Hello, I am 17 yrs old very soon to be 18 on April 22nd. I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome a good while back and I was wondering if anyone else is going through what I am going through right now. I'm terrified of both talking to people on the phone & in Person, and I'm really struggling with socializing. I'm trying to get over it, but I still am finding myself trying to avoid all social contact. I am able to communicate through written communication such as this message okay, but if it was an online chat, I wouldn't be able to talk. The telephone terrifies me. I mean that even though I can't see the person on the other end of the line, I still feel the tremendous levels of stress and fear rising inside of me. My phobia is so bad that I am uneasy being around many of my family members, even though I love them more than anything. I'm not uneasy being around my Mom though, she is my one and only friend.
If I end up getting in a conversation with someone, I end up getting so nervous that most of the time I end up getting really sad or sick to my stomach feeling. Please if there is anyone else going through what I am, don't hesitate to respond. I would love to be able to talk to you via messaging about this problem. Thank You so Much! I greatly appreciate your time and consideration! :)
What do you experience the worse about socializing with others?
1. Terrifed of both talking to people on the phone & in Person
i do feel socially ackward at times, but i have learned that it is my mind playing tricks on me, the aspergers wants me to think i am less than other people!!!
so if i am not careful i can become isolated, some things that help me not be isolated
i am a memeber of a group sport, i take my kids to the park every wed. and skating on friday, both places are real crowded, and i meet other moms, i usually let them do most of the talking, i also goto na and ea which you would not need na, but ea may help
recently i have limited the amount of time i spend on my computer, and i do this activity where i drawl both of my hands on a piece of paper, on my right hand i list 5 people who i can call on a regular basis, people i lean on for support, and on my left i write down 5 people i know that are going through rough periods that i can help and be there for them
i do believe that we were not ment to be alone, i have never been a "loner" but because of my strange response to people when i was younger it was really hard to make friends, i wanted friends, i just had to work harder at it, and before EA i did not know how to do that
My daughter was diagnosed with AS at your age. She is now 26, married with 3 lovely boys. Life can be lived. Although she still doesn't answer the door or the phone if she doesn't know who is calling. The little picture on your message is lovely, do you have a dog? reason for asking is my daughter realised she was better when we had a dog. The dog seemed to give her confidence. She now has her own dog and has become very much more confident and happy since it's arrival. Maybe something to think about. Keep trying.
As someone who battled anxiety/fears, etc. you have to begin with being more compassionate toward yourself with compassionate self talk. Lucinda Bassett's Attacking Anxiety program helped me and has helped many others. The cd's are expensive but was well worth it for me. She also has a book. Give yourself a pat on the back for small steps. As a school counselor, I have seen students who have had this----you can overcome this. Good luck to you!
hi my son is turning 18 too he has aspergers,adhd,osd and a delayment he hates talking on the phone and too people he cant socialize as well give him a computor too chat do banking etc hes fine hes in a speical school and his teacher is brillaint and with her and my help hes starting too do new things under instruction he can talk on the phone
I can understand what you are going through. I have never been officially diagnosed with Aspergers but my daugter currently has been dianosed with ADHD and OCD and is being officially tested for Aspergers in a week. But I do believe now that I am understanding Aspergers more I think I could very likely be diagnosed. As an adult I have been diagnosed with bipolar then they decided years later they think it might just be adhd and depression with a bit of an anxiety order thrown into the mix. ha ha!
I remember when I was in school I could not look anyone in the eye. And oh my goodness... the thought of talking to someone was just enough to make me pass out. I remember the fear I had in school when the teacher was calling on students to answer a question.I would panic, and pray that they would not call my name. As a teenager I remember not being able to order my own food at restaraunts. I still have some difficulty with that and I have learned to let the person with me order first and then I will just say "That sounds good, I think I will have the same thing". For some reason that takes away the intense anxiety for me and it enables me to be able to talk to the waiter/waitress enough to order some food. I remember as I got a little bit older (I was about 20) my mother in law was so upset with me because I could not pick up the phone and call someone to make an appointment. To this day I HATE phone conversations unless it is my husband or my mom. I have to mentally prepare (sometimes for days) to call and make an appointment. I have learned to adapt over the years. I have even been very successful in hotel management and sales. So it can be done. You just have to learn to adapt to situations. It's almost like acting, and no one knows. It is a game of mind over matter. When I am talking to someone I am ALWAYS making a conscious effort to make eye contact. Honestly, I am not always making eye contact. I am looking at their nose sometimes or looking somewhere close to their eyes. But they have no idea I am avoiding direct eye contact. They just see that I am paying attention to them.
