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Featured Introversion (vs. ?) Autism

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Darwin, May 30, 2020.

  1. Darwin

    Darwin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I noticed that introversion and autism share a lot of features.

    1. Sensitivity.

    I read about a famous experiment by Kagan. They tried to estimate the reactivity of children to certain stimuli (by measuring changes in heart rate, for example). They then categorized them into two groups: the highly-reactive group, and the other group of those who responded less intensely. Then, in a few years, they assessed their personality types, and, surprisingly, the ones who responded more intensely were more likely to become introverts, and the other group, who responded less intensely, were mostly extroverts when they grew up.
    There is another more recent experiment that used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging—to measure the brain activity in response to something). That, too, concluded that introverts are more likely to have higher reactivity to stimuli. Their brains show more activity than those of extroverts. Yet, introverts are known to be the ones who speak quietly and, on the outside, they don't seem to respond more intensely. Just like autistic people.

    2. Social Interaction

    I don't think we actually need a scientific evidence to that—introverts are more likely to be socially awkward, too. And they prefer solitude.

    3. Empathy

    Introverts, too, are more likely to be sensitive and sympathetic than extroverts.


    Could autism be just an "augmented" version of introversion?
     
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  2. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    There are plently of extroverted autistic people in the world, so I’d have to say: no.
     
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  3. Darwin

    Darwin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It is better to speak about the majority rather than some few exceptions. Defining introversion as preference to solitude, autistics, most of them, prefer solitude.
     
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  4. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Hyperreactivity to stimuli is a symptom of anxiety. Social anxiety makes people socially awkward (or more awkward if they're already autistic) and those with social anxiety are more likely to be introverted. The reason autistic people are more likely to be introverted is almost certainly due to anxiety.

    Autistic people who don't suffer from social anxiety can be extroverted. Socially awkward people who talk often tend to annoy many people and their negative responses cause some people to choose to keep to themselves which would explain higher rates of introversion in autism.

    No, since some autistic people are extroverted.
     
  5. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Why is that? People with depression and anxiety are more likely to prefer solitude and both depression and anxiety occur more often in autism.

    If people were less judgmental and more accepting of differences, autistic people would have less anxiety, lower rates of depression, and many of them probably wouldn't prefer solitude.
     
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  6. Darwin

    Darwin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Social anxiety is linked to both, introversion and autism. And introverts are not introverts because of social anxiety; actually, it is more accepted that they prefer solitude because they require a lower level of stimulation than their extroverted counterparts, because their brains are more stimulated in parties, for example. So, in order to function well, they prefer lower levels of stimulation.


    And it is more convenient to speak about the “most” rather than “some.”
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  7. Darwin

    Darwin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That’s true. Anxiety and depression are related to solitude. But even among an accepting society, autistics find parties, for example, “overstimulating.” That’s one of the fundamental reasons we need breaks. On the other hand, extroverts’ breaks usually involve activities that are highly stimulating. That’s how they “relax.”
    I think, solitude is more related to the level of stimulation.
     
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  8. Darwin

    Darwin Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I want to add that introversion does not equal shyness or social anxiety. Introversion is just the preference to solitude, and thinking. That’s how it is defined by psychologists. Personality tests assess whether someone is extroverted or introverted by asking questions about comfort in social situations, not about whether they are anxious in social settings or not (which is what tests for social anxiety disorder ask about). There is a difference.

    I don’t have social anxiety, but I prefer solitude most of the time.
     
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  9. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    I agree that overstimulation causes autistics to prefer solitude but saying autism is "just an "augmented" version of introversion" ignores all of the extroverted people with autism.

    More importantly, why do autistic people find gatherings of people overstimulating? I preferred solitude my entire life until last year because of it but after treating my anxiety and correcting negative misunderstandings I had about most people using self-help books on CBT, I now find being around people much more enjoyable and no longer get overstimulated by it much of the time. In my case, the stress caused by not understanding people very well made me less able to handle the stimulation. I also found out after using CBT that I have a mast cell disorder (which researchers believe is more common in people with autism) that causes me to get overstimulated when my mast cells are triggered by things such as stress, pollen, milk, and high histamine foods.
     
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  10. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    I realize that but those with social anxiety are less comfortable in social situations. Personality tests I took before I overcame my social anxiety said I was very introverted but now they say I'm extroverted.
     
  11. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Is there any treatment for this mast cell disorder, beyond avoiding the triggers you mentioned? This could explain a lot of my issues.

    For example, severe psoriasis runs in my father's family, and I have psoriasis in my scalp and psoriatic Arthritis. I found this research article that noted the presence of activated mast cells in psoriatic skin.

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00403-008-0874-x

    The article did mention that Capsaicin creme has been found to be effective in treating psoriasis, so I will try that.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    This is a fascinating discussion. Just as there are introverts who are not autistic, there are autistic people who are not introverts. In my case I am highly introverted with mild social anxiety and high functioning autism. I have pondered these questions many times myself.
     
