Other Autist

Most if not all of the things you list as being childhood issues you’re attributing to autism are also associated with having an IQ of 180. Most brainiacs are considered weird by their peers and parents who don’t understand and nurture one with that high of an IQ which I’m going to go with yours clearly did not as you would be telling us about graduating high school at 12 if they had.

THIS is what dawned on me when I read Friday's post earlier, that this could be it, too...

As for the graduating high school at 12, I could have done that, easily. My teachers wanted to move me directly to 5th grade when I was 6. But I was 16 kg and tiny (lillesnille means "little kind one"), so my parents didn't want me to be stigmatized, and wanted me to socialize normally. They thus wanted me to go through school at a normal pace, and stopped the transfer. I remember school as excruciatingly boring, and people in my class as incomprehensibly slow. It was torture. I would definitely had been happier in another kind of school with more intelligent kids. That said, I was terrified of other 6 year olds at age 6, so I'd probably have had even more social problems if I had had to meet 12 year olds.

Anyway, I think you could be onto something. :-)
I STILL had an epiphany yesterday, one that makes me want to celebrate, and that makes me less stressed about what's going on with my social experience. Through the autism spectrum, I got something very, very important about my inner experience, I saw my mask, and I didn't know I had it even, but suddenly I saw it clearly, and I know what it is about. What I defend against. I realized why it is there. I felt a hint of compassion for myself, whereas I normally am way too hard on me. Autist or not, I needed that epiphany. It felt like my whole life story was rewritten. A question from long, long ago, when my mother thought I was a psychopath and trained me to be nice with people, was answered. I am also happy I wrote this post, as I got a lot of good info, even if I seem to have hurt people I didn't want to hurt. I feel overwhelmed by all the attention the post got, particularly the more emotional responses. I don't know why I got so much attention. I don't like this much attention. I don't like when people are angry with me, either. Or upset with me. I care about people and I want them to feel good. I feel terrible about misunderstanding @Sideways, and possibly making him/her more likely to not help people who need it. I like moving in the shadows, and I don't want to cause pain. I seem to always do, and I don't get how it happens. It is always based on stupid misunderstandings and me thinking I react the right way, but then it seems I don't. It is always the same shit. This is why I mask. If I react visibly, people always get angry. I kind of suddenly think I cannot unmask. It exhausts me to mask, but I'll be totally broken if people always think I'm bad with them, when I think I'm not. It is so confusing.

It doesn’t take much for a diagnosis of autism or even on the spectrum at this point. Im just saying this as someone who has had a lot of people around them diagnosed with it and then it’s been found to be untrue. You‘ve seen: GP, Neurologist, therapist, and psychologists. All people capable of diagnosing the condition and not one has mentioned it? You’re in your 40’s which means I assume you’ve been to multiple physicians in your life and if your parents thought you were a psychopath I assume your teachers would’ve noticed something and yet in your whole life no professional has even suggested it but has suggested multiple other diagnosis that do seem to fit your cluster of symptoms.

I started school in 1980. They didn't care about how people were back then, so no.

My GP has suggested eating disorders, cancer, celiac disease, nerve system problems, migraines (I got that diagnosis), "hidden depression" and now last bipolar. He suggests it all because he is at a loss. I don't believe I have all of these things... My symptoms don't even fit a lot of these illnesses. I just have brain fog, it is debilitating. I felt scared by it, and it makes me very tired. I want him to figure out why, and he has said sorry he cannot help me.

As for suggesting autism, why would anyone do that?
I seem well-adapted. The stereotype of of autism is Rainman. In the -80s and 90s when I grew up, even more than now.
I don't remember meeting any doctors ever as a kid, unless I had pneumonia. My mother was a nurse, she didn't take me to doctors, and I was very healthy.

I have however, met a lot of experts since 2014, and they have not found anything wrong with me. My symptoms came creeping in after the onset of PTSD. In 2017 I got issues with certain foods and my brain fog issues started. And some of them HAVE mentioned autism, but they haven't suggested it as a diagnosis, I guess because I don't look autistic. Does that mean I don't have it? I have no clue. Do all autists look "autistic"?

My therapist worked on my trauma and on all other little nuances of my personality. I know myself so well after all those years of 3 hours of therapy a week.