Back to the phone issue... (sorry I am a bit scattered today. ha ha!) Not only do I have a problem talking to people on the phone sometimes. But when they call and I cannot answer, and they leave a voicemail. I even have trouble listening to the voicemail. So what I do is when I notice on my caller ID that someone has called I will just call them back whenever I am mentally in a place that I can call them back.
I have a bit of trouble at family functions and my childrens school events. So I understand what you're going through. But I can assure you that it can be managed. It takes some work to mentally "deprogram" what your brain is telling you. I think as I got older I was able to understand what is considered "normal" (I really hate that word though) and what is something that my mind is telling me that is hindering my day to day functions. Believe it or not... If you were to ask people to describe me they would say I am a social person. I find that hilarious. They have no idea how much work it takes for me to appear that way. :)
Thank You Sooo Much for your response, I greatly appreciate it!!!! :) :) I'm very sorry to hear that you and your daughter are going through the same things that I am. :(
I have never really had a problem with eye contact, but if some people continue to "Stare" at me for long periods of time I get really uneasy. I am trying my best to "get over it" but it is sooo hard. I believe that I'm getting a little bit better, but I'm still terrified of the telephone and social contact. Like you, I'm even scared to order my own food at a restaurant or speak on the telephone for any reason.
I guess I'm scared to give my own opinion out-loud to others. I mean when we have to work on group projects in college, I get really uneasy and feel as if my ideas won't provide any help, just end up having the other students look "down on me". I believe the main reason why this is because I have been bullied throughout my entire education from Elementary school all the way to High School. I have always been shy and being bullied didn't help anything. :(
Thank you again for your response, it is greatly appreciated!!!! :) I hope you and your daughter keep improving with each and every day. I wish you both the best of luck in life!!!! :) :)
just a personal observation but i can say that people who have aspers suffer from fear of rejection
if you think about a small child with learning disibilities, who has been picked on in school will have a tougher time trusting people
just a thought
if you put yourself out there and people do not respect who you are, and what you have its kind of like why even bother????????
Thank you sooo much for your comment. :) Yes, I do agree that if people don't respect who you are then why bother trying to speak to them. Especially if they are going to make fun or disrespect me.
I also agree that I have a hard time trusting other people. I mean that if someone touches my property such as my Video Games, I get really nervous and worried that they might break them. That might sound dumb and I know that they won't break them, but I get a horrible anxiety attack or something like that whenever that happens.
Do you know what might be causing these "anxiety attacks"? Is it something else or does it go hand-in-hand with my Asperger's Syndrome?
Thank You Sooo Much for Everything, Your Comments are greatly appreciated!!!! :)
this year i would have to say dead space, i had to go check you profile to make sure you were old enough to hear my favorite games, lol
i play survival horror when i have the time, its been a good 6 months since i have played
i hope to buy the new resident evil soon,
if you can handle horror r.e. 4 on the wii is a good game
i also like ratchet and clank, i can play that with the kids
Yes, I have seen the Ultimate Band Game. It looks like it might be fun. :) I really like Rock Band 2 though. If you haven't seen it, you can play either the drums, guitar, bass, or sing to the various music on this game. Some of the many songs are Battery by Metallica, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Hungry like the Wolf by Duran Duran, and Ramblin' Man by the Allman Brothers. Below is the official link to the Rock Band Website if you are interested in checking it out. I believe that it is really fun!!! :)
I understand the problem with socializing. There are so many unwritten rules that affect communication. The phone can be tone of voice, stress, and accentuation. In person is worse for there is body language we just miss. You can't predict how another will respond so you can't plan ahead and therefore often miscommunicate
I don't think I have social phobia. I definitely have feelings of extreme social awkwardness. I usually feel uncomfortable, and unable to figure out what to say next. I think this is normal for Aspberger's. I'm sorry I don't know how to help.
