less honorable members of the Body, we surround with more abundant honour." Conscious of the obligations of Our high office We deem it necessary to reiterate this grave statement today, when to Our profound grief We see at times the deformed, the insane, and those suffering from hereditary disease deprived of their lives, as though they were a useless burden to Society; and this procedure is hailed by some as a manifestation of human progress, and as something that is entirely in accordance with the common good. Yet who that is possessed of sound judgment does not recognize that this not only violates the natural and the divine law written in the heart of every man, but that it outrages the noblest instincts of humanity? The blood of these unfortunate victims who are all the dearer to our Redeemer because they are deserving of greater pity, "cries to God from the earth."

Not a single peep from the socialists or communists.

Mark Caplan said...

I'm not sure of the term either, maybe "codependency." The relationship's glue is the husband's pity (she would collapse without him) and need to feel indispensable.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason people with asperger's attack your post is they are members of neurodiversity who believe they are special because of it. Have you noticed the ones who attacked you are likely using american english? Neurodiversity is an american thing.
The reason your post on bipolar syndrome wasn't attacked was they probably went and moped in their room since people with bipolar syndrome hate having it. I believe that not every person with aspergers who read your posts replied angrily, some, the ones who hate having it would go and mope.

Anonymous said...

You don't even have to go into an inner city school. I went to a white suburban school, the few black kids from wealthy families there were more aggressive and less intelligent, they had poorer scores and did better in sports.

John Craig said...

Anon (of 12:21AM) --
Interesting observation. That hadn't occurred to me about the American English; and, to tell the truth, I hadn't known that neurodiversity was a pure American movement, but that makes sense, given our crazy political correctness these days.

Are you referring to the post, "Should bipolars inform others of their condition?" That post wasn't nearly as negative as my original post on Aspergers, from August 2011, was. (It mostly just addressed the question posed in the title.) Anyway, the tone of a lot of the comments from Aspies changed over the course of the 550 or so comments, more recently a lot of them have written fairly reasonable comments, speaking reasonably about their own disability.

John Craig said...

Anon (of 12:37AM) --
You're right. White children, no matter how smart of dumb the parents, tend to regress toward a mean IQ of 100, whereas black children, no matter how smart or dumb the parents, tend to regress toward a mean of 85. The combination of fewer inhibitions and higher levels of testosterone makes blacks more aggressive. And there's obviously no question that blacks are more naturally talented at any number of sports.

Anonymous said...

This is my first comment on this site. Like the guest poster, I married an aspie. Who wouldn’t want to marry an intelligent, thoughtful, well-educated beauty goddess like her? I am clearly indebted to John for his clear non-PC descriptions on the aspies over the years. It helped me taking the decision to divorce. Thank you so much and keep it up!

Actually, my ex-wife and I both agree that she has mild Autism although she has no formal diagnosis yet. We figured it out after one of our children got a diagnosis based on ample evidence. My ex-wife and I both agree on that a total of five family members has more or less autism symptoms. I have noticed that their behavior and needs significantly differ. However, all of them have severe difficulties with:

1. Theory of mind (understanding how others feel)
2. Central coherence (common sense)
3. Executive function (get stuff done)

Zooming in on my ex-wife, I would describe her this way:
1. Is intelligent and original in her thought process. In other cases, she is completely blind and no amount of sound reasoning could make her understand simple concepts.
2. Is clingy and needy. Has enormous need for emotional validation (a psychological tool used for Self-Injury Disorder) but cannot give anything back.
3. Often puts her emotional needs before the very real needs of the children.
4. Gets stressed because she does not understand what I am doing and why. Anxiety builds.
5. Cannot improvise and if forced to, she reschedules everything in a nanosecond while anxiety builds.
6. Needs frequent updates on our plans and responsivities. Needs full control or anxiety builds.
7. Frequently blows up in an anxiety explosion. Cannot deal with bad emotions in private.
8. Views herself as super empathetic. However, she cannot understand how other feel. In other words, she has the will to be empathetic but no capability. It’s a recipe for unhappiness.
9. Is naïve and never hurt anybody on purpose.
10. Frequently lacks common sense.
11. Views herself as morally superior with opinions close to the politically correct. Does not buy into all aspects of the PC package but can be dogmatic in some instances, i.e. neurodiversity.
12. Claims to be open-minded but is limited by her inability to handle uncertainties. In fact, close-minded helps her keep the anxiety in check.
13. Has double personalities: Charismatic to strangers or on her job, but everybody else gets nothing.
14. Is lazy, careless, aloof, unpractical and disorganized, has poor body coordination and reaction time. Allows the aspie children to behave however they want without reacting.
15. Butchers words and invents new ones.
16. Commonly misreads my neutral comments on a neutral topic as criticism on her, which unleashes a counterattack.

My hard-won experiences has taught me to stay away from aspies. I recommend the guest poster to plan his exit as soon as he can. Good luck!

Johannes from Bavaria

John Craig said...

Johannes from Bavaria --
That's another great description of Aspergers, as good as the one quoted in the post above. Thank you for that. You said several things which I've never mentioned but which resonate as well.

#8. They CAN view themselves as super empathetic, even though they have no clue what others are thinking. They'll talk about their "high emotional IQ" while actually having none.
#11. That's my experience as well, they do view themselves as morally superior, based on subscribing to certain politically correct dogma.
#12. Claims to be open-minded but is in fact close-minded. So true.

Thank you for that description.

Anonymous said...

