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Featured Interacting with family members from third world countries who think that ASD is fake

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Lundi, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure how to explain this, but on both sides of my family, but especially my father's side, most of extended family believe that any form of ASD is just a hoax, and that those with the disorder(s) are just acting weird on purpose to deliberately vex people or get sympathy and attention for being odd. Almost all of my extended family are either from the third world, or were born in the Western countries with third world culture passed down to them from their parents and grandparents.

    This goes beyond just ASD though, and most of them believe that any mental disorder like OCD or anxiety or depression is just a person who is acting strange to get attention, or is "crazy" or "mad". I am sure that in the third world where they are from, people with ASD (or OCD or depression) get thrown into mental institutions if the family insist. From what I see, a male with ASD is judged much more harshly than females with ASD amongst my extended family. This is mostly due to heavy machismo-type attitudes where men are not supposed to display mental weakness.

    The definition of a normal man in this culture is to be an aggressive, physically tough-looking, heavyset, extroverted, carnivorous alpha male who is a womaniser, has lots of girlfriends, eats large amounts of meat, never cries nor shows any sign of mental weakness and of course no signs of ASD. In countries and cultures from such countries like these, a male with ASD is likely to be met with being told, "You know, back in [insert name of third world country], you would just get thrown in the madhouse and the key thrown away."

    Is anyone in a similar situation, and how do you interact with extended family in this case? Or do you just stop interacting with them altogether?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
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  2. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I get the same response (about ASD1) from my own children (in the first world), even those that appear to be ASD1 themselves...! I just keep loving them and don't press the issue.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Why does it matter what extended family believes? Do you see them a lot for some reason?

    My family doesn't believe in mental illness or any illness. So I don't talk to them about it. The end. :)
     
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  4. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Christian Science?
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    You got it!

    I've learned a ton about how to interact with people who's views not only are different than my own but are incomprehensible to me, which can be endlessly frustrating. I've also learned a lot about the complexity of people, whereas in my youth I labeled people as stupid or intelligent and various things of that nature, it turns out the truth of a person is beyond anyone's judgement.
     
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  6. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I treat it like I treat any talks of politics and homosexualism in my family: avoid like fire and pretend the issue doesn't exist. Easier that way. There's no changing their ways, if they want to call us crazy and mentally ill, they will keep doing so.
     
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  7. Raphael Outcast

    Raphael Outcast Active Member

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    Well I have a number of white English middle-class relations who have a similarly cynical attitude to any variety of mental illness or disorder, even though the family is riddled with mental illness!

    Even when they're sincerely trying to be helpful and sympathetic, they come out with the most breathtakingly crass and witless comments demonstrating they simply do not understand; and so, obviously, it must be harder for them to believe in an invisible thing they don't understand.

    So I keep those relations at arm's length, and when with them I try to avoid any mention of my Asperger's, my depression, or any of the problems I have, because I know it'll either make them sigh & roll their eyes or else come out with some totally oversimplistic response, such as recommending I join a club (which is self-evidently not going to cure my Asperger's, and which in fact would be the last thing I would find in any way enjoyable or helpful...).

    I try to remind myself it is not their fault they were born shallow & insensitive, any more than it's my fault I was born with Asperger's.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think this is a point-of-view that is common among NTs everywhere.

    Where it's easier for them to rationalize what they truly don't understand. As if autism was solely a matter of attitude and choice, rather than to acknowledge any possibility of neurological differences, difficulties and limitations.

    To pretend for whatever reason as if ASD was merely a mechanism to create an excuse for traits and behaviors not understood by a social majority. That it's easier to simply buy into a myth that it's our social responsibility to conform to their way of thinking and doing just about everything. :rolleyes:
     
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  9. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    I have heard hundreds of times from even close family saying, "Why can you not just act normal? I act normal, and it is easy. How about you just do like I do and act normal for once?"

    Also heard many times, "In my day, no one was autistic. It never existed." although this could apply to OCD and anxiety as well.