That possession thing, about someone touching/dropping your video games, yes, I think it does go hand in hand with AS. Maybe you have to have your things, ornaments etc in a certain place, arranged in a particular way, if someone moves them around, there is a compulsion to put them back in the right places. Some do certain things on say Monday, and if something happens and they can't achieve that, it is very unsettling. There are many faces to the AS character. But the more you talk to others with the condition, the more you will understand it and be better able to cope.
As an aspergers type, and strongly such... my biggest pet peeve with regular humans is their inability to think original, what bothers me even more are the masses of people who ONLY think, and firmly believe without question, whatever religion they were raised in regardless of later confrontation of contradicting scientific facts. It annoys me gravely. I guess it goes both ways though.. I dont like them... and they dont like me! Socialization for me is severely NOT FUN and therefore interferes with my ability to work or make money in society which pisses me off even more.
I feel as someone who lives next door to someone with Aspergers, the key is communication from both sides. It's hard to know, as someone that is on the outside what would help in talking with anyone that has this syndrome. What suggestions can any of you offer to make the situation easier and allow me to let him know that we aren't here to judge him, and just want to be friends?
My son is 24 and was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and social phobia two years ago. He does not go to restaurants, stores, or movies and he doesn't have friends. He stays in his room drawing or playing online computer games. He went to art college but had to leave two classes from graduation. Interaction with professors and students was too stressful and support from the dean was not forthcoming. He is a talented 3D artist but without his degree and with his difficulty initiating social and work situations he has not been able to apply for work. My husband and I are moving toward retirement and do not know what will become of him when we can no longer support him. Ocassionally, there is a type of remission with Asperger's when adults reach age thirty or so. Individuals turn things around and find a small network of friends. Anxiety is inherent in the syndrome. In stressful situations the worry part of the brain goes into overdrive causing brain overloads or outbursts. Isolation is the only relief but the burden of loneliness is overwhelming too. I find many people with Asperger's to be extremely intuitive and intelligent.You sound amazing and I hope that you will find help with the assistance of your mother. There is an organization called New England Asperger's Association. The organization is run by people with Asperger's and they have every conceivable thing to help people with all aspects of Aspergers.They have a movie about a man with this type of isolation problem on their website. I obtained a list of resources in Texas from Easter Seals. There are support groups held weekly in Richardson by F.E.A.T. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in encouraging my son to attend. Personally, I have experienced a lot of anxiety throughout my life. I decided that it was selfish of me to isolate because people need each other. When we walk into a room it is important to think about how others are feeling. Many people are afraid and nervous and there just may be people more nervous than us that need our support and friendship. Volunteering can be a great way to gain some confidence, especially working with children. There has to be some emersion into social situations to get better. Confidence for people that lack the confidence gene has to be practiced continually throughout life. It is difficult to step outside the comfort zone. Unfortunately, some discomfort has to occur before we can feel better. We are creatures of habit, and isolating from people gets us more of the same. The cure for fear is doing something different. Action not thought. Sometimes we think too much. Tony Attwood's, The Complete Asperger's Syndrome is a good source of information. I hope I have not preached as that is not my intention. I really want you to succeed as you have so much to give to society. Love yourself first so you can give to others. Love from someone else's Mom.
I find that repeating things help. Like with the phone.. when i first began using the phone for my job, i was horrified. i culdnt speak. not seeing the person really screwed me up. now.. due to repeating over and over and over.. its easy. i find that I have to do that with most things. repeat repeat repeat. then repeat more and more... until its a second nature. or even maybe.. a first.
Hi i used to be like this i am now 38 although sometimes i am like this but better than what i was, i think it was because i couldn't see what they were doing and no face expression, now funnily enough around the same time i used to have horrible dreams with people with no faces, how weird is that, i don't have a diagnosis, but have suffered anxiety for years, i am always stressed at what others think about me, and hate going to busy places i get so stressed even without kids with kids i am worse, now i am regretting not getting myself sorted as now it is passing onto my kids, my eldest who is now 18yr old is so paranoid, he also hates phones, my 3 daughters are quite bad as well they don't even like family gatherings they will either stay at one side of the room on their own or in another room away from all the fuss.