The thing she spent the most time on, was to try and teach me how to feel my emotions. She wanted me to get angry, to get sad, because all I ever showed was happiness, even when I talked about being abused. She once almost screamed at me to "YOU AREN'T HAPPY, STOP LAUGHING!" AND she told me that I had to stop answering like an autist, when I was too logical instead of emotional in my answers. I asked her about all sort of disorders, including both bipolar and autism. About bipolar she said she sees no symptoms of bipolar (I asked because my GP kept mentioning it). I also asked about autism, given how she had compared me to autists, and she said she thinks my "autistic traits" are not autism, but trained inability to see my own emotions from parents being too controlling of my experience as a kid. She did also say that I could go to an autism expert if I wanted an assessment. But I myself at that point thought autists were only Rainman-like people, and I'm not one. And thus it ended there. that is the only person who has been asked specifically about thoughts on autism.

So I’ll echo what others have said. Get a proper diagnosis so that you might deal with your issues in the most productive way possible. Unmasking will not allow your brain fog that is causing you to be unable to move to clear. It won’t change your ability to eat things. Masking is something that most PTSD people do so we can function in the real world, this masking causes none of the symptoms you’ve listed.
I have been in and out of doctor's offices since 2017 without finding any reason for my brain fog or food sensitivities. I feel my GP has given up on me. I am of course interested in finding a cure for my brain fog and my food sensitivities, and no, I don't believe unmasking will help the problem all that much. I just think it will help a bit, as stress causes the brain fog to get worse.
Going to the doctor to talk about "autism" will not EVER help me. It will just divert. JUST AS YOU SAY. THAT is exactly why I don't want an autism diagnosis. Not even if it is true that I'm an autist. I want the doctor to focus on the brain fog and diagnose that one.
Push not pull.

Everything about this rings to "me" push away and not pull in.
I don't understand.

Just so I’m sure I understand what your getting at - are you saying if you mention autism to your doctor, they will seize on that and absolutely attribute your brain fog to that, rather than taking the time to investigate if it could be due to TBI/ another reason?
YES!!!! EXACTLY! ouf. I am so foggy brained atm, I cannot get it across. It is a damn struggle, when I'm used to being so damn clear and smart. I feel dumb with this brain fog.
I think you calling her an asshole and a bully (and assuming her gender, and saying shit like "consider for a moment the following questions, and for your own sake, please really think about this and do some internal work on yourself: should I even take you seriously?") for simply recommending you gain a legitimate diagnosis after describing symptoms of bipolar disorder absolutely comes across as you attempting to act superior, not @Sideways.
Well, I did say I didn't know if a he or a she... :-)

As for taking someone who diagnoses me online seriously, that won't happen. THAT was the context of this post. She was going around thinking she found proof of a mood change in my posts. There has been no mood change, so this is her perception of text online. Not even of me. OF COURSE I won't take her diagnosis seriously.

THAT SAID, when it comes to taking HER seriously as a PERSON, of course I should, and I didn't fully, I agree with the criticism. I thought she was a bully, and I was mistaken, but should have given it a few moments before reacting as if she was. I think I did take her seriously in the end, though, by apologizing for misunderstanding her and for inviting her to start over with me. I realized that she actually meant to help me and actually was compassionate, and that I misread her as trying to degrade me, and thus reacted in a bad way. That is my bad completely. and I hope she'll give me a new chance.

And finally: you should seriously consider how this will actually impact your care going forward, because the care of someone who has autism + PTSD, or autism + TBI, or even autism + bipolar disorder, is going to look incredibly different from someone who is neurotypical as folks with autism express these comorbidities in different ways to people who are neurotypical. If you actually do have autism, it 100% could mean that you fail to receive a correct diagnosis of other issues.

This is true, and something to think about. If I am going to therapy again, I will bring it up. But I'm not in therapy, nor does my GP want to send me to therapy (I need him to prescribe it) since I've been psychologically screened so many times already, by so many different therapists, all saying I am perfectly normal, and my PTSD symptoms seem manageable..
It just dawned on me (after 40 hours straight of studying autism), that I’m autistic. Not even a «mild case», but a full on autist with an IQ of +/-180, who masks so well I pass as social and normal.

HOW the heck did I not know that before I was in my late 40ies??? I guess because I never looked in that direction, why would I?