She said 5 family members have it but it's not purely genetic. I read about two severely autistic people having a child in a group home and he was neurotypical. Also de novo cases are not uncommon where a family with no history suddenly has a child with the disorder.
In a family where on person is autistic, you may see other members with traits but not every single grandparent, cousin, sibling, and child can possibly have fully diagnosable autism spectrum disorder. It is not like hair color or skin.

I hope the guy raises his aspie children well and teaches them to not be neurodiversity members like their mother, it can make all the difference in their success and life.
I sometimes wonder though what the spouses think of their children if they also have ASD. Do they still love them?

To Johannes: I know you will divorce your wife but will you "divorce" from your child(ren) with ASD? By "staying away from aspies" how far does that go for you? Even from your child(ren)? Do you still love them?


Anonymous said...

My advice to the dad on his son:
Early intervention for the aspie child is key.
Guy is still pretty autistic, he speaks very wooden and monotone.
But he was born with very very severe autism, mentally retarded and nonverbal, they gave him therapy at the age of 2 and when he turned 6 he regained his speech and could go to a normal school. Now he can hold down his successful job.
If your not getting your kid any help, do it NOW!


Anonymous said...

I think my father has some form of aspergers:

Difficulty making eye contact
Has some form of special interests throughout his, nothing like trains or sliding doors but kept trying to do certain business ventures that didn't work
Difficulty understanding what someone was feeling
Wooden face
Difficulty seeing other people's point of view
Monologues a lot (though not about special interests, they were relevant)
Acts silly and innapropriate sometimes
Rigid hates being interrupted
and a bit more

However there are some oddities that make him not fulfil the whole criteria:

No meltdowns or rages, very emotionally stable
Accepts criticism very well and learns from mistakes
Very caring, if he wanted to go on vacation with me but found out I was sick he would rush to take care of me without complaining, he would also check on people if they were sick or unwell and help them
Even though he hates having his routine disrupted, he would not meltdown or get angry, he would still stop and do something else if needed
If I was unhappy or had a bad day, he would comfort me and listen
Not self centered
Very good at helping me identify what I was feeling, sometimes I would be confused about what happened and he would help me piece together what went wrong
Not clumsy or slouched (but wasn't good at sports when young)
Not clueless when under pressure, he actually could sometimes handle tough situations better than my mother
When my mother left, he took very good care of me and put my needs first
Good sense of humor
Could have normal conversations with me
Insightful and creative, not 2 dimensional

My cousin has low functioning autism. I think this is what they mean when "autism runs in the family", it means that certain traits or "ghostings" will be found in relatives but not all of them will be fullblown aspie/autistic.

One of my uncles is quite shy and walks a little slouched, he is very frugal too and has difficulty maintaining eye contact, but like my dad he does not have enough traits to be diagnosed fully. He has bad anxiety too. But he doesn't have any meltdowns. He doesn't have any weird special interests (he has multiple hobbies though) or difficulty having conversations and he was able to meet the needs of his children. He is also caring and not judgemental.

So yeah, I suspect autism disorder is the concentration of certain traits found gradually spread out in a population that gets overly concentrated in certain situations or is exposed to an enviromental poisin that mutates these traits further. I also read an article saying autism genes are found in everyone, but people with autism were the products of difficult pregnancies or have more mutations in these genes.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I completely agree with your larger point: that autism, or Aspergers, varies in its severity, and that not all those who suffer from it exhibit all of the symptoms. It sounds as if your father has a relatively mild form of it. And this is probably why the DSM has decided to stop classifying "Aspergers" as a separate condition and say that people are merely "on the spectrum." It really is a spectrum.

The thing is, when you've known a few people with Aspergers, you'll recognize the similarities in their behavior, and there really is a profile they tend to fit, even if they don't fit it perfectly. You seem to be familiar with that profile. There are times when reading the description of various syndromes will make you wonder if you don't have symptoms of all of them; and personalities don't all fit into neat, precisely defined niches. But there are patterns, even if they are imperfect ones.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how autism is compared to narcissm and sociopathy now on the internet. But I think it is the neurodiversity movements fault. The original option was to let it be compared to other neurological disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar, alzheimers, brain damage, and more. The popular culture said "oh so you have a developmental neurological disorder? Do you want our compassion and pity?" and neurodiversity said "No, it is a part of our character! How dare you offer us compassion!". To which popular culture says "Oh, so it is not a mental illness/disorder, you aren't having meltdowns due to a faulty central nervous system, you are don't have sensory issues due to problems with the cortex! You are just being assholes because you want to be!" Neurodiversity is hurting autistic people in the end. Really, autism is a developmental neurological disorder while psychopathy and narcissm are personality disorders. It's like apples and oranges but they ruined it for everyone.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You are completely right. Aspies are basically innocent lambs (if obnoxious ones) who are preferring to be classified as a variant of badasses. But they just aren't bad, they're simply asses. But now they've added a moral component to their failings, thanks to the neurodiversity movement. As you say, it's as if they're saying, "We don't just have faulty wiring, we have bad character as well."

That neurodiversity movement is probably partially responsible for all those lists of famous Aspies you see on the internet, many of which include people who fairly obviously did not suffer from Aspergers, but whom they wanted to include in the club because they were great men (such as Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain). The thing is, there are great men (like Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein) who may well have had Aspergers, so the advocates really don't have to engage in that overreach. But they're Aspies, so they do.

Anonymous said...

