PTSD symptoms similar to ASD?

PTSD symptoms similar to ASD?

A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?
by Soup, aspiescentral.com
April 26th 2012
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#1
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A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

Recently I’ve been thinking, while flipping through the copy of my end assesment/diagnosis of my therapist.
Could it be possible that due to the way people on the spectrum are said to process information, as well as sensory stimuli overload, that some might be more prone to exhibit more Post-traumatic stress disorder like symptoms?

The likeliness that certain everyday things might be to stressful and lead to avoidance or more severe anxiety and thus for a impairment to function “normally”. I feel it’s quite similar to a meltdown, where avoidance might be more something to where you’re “overprotective” of yourself to not expose yourself to possible triggers.

It’s just a random thought I had. Anyone care to share thoughts about it?

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#2
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I think it is less socially acceptable to have meltdowns as we pass from childhood / adolescence to adulthood. While we’re kids we know our parents will tolerate our symptomatic behaviour; however, we soon learn that our peers and other adults are less tolerant of it. For instance, my Aspergers-and-schizophrenic stepson would only have meltdowns in front of his family, and never at school or out in public. Others couldn’t imagine the meltdown behaviour – which he’d store up all day waiting for a time and a trigger to vent. Other’s always commented what an angel he was in their presence. It is sadly ironic that the people who love the Aspergers child the most are the ones who suffer the most.
As adults we suppress this frustration or redirect it into other channels – which could potentially manifest as, say, PTSD-like symptoms. I know I have taught myself to calm down to cope with my extreme anxiety; otherwise I don’t think I could have coped with half of what I have had to endure over the last few years. To others I must look cool and unfazed, but this is a front; one which may well be causing me harm in other ways (bottling up all my tension cannot be healthy).

Last edited by arthurfakaya; 11th June 2012 at 08:05 AM.
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#3
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I actually have PTSD; my main symptom is disassociation.
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I have PTSD too, but its not from AS. Its from other things that happened in my life. But I think it might be that I was more prone to it because of the way things do affect me. Maybe. I don’t know. But it would be a good thing to maybe study in our population.

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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

Recently I’ve been thinking about this thread a bit. I wanted to open a new thread, but it might fit alongside this thread.
Since I’m looking into filing for disability benefits right now, the question arises in the sense of “what have you done to fix your issues”… I don’t know if I’ve done enough, or more than enough, or not even enough, however, the thing that keeps popping up in terms of a question is;

How much is acceptable to out of your comfort zone? In general it’s being stressed to go out of your comfort zone a bit, but what is a bit? And what if it backfires, who’s to blame? Me for trying? The others for making the wrong assessment and “forcing” me? Is anyone even to blame.

My friend got talks with a doctor at disability benefits office and she told him “why don’t you try meds?” and “why don’t you try a (and she said this literally; well according to him) mindnumbing assembly job?”. And while it’s both vaild points to try, I feel that this doctor isn’t aware of the problems it might give. My therapist told me that meds for me are a big risk over comorbid factors. And I’ve had my share of a “simple” job, it drove me mad and into a therapists office with a depression.

So in that… what’s the accepted threshold of your comfortzone, clearly there’s no universal answer to this, and as such they want everyone to try, yet we all know that some of us will have a meltdown, break stuff or get angry, not everyone is passive-agressive in meltdown mode. I am quite sure that if I were to, say… in an extreme case, have a meltdown, and in all rage cut someone with a blade I need on my job for opening boxes… I’m actually the one who gets blamed, but actually it’s a consequence of forcing people out of comfortzones. And I feel things can be worse and lead to mental trauma… on that sidenote; I’ll confess, that if I ever see my former supervisor anywhere, chances are I’m smashing his face in with a tile from the sidewalk. I’m having distressing thoughts and dreams just of that job (pretty much the only thing I have weird dreams about… previous jobs), and said supervisor… I don’t know if it’s nightmares, but at least… I feel, that within my psyche he fucked up badly. I hold a grudge over it. I’m fine with ignoring the company I worked at, but to be honest, I’d be happy if I ever read it burned down.

So yes, with that… comfortzones, being pushed out of them and in the end having somewhat of a mental trauma cause of it. I don’t feel no one is to blame for it and actually I don’t feel I should be blamed for my actions either… having someone with, well.. mental issues, and forcing him to something with a surprise outcome looks more like you’re framing that person, just in case he does something bad.