    In the third world, family members saying "If you refuse to act normal, we just take you to the madhouse and tell them to keep you there for life" is usually fairly common. Also, unlike in the first world, in many third world countries, family members can basically choose to put a person in a mental institution against the person's will, if enough family agree that this person is "crazy". In certain countries when I hear this I immediately get an image of family members in a group, dragging the "crazy" family member out from their home, and having someone drive them to a mental institution so that s/he can be committed. I think that in the first world, this would probably be illegal.
     
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  10. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Just way more hoops. I am the legal guardian for my ASD3, 25yo daughter. Under the guardianship, she loses certain rights that are normally afforded a 25yo woman,
    • the right to vote,
    • sexual consent,
    • medical decisions, &
    • financial decisions (with her own money)
    Because of her severe co-morbid conditions, she is completely oblivious to those rights and would not manage them, even if she were allowed to.

    But we are committed to keep her at home with us unless/until we can no longer keep her safe.
     
  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    My family used to say similar things but have gotten tired of saying them and passively accept my oddities. But your family never tires of repeating the same things? Maybe you should tell them to give up. I've said things like that to my family. "That's how I am, too bad, don't try to make sense of it."
     
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  12. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    In third world cultures, people do not "give up" on trying to force people to change. In my own case, I already severed ties with extended family on my mother's side. I am also thinking of severing ties with the father's side of my family.

    Like I said in the above, in some third world countries in many families, if someone does not "act normal", family members might even get angry enough to group up and try to take the person to a mental institution, perhaps bribe the officials there to take the person in despite having no paperwork, and that is about it.

    But of course in countries like the the islands of the West Indies, most of Latin America, most of the Orient plus all of Africa, family might use corporal punishment on the person for refusing to "act normal". In those countries, it is more of "conform your behaviour to everyone else's, whether you like it or not", and is not really a choice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
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  13. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    That sounds terrifying. In that case, I believe I'd pretend to be the person they want me to be when I'm around them and try to enjoy the times when I can be myself. We all have to do that to some extent, this just sounds like a much worse version of that.
     
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  14. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, I have a few relatives in mental institutions back in some third world countries. But those relatives only have disorders such as OCD, hypochondria, Asperger's, etc. Many of those relatives were thrown in mental institutions decades ago though, when it was easier to deem someone "insane" for something like minor OCD. Although, I think that I do have a few relatives who are still lingering in mental institutions right now. I believe that family members just gang up on them, take them by force to mental institutions and bribe the officials to take them in without official paperwork.

    I do, however, remember being told by some family members that if I were in those countries the same could happen to me. Thankfully, immediate family like my mother do not say things like that. It would be silly considering she has many of the same disorders that I do. Although, relatives have told her as well that she should be locked up in a madhouse too.

    I have seen documentaries of mental institutions in third world countries. From what I saw, people with minor things like anxiety or OCD are locked in cells like jails, just a bit nicer jails. And the nurses give them sedatives or some sort of "medicine" that attempts to make them act normal. Even though I was born in and grew up in the first world, I always felt at least a subtle pressure about having to act normal.

    I remember relatives saying things like, "Remember Great-Uncle ____? He is in the madhouse back in [insert country] because he refuses to act normal!"
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  15. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Scary!
     
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  16. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    Well in countries where people can more or less openly bribe the police and judges after being convicted of things like rape or murder to get their charges dropped, it is not surprising that people can bribe medical officials to put someone in a mental institution.
     
  17. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    Which country?
     
  18. Lundi

    Lundi Well-Known Member

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    Several. Mostly in the British West Indies and South América.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  19. Propianotuner

    Propianotuner Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In any world such people should be not only chastised but told they are ignorant barbarians whose behavior is little different from killers and other perpetrators of crime.
     
  20. Shenandoah

    Shenandoah Active Member

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    I get that in a softer form from my home culture. Usually people I interact with a kind but ultimately dismissive.
    First reaction I get is "well, most if us have something", I.e. the area of normalcy gets slightly widened and you are hammered into it and therefore there is no problem and you are just being overly sensitive or maybe just like talking about yourself. A lot of people believe that phsycology is something developed as a form if entertainment to be published in glossy magazines you pick up at a checkout in a grocery store.
    This sort of dismissiveness and my inability to truly mesh with people pretty much alienated myself from my home culture.