You seem to imply that neurodiversity was inevitable because of how ASD people are, but there aren't equivalent movements right now for other disorders. There were in the past but they were already knocked down (google "Mad Pride"), that was before the internet existed so they had to either prove themselves or sink. Also neurodiversity isn't so prevalent outside the USA. I don't believe it was inevitable but was an accident. I also think that partially the behaviour is influenced by culture, a person with another disorder is taught to hate their disorder and that makes a huge difference in behaviour. I know you lean toward believing people are their genetics and illness but I believe that how a person is taught to treat their own illness makes a difference. I believe at least 50% of aspie behaviour is from enabling culture and neurodiversity. I am not referring to the direct symptoms but the pride in having the disease and attitude towards said disease in a large amount.

Just imagine if we didn't treat bipolar as a disease. Instead of the shame and moping they would display they would be incredibly self righteous about their right to their ups and downs. You would assume that that must be a necessary part of the disease, to think it is impossible to believe they have something wrong and hate having it. But plenty of aspies actually hate having it and would be more vocal about it and speak up if it weren't for political correctness. It is not a symptom that they must always think it is a good thing they wish to have as you (may have, I don't know) subtley imply (or not). It doesn't say that anywhere in the DSM. I just think you would be writing less about aspies if it weren't for neurodiversity. They would be too busy sulking, acting depressed, or posting on forums about how their life sucks like schizophrenics. They would be too unmotivated and overly conscious of their symptoms all the time (normal for people with other disorders). You also notice that most of the posts that attack you aren't from non-westerners. Most people outside the USA are more indifferent to aspergers for a variety of reasons.

I think neurodiversity isn't (just) from their autism. It stems from human vanity and pride in general. You see it in other movements where a single idea spreads like a cancer. You implant it and it changes how people think or act one the idea gets passed around enough. You wrote another post how radical feminists and members of the KKK must be aspies, but only 1 in 150 people have asperger syndrome, and I don't think every single person who is part of a group must necesarrily always be born with some disorder. I think humans are prone to being prideful bastards if the right circumstances exist.

A quote by Solzhenitsyn:
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either -- but right through every human heart -- and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains ... an unuprooted small corner of evil.

Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions of the world: They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”

John Craig said...

Anon --
No, I didn't mean to imply that the neurodiversity movement was inevitable. And yes, bad ideas can spread like wildfire. But a ridiculous idea like neurodiversity could spread more easily among people with Aspergers since they are less commonsensical, and also because it's part of the nature of Aspergers that they are unable to admit fault.

Also, that post about how radical feminists must be Aspies was mostly a quote from a commenter here, Gethin, though I agree with him. But I don't think he meant to imply that every last radical feminist is an Aspie, merely that a lot of them are attracted to the movement because they are not bothered by its internal inconsistencies, and that it may have been formulated in the first place by someone with a similar mindset.

And yes, vanity has a great deal to do with these various liberation movements.

Anonymous said...

It does say something that people outside the USA are more indifferent to aspergers. There is no constant bombardment of aspie characters on TV nor are there lists of famous people. If someone hears about it, they may say "Oh, that? Yeah its autism, whatever" "Neurodiversity? What's that? I've seen some aspies, they are clearly disabled strange people, whatever".
Can you get what that implies?

John Craig said...

Anon --
I'm not sure exactly what you're taking from that, but to me it implies -- or says, directly -- that the syndrome, along with a lot of other things, has gotten way over politicized in this country. Aspergers is a syndrome, it shouldn't be a political movement. Likewise, being fat is simply a matter of being overweight; it shouldn't turn into a political movement, as it has in certain quarters. ("Fat-shaming" is now a thing.) Etc.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, the reason why it is such a big deal is they created one when one didn't have to exist. Leave it to the experts, not TV show producers or internet bloggers. The USA could be doing a lot better right now.

Have you noticed that despite only 1/4 of people with diagnosed autism being female and only 1/10 may be higher functioning or aspergers, that they tend to outnumber males in internet posts about neurodiversity? If you have seen a debate between aspies about whether they would rather be normal or not, almost all the ones who would rather be normal tend to be male. The ones, SJW tumblrinas, are disportionately female. Are women just less logical than men?

The ratio may be an incorrect estimate and more girls go undiagnosed, while that is true, they did do experiments with female rats and found that they have to induce 3-4 times as much mutation for many disorders for similar syndromes or develop equal symptoms to males. So there is a gender gap that is biological to a degree. I think they also found that diagnosed females tend to display greater cognitive and emotional issues than males. (But this may be a diagnosis bias)

The husband above says his wife never cries. Normally I would expect an aspie like her would easily break into tears at an itchy sweater. I wonder if that is just how she is as breaking into tears easily would be what I imagine. I've seen while males can't really empathize either a few can have sympathy and admit they have something wrong with them, some females I have seen on the internet and one I met in real life usually act like everything is perfect and lack any insight. It's the tumblrina culture that may play a role.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I'd never heard that word before, so had to look it up:

"A Tumblrina is a derogatory term that redditors and others use to describe the "stereotypical" Tumblr female who gets offended a lot and rants about ludicrous things. From An often unattractive, butthurt, and obnoxious female user of the popular site Tumblr."

I agree that females are probably diagnosed as having Aspergers less often. It's weird, but I know several beautiful women who seem to have it. I think one of them was diagnosed with it (and keeps it a deep, dark secret, not that it's not obvious to anyone who knows her and understands Aspergers), one of them was misdiagnosed as something else (bipolar), one may have been diagnosed (judging from her mother's sheepish comment, "[She] doesn't know how to schmooze"), and one is old enough to have grown up when Aspergers wasn't widely recognized. But I also think that people are less apt to see beautiful women in that light, and in general, women who have it are more likely to be thought "quirky" or "neurotic" or "shy," all traits generally considered less unattractive in females. Plus they're less likely to be interested in some of the more stereotypical Aspie obsessions, like, say, trains. And some become obsessed with exercise, which is what keeps them lean and beautiful.