if you dont want to use the phone try writing letters instead I mean You arent talking to anybody and it may help you and try to look up as much information as possible to the Asperger's Syndrome and how to control it and some how you will talk to others without fear. try to find a doctor that knows how to handle and knows about Asperger's Syndrome
Sounds like you are a lot like the way my daughter used to be. She still can't stand touch from most people(she says she feels a touch for up to a coue of hours after contact happened and they build up and become almost unbearable.). She loves performing in front of people, singing and acting. I work with dyslexics and people with ADHD and we modified those techniques to help her. They have done wonders. Now she also enjoys doing community service and recently completed her 5000th hour (she is 19.). She uses a focusing technique along with a relaxation technique to control the feeling of anxiety she gets when placed in a situation that triggers her Aspy symptoms. We have also done a lot of work to help her feel empathy for the feelings of those around her. She now realizes everyone feels the way she feels, the only difference is she exaggerates these feelings. She has made it a practice that when she feels this way to acknowledge that the other person or people are also feeling similar things and she makes it her job to try to put the other person at ease. This helps her relax. Once she can relax a little she can feel those around her relax which eases her symptoms more. Emotions and feelings are "contagious" and can feed and grow off of the emotions and feelings of those around you.
It is hard to be or stay angry with someone who doesn't respond back with anger. One extrely happy person can make an entire room happy (you can substitute any emotion for happy in this example). It kind of remindse of a tub with a divider. On one side you have very hot water and the other side very cold. Remove the divider. And all of the water becomes the same temperature. People in groups of two or more tend to find a middle of the road group dynamic. A person who is too hyper or laid back for the rest of the group make everyone uncomfortable and won't fit in with the group. If they persist with their hyper or hypo emotional levels it slowly affects the group (like gradually adding small constant amounts of either very hot or cold water to the tub. When you learn to consciously control the outward appearance of your emotions and try to match what people see coming from you to what is happening to the rest of the group it has a positive effect on how you feel inside.
Here is an exercise: spend a couple of weeks observing groups and individuals. Notice their energy levels. Put them on a scale of 1-10 with one being almost completely inactive and 10 being about the most hyper you can imagine. Now do the same with your own emotions and energy levels. Once you know what a two or three and the other levels feel like consciously try to change your level by breathing deeply and fast to increase your level or slow to decrease your level. It is like an internal thermostat. Do this several times a day until you become an expert. When you feel comfortable doing this try approaching someone (start off with the person you are most comfortable with) and match your energy level to theirs. Work at this by gradually doing this with people you are less familiar and comfortable with. Once you are comfortable
with individual people try groups of twos and then threes. Work up from there. You may never
be totally comfortable with large groups but few people really are. The difference between you and them is they have learned to fake it. By using a systematic approach you can desensitize yourself from the uncomfortable feelings andaybe even feel more comfortable in se group (or telephone) situations than many non-Aspy people. Hope this helps. Please
forgive my numerous typos.my arthritis is flaring and I am typing this on my iPhone.
I'm 16 years old and i have wondered since i was 14 years old if i have aspergers syndrome or not and i have strong feelings i do especially after being told by my parents i may have it. i have a few of the symtoms. i have been looking up aspergers syndrome for 3 weeks. i usually fear about going out like just to the shops or just taking the dog for a walk round the block. absolutly hate places that are over-crowded like down town.if a m8 says to me do u wanna go down town? im like yeh then i fear right near the last min and say no and make up an excuse. i get migrainds alot well recently been getting loads like everyday im getting them really pisses me off i think its cos i stress easily i think i suffer from depression. i have a cushty life at the mo i finished school this june and now not doing anything just sitting around doing nothing accept laying in bed till bout 2 in the afternoon and going to bed at 4-5 in the morning im always up on my computer its become my little obsession my best friend i HAVE to go on it everyday even if im tired i still have to go on it. ive become addicted to facebook lol i like to read people's status's ha ha!..When i left skool in june bout July time i was interested at all but knew i had to get on with my life by doing something like getting a job but i thought it would be hard for me to get a job because of some of the symtoms i have. when i go and meet someone i get kinda scared? i spose my heart kinda races?! i go a bit hot but when ive gotta go see someone i usually go and do it but don't stay for long..if im with me mum and were going food shopping or to my cousins say..im always saying to her..mum how long we gonna be? lol i hate staying somewhere for ages does my head in. i dont like being in shops cos the over-crowdness i dont like being around alot of people.and the lights in the shops hurt my eyes really badly!!
