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About Cerberus

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    Not Entirely Human
  • Birthday 12/29/66

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    The Abyssal Inn

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  1. I want to say how proud I am to share the boards with you, HB. You express very clearly a great deal of how I feel about my autism. You're a warrior, and you've been through some of the worst, yet you're still fighting for the right. Anyone who isn't inspired by you isn't paying attention. Analyzing things is a talent, and you do have it. It shows.
  2. Syzygy - Your question, I think, touches on the basic conundrum that faces all of us on the Spectrum. They do not understand us, and we do not understand them. There is a basic disconnect that we sense between ourselves and our fellow non-Spectrum humans that somehow we just can't seem to put a finger on, otherwise we would address it and more easily adapt to function within the broader social sphere. It is that disconnect that leaves me feeling that I am Not Entirely Human - I prefer to think of myself as not Homo sapien, but Homo sapien aspergensis, similar but different enough to require a separate taxonomical identification. Actually, it would be even easier in my mind to consider myself altogether alien, but I've got the blasted genes that say I'm close to human. I have not formed a personal theory of how neurotypicals think. I tend not to speculate, but rather try to form hypotheses by observation, through scientific method. So far, my observations of human behavior have proven baffling. I find them arbitrary, capricious, and above all, irrational. It's like trying to tell the time of day on a clock that is built to record time in 13 hours instead of 12. The time will almost never be correct, and even if you figure out the system, it will never not seem confusing. With regard to emotion specifically, I do think I grasp the difference at least in the abstract. Neurotypicals appear to possess an innate ability to process certain kinds of sensory input related to human expression - facial expression, vocal tonality, subtle body movement, and scent, that are signals of emotive communication. Similarly, they have an innate ability to produce those same signals in a coordinated fashion, without consciously thinking about it. Most of us on the Spectrum appear, depending on your point of view, to either lack these innate abilities, or to possess alternative mechanisms for communication - some have suggested mechanisms that are superior to the limbic-bound systems of the neurotypicals. Many of us have been able, with years of practice and close observation, to bridge the gap in communication by developing what I think of as a mental "database" of human emotions and their associated traits that we can cross-reference in our heads when dealing with neurotypicals. If an NT assumes an expression, I can mentally sort through my "database" of remembered instances of such expressions and cross-reference the way an NT in the past has turned out to react when showing a similar expression, or combination of expression, gesture, tone or scent. The more data I have accumulated over time, the more accurate my response. The difficulty with this method is that there will always be a microsecond's delay while I reference the database, a microsecond longer than it would take an NT to react naturally, and the NTs pick up on this delay, interpreting it negatively. Conversely, NTs do not appear to have an equal ability to adapt artificially to our style of thinking. In my experience, NT efforts to understand autistics are usually based in attempts at empathy, which strikes me as entirely the wrong end of the stick. Naturally, because they are NTs, they would imagine that empathy would be the optimal way to reach out to us, but we are, by our nature, not strongly empathetic beings. To approach us as systematic thinkers often simply does not occur to them. As they are by far the majority, they assume that their thought pattern is the "correct" or "optimal" or "right" one, and presume that we are the ones who would be just like them if it weren't for our "problem". Indeed, it does not occur to them that our "problem" is them and we do not, after all, suffer from some sort of learning disability or developmental delay. We have developed as we were meant to develop, because this is what we are. We are not as they. I think this is why I, and others, might tend to answer your question as we have. Our lifetime experience of trying not only to comprehend the minds of neurotypicals but also to live under the expectation that we must adapt to that mindset has left us feeling marginalized, segregated, misjudged, and angry (ironically, an emotional response - proving, contrary to some NT assumptions, that we do have emotions). I am not a neurotypical, and I do not want to be. Not only that, I increasingly do not see the need to adapt to their expectations in order to spare their feelings. Let them meet me in the middle. Let them figure out my mind, for I am as legitimate a person as any of them, just as I am. My mind is not deficient; if I lack some of their empathic ability, I surpass many of them in intellect. Fair trade, and I'll take that any day. So what if I'm in the minority? I'm uncommon in lots of ways. The neurotypical mind will always be a matter of great curiosity to me, and I suspect always a great source of bewilderment as I do not possess the mental gear to process its input. But that's fine. I'm not one of them, and it's not going to bother me any more than it is that I can't speak to giraffes. Dolphins, on the other hand...