But how on earth did the therapist not notice after years of trauma treatment, where I blatantly described my traits in detail??

I don’t get it! My GP thinks I’m bipolar since I have so weird symptoms and don’t make eye contact (he thinks i’m lying), my neurologist thinks I have cronic fatigue and migraines, since my brain is always so foggy, my dietician thinks I have an eating disorder of kinds, since I have non-logical food sensitivities, my mother told me she thought I was a psychopath as a kid, since my face never showed emotions, my therapist thinks I have childhood trauma since I don’t process emotions well, and since I «with my IQ isn’t already the President). And all along, I told them they were all wrong, and that they don’t treat my symptoms seriously. I got called hypochondriac by the doctor scanning my brain…

My therapist even has told me to try and not answer her questions «like an autist».

My friend is autistic and told me I am too, as she «cannot talk with non-autistic people», so I finally tried to learn what autism is. MY GOD!

Autism in women with high IQ:
Difficulty processing emotions,
difficulty with eye contact,
prone to food sensitivities
brain fog
successful masking (to the point of not showing symptoms as adults)
prone to ptsd due to sensitivities
prone to burn outs due to masking
face not showing emotions as children (before learning masking)
often misdiagnosed by health care providers (particularly mental disorders)
unusual interests
and so much more

tick, tick, tick, …

HOW THE HE.. did I not know? And what’s wrong with the health care system?

PS. I need advice. Should I even tell anyone? I’ve been mocked for «being autistic» a lot….

And I need a hug.
I too am Autistic and only found out after dealing with PCPTSD through CBT and EMDR and then I was finally diagnosed with Autism last year. I've lived with Autism all of my life not knowing why I felt so different than others. Thank you for sharing your story here. Throughout my life, I'd been treated like I was dumb, stupid, and even crazy. But not anymore. I totally embrace my Autism now and I am now capable of articulating and asserting my place in this world, whereas, previously I allowed others to belittle, and be condescending. No more. My Autism as of last year's diagnosis by my psychologist now empowers me and I also deal with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia (diagnosed). I embrace who I am and I love myself now. I used to hate myself.. My Autism deficits are emotional and social and I am working on both. My psychologist refers to me as "very intelligent". So do my bff and others around me. It's scary because I'd been treated like I was dumb by my family all of my life. I am here for you. You are not alone. Message me anytime and I will try and support you. I cannot believe I've lived with Autism all of my life and no one (medical) diagnosed me. I mask, stem, little eye contact, sound sensitivities, isolate (sensory overload), and food sensitivities OMG. Again, I am here for you.
But what stands out to me is very basic; within the neurodivergent -or medical- community, one is not encouraged to identify themselves as their condition: one would have autism, not be autistic. Moe than semantics, it indicates the world of difference(s) between people. And as enticing as something can be to identify with, especially to bring order in to one's life, that does not make it necessarily accurate, or mutually exclusive to the presence of other disorders or conditions.
I have diagnosed PTSD.
I have a brain fog that is diagnosed as "migraine" but I don't think that is right, so I push for another diagnosis. bipolar has been ruled out many times, I don't want to go in circles.
I may or may not have autism, BUT I do NOT "identify as autist". I don't need a group to identify with. :-)

Especially factoring in the potential relevance of selective processicng, or even denial (denial being a form of self-protection, and is not objective or based on intellect), just to name a couple of obvious things (not suggesting they apply, but they can). If it were me, I'd ask myself why a response bothered (me) so much. Because it's just a response, and a (respectful) attempt to help.
Actually, it was DENIAL that I discovered when I saw myself through the autistic lense. Thus my excitement about it all.

I discovered how MASSIVELY I mask. It is ridiculous how much energy I spend on masking. I nervously sit in work situations, pinging the other person non stop to know if I am somehow offending them, hurting them or otherwise making them feel anything but comfortable with me, all while I maneuver a really heavy job.

I AM successfully masking, cause people like me, they are enthusiastic about working with me (360degree evaluations) more than most, they find me inspiring and attentive to their needs.

I did not know I do this masking. Not at all. I was reading about autism and I realized that I mask. That I deliberately put all this effort into making sure I am not getting some backlash from people misreading my impulsive words as not caring.

