Okay, so I know self-diagnosis is often wrong, but it's good to have an idea what may be wrong before pursuing a solution. I have not been diagnosed with anything, though a therapist I saw very briefly had suggested ADHD. My parents tend to assume psychologists are LOOKING for something to be wrong, so they never really took their kids to one. This will be long, but I think the information is needed for an accurate opinion to be formed.
As a kid, I had sensory problems. My mom had me picking out my own clothes when I was about 5 because I wouldn't wear some of them and used to get really agitated if she made me. I would turn my socks inside out because of the seam, I'd cut off all the tags, and we had to use fabric softener on everything. This apparently started even as a baby. I was born in the winter but I'd pull hats off my head and pick at the tags. As I grew a bit older (from four to about six), I'd just rip all my clothes off and run around in my underwear. I'm 21 now, I stay clothed of course, but I still have to go through piles and piles of jeans to find ones I like, and only buy soft shirts. I love sweatshirts, especially if they're slightly baggy. All of my clothes must be comfortable. If they're not, I don't want them.
I don't know if I had a problem with eye contact, but I do know I'd stare at people for about ten minutes before talking to them when I was really young. I'd really just stare them down (kind of like I was sizing them up, like I'd look up and down a bunch of times) and if I decided I liked you, I'd talk. If not, I'd continue to stare. Apparently I grew out of this, but I was always shy and awkward, and grew up to be the kid people picked on. I think I look at people normally, though I usually don't do the whole overly friendly thing. I work in a coffee shop and I usually care more about making their coffee quickly than talking to them. I hate when people touch me. My own mom doesn't really even get to hug me. (And I almost never hug back.) I think I was more affectionate, at least towards my mom as a kid. I think I used to hug her a lot, though with other kids I still had problems if they touched me. I really hate people chewing. I can't eat with other people unless there is background noise so I can't hear it. Crowds freak me out and I don't like loudness too much. (Such as I really love music, but there are very few bands I would be willing to put myself into that situation for, such as my favorite band, who I have seen in concert twice.) I still try to be in a balcony or something. I do tend to have TVs loud or something, or my music, but I feel like it's alright because it's me and I can turn it back down when I feel like it.
Teachers were always my friend, and I made a habit of trying to hang out with them rather than the classmates. The classmates teased me, the teachers thought I was smart and cute. Seemed like an obvious choice. In fourth and fifth grade, I even used to stay inside during recess to wash the board or read. In gym, I'd sit by the teacher and be the scorekeeper. I tried to make friends with the other kids, but they weren't having it. This was a common trend through school, though I eventually made some as I got older. One in particular that I spent all of my time with and talked about a lot. People often thought we were together because of how much I liked her, but we really were just extremely close. (I tend to latch to one person, or at least I prefer to.) I always liked books. Of all kinds. There was a contest as a kid where every time you read a book in school, you got a coupon for a free drink at the local coffee shop, and I must have had a million of them. I collected stickers. Never stuck them on anything, I just wanted the sheets of them.
Language and art was where I excelled. Ironically, I have a highly analytic way of thinking, so one would think I'd excel in science or math, but a standard C was usually what I got. I had and still have extreme difficulty focusing on anything I'm not interested in. I don't know about routines, as I feel that often times you naturally have one as a child, but I would say I have a loose bit of one. I go to school on the same days, I work on the same days, all with the same hours. I don't mind, on a day off, going to a different place. (Usually I stay home, but like today, I wanted to go to breakfast.) I just don't particularly like someone telling me to do it. Like I have to want to. But I think that's how everyone is. Art continues to be my love as an adult, and my natural talent. I've been told by many art teachers that I have an "eye" for it and usually never run into problems with drawing certain subjects or with certain mediums like others. I also have an interest in psychology, though mostly learning about the personality disorders and personality types. I have multiple books on these subjects.
With the "long winded" conversations, that's true for me. I will go on and on and on about something, and then leave. I don't usually care about their side of the conversation, which I feel bad for in a way, but I can't help. People would be easier to talk to if they just got to the point. They always tend to dance around it. I don't know, I get bored. Empathy is weird for me. If I'm upset, like someone hurt me, I can sometimes feel like I don't have any. But in other instances, like when people in commercials make fun of each other (Like that motivation one with the Pinocchio character, where his nose grows when he tells someone they have potential, and the guy becomes sad), I feel bad for them, even though I know it's fake. Like it makes me sad as if they said it to me. Sometimes I have bursts of energy. I had one last night where I literally just get... "obnoxious" as my mother calls it. Like I took garlic bread, threw it on the floor, and cracked up laughing. No idea why, beyond simply just wanting to. I shake my arms and make loud noises and just laugh. It's kind of weird, but it happens sometimes. When I'm "normal", I tend to touch my head a lot. Not so much my face, but I used to scratch a spot near my ear so much it created a sort of irritation where my skin will flake a bit, and it took me forever to stop picking at it. (Through being yelled at, I stopped after about a year.) But I never really stopped, I just moved to a different spot.
I am a bit clumsy, though not always. I tend to trip over my own feet and drop things more than anything. Or walk into doorways, and I occasionally knock stuff over. Okay, I'm pretty clumsy.
I know this is long and I thank you if you've taken the time to read all of it. I was joked at once that I might have Asperger's, and initially I was angry about it because I didn't want to be autistic, but the more I read about it, the more I wondered if there was something to the person's joke... and I'm not angry about it anymore, because I don't think Autism is something to be angry about having. So if this sounds like that to you, how do I go about addressing it?
Hey, you are right, autism is not something to be angry about. But, I don't think that is what you have. I am the CL on the ADHD forum and by chance blundered over here. While you do show some signs of ADD, you really, really show many of the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder or Sensory Integration Disorder (as it is also known by). I learned about it because many times kids it is mistaken for ADHD. And it was really one of our own CL's, specialmom, who has the forum here on SID, that educated me on it.
Check out this site for information and symptoms -
If you have any questions about SPD, then I suggest you go to our site on medhelp that specialmom is the CL on for more information.
http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Sensory-Integration-Disorder-SID/show/1396 Hope this helps.
Go to a psychiatrist and find out what it is. Maybe it's autism or OCD or anxiety. Self diagnosing or getting something on a forum probably won't help. You need to know where to start. Good luck, if it's autism come back to the forum. Or look at autismspeaks.org
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