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Featured Do you consider your Asperger's a blessing, curse or indifferent.

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by DocBee, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Blessing

    6 vote(s)
    7.4%
  2. Curse

    13 vote(s)
    16.0%
  3. Neutral

    7 vote(s)
    8.6%
  4. Sometimes blessing, sometimes curse

    50 vote(s)
    61.7%
  5. None of these apply

    5 vote(s)
    6.2%
  1. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’m relatively new to this too.

    I’m still exploring, testing limits, trying to understand.
    (Possibly some denial lingering?)

    There isn’t much I can do about the past, perhaps apologise to one or two people?

    There’s plenty I can do now and for my future though.

    My job history is a train wreck.

    I have no income, but at least I’m not homeless and rummaging in bins for my dinner.
    (Thanks to Mr Gracey)

    I’ll figure something out, I always do.

    Try to focus on making these revelations work for me, not hold me back.

    A bit like rediscovering an old gadget that’s been stored in the garage for years and thinking
    ‘Ooo, what exciting things can I use this for?’

    A curse? No.
    A blessing?
    Depends how I use it.
     
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  2. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    @DocBee , have you ever made an incorrect diagnosis only to be frustrated by the lack of progress exhibited in the wrong therapy?

    Upon finding the correct diagnosis, you knew that you were back on track for that case. The patient still had their original problem and whatever complications that you may have introduced, but knowing that you were heading, once again, in a productive direction should have improved your outlook, as well as that of your patient. (That is what a fitting diagnosis means to many of us, here.)

    Recovery takes time. You will never be a healthy NT, but you can be a healthy Aspie.
     
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  3. DocBee

    DocBee Active Member

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    Rose, Crossbreed. I must have left an incomplete impression based on lack of data. My mental state is actually the best it's been in years (hard to go any lower when you're considering suicide). I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist that specializes in Asperger's, so I got on a single medication that did better than a year of meditation. I continue counseling to this day, have read a lot of books on Apergers and continue to apply their teaching in my life (I highly recommend "Aspergers On The Job", that little book saved my butt!).

    I have literally done a 180 in my life. I am now in my 3rd year in my current job, my most recent performance evaluation was the best ever in my life, 160 patient ratings and I'm 4.7/5.0 stars. I was always technically proficient. The change I attribute to a huge improvement in my behavior and mental state.

    I'm in the 8th month of abstinence, no more alcohol to medicate my problems. I did it on my own with support.

    I took up piano again, after stopping for 30 years! Now my mornings are filled with beautiful music. :)

    I'm volunteering in medicine again, and that is truly "food for the soul".

    I have better friends than ever and people I can call family. They've been with me through the depths of despair and can see what has changed. They are so happy for the changes I've made. It's been awesome. I don't think I've ever been so content, stress free or happy in my life!

    I know others consider it differently. I still consider my Asperger's a curse, because all of those changes were made to deal with the fallout from my condition. I consider it a handicap, but a manageable one now, not something that overwhelms my life. Professionally speaking, I would consider it odd to expect a patient to like their diagnosis that had caused them so much pain. Accept yes, like?

    Maybe I'll see the benefits as time passes, but for now, I'm comfortable viewing it the way I am. Because I run my life, not the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
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  4. MeghanWithAnH

    MeghanWithAnH Active Member

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    It would be nice, but most places probably wouldn't accept it yet. My university does have neurodiversity week, though, which is awesome.
     
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  5. MeghanWithAnH

    MeghanWithAnH Active Member

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    By itself, it's just a slightly different neural structure that changes the way we process and interact with the world. There's nothing inherently good or bad about that, other than the fact that societies benefit from having people with a variety of ways of thinking. I enjoy being someone with an unusual way of thinking, and I like myself so I like the things that make me the way I am, including ASD.