I thus wondered how I can spend so much energy on something and not know about it.

Some of what has been mentioned is very disturbing- your mother teaching you to fake empathy (it can be taught)l a dr talking about the risk of amphetamine addiction relative to ADHD (i am pre-assuming?; this is rarely seen if actually a necessary prescription, and has the opposite effect if titrated properly).

My mother is ... yeah. She is a therapist. Actually a caring person, but... she has ideas. She says PTSD can be fixed cognitively in 6 hours, and that I don't really want to fix myself since I'm still having symptoms. She isn't a trauma specialist, luckily. I may have my distrust in medical professionals from knowing her.

As I am sure you are aware, brain fog (a poorly defined term) more frequently has a physiological basis: peri (and post) menopause; sleep disturbances and apnea; compromised immuno-function; compromised cardio-vascular function; anemia and food intolerances; G.I., including but in no way limited to Celiac disease, even infections, and on and on the list goes. Including a very long spread many a time before cognitive disorders like Alzheimer's disease are at a diagnosable level. And there's a host of genetic conditions and differences the medical community is only beginning to define. It can also be a product of stress (a HUGE factor) and distraction, and definitely a bi-product of emotional upheaval, emotional blows, +/or the necessity for great emotional regulation, a terrible energy vampire. Even trauma mimics ADHD. I seem to recall you posting a thread many years ago about sleep issues, in which you said your dr recommended more exercise vs medication?
He never gave me any medication for any of my PTSD problems.
I asked about ADHD medication for concentration issues. I was running my own company back then, and was trying to work, but couldn't cope. I thought the ADHD medication could help me concentrate. He told me to rather take time off and not work. I did, and my company was dissolved/sold. I went from earning a fortune to earning nothing in a few weeks... it was hard.
I also asked about sleep medication as I sometimes went a week without sleeping, making me notice the sounds of my head clearly, and that isn't fun (there are a lot of blood flow sounds and even clicking inside the head, that we normally filter out, but it gets impossible to filter out if we are too tired).

That said, reading your list, I just remember I think I got diagnosed "uncertain" on sleep apnea, and the people testing me said I could try CPAP if I wanted, to see if I got better. My doctor said it was so slight/uncertain if I had sleep apnea that it wasn't necessary to try, so I didn't. Maybe I should try the CPAP machine, after all, I had just forgotten this until you mentioned it.

Otherwise I've tried all sort of treatments, even depression medication, as my doctor said my depression might be "hidden" since I didn't feel depressed, when I clearly should be, given my situation, but that medication just made me feel terrible, as I had no feelings - I was flat, so I stopped after a while.

I'm tired of not getting help. Nobody talks together and nobody finds a pattern that makes sense. Maybe, just maybe the brain fog is "only" because of the PTSD? I do not feel brain fog when I am living extremely healthy for a while and don't work or otherwise stress. I do not know what to do about that though, as I feel utterly useless if I don't work.

I think it would be wise to trust your doctors' expertise or if you don't, find a new doctor. Because their expertise (as with many of the people here) is not lesser-than because they may not have a 180 I.Q., nor is much that is nuanced available through research, it has been learned experentially. For example, I know very little, and yet I know the #1 sign of a heart attack or stroke is denying you are having one. The advice of chewing aspirin is great, except one's mouth will go so dry it's virtually impossible to swallow. Or with stroke, visual disturbances (I don't mean floaters, I mean, "Who filled the room with balloons?") Not what research will state any of that 1st and foremost. but many Drs and providers are aware of the nuances, both between conditions and as per symptom constellation.
i have tried to find a new doctor, but I haven't found anyone yet. We have a bit of a doctor crisis where I live, and this one isn't a bad doctor, he just cannot find a diagnosis for me, and he has apologized for that many times. He thus isn't arrogant either. He wants to help me, but hasn't found anything that makes sense to him. I don't think he seriously considers bipolar either, he just is desperate. He is smart, too, that isn't the problem. The problem is he doesn't have time to see me more than 10 minutes when I go there, due to the mentioned crisis. That isn't enough to really help me. He is overworked, not an idiot.
^^ I understand and would feel the same. But I hope you keep reaching out as many of us greatly value your opinion. And as per all people, the adage take what you like and leave the rest seems relevant. One is very fortunate if others take the time and effort to try to help. It is not mandated, and definitely priceless. When we agree or disagree with the response, we can examine as best we can truthfully why.
Yes, me too. I would not have reacted if I thought she disagreed with me. I misunderstood it as bullying. I would NEVER want to hurt her or make her feel bad, had I known she just tried to help. I am always getting this reaction from others, they get mad with me, when I try to help. I don't get why. I really feel guilty about this one, as I know that feeling of wanting to just withdraw. Please don't give up cuz of me. Make the world better.
I'm curious to hear more about the brain fog, @lillesnille - since 'brain fog' is one of those concepts that is often hard to describe - I'm wondering, what does it feel like physically?