Of the four, I'd say only one qualifies as a Tumblrina, and that only in an oblique way.

Anonymous said...

Do you think certain aspie traits are found in certain races or ethnic groups more than others?
When I read about the culture in Japan and Korea, the overly formal structure, bizarre subcultures (such as "train otaku", hell Joe Biden I read is a train buff, you would be surprised that there are neurotypical rail fans), timidness, lack of creativity in their tv and movies compared to western masterpieces, lack of creative use of sarcasm in their humor and culture, not very religious (but if are, then rigid and serious) and more.

Blacks seem to be the least autisticish, very social and extroverted, great at sports and physicial activites, least nerdy, more religous (in a charismatic way), lots of stand up comedians, uses a lot more slang and jargon (less literalness), more social interaction ("let's smoke some weed and watch tv!") and not stuck in their bedrooms or basements, and some african cultures use A LOT of sarcasm, the khoi bushmen are known for using sarcasm on a daily basic, if a person brings home a large deer from a hunt, the tribe will tease them and say "oh how small and thin that thing is! You could do better!".

But Autism is found across all races, (unlike say Tay-Sachs which is found among Jews).

What do you think this means from a scientific point of view? Or do you think it means anything?

John Craig said...

Anon --
I have no idea how often Aspergers Syndrome occurs in the different races, but I completely agree that some races are more Aspie-like by nature, and I completely agree with your assessment that Asians are the most Aspie-like.

I know a young man who once said he was going to have a game show on TV, and call it, "Aspie.....or just Asian?" I don't know if timidity is an Aspie trait, but certainly all the other traits you mention are.

And I agree that blacks are the least Aspie-like. They punch way above their weight [read: IQ's] when it comes to humor (IQ and humor aren't strictly correlated, but there does seem to be a relationship, at least among the whites I've known). And yes, they are more congenial and less inhibited by nature.

I'm not sure what it means scientifically, other than the different races are different. But we already knew that.

Anonymous said...

I wish to comment on the post by Johannes and the OP husband.

It seems paradoxical when you see people stuck in relationships with aspies, alcohol and substance users, or people with psychotic mental health disorders that they are shamed for being stuck in a toxic relationship yet you also hear admiration and how brave they.

I think if the person with a problem is making an effort to make things work, there is adequate support provided, and the other spouse is also part of the help process then admiration is an appropriate word. But if nothing is being done by anyone, then "toxic" applies.

I disagree with Johannes about "staying away from aspies" not in the sense that it is better to not get in a relationship with them in the first place as there will be a lot of hassle or that if one of them is too difficult to be around you simply avoid him or her.

But I disagree with the undertones from many posters that it isn't a mental health issue that needs resolving or managing, and that they should be shunned and ignored (which would only make the problems worse without intervention). It is not a character defect, it's a mental disorder. Would they or anyone say the same for other mental health problems or drug addicts? Find ways to avoid them like one would avoid a sociopath?

Has anyone ever said you should practically tattoo their condition of their foreheads and run away as far as possible in the other direction for other mental illnesses or addicts?
It's a mental health issue, not a personality disorder, and it is one we are too lax about since it is new.

I read a story about an elderly couple where one got a diagnosis of ASD. All they did was give him a pamphlet and sent him off. His wife complained that if he were schizophrenic or manic depressive they would at least follow up with more. Why is the US mental health care system so damn lazy right now?


Anonymous said...

Note that I believe it is perfectly fine to divorce a person if their conditions are causing too many maritial troubles, you do not have to love him or her. But there should be services and help for both parties afterwards. I don't believe you should "divorce" your child if they inherited the condition (which I've read before, they don't love their child at all, it feels repulsive honestly).
The normal parent can play an important role in guiding them, or at least take the opportunity to get try to get intervention for him or her.


John Craig said...

Anonimous --
You're right, the simultaneous castigation for a toxic relationship and professed admiration for bravery is contradictory. But keep in mind, sometimes neither is called for; it's simply a matter of money, or children being involved. People don't want to make the financial sacrifice a divorce entails, or don't want to be a half time parent. (And this is actually true of a lot of marriages that don't involve either Aspies or alcoholics.)

There's also a slight contradiction embedded in your saying you don't disagree with Johannes about wanting to avoid Aspies because of all the difficulties they cause, but also saying that they shouldn't be "shunned." If you avoid them, you're effectively shunning them, aren't you? (No one, Johannes included, is saying that they should be isolate din some sort of leper colony.)

Also, don't think anyone is saying Aspergers is a character defect; merely that it results in a hypocritical, difficult personality prone to meltdowns. (Which, in a way, is almost the equivalent of having a character defect, even if its origin is organic.)

And actually someone has suggested such forehead tattoos (I have, here):

As far as that old lady's complaints, she's right: a schizophrenic or manic depressive WOULD have gotten more attention. But that is for the very good reason that they would have presented more of a danger to themselves, or to someone else. The biggest danger most Aspies present is that they are annoying to those around them.

Please don't take all of my responses to you as being combative, or interpret my sometimes semi-serious tone as mockery; I appreciate all of your thoughtful and well-informed comments. (I acknowledge that you do more more about certain things than I do.) It's just that I disagree with some of your points, and am dissenting -- in a friendly fashion.