i got my bum down to connexions and the woman there gave me this massive file with a load of job applications in it i got about 7 they were all cleaning.cos wiv cleaning you dont have to talk much and its a pretty easy job isn't it. it's something that im capable of doing you see.
im going to get a diagnosis in january-2010 sometimes my dad assumed i had it when i was 15 ever since then it was kept quite i didnt think much of it to be honest yano.but now 16...17 in march its bin bothering me for ages cos my dad mentioned it i thought id look it up then i started 2 think i may have it cos im really quite and have a few unusual obsessions....will write all the symtoms i have down below. i also rekon my dad may have it as he has the same symtoms as me and im not being nasty but he seems as though he has difficulties with certain things like socialising.
i've been crying my eyes out for weeks on end and cannot stop worrying i dont know why i have been really emotional because i dont really care if i do have it or not to be honest with you. but i really feel as if my brain isnt developing normally?
im usually not interested in what others have gotta say.
The symtoms i have:
trouble with eye-contact..i usually look at peoples eyes for about 2 or 5 seconds then i look on the floor or around me.
socialising awkwardness- i find it really hard to socialise with people and when my friends on the phone to me i find it hard to come up with something to say and i giggle along to what they say and find it hard to
respond to what they say.hate it!!!!!!
ive awared my neighbour and best friend that i may have it
I feel your pain. I have Aspergers too. I've been bullied by my own cousins because i have Aspergers. I'm only merely "mild aspergers". In person, you'd never pick it, but i do have this problem. The best way to fix the problems is to work on them. I started talking to myself in the mirror using eye contact the whole time as a form of practice and that has helped heaps. Acting like you don't have Aspergers never fixes the problem at all. I used to not make eye contact at people when i was younger, now i make eye contact all the time without having to tell myself to do that. All you need to do is practice. Once you have done that so many times, it becomes natural habit. Plus, Aspergers has really good advantages, such as high intelligence. I started taking advantage of it ages ago, and i've benefited from it heaps!!.
The problem I have with eye contact is that I can either (pick only one): #1 Listen to what the person is telling me, OR #2 Look at his/her face. I can only process one form of input at a time. My workaround has been to do glances to the other person's face and when I can't hold it any longer, then take off my glasses to appear to polish them -- that made my vision blurry so I could appear to look at their face without actually focusing on it. But now that I had cataract surgery, I don't need glasses -- good news and bad news, ha ha.
Thought I would join in. I have social phobia. Since we're talking about aspergers and social phobia and socializing and all. I get nervous around people and I don't like to talk that much and I'm awkard when I do talk. And when I do talk sometimes I say the wrong thing or I get mad when I feel judged and stuff. And when I act out or mess up someone tells me but I never see it myself and I don't learn from it. And it's even harder on the phone. I get really bad panic attacks and I have trouble understanding someone. I just wanted to say what it's like for socializing from the view of someone with social phobia. Hope no one minds.
I have recently been coming to terms with the likelyhood that I have Asperger's. I have always struggled with some strange form of social anxiety/low self esteem, and could never quite get to the root of it. Interestingly enough, because I have out of neccessity developed a very high sensitivity for cognitively picking up on social cues, I am able to perform quite well, if not thrive, in cross cultural scenarios. Some other cultures embrace ideas such as being forthwrite in general and also apprehensive about new people, etc., which suits me. Also, being able to dissect cultural behaviors comes by habit, but only as a method, the meaning is lost.
Thank you to everyone who has posted.
Hi all. I've just stumbled onto this thread, as I've just self-diagnosed as having Asperger's myself... I lost ALL confidence in my GP after he screwed up a repeat perscription for my depression meds over one xmas, and I went into heavy withdrawal for not having them - I couldn't get into see him to get anti-depressants which should've been on repeat, and to be honest, withdrawal from those meds is dangerous, if not done gradually...
I've been treated for my heavy depression for years on end, but only recently realised that this thing "asperger's syndrome" may be the root-cause of even that. I was hospitalised, voluntarily, in a psyche ward one year, after a heavy mental break-down resulted in a serious failed suicide, and since then, I've been on benefits, and viewed as unfit for work.
