Asperger’s syndrome

It’s a form of autism, of a sort. Not high functioning autism as some may call it, but close to it – a close relative you may well say.

Asperger’s syndrome is named after Hans Asperger, a German psychologist whose work was mostly carried out in the 1930’s. He observed young boys with a different set of mind skills. He recognized that they were different to neuro-typical humans. His work was largely forgotten for a few decades until the 1960’s when people picked up on it. Since then, it’s been a huge step forward in people’s lives when they are able to put a name, a syndrome that they’ve been living with their entire lives.

For myself, I had developed bipolar after the birth of my second daughter. I was seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis and had read some books on bipolar. I said to her one time “I feel that there is something different about me than just bipolar. I feel different from others”. She came back to me with the suggestion that I check out the book “Aspergirls” by Rudy Simone. It’s a book written by Rudy who, herself has Asperger’s, in an effort to educate. Girls who have Asperger’s tend not to be noticed as much as boys do. Females, in general, tend to project their Aspie nature in a subtle and different way than males with Asperger’s.

It was 2009 when I discovered I had Asperger’s after reading that book. It was like reading my life novel on paper, with almost everything I’d lived for the past 40 odd years written down in some form or another. I was 48 years old and finally knew why I was the way I’ve been for all those years. Finally, I was able to embrace the feeling that I was simply different, not defective. I was unique and not broken. My psychiatrist used to regularly remind me that I was very special to my family and friends. “You are not broken Deb, just differently wired than others.”

I know I talk too loudly – that’s one of the common things in Aspies. I know I talk too much about boring things that interest me. I know I’m selfish to a certain extent. I know a lot of things about me that are now explained.,patterns%20of%20behavior%20and%20interests.

Have a read of the wikipedia article if you’d like. Got a lot more facts than I’ve been able to include.

Rapid Cycling of Bipolar

Something that just twigged my memory about a post I had written on the old website was seeing a post in the Facebook group which I belong to.

It was discussing about rapid cycling of moods. You can go through a series of ups and downs in a very short time. Feeling both up (mania) and down (depression) in the same moment.

I can best describe it as a graph with red and blue lines. We’ll call red mania (high) and blue depression (low). At the same time red and blue can be high meaning you can feel elated and yet depressed and worried at the same time. You can cycle from mania to depression quickly in a series of rapid mood swings. Like, for instance, you just got a call that you won the lottery. You’re super high as a kite. Then suddenly you fall into a deep well of “what if I don’t get the money? What if I spend it all?”. And suddenly you have tears running down your face. Like, why is it I can’t just stay happy that I won the lottery. But your mind does tricks like that.

For instance, if I call somebody and they don’t answer, my rational brain will say “oh they are busy doing their own life”, but the irrational side of my brain says “oh they don’t care about you at all, and they don’t want to talk to you”.

Or for instance, you write a lovely blog, full of months worth of work, and then when nobody has paid you any praise for months you think “oh dammit this isn’t worth it at all” and delete all that work. Yes, stupid I know. But it happened.

It’s a constant balancing act between rational, sane thoughts, and irrational, crazy, out of kilter thoughts. You look for clues and meanings in everything that happens and try to process it in a suitable manner so that you feel good about things.

I think part of what I experience is also to do with having Asperger’s syndrome, to a large part.