Hello. I think i may have aspergers but not sure. Im going to post sime thoughts feelings and experiences wondering if anyone can identify with them.
My first one then is i feel like my brain is stuck on a loop. Ive read a bit about it and am not sure if its in fact OCD. i made this comparison on another thread that its like a hamster going round on a wheel and as soon as it jumps off it is replaced as another one hops on. And so on. Sometimes there might be two hamsters or a previous hamster might get back on. (Hamsters being the thoughts). I have realised the tjoughts can be good or bad but are usyally negative. Depemding on the type of thought they can be analysed to the nth degree so that nothing is left unturned and all possibilities have been explored in my mind or, just going over and over and over like a record stuck on repeat
"Larger scale" thoughts identified over the past month or so have included...having children or not, pros and cons of this, the future of human kind and the planet, sustainability, pollution, driving cars and all the noise they cause, plastic, living without money, capitalism, putting it all in perspective by thinking how humans lived b4 capitalism, wanting to run off to tje beautiful Hebrides where its peaceful but how can i leave my mum and dad anyway its not practical. And, having attended a brief stint of CBT realising "hang on, these thoughts are not irrational. They are perfectly rational. This is MY reality." We are told to keep busy to distract us from ourselves and natural state of being which is wrong. We are not living naturally as human beings. This culminated in a panic attack as i tried to explain ALL of this to my partner.
Since i started back at work last week after the summer break this has now all been replaced with more "immediate" thought cycles of not being able to switch off, automatically going over and over things from work or them just popping in my head anytime. Im not sure if this is sensory overload due to changes at start of term and people keep speaking to me when i need quiet time and there just generally being more problems tjsn usual with my studenrs so i need to think more and interact more than usual. Alongside thoughts that after doing all my research and considering going forward witb a diagnosis that "i am being ridiculous if i think i have aspergers". The longer term thoughts are still there just not in the foreground. Maybe they are the hamsters queuing up waiting to get back on the wheel when theres an opprtunity to hop on.
It is neverending.
Can anyone else identify with having tjoughts stuck on a loop? I am generally an anxious person and am not syre if its anxiety speaking rather than an AS condition. Could this be an example of repetitive behaviours? I wont go into other reasons yet why i think i may have ASC.
I love your metaphor! I have definitely had a head full of hamsters my whole life, and that kind of perseveration of thoughts is something that I've always wished had an "off" switch (I hope you're not a musician, I want first dibs on the band name "Head Full of Hamsters"!) It certainly does get worse when I have to socialise more or encounter new experiences - anything where my brain can ask questions that don't have definite answers. That kind of inability to deal with ambiguity, and to ruminate or procrastinate endlessly about it, is very common for autistic people, from what I've seen.
"I am being ridiculous thinking I have Aspergers" is a very common thought amongst people who are unsure whether they do, even when it turns out later that they definitely do; even years after my diagnosis, that hamster still jumps on the wheel every now and then. Your need for quiet time, and more so when inundated with expectations, is also a very common experience for autistic people.
Whether these things are caused by anxiety or autism is a tricky problem even for many of us who are diagnosed. Living with autism presents many daily challenges which cause a lot of anxiety and exhaustion - it's not easy to know whether the rumination drives the anxiety or the other way around (I suspect a bit of both.) At this stage, I suggest that you join in here to get a sense of how much your personal traits fit the experiences of other autistic people, and maybe do some of the clinical questionnaires, to get a little more sense of how much you have in common. But whether you find commonality or not, there is something going on which is distressing you, so I suggest that you look for a diagnosis, whether it is Aspergers or not. But I would give it a little time so that you can cross that bridge a little more prepared; presenting evidence of autism to a non-specialist such as a GP can be tricky, so having a clearer idea of what behaviours are likely autistic will stand you in good stead.
Hi. I like your name! I understand what you mean about the ruminating. I feel it has got worse lately but i have experienced high levels of anxiety ongoing for the past 6 months so it all feeds in to each other. I know im generally like that anyway even when not in a highly anxious state. I do relate to anxiety as being the "default" setting though.
