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Featured Do Aspies feel the need of friends?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Tcx, May 11, 2020.

  1. Tcx

    Tcx Beginner.

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    Title.
    Background:
    Today(May 11th 2020) I was talking to my therapist and I was feeling low and eventually said that was I even autistic at this point since my trauma might lead to aspie-like behaviors.
    And she suddenly/loudly said: "yes! do you really have aspergers?"
    I didn't know how to react to this question because my diagnosis was made when I was 15/16. It was 8 years ago. I couldn't guarantee that I didn't *fake it* or not when I was 15/16. I wasn't sure if I had the ability to fake it. I was so upset and I asked her a following question: "what make you think that I don't have Asperger's?" she replied with "even if you have it, you're really atypical you know? Because people with asperger's don't need friends and you certainly want to make friends and have their accompany."
    She then said: "if in DSM5 you need 6/9 to pass the criteria, then you probably only got 4/9 or 5/9. Well, a person can't have all the illness(I have dx depression/PTSD)."
    I didn't further the conversation because I was extremely upset. And yet I had the urge to ask her if she could provide me a list of my trait that didn't match the criteria of high-function autism. I always want friends and have almost no friends. I had been crazily bullied(junior high) and isolated(senior high) and got into troubles because of wanting friends. I could be at ease with being alone IF I dive myself into my interests, currently it's Trigs.

    Her words made me start questioning myself even more. Do I really have depression? Do I fake it? Do I really have those traumas or all of them are made ups? Do I, indeed, have asperger's? If I don't have asperger's, why did my parents cry and murmur: "this kid was too weird" and I was suggested by my homeroom teacher to have a test?
    Who am I? How should I react if there's no rules to follow? What's the purpose of posting this thread? What do I want from it? What do I not want from it? What am I (not)expecting? Is it really like what my therapist said that I feel sad because of the answers I got didn't match my thoughts? No. It wasn't like that on this forum. I learned so much from this forum. I just don't understand. Most replies and threads are understandable and beautiful.

    Sorry for the rambling. Apparently I need to chill down.

    Question:
    Again, I want to know your answers. Do Aspies feel the need of friends? My therapist is very important to me so she has control over my thought. I couldn't just be careless about this thoughts.
    If yes>no, I'll report it to my therapist.
    If no>yes, I'll revise myself and find more Aspie articles to learn.
    This is the most logical decision I could make right now.
    Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. menander

    menander Well-Known Member

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    I know. I hate that. They are so careless with their words at times. Can you imagine them asking someone, "Are you really XYZ (anything else other than autism)?!!" Phhhhh.

    But to answer- that depends on how much we tried and got hammered. Some do some do not. You are an individual and she should know that!
     
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  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    I can only speak for myself. I have had fewer than five close friends in my 61 years, and two of those were spouses. I have no need for casual friends who I can not trust and do not feel a close connection to. However, I enjoy the company of close friends and feel a deep loss when I have lost a friend. However, it is difficult for one to attain friend status with me.

    I have no doubt that I am am Aspie, but strictly speaking it is false that we have no need for friends. I am secure enough in my view of my self, that I have minimal difficulty interacting with most people. It's just that a strong basis for friendship has to be develop naturally over time.
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I need friends. I need people to fill different roles in my life. I had a couple friends in the past that I could call up last minute and say let's go eat breakfast and we'd go. I do miss having that. I need that one or two people I feel close enough to share my deepest concerns. Your doctor isn't an autism specialist, that's for sure. The only one I know that would be fine living alone on a mountain top somewhere would be Ghandi. lol Everyone needs people to some degree.
    I've had some really close friends and relationships. My problem was not that I didn't want friends, it's that I didn't know how to make friends and fit in. And I've had friends that walk away and, though we had been close, I can easily move on. But needing or wanting friends does not mean you are not on the spectrum. Why do you think depression is linked so commonly with autism? Because of loneliness for one thing.
    I had a psychiatrist that when I told him I've spent a lifetime not knowing how to make friends. His response was "Sometimes people just don't click." Well, that would have been an appropriate response if it related to just a handful of people, but something is wrong if I'm not clicking with anyone, isn't there?
     
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  5. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think that every human needs trust and intimacy to some degree, even if it doesn't seem so at first impression. I know I surely do, we're social animals, we need at least a little bit of contact even if we are seemingly more independent in this department.

    Possibly, what we don't need are acquaintances who you only exchange small talk with, or people you meet only for beer, without connections or deep understanding of another person. From what I observed, we have little need for platitudes and shallow respect, preferring to keep genuine interactions instead of the ones so often drown deep in the social games. However, we're also individuals, so we are each quite unique in this aspect.