Also am curious to hear more about your food sensitivities and how they affect you physically.
I have some empathy, it's just not the same as other people's. I have no emotions about you specifically at all. My desire to ensure I do not cause harm is based on my logical understanding of the importance in being compassionate and fostering connections and relationships with others as that is beneficial both for me and for them.
I see. I once upon a time fell in love with a (self-diagnosed) psychopath. I projected onto him that he had feelings for me, but he later told me he just faked it and that is when he revealed his self-diagnosis. He seemed to me to feel some sort of remorse, but I probably am projecting that, too. I guess we all project onto others our own reality to a certain degree.

As I mentioned in my second post (which undoubtedly came across much firmer than the first as it seemed you were being unnecessarily harsh on quite a few members here - but which was not based in dislike or contempt whatsoever as those are emotions I very rarely experience) I do believe this may be a hindrance to your receiving adequate care - neurodivergence interacts with all of these issues differently.
This however, this I get. I don't feel like you are mean or even harsh in that second post, just conveying your opinion. It made me realize how I came across earlier and that means I can adjust accordingly. I feel massively stressed out when people have emotional words in their text, as it takes a ton of energy to decipher what it means. I cannot misunderstand your message and it thus feels nice and free to me.

I think this is why I could fall for a psychopath. I thought he in ways was like me. I prefer dealing with non-emotional reality, too. But I don't fake love or empathy, like he did. I have it. I fake something other, like... I fake the way people talk about it all. The social chitchat. It is hard for me. I don't understand it. I don't like it. I don't want it. I want to focus on the task at hand, and I want to save the world faster, as we are burning. No time for chit chat.

Autism is a possibility it's probable you won't be properly diagnosed with what is actually causing these problems, either. It's also something that can actually be a symptom of autism - but this would depend on whether you've had this for a long time or is impacted by environmental factors. For example the intersection in autism + PTSD could be causing your brain to be sensory overwhelmed which is why you may notice a sharp uptick of symptoms like brain fog even if you weren't born experiencing the world that way.
One of the therapist's theories is that PTSD causes my brain fog. I do actually get better if I stay stress free/without triggers for a long time.

This is undoubtedly why you've experienced misunderstanding on this thread alone - so while there is nothing wrong with being the way you are, there are actually occupational based skills you can learn that are targeted at making life with autism easier. There is actually treatment that can help.
Hmm.. really? I already know how to mask, I am successful at it to the point of fooling anyone by now, even myself. I have often wondered why I changed from shy and introverted and sensitive to the life of the party from around 20 years of age... (and back to a reclusive friendless person after PTSD). I have an appointment with an autism organization next week, where I want to ask if there is a point in getting a diagnosis, if I have autism.

If there is more of a point to get a diagnosis than there is harm to it, I obviously will seek it. But as long as I'm not in therapy otherwise, there seems to be only bad things that could happen from getting a diagnosis.
I'm pleased that you were able to gain benefit from my post. For me I have very little issue sharing about myself as I do not typically experience vulnerability with these issues and I am open about them as a way to prevent harm and remain honest. Trust isn't a factor as I do not experience the emotion of trust at all, I consider trust entirely a probability of how another person is most likely to behave.
I am scared of you, due to my experiences, but I also can't but like exactly that lack of emotional content in your messages to me. it feels like freedom. Hmm. I think emotions take effort for me, whereas you feel like peace to me. You aren't pollution in my field. it's like fresh air in a way. I still don't relate to the rest of what you say. I feel trust, empathy, fear and hurt, though I'm not always sure what I feel, nor do I show it to others much. Mostly only online.