  3. I have a similar reaction to Hopelessly Broken's, except that I would add a touch of horror at the idea of moments when my brain might not be actively thinking. Maybe it's because that's the only thing I've ever known, but if that's the 'typical' for neurotypicals, they can keep it. Why would anyone want that? My brain is constantly pushing itself to learn, imagine, grow - of course that feels antsy, but I wouldn't trade it for the white noise the NTs apparently experience.
  4. No, Effexor is not a release agent, it's a reuptake inhibitor. My problem, apparently, is that I don't produce enough dopamine naturally and my system doesn't hold the dopamine I do produce long enough for my neurons to use it. The Effexor ensures that any dopamine I produce stays in my system long enough to be available to my neurons when needed. The Adderal or Vyvanse are dopamine release agents that cause my system to produce more dopamine. So I make more, and keep it longer. What a system - I can't even get high on speed. I'm not sure about the dosage thresholds for the various effects; I'll check and see what I can find.
  5. blahblah - You're in the same boat I'm in, with refractive Double Depression, and Effexor is the only thing that has ever laid a glove on it for me. We believe it works because it's one of the multiple neurotransmitter reuptake inhibitors, working on serotonin in the low range, norepinephrine in the mid-range, and dopamine on the high end. I have taken a very high dosage (450mg) every friggin' day for over eight years now, and it still keeps the suicidal ideation at bay. You might talk to your pdoc about adding release agent appropriate for the dosage range you'll be taking - for instance, in my case we target dopamine by dosing Effexor at the level where it acts as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and then my pdoc gives me a supplement of Adderal or Vyvanse, which act as dopamine release agents as well. I get more of the neurotransmitter I'm not making naturally, and it sticks around longer for me to use it. Life is still a suckapalooza, but at least I'm functional now. Withdrawl symptoms can be a bear, there's no denying it, but there's an upside - they're bad enough that they act as an incentive to keep on schedule with your meds! If I miss more than one dose, I'll start getting brain zaps as a warning, and if I miss two dozes I'll get nausea that lasts all day. If I were to miss three doses... well, I don't miss three doses. Ever. I generally don't get withdrawal symptoms until the second day, but your mileage may vary. Personally, the only side effect I ever had beyond the first week or two of getting used to it was some sexual oddness, but nothing that limited me. I might add that my Effexor has not beaten the Anhedonia Monster. Nothing tames that beast for me. Given your history of attempts with other meds, I would encourage you to give it a try.
  6. Actually, Lexapro was recommended for me early on for its relative lack of problem with sexual side effects. Unfortunately, for me it lacked antidepressant effects. It didn't exactly va va my voom, either. Wellbutrin is another option some people try if mainline SSRIs cause sexual problems. Wellbutrin makes me wiggy, but some people think it's great.
  7. Okay my honeys, time to Make It Rain. You're our sugar babies and We need all the moneys to make this place swing, so smack that donate button and blow your wad on... ...oh, hell, I can't keep that crap going. Here's the deal, lovelies. This place is run on half a shoestring and some wishful thinking, along with whatever goodwill members supply to VE in the form of donations. We know that the loon pills and the pdoc appointments set you back, and we don't ask anyone to do anything crazy... but maybe something a little bit fabulous. Even a very few dollars can help keep the lights on here. Without them, one day you may log on to find "404 - Not Found" and then where will we all go to proudly fly our rainbow crazy flags? We've been here for twelve years, but the web's a rough-and-tumble place, and squatting here ain't free. It ain't even cheap. If Crazyboards has helped you through a dark time, please consider helping in return. Please, give what you can, when you can.
  8. The world often doesn't make sense, and we have to make sense of it ourselves. Here's something you can wrap your head around - a simple logical proof: (A) Crazyboards cannot function without donations. (B) The source of those donations is our members. Therefore (C) if members do not donate, Crazyboards will cease to function. We know that the mental health care costs a suitcase full, and we don't expect anyone to drop Benjamins on us (though feel free). But even a very few dollars can help keep the lights on here. Without them, one day you may log on to find "404 - Not Found" and then where will we all go to proudly defy the neurotypicals? We've been here for twelve years, but the web's a rough-and-tumble place, and squatting here ain't free. It ain't even cheap. If Crazyboards has helped you through a dark time, please consider helping in return. Please, give what you can, when you can.
  9. It's that time again, my gloomy ones. The servers don't power themselves. This place is run on half a shoestring and some wishful thinking, along with whatever goodwill members supply to VE in the form of donations - you know, cash. Da moneys. Spondooliks. We know that the loon pills and the pdoc appointments set you back; oh, yes, we know. We won't ask you for the Moon. But even a very few dollars can help keep the lights on here. Without them, one day you may log on to find "404 - Not Found" and then where will we all go to proudly fly our crazy flags? We've been here for twelve years, but the web's a rough-and-tumble place, and squatting here ain't free. It ain't even cheap. If Crazyboards has helped you through a dark time, please consider helping in return. Please, give what you can, when you can.
  10. Virus page on CB. Anyone else?