John Craig said...

Anonimous --
I agree, there is something wrong with someone who doesn't love his child because of a condition he has. I can understand being annoyed by said child, but not not loving them.

I've heard that people love their Downs syndrome children just as much as they would normal children. As a matter of fact, I usually swim at a local pool two or three days a week at around 1PM. For the past few weeks there's been a young man with Downs syndrome who swims in the end lane. He is always accompanied by a tall, slightly stooped woman who must be his grandmother. She always sits there waiting patiently for him, and either knits or reads. Then, when he gets out, she hands him his towel and smiles at him patiently, and when he doe into the locker room, she walks out to wait for him in the lobby. Somehow, I always find that scene a little bit touching.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't clear, sorry. The word shun carries heavier weight, it implies trying to avoid every single one with prejudice the way you would for a sociopath like the plague, not just avoiding some if you find them to be to difficult.

I've met two when I was in school, one I loved talking with about politics, gaming, and philosophy, he was insightful and witty. He did have some meltdowns but never violent, he learned to excuse himself from the room if he felt one coming on and he got them to stop as he got older. He is on my facebook now and if he ever came around town I'm sure I would get a drink with him.

The other was absolutely unbearable to be around. He talked openly about porn and farted in public, and flapped his hands. The only thing he cared about was nintendo. He was worse than annoying, he would go batshit insane at times! First thing I did when graduating was erasing him from my mind. I wouldn't want to be in the same room as him ever!

And it's alright when you disagree with me. If we all had the same views the world would be pretty bland.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for adding, I also meant they shouldn't be "shunned" by society and left to rot. I don't think they should be marginalized, and I get the sense some posters here want to do that, at least subconsciously. I've done work in special education classes and have seen the importance and difference it makes. Marginalization will only cause an us vs them mentality which leads to them gathering in groups and strengthening this bizarre "differently abled" idea which makes things worse and hinders any real progress. I've seen a post elsewhere on the internet where someone got upset that they were going to introduce a character on sesame street with autism. I mean really?

An0mInous (that better?)

John Craig said...

An0minous --
Ah, that is better, it doesn't Autocorrect.

Well, I certainly don't advocate leper colonies, but if they are not to be shunned, keep in mind that some neurotypical gets assigned the task of dealing with that hand-flapping, farting, porn-discussing, Nintendo-lover. (Doesn't sound as if you want the task.)

Anonymous said...

If it means not sending the other guy to a leper colony, then I'd put up with not sending nintendo boy to one. (And I have volunteered at group homes, a lot of progress can be made, I've seen it, at least sometimes).

I'm uncomfortable with the thought of saying that the former is "one of the good ones", because how would he feel if told him that? I would have no problem saying nintendo boy "you are one of the bad ones" though.
But hell its a mental illness, a disease, would I go up to someone with manic depression, schizophrenia, down syndrome, anorexia, or OCD and say "you are one of the good/bad ones"?

It's easy for me to have sympathy for the former guy, but its so hard to have any at all for the latter guy. But it's in the professional's hands now. If we can't do anything about it, then there is no point in wondering about these things.

John Craig said...

Anonymous (An0minous?) --
If you've volunteered at group homes, then you're a better person than I am. But bear in mind, the porn-discussing faster is not the only one of his kind, and there aren't a lot of people who want to volunteer to work with people like that; and there are even fewer who'd come away from that experience glad that they did.

There's plenty of variation with the personalities of people who have those other mental disorders as well, but I get your point: a disease is a disease and it's sort of pointless to distinguish among those who have the various disorders.

Anonymous said...

I would judge the individual if there is time for it. That goes back to my point of why I don't like shunning an entire group of people (except for cluster b, but there is some pity there, not compassion, just sorta pity). I think maybe we can distinguish people with the disorders in another way. And if I may say in all honesty, I think you could distinguish a bit more in this kind of way too. If they prove themselves to be alright, then they are alright, they could even be a friend if they prove themselves worthy.

That's why I have a that other old aspie classmate, a guy who used to smoke a lot of weed in his teen years who is "slow" because of it (but aware), and a girl with PTSD and mood problems (not to the point of BPD) on my facebook friends list, but it's not filled to the brim with people with disorders. With them I saw their individuality and depth, they didn't let themselves become their disorder. That is the difference between someone who chooses to say they "have ____ disorder" instead of "I am a _____ person". That was my test they passed and I am glad to have had them in my life.


Anonymous said...

An observation I want to add. There is a lot of heterogeneity in organic conditions. (But not so much in character conditions, a bit though, but they seem more similar to eachother)

John Elder Robison is practically a robot, from a young age he was lonely and also felt different, he was clueless to what anyone else thought or did (hence the original meaning of the word "autism" before they recognized the condition: originating from within without outside influence). He and his brother (his brother is Augusten Burroughs btw) left his home at the age of 16 due to his psychotic mother. He managed without education to find a job and after a while worked his way up until he became the engineer for KISS during tours and now owns a business and is an author, he also got married too and owns a house.

He had a son who also has aspergers. He responded to the cooing and games of peak a boo they played with him as a toddler, he had groups of friends growing up, and dated in high school, he has friends now too. He also has a higher IQ and videos with him show he can crack a few jokes and get things better in conversations where his father can't. But he has more cognitive problems, he looks clumsier and is thinly built unlike his large boned father, and has more executive dysfunctions, that would mean he has trouble caring for himself unlike his father who could fend for himself at 16 and work his way up to higher paying jobs with no education or support.