And this is still very important. Self-acceptance of how you are regardless of label - as you'll be that way whether you're diagnosed or not. That much is absolutely true.
I'm curious to hear more about the brain fog, @lillesnille - since 'brain fog' is one of those concepts that is often hard to describe - I'm wondering, what does it feel like physically?

Also am curious to hear more about your food sensitivities and how they affect you physically.
Thanks for asking.

I often feel quite ok when I wake up in the morning, but as the day goes by, I often feel foggy. If I eat breakfast, the brain fog starts around 20 minutes after breakfast. If I don't eat breakfast, I've noticed it may go hours before it starts, normally when I eat lunch or when I start feeling extremely hungry.

if I work a lot, I get foggier. If I work out, it seems to get better, unless I work out too hard, then it gets worse.
If I get triggered, or fight someone, I get massively worse.

Aspartame, coffee, excess sugar, chocolate and alcohol can put me in bed for days. Thus my migraine diagnosis.
I react to most FODMAPs, but it seems I have grown more tolerant to milk products the past two years.

the brain fog problem came on very suddenly one day in 2017. Totally like flipping a switch. I just woke up one morning, still feeling rather normal, had breakfast and 20 minutes later I was stumbling over words, my vision got blurry and I felt faint, sick, dizzy and very scared, as I started walking into walls and otherwise look drunk to my employees. They laughed and asked if I was drunk. I didn't drink at all, so that wasn't it. I was really scared for a while until the doctors did a brain scan and told me I didn't have a tumor. I am no longer scared, and I push through the brain fog by not eating breakfast, eating oats for lunch (doesn't affect me too much) and then after work, I tend to lie still on the sofa with eyes closed to get rid of the brain fog creeping in on me.

Hmm... I think that covers it.

I plan to ask about:
* NECK issues, as I notice I feel a bit of relief if I get neck/shoulder massages,
* TBI, as I don't know enough about it and
* perimenopausal causes.
If I have autistic traits, I do not plan to talk about them, unless relevant to a treatment plan.
And I just wanted to add I do indeed understand this journey. Part of why I gravitated toward my autism diagnosis is that most people can learn to understand someone with autism, but most people absolutely don't understand RAD and how it presents.

People either under-or-over correct with me. Either I am a very nice person who absolutely does demonstrate care and empathy, I am just wrong about my own internal perceptions - or I am a remorseless psychopath who doesn't care about anyone or anything and who wouldn't mind killing you.
I understand.

People do not know what to do with a human who cannot feel love or trust. Those with autism have usually an over-abundance of affective empathy, the lack is in cognitive empathy. They will feel bad when they know a person is sad. I know you're sad, I just don't care.
I don't want care. I don't want it at all. It feels controlling. Like goo all around me.

I have an issue with cognitive empathy. I think this thread illustrates it. I also do feel really bad that I targeted @Sideways, and that I totally misinterpreted her intent.

But mostly, I have a serious issue with knowing what I myself feel. I just walk around in my happy bubble, and I cannot easily access my own feelings, even if they are there. My therapist thought this was a learned mechanism, that I had had my own feelings invalidated as a child until I lost sight of them and just mimicked my parent's wishes. Maybe, maybe not. She never thought I was an autist, but she did call this mechanism "the autistic way you answer when I ask for your feelings".

Often times I accidentally (and rereading my last post to you I think I may have been too harsh in turn - which was not my intention to make you feel bad, simply an attempt to express why I understood where Sideways was coming from) come across as cold and callous simply because it wouldn't bother me to be addressed that way and I have to remember that it bothers other people.
I didn't feel bad.

.... I think 😂 😂 😂

Nah, I agree with you. I misread her as manipulative when she was just trying to give advice, so I agree with the feedback. I am very sensitive to manipulation as I was fooled so utterly by Voldemort, thus why I reacted to her when I thought she was doing it. And I feel a lot of remorse now that I realize I misunderstood her and thus reacted way off.

If you want to see a kid with possible inhibited RAD (according to me, not a licensed clinician) who has begun to integrate socially I'd recommend the documentary I Just Killed My Dad. It's the first time I've ever seen someone like me represented in a humane light. Most of us are presented like Beth Thomas, "The Evil Child." It's considered a childhood disorder but my issues have persisted long afterward.
I will watch it. I am interested.