You know ive been on this forum resding all sorts to try and get more of an idea. I feel that ive have totally overdone it on my research and posting on another thread i started now just feel like i need to have a breather from it. Ive overtjought everything with regards to if i have ASC or not and so now i still dont know... i ferl confused. I feel that the easiest way is to just switch off from it. But my Liane Holliday Wiley book is on its way so that might spur me on again.
I talked to my partner about going to my GP. i went in march as was having funny turns and diagnosed with General anxiety disorder. I just feel like i dont know whats wrong with me or how to explain whats wrong. Im tired of thinking about it all. As for going to get a diagnosis thats something i need to prepare. Again im tired of thinking sbout it.
I thought a while ago wpuldnt it be nice to just not exist for a bit to give myself some peace. I dont mean this in a morbid way but as to escape. To be in a dark room. Nothing to see. Nothing to hear. Nothing to think about. Just. Be.
Like sleeping but concsious.
I think this could be achieved but through lots and lots of meditation practise.
Youre right when you say about quiet time when hit with inundated ecpectations. But isnt that the same for everyone? This is where i am struggling to differentiate. But im coming home from work exhausted. My partner says its all about how you deal with it. People deal with it differently. I think i internalise it until i get home cos theres nowhere to hide or get quiet time at work.
Sorry if ive rambled on but this forum helps me get it off my chest to people who i think can umderstand. Btw im all for setting a band up with that name. First dibs on tambourine!
Id like to give another example. Whenever ive been socialising and come home, conversations, phrases, things said or not said or shouldve been said, or tine if my voice, their voicr play round and round. Thinking about how i came across. What they did, what i did. Embarrassing moments which were glossed over, points missed or picked up on later. Its worse when its not my close immediates. Or if its in a restaurant. Ir a new environment. Or if its a bigger group (i think 3 others is a good number. Anymore and i dont know when to interject or what to say. Or which conversation tp join. Sometimes i speak then it goes quiet like im good at killing the conversation!) I dont want to go.off on a tangent re social aspects on this thread.
It could also be positive. I started an evening class a while ago and on my first session thrre was some banter with the tutor (instigated by him, we work for the same orhanisation but id never mwt him b4) wow i came home and couldnt switch off how well i did! The week after cue high anxiety after coming home and all those points mentioned above. Coming home and feeling empty, deflated, frustrated, really really down. Sometimes i couldnt speak to my partner. Like my thoughts had affecred me so much i couldnt speak. This continued for the next 8 weeks till the end of the course. I kept a diary on how i thought my difficulties could be down to ASC.
You most definitely are not alone in what you say. I read all your words several times over, I could not see anything “wrong” or “ unusual” in how you see the world.
So having many many things all Vienna for my mental attention is a norm, it is difficult to actually stop thinking about so many wrongs in the world and how I could reinvent the wheel etc etc etc. I do not watch the news or read about it, it overwhelms me, I have to dumb down as much outside info as possible.
On top of that I still get specific random thoughts popping into my head, sometimes being or doing a certain thing triggers memories which opens a floodgate of variables long since forgotten but never quite resolved.
So to recap,,,you are just normal from my viewpoint.
Take care and welcome aboard.
Hi Lonewarrior thank goodness for that! It calms me to know other people are like that. As of my immediates i dont know anyone who thinks in such depth about such a mixture of things. Thank you for that.
Yes i get the random thoughts too and it sets me off. Sometimes a new concept which ive never thought about before. I kerp this all internalised. I know if my friends were the same we would end up talking about it. Theres only one friend im particular i csn have "deep" conversations with but not to the extent i memtioned in thr first thread.
I love learning about "stuff" so i think thats where some of this exploring thoughts comes from. Even thinking about ASC even if i dont have it....woukdnt it be fantastic to have an "awakening" of acceptance like with the LGBTQ commu ity of recent years.
Ive stopped watching and hearing the news too. As of new years eve 2016. I have enough on my plate without being repressed and depressed further.
Yes, those little details of social interactions are often one of the biggest causes of rumination for me too, and many others here have mentioned similar problems. I will often find myself replaying previous events, sometimes even from years ago, trying to see what possibilities I didn't account for at the time. Likewise the extreme fatigue and feelings of not being able to function normally (e.g. feeling unable to talk.); you'll see that talked about here as "burn out" quite commonly.