    However, society has a very restrictive view of acceptable ways to think and act, and tries to teach everyone the same things in the same ways, so people who don't fit that mold often get left out, left behind, and judged for not meeting expectations. When everything in your life tells you that you are wrong for being different, you can easily learn to hate those differences and wish you could just be normal. However, I don't believe the differences (the aspergers/autism) are the problem. The problem is that society has been very slow to learn to work with those differences, so we are left to try to fit in where we don't naturally fit. This makes life much harder than it should be and makes it seem like a curse.

    Those who are working for autism acceptance and celebration of differences are trying to change people's perspectives so that we don't have to keep trying to be something we are not, but can instead just be the best version of ourselves. Part of that is realizing that being the best version of ourselves doesn't mean getting rid of ASD, which can't be done, but instead learning to value and build on our strengths while addressing or compensating for our weaknesses in a way that works for us and moves us towards the lives we want to live. You're totally right that you are living in a world that was built around people who are not like yourself, and that it takes a lot of work to do that. I think everyone on the spectrum can relate to that. However, for me, the key to success has been embracing my differences and learning to work within them, not wishing that they didn't exist. I want acceptance, not conformity to the world's expectations, and I'm going to do what I can to get it for me and for everyone else who wants it.
     
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  6. Matthew Behnke

    Matthew Behnke Member

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    I would say blessing, its made me special as a person, if people say they dislike their autism, they might have good reasons to such as how the way it affects their life or their ways around others, but I like the fact autism lets me explore the social world and learn it instead of knowing everything I need to communicate.
     
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  7. Tim5000

    Tim5000 New Member

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    I have aspergers, but I was never diagnosed as a child, I didn't discover the condition until at least 20 years of age. I felt this really intimate
    familiarity with the symptoms, like feeling uncomfortable under your own
    skin for example.

    When I was in high school I did really bad. My motivation was low and the
    only thing that ever helped me was taking dexamphetamine, which I sometimes got from a friend with ADHD. I was able to observe that I had low dopamine based on low performing results. Dexamphetamine has been the only thing that has helped me throughout life. I just had to tell the shrink I had ADHD, asperger people arn't allowed to have dex.

    I have spent my entire life understanding other people. Interacting with my neurotypical friends, I have learnt alot about commmunication and social interaction. I cant just telekinesis into the head of a neurotypical person, so I guess neurotypical people interacting intimately with asperger people, both are making conclusions about that other person.

    Language has been a big problem, but I have very much strengthened this skill. There just seems to be so many autonomous systems that neurotypical people have, you basically have to artificially create your own systems. Our inability to understand language, alot of language is in the context of the environment or body language its been stated.

    I don't really regard it as a curse. Would you prefer to have multiple sclerosis? Definately not. I have come to understand neurotypical people
    and the disambiguations they present in the language systems they use. For me I feel I have artificially created a language system. I feel I higher power of perception over neurotypicals. I have very much observed my neurotypical friends for so many years, their thoughts, analyses and conclusions about concepts and systems, if its computer related, I have a superior analytical ability, some concepts similar analytical abilities, but some concepts no analytical ability for me, but generally very dissimilar thinking systems, I've memorised alot of the advice I've been given by friends, I'm quite sure I would have taken a 1000 years to arrive at that conclusion, they call it not seeing the wood for the trees. I'm recording these "not seeing the wood for the trees" events and might write an article. Why Jerry Seinfeld is autistic and hes the richest actor in the world, that type of thing.

    I wouldn't want to be neurotypical, they're a little retarded as well. I've
    helped them use computers and what makes them really bad is they don't appreciate the critical nature of settings and instructions, like a full
    stop or a semi colon or a space, it makes a world of difference, especially long ago when it was an MS-DOS era.

    So yeah I just deal with it, I prefer busy call centres over jobs that dont
    keep you occupied. I cannot stand boredom. I've worked with asperger people worse than me and also come to realise the ambiguous nature of instructions I have given them. But don't worry about neuraltypical people, their language systems are flawed because they're more autonomous, they probably don't mean to be lazy with words. I'm not a final indicator for the asperger community, cos it may other people
    differently but once you learn the phraseology of the neurotypical person, you will have those skills and will have a higher power of perception over them. You also realise the types of jobs that suit you more, that's how I feel anyway.
     