That is where the future of personalized medicine comes in. Disorders are classified by behaviours, in the past we had "creeping paralysis" now we have polio, als, and muscular dystrophy. We had dwarfism, now we have at least 2 dozen different disorders resulting in dwarfism. Everybody's case is different and they need to figure out how to best customize each person's treatment.


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
Interesting, I'd never thought about the derivation of the word "autism" before; it's just one of those things I'd always unthinkingly accepted, but that makes perfect sense.

Agreed, medicine will work far better if customized. If that's possible. (We do seem to be moving in that direction.) Maybe the answer will lie with gene therapy.

Anonymous said...

Eugene Blueler first used the term "autistic schizophrenia" to describe a subset of his patients where they "retreated inward" from toddlerhood rather than adolescence.
Leo Kanner also used it in it's original meaning by describing his patients as having "autistic aloneless". He had to convince people it was not a type of schizophrenia. For ages people with autism used to be diagnosed as having childhood schizophrenia. But there may have been some truth there.
They may be they same or similar disruption. In autism it's toddlerhood when neurons grow, in schizophrenia it is adolescence when synapses prune. Petri dish cultures show neural cells created from autistic patients overgrow and form clusters, those of schizophrenics start to grow but then die quickly, forming too few loosely bundled connections.
In both conditions, behaviour resemble extreme opposites resulting in different deviating dysfunctions.
(Autism on the left, schizophrenia on the right)
Lack of eye contact; strong intense gazing
Obsessiveness; apathy
Excessive sensitivity to sounds and smells from the outside world; difficulty with sensations and weak senses or sensing and smelling things that aren't there
Clumsiness; Stiffness
Pedantic literal speech; garbled loosely associated speech
Too much logic (removing common sense and flexibility), and unassigning meaning to things, but strong technical and engineering ability;
Difficulty with absolutes, a cigar isn't just a cigar, but strong creative and artistic ability. An autistic person can be summed up as "uninformed"; a schizophrenic "misinformed"


Anonymous said...

I also want to add this if you have enough time (do you have a day job or are you already retired?)
Some of the shared symptoms manifest differently:
Lack of empathy, social deficits, and theory of mind impairments exist in both.
It can cause the autistic person to be agitated and judgmental like the replies to your aspergers post.
The schizophrenic person displays cold aloofness, I read a posts on a schizophrenic forum and one was like "I don't care about other, they don't deserve it, the only way I can survive is if I put myself first, I won't talk to anyone".
If you constructively criticized an autistic person they would lash back and say "how dare you!", if you constructively criticized a schizophrenic person they would ignore what you said, your words have no meaning.
An autistic person often has depersonalization, they feel a weak self, they don't know the effect of their actions on others since they can't see themselves in the picture.
A schizophrenic person often has derealization, they feel only they exist, and the world is a simulation, the are unaware of the effects of their actions on others since they can't see other people in the picture.
(But people with either conditions can and frequently do have both, I suspect it may originate as one condition extending itself further leading to the other)
An autistic person and schizophrenic person can both hurl accusations. The autistic person sees no meaning behind your actions and thus you are being "illogical". The schizophrenic person sees non-existent meaning. The autistic person doesn't take into account other people's intentions, the schizophrenic inserts intentions into other people. An autistic person's tends to be devoid of original thoughts (not completely, some like Temple Grandin are successful inventors), the schizophrenic's thoughts feel inserted as if they didn't originate from themselves (not always, I'm sure Brian Wilson created his work without any voice telling him what to write down). This means both can lead to a lack of originality from one's true conscious self.
But the question is, if the theory of them being two sides of the same coin is true, then why are the rates unequal? Autism occurs in 2-3% of the population to varying degrees but schizophrenia only 0.5-1%. This is a very interesting area for me. It is an area worth researching (which they are), to understand disorders.
This link explains the more direct similarities rather than the contrasts I have written, read if you have time:


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
I'm retired, but sorry, you can't expect an in depth response from me every time. I appreciate all your contributions though. (If you take a look at some of the more recent posts you'll get a sense of how many comments I've been getting recently, and I can't respond thoughtfully to all of them, especially since I'm also trying to keep up the blog, i.e., write new posts, too.)

I ike the way you contrast how schizophrenics vs. autistics respond to criticisms, and also how they both hurl accusations.

Using actual people (like Grandin and Wilson) always makes this stuff come alive more, too.

Anonymous said...

Okay, just a lil more.
I think maybe some people on the schizophrenia spectrum are undiagnosed. They retreat from contact or isolate themselves so they are harder to find or run into. Sometimes we may not be aware.

If you've met someone with is socially clueless and loud, irritating, and exhausting, that guy may have been an aspie and we didn't know. If you've met someone who is socially clueless but quiet (sometimes almost mute), creepy, and unnerving, that person may have been schizotypal or in the beginning stages of schizophrenia.

I suspect they also are less likely to want to enter a relationship unlike the aspie of the husband above, so you hear fewer stories. The ones who are in relationships are probably easier to get away from since they are so void of motivation that they won't put up a fight or get in your way, but if the condition is so severe such as entering a psychotic episode, they can get taken away for you and put in a mental hospital. Problem solved.

Both have an element of poor self control and social filter, both may not take fault or admit they are wrong, but this is less obvious with the schizophrenic since they are apathetic and indifferent, they feel no desire to interact with others or even reply to what you said, their poor self control is in the form of not working themselves up to get something done or making many small mistakes spread out rather than being too impulsive and rushing into everything making large mistakes in a more intense time period like the autistic. And with hypocrisy, if you look at autistic forums, they rant and rave about others (and in real life), on schizophrenic forums, they sulk and mope about others (but IN SILENCE in real life) or just don't care enough to remember.