I don't think that talking about the social aspects is off-topic at all; they're one of the biggest sources of unanswered questions for many of us; the social exhaustion and rumination are intimately linked, I believe.Your observations about bigger groups will be well known to many people here.
I found the trickiest bit to get a handle on, especially before diagnosis, is that, although we might be able to manage the same kind of behaviours as other people; autistic folks are often achieving this in a different way to most other people. My mental processes which filter relevant from irrelevant information often don't work so well, and my reading and production of social communication can take far more conscious effort than the social intuition that most other people seem to have. But without deep, philosophical conversations about this, this can be very hard to see - we judge other people by their behaviour, and they by ours; the difference in the amount of effort involved can be huge, but it never comes into focus (a big reason for the "imposter syndrome" we spoke about earlier.)
The fatigue comes simply from the effort it takes to consciously do what others can do subconsciously. The rumination comes from having to understand analytically things which others understand (or discard as irrelevant) by intuition. My brain takes the analysis too far, just hoovering up irrelevant information along with the important stuff just in case it might lead me to a definite answer some time down the line. Then I spend hours digesting all that information, trying to look at it from every possible perspective. The problem is that a lot of questions don't have a definite answers, just lots of probabilities. Most people solve this by trusting their intuition at some point, but if that intuition is lacking, as mine seems to be, there's nothing to stop the searching and data collecting from continuing indefinitely.
Yes i too find myself replaying events from long ago. Its unhelpful really as its been and gone and no one else cares about what was said anymore. This is how i try and pyt things into perspective...i feel that for an NT person becausr what they say is more automatic after its said that is it. A temporary moment in the moment. For me cos i find i have to think about it more, my communication is more carefully considered. Which isnt an "of the moment" thing....so then i am thinking about it afterwards. For most people what they say comes then goes.
Its difficult to explain this to other people.
Ive never considered before that things often dont have a definitive answer. Perhaps im too keen to seek this. Thank you for giving me a different angle this may help me cope in a different way.
Id like to add a few more tjings if i may. Ive only ever worked in 4 places. I feel i have been lucky in that i have enjoyed my jobs and the people who work there (mostly!) Obe thing which has come up sseveral times is at staff functions "ohh you were quiet last night". Im wondering if its because in a job ive always got my head down, done more than i needed to, offered extra help and in general been a good worker. An ethic instilled by mu parents. But im wondering if this is like a compensatory thing. I ferl like it is. People will like me even if the communucation and social aspect is difficult cos im helpful. Sociailising in work is one thing. Interaction is most often with a purpose unless its a bit if small talk in the morning. Going to a social event outside of work is another. Its not as structured. This is something i have thoughy about in other areas too. In my evening class i enjoyed interaction among classmates during activities (purposeful) but struggled at break times. Similarly going to my CBT session. They seemed to think i had social phobia but i was more than happy to sit with strangers and yalk about problems as i know whats expected. On the other hand going to a BBQ of my partners friends is different as i dont know whats expectef or what i shoukd be talking about.
I constantly do this, I'm constantly reliving conversations, mainly arguments in my head, eventually I finish the argument or conversation and move onto the next one, some are decades old going back to being a child. I also concern myself with upcoming conversation, interaction, and phone calls or problems, these are usually at night helping to stop my sleep, I find myself carrying out the interaction in my head over and over again playing out the part of the other person too, sometimes it's even about the most inane rubbish. I worry about stuff happening on a loop aswell, so you know what if stuff? I couldn't say if it's Aspergers related I just thought this was normal to be honest.
Your words clearly express how I experience socialising in structured and unstructured environments too.
AAArunner - that's exactly what's going on in my mind too - I spend entire nights running through old interactions - especially the ones where I wasn't sure about the motives of the other person and what exactly they were trying to say. I ended up with a compulsion to 'do the right thing at all times' to try to make sure I always acted honourably so was the one who was not at fault. This led me to worry about interactions where, from a certain angle, I could be judged unfavourably - so I worry about that as well now.