Asperger's Syndrome Community
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Aspergers and derealisation and depersonalisation symptome

Hi, I was told that I had mild Aspergers syndrome when I was 7 years old, and I does explain a few of my personality traits. However I have also experienced chronic derealisation symptoms my entire life. For example, I would sometimes suddenly find myself feeling totally disconnected with my environment and those around me. Things, e.g. classrooms, streets would seen totally unfamiliar to the point of forgetting what they used to look like. People would still be familiar but I never feel the slightest bit of empathy or conection to them when in this "unreal" state.

I have done a bit of research on this and it seems that it is usually triggered by anxiety. Although I can sometimes be more anxious than most people, my derealisation symptoms never happen when I'm anxious!

According to my parents I started talking at a rather early age, and I have never really been particuarly gifted in any field (I'm awful at maths!). Unlike most autistics. My main traits include a dislike of loud sudden noises, a genuine (not demonstrated) lack of empathy to others.

Therefore I am wondering If I am suffering from some sort of neurological disorder that produces lifelong sporadic derealisation symptome and mimics mild Aspergers syndrome? A tough question I know! But it costs nothing to ask I guess.
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Avatar universal
Yes, it is a tough question, but you may absolutely be into something. Dissociative disorders (where derealisation may be a symptom) has a vague philosophical foundation and is something not every medical scientist would support the existence of. Anyway, dissociative disorders may mimic the core autistic symptom of 'being in a shell'; disconnected from parts of the enviroment because of hyperfocus on one part of it. This is the same perceptual phenomenom as weak central coherence which is hypothesized to also play a role in autism spectrum disorders.

Dissociative disorders are often a result of stress, and so it is worth reflecting on if any situations in the past has caused much stress. It is also worth thinking over if loud noises has played a special role once, and may be a result of the same distress making the possible dissociation phenomenons. In such a way it may be possible to calculate if it looks more like Asperger syndrome or some kind of dissociative disorders/phenomenons.
Avatar universal
@mrc51 @IChris:
All socio-psychological discussions are bedevilled by labels (pigeon-holes) that tend to, too quickly, obscure, diffuse and divert focus away from proper consideration and characterisation of the commonalities that may be present across the full set of similar observations/occurrences of a particular phenomenon.

I have a multi-test profile that suggests a degree of autism.  I am 68 now.  I am also an analyst by profession, and by temperament so have typical 'social; problems associated with 'hyperfocus'. But I only bothered to speak at 3, and that was identifiably brought on by a stressful period in my life. I have moved residence every few years since. I often 'observe' and am emotionally moved by certain events, but in responding to the predicaments of others am sympathetic, but respond with task oriented 'hyperactivity' to 'make it better' rather than being able to join with the person empathetically such that I 'feel their pain'.  'Hyper-analysis' can be seen as a trait brought on by a need to 'make sense' of the context/environment/challenge before taking action. But many social situations are beyond analysis if there is little empathetic understanding which only leaves the 'observer' with 'impulsiveness' as the only means of progressing to the personally 'needed' action phase of responding and dealing with the situation.  Thus the 'introvert' becomes labelled as 'impulsive', 'unreliable', 'strange', 'attention seeking', 'demanding' by those whose talent for empathy cannot penetrate/understand/predict the actions and thought processes of the  'impulsive introvert'.
As societies have become larger and more complex our 'governance' functions have to rely more and more upon making population wide estimations and predictions of individual behaviours in order to define and implement policy.  The input to this process is by a cohort of 'empathetic' professionals, but their skills cannot penetrate any but those who also reflect high empathy.  The rest they do not understand.. and so they become labelled with psychosocial disease 'syndromes' and are being progressively weeded out of society, or forced to hide.
Unfortunately for society this is a 'dumbing down' process in which the 'blind are leading the blind' away from the 'one eyed "men" who can see' and have been demonstrably responsible for most of the intellectual and practical advances of the present civilisation upon which the blind now rely!
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