The autistic meltdown episode may result from being overwhelmed from the outside world and blurring whats inside, entering a state where control is lost, pent up anxiety and repressed emotion is released all at once without filter.

The schizophrenic psychotic episode may be from losing too much influence and inhibition from the outside world holding things in place, and unleashing pent up paranoia and repressed emotions all at once without filter.

Okay that is all, I expect no reply but I want to practice writing down these thoughts, I'm thinking of doing a presentation later and even if nobody replies, it helps build up my courage if I do know people do see what I write.


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
You're always welcome to test out your ideas here. I think those are actually excellent descriptions, and they ring true. I've had no experience with schizophrenics, or even schizotypal people (that I'm aware of, I suppose I must have met some in my life), but I've had fairly extensive experience with Aspies, and your descriptions of how they act is right on target.

I'm guessing your presentation will be a success (unless it's to a group of Aspies, in which case you can expect a hostile reaction).

Anonymous said...

If you do want some idea of a schizotypal or schizophrenic, watch the series "Mr. Robot", the main character resembles one even though it is not overtly stated he is.


Anonymous said...

Okay another comment worth sharing. I believe relationships with people on the schizophrenic spectrum has a wider bell curve with marked impairments unlike relationships with autistics.

The man sums up his life with his wife quite well. It is frustrating, irritating, annoying, he has to deal with his wife's cluelessness, any criticism will only start a fight, and he is under a lot of stress, but he has managed to make his aspie son turn out much better than his wife, I'm sure he deeply loves his son. It seems his wife is able to work so he doesn't have to supervise everything she does like cleaning herself, and he can go to sleep at night and know he will wake up alive the next morning.

With a person on the milder end of the schizophrenic spectrum such as schizotypal or a schizophrenic in remission, or one who has a better response to medication, there is emotional deprivation, lack of reciprocity, stress, and frustration too. But the spouse will usually be shut away most of the time in their room or remain in a controllable quiet docile state, you can just treat them like a room mate and avoid getting into contact. When you are in contact with them, they will be cold and indifferent, maybe accuse you and be paranoid but not by yelling or shouting, just saying it in a monotone way, and they won't be easily provoked into a verbal fight. They won't freak out if you criticize them, they will just not care, they believe they are right and won't feel the need to argue back. It is more tolerable and not so stressful, you can get on with your life more easily.

If they are in the full blown midst of schizophrenia and or have a other underlying problems adding to the disorder, it can be absolutely hellish in a sorta different way than being with an autistic spouse.
You will go to sleep each night wondering if you will wake up alive. Even when medicated and the hallucinations stopped, they will still remain in a zombie state. Some need to be bathed, fed, have their diapers changed too. And each minute you remain with them, you never know when they will do something to end your life.

And there is one difference worth noting as well. An autistic person like the one the Johannes wrote about may not admit to there being any problem, she is a member of neurodiversity and thinks her autism is a gift (but I'm not saying all of them are like that, I am sure many would gladly wish it away if they could and some may even realize they have a disorder that is causing trouble for their spouse.) But you do hear from schizophrenics more frequently that are in a lucid enough state in the moment that their disorder is causing a problem, one possible reason among many maybe because there isn't a neurodiversity movement for them, and the extreme psychosis that sometimes occurs is enough to make them hate it. That also is why you hear from people with more severe autism really hate having it and voice anger at being born that way, while the milder end like aspergers don't as often and may be proud of it (but who knows, maybe a lot of hate it and they just haven't spoken up).


Anonymous said...

More insights:
Both can monologue, but it differs. And both have their own form of obsession.

Autistic people/aspies have "special interests" in the from what they experience, the reason I believe it arises is the lack of cognitive flexibity and inhibition. Both neurotypicals and autistics can be interested in trains for example. Joe Biden is a railfan, they like learning about different models, routes, visiting stations, or being at the opening of a new train. But NTs aren't obsessed to the point of it making them deluded. Joe Biden can enjoy his hobby in his free time, he also has enough inhibition as an NT to have two way conversations about trains with other like-minded people, but not start a monologue about it with everyone, and he can stop what he is doing if he needs to. The autistic person lacking the flexibility and inhibition will have trouble with multiple interests and hobbies and keeping it to a limit, they will obsessively focus on one thing till it takes up everything.

Schizos are retreat from the outside world. So they develop obsessiveness in the form of conspiracy theories, fantastical ideas, or delusions since they gather their own material from their loosely associated thoughts rather than fetishize a topic, their own flexibility and inhibition problems means they won't let go of an idea once they get hooked on it nor consider the absurdity of it.

Aspies will monologue about their "interest" to other people and will pursue you with it if you try to stop them or leave. It is triggered when they make when an outside influence inserts the thought or even when they just make contact with another person, even a stranger. It becomes really irritating, annoying, confusing, and bizarre. I won't need to say more since you know about them already.

Schizos, with slightly different but also poor mental flexibility and inhibition, usually have indifference to others unless they become entangled in their web of paranoia, they will monologue to no one in particular, going about some conspiracy or fantasy out of nowhere, and if you leave the room or ignore them they may or may not pursue you. Less disrupting with the milder end, and the more severe ones are still easier to ignore, they aren't always directing it towards you, (but if you are part of the subject matter, then it becomes something else, you may be in danger). While not annoying, it is creepier, maybe more disturbing than the aspie version.