    I know that I have little patience for it myself and that besides my closest family and friends I don't need other people to keep me company. I like to think of it in this way: I'm travelling my own path that sometimes crosses paths of other people and that sometimes people accompany me there for a while - however, at the end of the day, these people are not necessary for my emotional or mental well-being. I love those that I connect with and I feel loss and grief when they leave, however, although it makes my life richer, it isn't compulsory for me to have them.

    The misunderstanding with NDs seems to come from the fact that it's simply more difficult for us to attain a real connection with another person and that we also tend to be highly individualistic. I have to say that I'm not impressed with your therapist at all. Saying that aspies don't feel the need for friends is very ignorant. Of course we do, we're human, we simply deal with the lack of such and difficulties in attaining these well enough, and our differences in emotional expressions only make it harder.

    I was once told that I don't care about my friends and family because if I cared I would never forget about them. Which is false. My focus can be encompassing for weeks and months at a time - I will forget to eat, for example - but it doesn't make me love them any less. However, this accusation did make me realise that it is hurtful for NTs if they don't receive a proper amount of attention. Attention to NTs seems like water to plants ;). This, in turn, let me learn mechanisms that would allow me to remember of my people even in the middle of my 'focused episode' and avoid hurting them in such way.
     
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  6. Ezra

    Ezra Relax, it's just chaos.

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    I was diagnosed severely autistic when I was two and even I like having friends of a sort to a degree. So imo that's hogwash regarding aspies. Aspies can have a hard time making friends and maintaining relationships. But most crave some sort of friendship / companionship.
     
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  7. Rabscuttle

    Rabscuttle Member

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    Show me a person who's content to live their lives without companionship in any form and I'll show you a person who's not human. Piercing through semi-invisible interpersonal cues is exhausting, developing your own socio-moral framework is liberating, and experiencing forced isolation teaches you that it has some serious perks; many if not most of us aren't bothered as much by mild to moderate levels of solitude. That doesn't mean we're okay with its more extreme forms. Maybe we're more likely to make it through solitary confinement without going crazy; that doesn't mean we'd enjoy it.
     
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  8. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Agree totally with this.
     
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  9. WoodWorkingJoel

    WoodWorkingJoel Active Member

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    I'd love to have close friends, I just always find people don't hold themselves to the same standards. The term friend for me is someone who would defend you support you and be honest with you.
    Noone has ever lived up to that and I can't seem to accept any less which leaves me friendless.
    It definitely gets to me so to say austim means you dont care about friends is nonsense. I'd question your docs knowledge of ASD.
     
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  10. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Lots of long replies here. The answer is: your therapist is wrong.
     
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  11. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I agree with the common thread that your therapist isn’t informed about Autism, I have Aspergers I am social, extroverted and seriously need friend and regular contact with people, a sense of belonging and community, how my Autism can present often puts me at odds with making and maintaining friendships resulting in anxiety and depression, not also seeing others needs and only my own perspective is problematic in having friend but the drive to understand myself and others has always and I think remain important, if recent I have explored the importance of boundaries and trust and my advice is to not take this ‘experts’ opinion as truth and understand who you are and how you feel about yourself and your life.
     
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  12. Pistachio

    Pistachio Active Member

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    Was she joking? Seems impossible but if not, she's an idiot. I've never heard of saying a person doesnt need friends. To me, it's a need, not a want. The way some people say they need a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, or sex, or a kid. That's how I feel about Needing friends.
     
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  13. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Your therapist most likely doesn't know much about autism which isn't surprising since not much was taught about it in medical school until recently and even today the medical community doesn't understand autism very well.

    I had depression and PTSD for as long as I can remember. I researched CBT since it's the most effective treatment for both conditions. Since I didn't remember ever not being depressed, unlike most people with depression who used to be happy, much of what I found wasn't helpful. However, I did find really great videos at

    After watching them, I realized I was depressed because of distorted beliefs I've had as long as I can remember. After I formed more accurate beliefs, my depression went away and hasn't returned since. I also found out my PTSD symptoms were due to feeling rejected when I was a baby. After watching the CBT videos, I realized my thinking was wrong and that I wasn't rejected which caused my PTSD symptoms to go away.

    Many symptoms of autism can also be caused by depression, anxiety, and PTSD. After watching the CBT videos and forming more accurate beliefs, I improved enough that I no longer meet the criteria for autism. I had trouble understanding people my entire life, never had any friends, and now I understand people easily.