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  8. Jojo_LB

    Jojo_LB Brilliant Enigma V.I.P Member

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    I'm trying to sort my feelings out on this lately.

    I've been in therapy on and off for years. Initially, I just thought my problems were depression and anxiety. Yes I did have depression and anxiety, but I never knew the root of all my problems until very recently, when I started seeing a new therapist, an NP who has clinical expertise in mental health in the context of neurological development, and a neuropsychologist.

    I'm 35, and it's so sad to say that most of my life has been pretty damn painful and confusing. I have never been confident. I am always doubtful of myself, who I am, what I am capable of. I felt lost almost the entire time. The healing process has been a very long and difficult thing. I started trying to heal seven years ago from all the damage that was done, and I am still trying to heal. I am only now just learning to stop trying to live like NT's. I am only just now trying to understand what it means to be unapologetic about who I am, and to not try to make excuses about why I can't do a lot of things other people can.

    When I re-discovered myself, I had moments of bitterness. I thought, "My life was wasted because no one wanted to seek help for me as a child. And they rejected me because I was different, because they did not seek out professionals who could tell them what I needed." But I quickly learned that being bitter, on top of all the struggles I already face, really didn't add anything good to my life, so I stopped. I was used to taking care of myself, so, it's not going to be any different. I have to continue taking care of myself.

    So, I think being on the spectrum, for me, personally, is a mix. That's where I am right now. On the one hand, I am sad how my life had turned out due to people's perceptions and wrong ideas about me. I've probably shaved years off my life from the extreme stress of trying to be like an NT for so long.

    On the other hand, I am also somewhat grateful that my misfortunes forced me to take care of myself, and that I know how to get out of some really deep funks. I also admittedly like my propensity to question everything that is accepted by everyone else. Even as a kid, I questioned everything, because I did not quite understand why things made sense to others. They did not make sense to me. So I questioned and when no one gave me answers, I sought them out myself. I like doing things my own way. I don't like doing things anyone else's way. I like that I can find happiness in isolation.
     
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  9. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I will use conventional methods if they get me to my goal. They are established & well-documented and there is no point in reinventing that wheel.

    But I am equally willing to blaze a "new" trail, when I need to.
     
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  10. Anarkitty

    Anarkitty Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I get what you're saying now. Autism was the literal cause of your problems, therefore a curse. I've been looking at autism as the answer for why I've always been different, therefore a blessing--having an answer is a blessing all by itself to me. We're looking at ASD itself from different perspectives. Yours is actually the more logical perspective, but that's okay since we're talking about how we feel about this.

    I also simply can't imagine what I would be like if I wasn't autistic. I can say that yeah, certain things would have definitely been much easier for me--then and now. I've had a couple of bad days, days where I can see how much my messed up executive functioning still causes me problems, and I feel defective, like sit down and have a good cry defective. But the ASD is also the reason for some (all?) of the talents I have. So who would I be? I can look around and understand that I would not want to be "normal." If I had my druthers, I'd be able to keep the strengths and have the deficits magically disappear. :) No one is offering that yet, though.
     
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  11. WittyAspie

    WittyAspie The One And Only V.I.P Member

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    I have known about my AS for about as long as you have. Most stay I consider it an obstacle to overcome, so basically a curse. But then I remember the ways in which I am gifted. There are some things that NTs struggle with that I find easy. If I put AS on a balance it would probably lean more toward the curse side, but the blessing side would have decent weight as well.

    One thing you could ask yourself is whether or not you would be a doctor without your AS? Could you have been successful in school without your Aspie brain? Most days I would rather have good social skills than a bright mind, but there are definite advantages to being the smartest person in the room. There are advantages to knowing you will make an A on the first day of class. There are advantages to putting academic awards on your resume.

    My poor social skills cause issues all the time. Just yesterday I had a hard conversation with a good friend about something inappropriate I said a week or two ago when I was drinking. (Apparently all the knowledge I have gained about social interactions flies out the window when I start consuming alcohol. Oops!) Thankfully she was willing to talk to me about it and not just write me off. But at the same time, I have confidence about things most people find intimidating.