    Your device should be ok, although you should probably do a sweep for malware. You need not tell your husband this happened on CB, just that it popped up on some random internet page. (If he asks which one, you might have to be ready to fib; it shouldn't matter for the solution.) Just because you aren't tech-savvy doesn't mean you're dumb. You don't get to call yourself bad things here. *scowls* You're a smart Cheese.
  11. Virus page on CB. Anyone else?

    The notice is almost certainly malware attempting to trick users into clicking on "free software" that carries with it malicious code that, once installed, will leave the user's computer or device vulnerable to any number of attacks. The tell-tale signs of a false warning ad include misspellings, capitals in the wrong places, poor grammar, etc.: "heavily damaged by Four virus!" and absurd claims, such as telling a user that the device "is 28.1% DAMAGED". Damage to a device, or its software, is not assessed in terms of percentages. Do not click on any link supplied by such notices. Instead, if you suspect that your device may be compromised, run a security sweep using your installed antivirus and antimalware software. If you don't have such programs installed, a) you're insane, and b) you should obtain a product from a reputable vendor and install it independently of any communication you may get about a supposed intrusion. We keep a close watch on the health of the site, and should there ever be a problem with Crazyboards, we'll be sure to alert all of our members. Cerberus
  12. In the United States, at 18 years of age you are considered to have reached the Age of Majority unless you live in Alabama, Colorado, Mississippi, Nebraska, or Puerto Rico, where the age is either 19 or 21. At the Age of Majority, you ceased to be considered a child in the eyes of the law, and assume legal control over your body, your actions, and your decisions, and the control and legal responsibilities of your family over you have been legally terminated. They may care deeply about you, but they have no legal authority to force you to go against your or your care team's wishes, nor do they have any authority to confiscate your medication. Bear in mind that arriving at the Age of Majority in your state does not necessarily mean you are an adult for all purposes. You can vote, for example, but cannot buy or consume alcohol. There may be other laws in your jurisdiction that apply until you are 21. But as far as your health care goes, the decisions are yours to make. Stand your ground, and if necessary, ask for help from your doctors. In the worst case, an attorney could help you prevent others from taking action you don't want.
  13. Oy, you lot. Cheese it with the maybe-douchebaggery and the name-calling. We're trying to help isbipo out here. Keep it on track. Cerberus Moderator
  14. isbipo - I doubt that physical attraction is the sole element at play here, if indeed it's the problem at all. Listen to how you describe the issue: "there is no chemistry or connection when I talk to a woman". This strongly points to a problem with the social interaction side of the equation. First of all, you identify as BP1 - where would you say you are right now in your cycle, more depressed, or more toward mania/hypomania? Somewhere in the middle? How does your mood play into the way you interact with the women you talk to? Does your mood become evident in your conversation? Do you discuss your MI? Secondly, what do you talk to them about? The cardinal rule of talking to prospective dates is to talk about yourself as little as possible, and to focus on the other person, to show an animated interest in them. Human beings, without exception, find other people interesting when the other person shows an interest in them. The inverse is generally also true - the more you talk about yourself, unless you're answering direct questions or working your way back around to talking about that person, the less that person is going to be interested in you. You must focus on them, and your interest must be genuine. You cannot fake it (for long) and get away with it. This should not be difficult; if your interest is not genuine, the other person would likely not be a viable candidate for you anyway. If you are depressed, you are going to have to do some acting. A depressed expression, tone of voice and mannerisms are not attractive features. Although it is possible to elicit sympathetic attraction in the immediate moment, the effect quickly wanes, and no one wants to be around negative energy. It drags the other person down also. You must affect positivity even if you don't feel it, and try to hold out long enough for the friendship and companionship you engender with the other person to generate enough actual positive energy to lift your mood naturally. Eventually, you may be able to relax your guard because you actually won't feel as depressed due to the presence of the other person. If on first contact you find that you like someone but discover that their interests lie in a field you know nothing about, spend some time before your next interaction learning about that field. (The Internet is your Friend.) Not only will this give you grist for conversation, it will also demonstrate that you are interested enough in the person to go to the trouble to learn about the person's interests. If all of this sounds one-sided, it may be at the start, but if you are able to kindle a bona fide relationship, then the other person will want to reciprocate eventually - that's what relationships do. Next time you try talking to someone who looks attractive to you, set yourself aside and focus on her. See if your luck improves. And put on a nice new shirt, or a tie, or a fetching hat or something. Being a snappy dresser never hurt anything. Men stopped really properly wearing hats after Kennedy became president, and it's too bad.
  15. phiddipus - Please take a moment to review the site's User Rules. Crazyboards is a first-person peer support site. This means that you are welcome and encouraged to talk about your experience and struggle with your own mental health all you want. We do not, however, allow inquiries about third parties. Regardless of whether this is an exact duplicate of a similar post, it is not acceptable content for the forum. Cerberus Moderator