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Hey everyone!

I'm a 23 yo female and I've struggled with extreme social anxiety my entire life, the peak being during my high school years and steadily getting better since then. A few months ago I started looking at the possibility of Asperger's being the root of my anxiety. I currently probably don't seem like someone with Asperger's because I've learned a lot of social skills and am very good at small talk. But so many of the criteria fit, especially if you look at my childhood and teenager years.

One of the earliest signs of my "weirdness" that my mom can recall is that at my 4th birthday party. I wanted everyone to leave because they were being "too loud". I also was obsessed with reading first aid books, safety guides and books about disease/illness. I am still obsessed with medicine, and diagnosed my boyfriend's chronic illness two weeks before he was hospitalized for it! Ha! I have a lot of issues with change, and when I was in high school that went to the point of wearing the same outfit (jeans, t-shirt, cardigan), year round, no matter how rainy and cold or sunny and sweltering it was. I used to be able to "hear" the high pitch sound that emitted from my parent's TVs and it used to make me SO angry that no one else could hear it and it didn't bother anyone else. I had meltdowns which usually ended in self-injuring. I also have hypotonia, which is a comorbidity of Asperger's. I could barely speak to anyone other than my friends, and even then, I was very sensitive and easily hurt by them.

I was eventually diagnosed with ADD and put on Concerta, which eventually made me paranoid and anorexic, so I stopped taking it in my second year of college. Things got a lot better after I was off Concerta.

Recently I feel like I've reverted a bit because of current life situations, including graduating college, not being able to find a job and my boyfriend becoming seriously ill. Now it's like I forgot everything I learned about how to fake social skills, and I have a lot of trouble understanding what is normal and what is expected of me in social situations. I've had numerous alcohol-fueled meltdowns in front of my boyfriend, mostly directed at him (which I feel HORRIBLE about because he almost DIED last year and has been dealing with living with a life-threatening illness), because I just can't deal anymore. I'm FILLED with anxiety.

I recently talked to my parents about all this and they have been amazing. They aren't always the most supportive, but they are going to help me get evaluated, see a good therapist and get on meds for my anxiety. Hopefully medication will just be a temporary thing, because since my experience with Concerta, I've been very wary of medication. I'm terrified of side effects, but what can you do?

Okay, enough of that! I thought I was done with being crazy, but I guess not! :)

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Welcome. I am new too. I def. relate to a lot of what you said. I also have issues with loud noises, hearing things people don't hear or having things (like vibrations, high pitched sounds, buzzing from electricity, etc.) irritate me...anything loud..which makes it hard for me to go out sometimes too because loud noises can set my anxiety off..and everything else. I often go out with my mp3 player and even sometimes have it playing while in a store so I can try to keep myself from getting set off. I always thought I was just strange with stuff like that, but it's nice to know I am not alone there.

I understand about the anxiety issues. I have a lot of it too, and always have. It started out as extreme shyness as a child, but it got worse as I got older. I have such a hard time around people. Eye contact is often very hard...and talking mostly is. It kind of depends on how I am feeling any given day.

Meds are worth a try..I never got along with any SSRIs..I mostly would try some for a few days and see how I did. My body is so sensitive to meds, that it normally only took a few days for them to do something to me...so if the side effects were too horrible for me to keep taking it, I would stop because if it was that bad in the beginning, I couldn't see it stopping or at least, withdrawals would be hell.

I was on seroquel 60 mg or so at the highest when I was in treatment for anorexia and it seemed to help my anxiety a lot. I currently only take about 12.5 mg for sleep when I feel I need it and 0.5 mg of ativan as needed. I don't like the idea of them...but I do what I need, when I need to...

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welcome. I too have a lot of anxiety. I finally got a diagnosis for OCD with a specialist after false diagnosis of ADD. There is a spectrum of anxiety disorders. It's like they are very prone to diagnose for ADD these days. It's good to learn about other anxiety disorders but I've been told here that if I think I have some of them, then I probably have OCDl.

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Hello and welcome.

I was formally diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 48, six years ago, and while I'm not your clone (hardly!) a lot of what you write resonates.

"...I've learned a lot of social skills and am very good at small talk" is exactly right: we tend to use our intellect and particular skills of conscious analysis to develop "make-do"'s and workarounds to match approximately, but often very closely, what others seem to do more instinctively.

Sound sensitivities: check.

Special interests/obsessions: check

Dislike of change: check.

More difficulty managing the learned skills when tired or stressed: check.

Meltdowns: check.

You've certainly got a reasonable case, but it shouldn't be jumped to.

I had to pay privately for a diagnosis beacuse my GP (UK) didn't think anyone as "functional" as I was could possibly have it.

Not only do I have it, I asked the diagnosing Dr. if i was a marginal case. "Solidly", she replied.

Going for a diagnosis is almost certainly a good idea: no need to tell everybody, but you and those who need to know will have a better "tool kit", and better understanding, to help you as a person.

It doesn't suddenly make the world make sense, but it makes it clear why the world doesn't make sense.

(and at least half the time it's because *them out there* are mad!)

Regards, Chris.

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