    Sometimes its hard to find the good, because you aren’t used to looking for it. But its there waiting for you to find it.
     
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  12. Tony Ramirez

    Tony Ramirez Christian with Asperger's Syndrome

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    Not me I got average or below average grades in school. They thought I was bipolar with a learning disability.
     
  13. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    Here's the thing Tony. If you're autistic then you have a spiky skills profile as opposed to the relatively flat profile most allistics have. I know autistic people with diagnosed intellectual disabilities who have gone on to get university degrees or make successes in other ways.

    You may not have performed well academically and may have ID but there are things you may not even yet know you can do which you will be better suited to than most allistics. Once you have worked out your skills you can try to either capitalise on them, or at least enjoy them for self fulfilment.
    They are there - it's an essential characteristic of autism - we have the same "skill quotient" as anyone else but a more uneven distribution.

    Think of it like creating a character in an RPG. You could invest all your start up points across the board evenly and not be great at anything to create a steady, generalist character (NT).
    You could invest most of your points in magic and stealth (AS) instead and be a specialist. Your stealthy, magical character would be terrible in a stand up fight (Social interaction) but would cast powerful spells and be good at avoiding fights in the first place. The generalised (NT) character would plough through the game, winning some fights, losing others whilst the other guy wiped the floor with any monsters or opponents if they could use magic. Of course our magician would probably lose every conventional fight with the NT generalist but his "batting average" would be basically the same.

    Where our society falls down is that generalists think they are superior to specialists and constantly reinforce it. This makes specialists feel excluded and marginalised, especially if they have been distracted from learning their specialisations due to intense social pressure.

    The challenge for you and anyone else who resents their autism, is to work out which categories of skills their points were invested in and choose to either keep building those skills, or ignore them in a possibly futile effort to build up the rest to meet "normal" expectations.
     
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  14. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    A curse.
     
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  15. Tony Ramirez

    Tony Ramirez Christian with Asperger's Syndrome

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    I am good at computers. I can figure out how to use a new OS myself. Heck that is how I lost my only job when the boss took off the internet and I figured out myself how to get it back on again.
     
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  16. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    That's a great start Tony. That's one skill you have above the norm - there will be others. Common ones amongst autistics relate to things like pattern recognition, spotting details, trouble shooting systems and more.
     
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  17. HidinginPlainSight

    HidinginPlainSight Well-Known Member

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    I can't think of a self which I could separate it from. In that, I am not a person with autism, rather I am an autistic person. There is a very big difference here.

    When one separates something from themselves, for example, "I have a cold or I have cancer". This is because they can remember a time in which they didn't have these things or imagine a time in which they will not have these things. It is not a part of their true self as they see it.

    Most autistic people will not say, "I have autism" unless they have been infected with some of the pejorative speak which surrounds the condition.

    Without thinking, most autistic people will say, "I am autistic." or "I am on the spectrum" This is because they don't know any other way in which they could be.
     
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  18. Tony Ramirez

    Tony Ramirez Christian with Asperger's Syndrome

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    I went to a new Church and already told the pastor from email and in person I have Asperger's. Although I hate my Asperger I am starting to accept it and not be shameful of it anymore especially when I see other regular people struggle with social issues too.
     
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  19. Derp

    Derp Member

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    A curse in the highest degree
    Social issues, dysthymia, dyspraxia, dysphagia, ADHD , poor Working memory , frustration all at the same time plus more it’s awful I don’t know how I’m Solis’s to live my life like this
     
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  20. John M

    John M Well-Known Member

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    It was a curse when I was young. As I got older and learned how to leverage it, being an aspie became more of a blessing though sometimes I struggle. If I focus solely on the social aspects however my perception is that I see it as a curse. Being an aspie is a two sided-coin and one has to know oneself well enough to know which side one wants to land face up when it's flipped. The coin should be tossed with this in mind. There's nothing wrong with rigging the coin toss with ones life choices...
     
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