Another contrast.
Their stressed reactions differ, an autistic has meltdown, we know what that is like so I won't need to describe, they freak out, but if becomes severe enough they have an opposite reaction and freeze up since even their anger or sadness capacity is so overwhelmed inside they turn into a statue, too much reality. A schizophrenic has a breakdown instead, they freeze and curl up (sometimes literally), and you see a thousand yard stare, they let out a very faint sounds, or just silence unless so much loss of contact with reality happens that they enter an opposite reaction, psychosis, they freak out.

All this, and evidence for heavy shared genetic overlap between aspies and schizos, similar dysfunctions being expressed in opposing behaviors, two opposing dysfunctions leading to similar behavior, some identical genes differing only in what way and when they act, does make the scientific theory of them being two sides of the same coin more more believable.

No matter what I have written, we still need to remember they cannot help it (but some can become reasonable with enough effort, they need to learn to hate their disorder but not themselves). Their actions are from symptoms impairing them not their true self. They can have emotions, they just have alexithymia. It does not mean nothing is happening inside their heads. They deserve help and care. It is a worthwhile investment to find better treatments and medicines.


Anonymous said...

Finally found a good video to show you an example of a schizotypal person (what schizotypal is to schiophrenia, aspergers is to autism basically).

Ever run into someone that was socially clueless but not in an infuriating way like with aspies but in a creepy disturbing way? Maybe they were schizo.

Instead of sensitivity to sounds and smells, they are undersensitive and may imagine smells or sounds that are not there. They are not clumsy, but stiff. They are not obsessive but void of interest in anything. Two sides of the same coin genetically, scientifically with ASD spectrum disorders.

I disagree that is is a mere "personality disorder" shown in the title like narcissism. Their individual actions are impaired which causes that "personality defect", causing them to act a certain way, rather than a personality defect causing them to act a certain way like sociopathy
(and similar cases can be made with regular schizophrenics, aspies, bipolar people, their actions are impaired having an effect on what looks like their personality, not the other way round)


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
He seems to be almost sleep-talking, and also reminds me of the films I've seen of people who've been hypnotized. It seems to take him longer to process information and respond to questions.

I agree that the organic defects should be separated from character defects; but keep in mind, there are some cases of brain damage which have caused people to act like sociopaths, including at least one case (look up Phineas Gage) where someone wasn't a sociopath beforehand.

Anonymous said...

You sure you haven't met anyone who was schizo? Remember anyone who seemed off like that dude in the video? Even just a tiny bit? I suppose its harder since they usually are so reclusive and paranoid they avoid contact with people who would easily figure them out. They probably had to coax the guy to appear in the video.

The similarities with ASD are there, that flat expression, monotone voice, that lack of social reciprocation, lack of interest in the other person, difficulty with eye contact. Then there are similarities that are like polar opposites but are really two sides of the same coin. He "monologues" about his paranoid thoughts, recent activities, other people around him, and suspicions rather than about trains and sliding doors. He probably can't have a two way conversation either, but he would space out instead of blabbering on about something (like trains). They both do not take criticism well, one lashes back and tries to argue throwing back what you said to them, the other ignores you thinking your ideas are so worthless unlike their own to even bother. Both have trouble with eye contact, an autistic usually struggles, staring sometimes at your mouth or entire face, while a schizophrenic would alternate between looking away completely and staring intensely at your eyes like Hannibal Lector. Schizophrenics though tend to be able to orient towards emotional words in conversations even if they cannot understand what the other person is thinking or feeling, while an autistic doesn't. Both are paranoid but with an autistic person, it is rooted in an extreme type of cynicism ignorant of intentions, while a schizophrenic attributes ill will to others by inserting intentions into them from their imagination.
Both are poor at manipulating other, an autistic is alien to deception, a schizophrenic practices self deception.
Don't read it, the title says it all.

I am familiar with phineas gage, I have no idea how he actually survived. All that amount of brain matter lost! An it was nearly an entire area, he didn't have half of it left, it was almost all gone! He shouldn't be able to even eat or breathe after that or stand up, even talk! Wow! Too bad he was born before studies could be carried out like we can today. It's like that Hungarian WW1 veteran who was shot in the head and never needed to sleep for the rest of his life, how wasn't he dead after a few days?!


John Craig said...

An0nimous --
I certainly can't say for sure that I've never met a schizotypal person, but nobody springs to mind. And yes, there are similarities, but I don't think I'd mistake an Aspie with a schizotypal person, at least after extended contact.The latter seem to be, as you say, withdrawn, whereas the former are much more likely to just blunder on with no self-awareness.

Yes, the brain is amazing, humans' ability to survive and make do after parts of their brain are destroyed can be mind-boggling. No pun intended, I guess.

Anonymous said...

About asperger syndrome (or just the higher functioning end of autism really, there is no unique biomarker we know far), I wonder how much of the behaviour is psychological, I noticed that some of the more retarded more severely impaired autistic patients tend to be sweeter, less judgmental, and more congenial despite being more socially impaired and clueless.

Growing up with a milder form means it is not noticed until later meaning less early intervention, also the paranoia and accusational behaviour found in aspies may be rooted in extreme cynicism rather than inserting intentions into other people's head like the schizos do. The feelings and frustrations shape a persons behaviour. If you have a more severe form, there is less pressure being placed from childhood and less chance of having bad experiences, less bullying as you are separated into special schools too, and you may not be so intensely aware you are "different".