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  13. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am a extroverted Aspie and my well being is connected to being with and connected to people, this has been a regular ? on this forum the anxiety and depression has been 'getting it wrong' so saying the wrong thing, masking so hard and long to maintain interaction leading to 'melt downs' and overthinking every fine detail of percieved rejections on a loop, my solution is to be social only with tried and tested people on a one to one or groups of less than 4 the exception is a place to go dancing as i love it, typically i'm the first on the floor as unlike lots of people i don't feel uncomfortable being out there alone, more space!!!!!
    I disagree that introverts are more sympathetic than extroverts i have worked in care most of my life and have a bucket full and have a ability to see the people i support as who they are and have always tried to accept who they are and facilitate what i think they need.
     
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  14. Jumpback

    Jumpback Well-Known Member

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    There are videos of Kim Peek, the guy Dustin Hoffman portrayed in the movie “Rainman”. I was watching them and he doesn’t seem to be overly introverted, but I wasn’t sure.

    Also, I find it to be relatively unlikely that ASD is just one thing related to how brain structures work. Like I suspect that if fMRIs were done of everyone here there would be more generalized patterns than exactly the same thing brain structure abnormality every time. Like I have so much difficulty with planning and organizing and structuring my day, I suspect my prefrontal cortex is a bit stranger than many here since at least I think? that is the part of the brain which deals with such things. But then I suspect that certain other brain structures might be more towards the normal side, since I don’t have certain other autistic symptoms as bad as others.

    In some ways I wonder if ASD isn’t a catch all for a certain generalized type of weirdos ;0) The brain can’t possibly be as simple as the relatively small number of disorders described in there
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  15. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    There aren't many mast cell specific treatments. Most of the treatments just treat the symptoms and are the same as what doctors would use in people without mast cell disorders.

    The first treatment recommended to try is antihistamines (such as Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra) but they only block one mast cell mediator (histamine) and there are many so they often only help a little which might not even make a noticeable difference.

    I only know of two mast cell related prescription drugs but their effectiveness often isn't great.
    Cromolyn (sold as Nasalcrom for nasal allergies and Gastrocrom for GI symptoms)
    Ketotifen (eye drops for eye itching, oral pill for body wide symptoms but not used much because of side effects)
     
  16. Jumpback

    Jumpback Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if mildly autistic introverts and mildly autistic extroverts tend to get diagnosed with different things?

    It’s clear that a very autistic extroverted child is autistic, but what if extroverted child is only slightly autistic?

    Maybe psychs tend to see ADHD a lot more often in extroverts or something, since extroverts are more likely to be social and therefore disruptive in schoolclassrooms
     
  17. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi i don't think that there are mildly autistic people, medical professionals need to create labels that may or may not be helpful for that person, i paid for my diagnosis prehaps due to my 'masking' abilities but for me i have Autism, although i'm mainly been employed, have a child and own my own home i still battle with anxiety and depression linked to my Autism and feel that the use mild and 'seeming normal' hate that word gives reasoning for people to believe i am just being rude and difficult when i find aspects of life challenging and present as different to N.D thinking/being. Just my view based on experiences.
     
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  18. Giraffes

    Giraffes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oppps all sorry i meant N/T not N/D silly me.
     
  19. risootser

    risootser Well-Known Member

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    Sensitivity?

    Eh I know people who are lot more reactive. Vast majority. These are senses and I do not like discomfort and bad experiences. It is like a quirk and I only stand up for my quirks in a company that I know. Response to social extremes has been amplified. Like in funerals I'm totally dampened down when I sense some sorrow. It is hard to control myself in those situations. I'm weeping like crazy quietly .OTOH I also love comedy and I can be funny.
    Social interaction
    People usually talk about things I don't observe like the weather or who lives where and so on. It is really hard to collect my thoughts and think something about the weather wherewe could have any sort of commonality. Nada zip none. Then lots of people tell that my thoughts are heavy and I think too deeply. I can not have surface talk. I can be enthusiastic about ideas and people do not care far out ideas.

    Empathy.
    Understanding the stress and sorrow. Yeah. Sometimes showing sympathy is very hard. People say I'm hard on myself and it possibly reflects back.
    I usually look happy around people and get energy from interaction. Relationships make me nervous and I isolate myself. People say they like me often but I can not agree with myself. I can not reflect back people's actions because I have a visual brain defect.

    Well, autism in my case is questionable.
     
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  20. Jumpback

    Jumpback Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if it seemed like if I was referencing you. I just had a thought in my head and wasn’t sure exactly how to describe it myself

    Like, in my case, I am definitely, definitely ;0) not like rain man. So I got diagnosed with OCD in high school due to more obsessive interests and a short period of washing hands repetitively due to people related stress, then on to various anxiety disorders, then ADHD, also the assumption is trauma from sexual assault, etc. But it just has to be autism spectrum because I fit all of it to some degree, but just since I fit the typical side symptoms more obviously than I come across as more rain man like, I tend to get diagnosed with the typical things associated it rather than just being autistic

    Like it just ‘seems like’ a stereotypical autistic is more introverted, it seems like this must also cause confusion with extroverts

    Or maybe like you said “Hi i don't think that there are mildly autistic people, medical professionals need to create labels that may or may not be helpful for that person”. Maybe I am not exactly autistic, but there is no other place I fit. Maybe the same for some extroverts whose extroversion distracts people from noticing autistic types of symptoms that don’t have a real category right now
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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