It's why to be honest I suspect you probably are autistic. I recognize that struggle in you and I can see it in how you process information and interact. It's not the same as my struggle but due to my experiences I have plenty of first-hand knowledge of what autism is like. But other than saying that I agree with your suspicions, still can't say that you are one way or another without a diagnosis.
Sure. And I appreciate your information on why it is important to be correctly diagnosed, when in treatment for other diagnosis. I hadn't thought of the influence on treatment, but it is super valuable information.

For example, I spent months on trying to find my feelings while in therapy for PTSD, and my therapist was so frustrated with me not managing to grasp them. I actually wrote a whole book on emotional processing, as a reminder to myself, and I thought to publish it as "emotional processing for dummies", but I want some expert to read through it first, so I don't put my own disorder into the world, if this is super easy for most people, haha.
I too am Autistic and only found out after dealing with PCPTSD through CBT and EMDR and then I was finally diagnosed with Autism last year. I've lived with Autism all of my life not knowing why I felt so different than others. Thank you for sharing your story here. Throughout my life, I'd been treated like I was dumb, stupid, and even crazy. But not anymore. I totally embrace my Autism now and I am now capable of articulating and asserting my place in this world, whereas, previously I allowed others to belittle, and be condescending. No more. My Autism as of last year's diagnosis by my psychologist now empowers me and I also deal with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia (diagnosed). I embrace who I am and I love myself now. I used to hate myself.. My Autism deficits are emotional and social and I am working on both. My psychologist refers to me as "very intelligent". So do my bff and others around me. It's scary because I'd been treated like I was dumb by my family all of my life. I am here for you. You are not alone. Message me anytime and I will try and support you. I cannot believe I've lived with Autism all of my life and no one (medical) diagnosed me. I mask, stem, little eye contact, sound sensitivities, isolate (sensory overload), and food sensitivities OMG. Again, I am here for you.
Edit: I don't remember how to message people. HELP!
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I projected onto him that he had feelings for me, but he later told me he just faked it and that is when he revealed his self-diagnosis. He seemed to me to feel some sort of remorse

This is what I used to do as well. I faked it because I learned that people do not respond very well to being told that someone doesn't hold any personal regard for them.

The only relationship I've ever had (that was mutual and consensual), I faked it the entire time and eventually realized that he was always going to want "more" than I was really capable of giving him, and he would always hold some resentment that he eventually always did hit a barrier where I couldn't be affectionate past. This was the first time I ever participated in a romantic relationship and I ended it once I understood that I was causing more harm than not - and have no plans to enter into a romantic relationship in the future.

My limited form of affective empathy is more broad - I consider "love" to be a verb, rather than emotion - it is something you do, something you express. I recognize that I am a member of society, a member of a community, I value being a friend and reciprocal relationships, and it is important to be compassionate and kind because these behaviors increase benefit to all persons and decrease harm. Suffering is irrational because it increases entropy, which makes the universe more chaotic, and ergo it is not desirable. And if you cause suffering, this reduces your resources, by making other people dislike you.

I also know what it feels like to be harmed, and I can reasonably extrapolate that others must feel the same way. Those feelings are negative when I experience them, so they must be negative when others experience them as well. This is a demonstration of cognitive empathy - my intellectual understanding of emotions, based on a limited emotional awareness. But in reality, I am quite flat. If I hurt your feelings, my care is more toward my own conduct than your actual hurt feelings. I care about how I've behaved, I care about what I am putting out into the world. Self-centered!

I'm not a psychopath, but I would hazard a guess that my brain wiring is about as close to psychopath as you can get without actually being one. The ADHD impulsivity, lack of dopamine, chronic under-stimulation, poor risk assessment, reward-seeking behavior, etc - those all can overlap with psychopathy and ASPD. Combined with RAD, which results in a lack of basic fundamental human connections like trust and love (those are the primary experiences affected by RAD and no matter how much progress I make - with psilocybin I was able to feel genuine emotions for the first time ever at age 30 - these are emotions I will most likely never experience).