    My story may seem hard to believe but the reason is simple. Our beliefs cause our emotions and our emotions affect how our brain works and how we behave. Someone who is chronically depressed and anxious will have a brain that works differently than most people since their emotions are always affecting their thinking. Once those negative emotions went away, my thinking was no longer impaired so my brain now works the same as everyone else's brain which makes it much easier to understand other people.

    The reason some aspies don't feel the need for friends is probably because they are depressed. Depression causes social withdraw and a loss of interest in people. It's since been recognized that higher functioning people who aren't depressed can be autistic.
     
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  14. ExplosiveTMT

    ExplosiveTMT Humour's my middle name.

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    You can have friends even when you've been diagnosed autistic. I've been successfully able to do it. Plus, anxiety and depression can just as easily happen in people with autism just like anxiety and depression can happen in people who are successful or not or young/old, poor/rich. It can happen to anybody and everybody and anxiety and depression in aspies do tend to happen, and are related, especially when it comes to feelings that come with autism such as feeling out of place or having negative experiences from being treated differently or other things, or even just things that sets off your anxiety and depression. I think the therapist is talking out their ass about stuff they themselves are not qualified in. You'd have to go to a qualified doctor to prove that you are any of these things to them, or you can bring along your papers that prove that you are these things if you really want to show em they're lying.

    I also do not think you can fake depression or anxiety. Emotions are not consciously made up by the person. You also can't control what emotion will pop up when. You just react to things in the way that you react to them. It is controlled by a part of the brain that you don't control. In short, you either feel depressed or nervous or you don't. You can help guide the emotion, whatever it is, to the best outcome with proper training.
    I think what you have is a therapist that you haven't connected well with or doesn't make much effort to understand you. It's not your fault, tho.
    It's something that happens and sometimes you have to ask for a different one and hopefully the next one you get is more understanding. But you can perhaps talk with the therapist to tell them what your concerns are about what language they're using.
     
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  15. ExplosiveTMT

    ExplosiveTMT Humour's my middle name.

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    Oh and i'd like to add that what your therapist told you is the complete opposite of what psychologists have told me :p Anxiety and depression have high rates of happening in people with asd. Also, the opinion of that therapist is very ignorant and untrue.
     
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  16. AngelaS267

    AngelaS267 Well-Known Member

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    Yea, I want friends. I just have a hard time making them, and keeping them around.
     
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  17. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    I don't want fake friends that have ulterior motives, hidden agendas. I can be alone if that's my choice. I don't want pushy friends either. Friends are difficult because we have schedules, jobs, hobbies. At the end of the day, l may be alone. Maybe our standards are different then NT. I had a neat friend, she sang Patsy Cline songs. We chatted and had tea because she was from Scotland. Still miss her.

    Edit: she did Patsy Cline as a performer. She was a devout church goer. She had the beautiful accent, very beautiful voice. And she babysat.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  18. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'd say yes, they do. I'm glad I have friends. I like it. And sometimes I get lonely for them. But 99.9 percent of the time I RELISH MY ALONE TIME and don't want anyone to come over. I get really nervous when someone says they're going to, and if they flake out, I get sorta happy.

    I genuinely like people, I really do. I'm just terribly socially akward and I don't know what to do in public situations.
     
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  19. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some of this is misleading. No therapy is effective for everyone or even for most people. Different therapies will work for different reasons for different people.

    Also, and especially important here, there are different kinds of depression and CBT alone would not be suitable or effective for some types of depression.

    Beware, just because something worked for you that doesn't mean you know all about what would be the correct treatment for others. Your story is fine, but it is a mistake to think it applies to everyone.
     
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  20. Albert Wallner

    Albert Wallner New Member

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    So here is how I think about it:

    I think everybody needs friends / relationships / people they can rely on in their lives. Period.
    Saying that Aspies don't need friends is ridiculous.

    But...
    I think the kinds of relationships that people need are different. Introverted people need relationships where they connect on a very deep level with someone and they tend to need less friends than extroverted people. Quality of quantity,basically.
    I think the opposite is true for extroverts (and don't quote me on this,I am not extroverted at all). They like to be around a lot of people but don't necessarily need very deep connections to people. For them I think it's a quantity of quality sort of situation.

    I would love to hear your opinions on this! Are there any extroverts here that would agree with that (or not, for that matter)? I would love to learn more about this! :hearteyes:

    Also maybe your therapist just had a bad day and wasn't thinking clearly? it happens to the best of us. :sweatsmile:
     
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