That'll be coming to an end VERY soon, since this monday I have to go to an interview to see if they'll continue. I KNOW they won't, since I haven't seen a GP since I lost trust in them after my meds screw-up (I trusted them, and it seems they only half-diagnosed me, and at a CRUCIAL time, made me suffer for a screw-up on their behalf) - I have trust issues, i'll admit.
But either way - before my break-down and hospitalisation, while I was still WAY depressed, I went on to JSA - getting a job, meeting new people, rejection etc ALL scare me to death!! And I asked to go over to NEW DEAL, and told my advisor that I may need extra support, since I'd just found out my father, who was my world, was just diagnosed as terminally ill, and that I was still willing to try and get a job, as scary as that was, despite all the grief and pressure I was under.
The "advisor" then said, and I quote "I can see I'll have to hold your hand more than the others", and proceeded to give me far less support than even the base. I was utterly despondant over this, and it wasn't just me, others noticed her lack of conviction and support over my case besides myself. Soon after, when my dad got REAL BAD, and subsequently passed away, I had the break-down I mentioned.
Now I'm scared that when I inevitably get put back on JSA, as I know I will, and probably must, I'll have the same attitude facing me, if not the same woman, and that on top of my anxieties over groups of people, new environments, and stuff which is just not in my routine or comfort-zone, will lead me straight back into the depression that I've been trying to get myself out of!!!
I know I SHOULD be a "normal, paid-up member of society" and all that that entails, but getting a job, being with new people, and TOTALLY outside my comfort zone, especially under the fast-track JSA way of things - get a job quick, whichever one you can, or starve to death because we'll stop your money!! That kind of pressure is exacerbating my phobias, which is why I've put it off for so long.
I don't know what I'm gonna do, or how I'm gonna cope. All I know, is that at least through my new-found knowledge that I've PROBABLY got Aspergers, at least there's an underlying reason as to my phobias and "detachment" from the world in general to date.
I know i've babbled, and I don't even know if I can post this on your thread, or even if it's still open, but I'm struggling here, and any advice you can give, I would greatly appreciate.
Dagon, thanks for sharing that online. I think that wouldn't be easy. I am not sure if I have Aspergers. Someone who says she is an expert says I do, but my family doctor said probably not; it's probably a manifestation of depression; but she admitted she didn't know much about it. I was working in a family medicine residency; I had problems with some anxiety, nervousness, listening to people; I would lose interest in what they were saying, or my mind would wonder; but this was not always. I can feel what you're saying so I am thinking maybe I have it, cause my empathy is there. My son is looking like he has aspergers; he is six. He really has strong symptoms, but then this expert said maybe "pervasive development disorder, or aspergers, we'll see" by fourth grade, or in fourth grade, so I was told, it becomes more apparent. I think God alone has the wisdom and knowledge about our inner beings; in Jesus Christ, there is Light. The Light reveals the truth. I think He has the truth here, the thing is to get it from God. God's opinion. This is a difficult thing, it seems. God is a Spirit, invisible. Sometimes I feel like running from God; not trying to pray and open up, of course in faith, that He will listen, answer. Look, I think you can stay on the disability money, because it looks like the symptoms are leading you away from doctors, sort of. Doctors are technicians. Really get this point. The look for symptoms, follow algorithms, to tests, more tests, make a diagnosis, give treatment. It is like working on an inanimate object, but the human spirit is there in each of us. They generally don't look for a problem. they make mistakes, because some of them just suck at what they do. Some don't have a lot of empathy, or understanding. Smart people can get there, and not really have a heart, or calling for what they are doing. Listen, go to a different doctor. Don't be afraid of a doctor. Are you afraid of me? I am a doctor. Every thought that goes through you heart and your head is not all of your own doing. I don't trust a guy who didn't get my meds to me. that's serious. communication with docs can be difficult. they're busy, busy, busy. I don't have a license, but I wish I could write you a letter, saying that doctor you went to was unable to cope with you, because he either didn't understand, was too busy, or insensitive or whatever, but don't give up. Get you money, and reevaluate from there. Dave
even i made the same mistakes got afraid at the first place in my fourth std when my friend told me are u not ashamed of yourself to play and talk to girls ....... from then i was afraidto talk to people ... dont know why
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