There's evidence that people with psychopathy actually display polymorphisms in the oxytocin receptor gene, which is why they don't experience emotional bonds nor place any value on emotional bonds with others. I have this to some degree (I place a great deal of value on my bonds with others, those bonds just look different to neurotypical folks) which means I am not a psychopath, but these symptoms are replicated to a lesser extent in inhibited RAD - it is simply environmental. It is reasonable to conclude that I would have a reduction of my CU traits if I hadn't been exposed to severe abuse and neglect in infancy.

I am scared of you, due to my experiences

This makes a good deal of sense, and is not something that offends me. Being perceived as 'frightening' or 'scary' is a big theme in my life (and one that I dislike and work hard to dispel, as my history with violence is something I deeply regret and have remorse for - due to neurogenesis caused by psilocybin I managed to gain some genuine emotional experiences including a feeling I would describe as 'compassion,' and the first feeling I ever received which was undoubtedly remorse).

I do my very best to foster a sense of safety in my environment toward everyone in my presence as this ties back into my personal self-image of a protector and someone who assists instead of detracts. (So it's in my best interest to promote safety because it feeds into traits I believe are positive about myself.) But, I have struggled with violence and aggression my entire life, including in adulthood, and I have a history of causing egregious harm to others as a child (and a few fights as an adult) as I was recruited into an armed group at age 8 (the cause of my PTSD).

So I'm not completely without incident, but I've had a ton of therapy, particularly therapy to address violence and aggression, and I am a compliant patient.

It should be noted that psychopathy is not an official diagnosis, neither is sociopathy, and the diagnosis that does exist (ASPD) actually doesn't mention affective empathy at all in the diagnostic criteria. It's purely a disorder based on behaviors, particularly criminality that disregards the rights and wellbeing of others. This may explain the abuse you endured with your ex - plenty possible that he does feel a sense of intellectual remorse or perhaps even affective remorse, but still disregarded your wellbeing in the moment because it wasn't important to him.

I feel trust, empathy, fear and hurt, though I'm not always sure what I feel, nor do I show it to others much. Mostly only online.

Knowing what it's like on my end to struggle with these things, I am definitely glad (--a masking word, heh, my version of glad, which is mostly intellectual--) that you have the capacity to feel them. This is stuff that I've learned is integral to forming lasting bonds with others, and as far as I understand based on observation, they promote positive feelings in you and increase your quality of life. I've mostly learned how to engage with people without these factors, a big part of it is that I've stopped masking and am very open about it.

I think as well, because this happened with me, once you do decide to "drop the mask," people tend to like you a lot better. There's something to be said for that sense of "faking it," that I believe others can pick-up on, and it can create tension and disharmony. Once I learned how to adapt socially while still being authentic, people confided in me that they always "knew" I was hiding something but could not figure out what it was, thus they did not trust me. They said that greatly improved once they understood the reason for my "bizarre" behaviors.

Much like you, most of my socialization and personal vulnerability is done online. I simply cannot handle face-to-face interactions at all. I can do it for maybe 20 minutes before I get overloaded and abruptly get up and leave, because I start feeling hostile and agitated and angry. Learning this about myself was key as well; I have plenty of fulfilling online connections, but I limit my interactions in real life for everyone's comfort.

I think this thread was a good idea on your part because regardless of what you decide to do with your medical treatment, regardless of what it "is" or is not, your description of your distinctions with emotions and sociality definitely gives some insight into the type of person you are, the potential differences you may have when it comes to interacting that others might not naturally "pick-up" on.

For example, I spent months on trying to find my feelings while in therapy for PTSD, and my therapist was so frustrated with me not managing to grasp them.

And yep, this will absolutely be a theme in your PTSD treatment as people with autism respond much differently to things like: trauma, to start out with. There's a whole entire world out there on how autism intersects with trauma and how it can create less traumatic resiliency due to baseline neurological overexcitation. DBT, CBT, NET and even EMDR will work differently on you. Even if you don't get an assessment for autism, bringing it up with the person who is your therapist for trauma/PTSD is a wise decision.
Just tossing this out there, have you considered Vertigo, or an inner/ middle ear issue? Or Diabetes (too low/ too high blood sugar can bring on those symptoms)? (As can a rare condition I'm not that familiar with, but a dr would be, where certain food are converted to alcohol in the gut.) Do you use substances, or herbal or OTC products?

Do you think being awake 7 days is why the drs may have been considering (hypo)mania?

Hope you get to the root cause.