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#6
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I’ve wondered about Aspies & PTSD myself. Like all people, many of us have been subjected to or experienced additional traumatic events. Some were persistently singled out for abuse within their familial setting. Others among us faced bullying in school or the playground etc. This mightn’t have even had anything to do with AS: some faced it because they were part of some visible minority group or were of a different (to whatever the mainstream is where they lived) religion. Having (some of us VERY significant ones!) social & emotional ‘impairments’ (differences..whatever..) our ability to understand, respond to, cope with & seek support for these challenges is also compromised. further complicating matters is the fact that the people to whom we would have to turn for support are most likely NTs (often clueless!) themselves!! Add to that our quirks & sensitivities & complex relationship with mainstream culture, I’d bet that we ALL have a degree of PTSD.
That doesn’t even take into consideration Aspies who were bounced through the social services/foster care system like a basketball, those who lived in deeply dysfunctional homes or who themselves have been homeless or incarcerated!

As for what you could have done to somehow ‘fix your issues’ I’d say HOW could you possibly be expected do such a thing when the underlying fundamental differences between an Aspie & the Neurotypical-normative world remain glaringly intact? This is akin to expecting a soldier suffering from PTSD to ‘get over it’ while still on the battlefield witnessing horrors! For Aspies, there’s no POST in PTSD. Although the bullying & direct abuse may have ended or lessened significantly, the social isolation, sense of shame, fear of doing the wrong thing, screwing up or melting down creates a ‘bunker’ mentality: a need to hunker down & protect oneself, retreat & regroup or hibernate altogether.

As an Aspie, I gauge my state of ‘okayness’ according to the checklist below.

If I’m:

1. physically alive, non suicidal & surviving,
2. not a hopelessly babbling detached mad woman (or man),
3. not a trembling emaciated addict
4. nor a violent maniac,
5. maintained a reasonable level of grooming & hygiene on person & your environment
6. Have taken care of my pets
7. Have on occasion talked to some people (be that work, family, spouse, friend, fellow student, shrink…who it is doesn’t matter so much as the fact that I haven’t completely gone awol)
8. Have paid basic attention to health/fitness/nutritional/medical needs

I’VE DONE ENOUGH!!!

Until NTs form some kind of committee & fix themselves & render the planet more user friendly for Aspies (& others with challenges) what we really will have is TSD.

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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I think the big thing is, and I’ve adressed it before in this thread; aspies can have a different way of perceiving the world… a small example would be if your parents would hit you as a kid. Some people say “it’s part of raising them”… but what if, especially with the social unawareness of people on the spectrum, someone who gets slapped processes this action differently and has an intense hatred against said parent with harmful intentions.
I don’t think you could blame the parents for trying to do what’s right, I do want people to be reminded to the fact that there is no right. Just keep in mind that every person is different, and having a different mental wiring so to say, just adds to not expecting stuff.

As for your example Soup… the soldier example; I’m halfway that stage regarding employment. I’m unemployed and I’m given a free pass to NOT look for a job until I have my shit sorted out. The job center gave me that for the time being. But little do they know (or understand) is that I’m on that proverbial battlefield for 29 years already, and considering circumstances, I’m reasonably well off and not totally out of my mind.

But yeah, I think there might be a thing here or there regarding the way we might process information in situation that to other people are “just daily life”, and I feel that, at least in for me, they imprint certain asociations that really should not be there I feel.

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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

We are on the battlefield with you, King Oni.
What NTs consider to be normal daily life is deeply affecting them as well BUT, true to the intellectual shortcomings & excessive emotionality of the Neurotypical brain, they go readily into denial. So many of them are living off of anti-anxiety meds, anti-depressants, sleeping pills to sleep & red bull to awaken. Others are self-medicating with alcohol & illegal drugs or they’re abusing prescriptions. This doesn’t even consider how many of them have either Anorexia/bulimia or morbid obesity!

‘Just daily life’ as it has been structured by NTs is destroying their health & sanity too. Since they lack Asperger’s, they are prone to hypocritically denying that they’re going batty from it all. Many of them have anger management/rage issues. The divorce, domestic violence & child abuse rates are very high amongst them as well. Kind of makes me wonder who really has the disability!!! There are more of them than there are of us so they got to draft the blue prints for how the world & its cultures etc. would function. Had Aspies been a majority & had the right to design the world, it would be very different indeed!

I’m so glad that you have been given time to regroup & take care of yourself. I hope you are able to find or create gainful employment that is compatible with your Aspie temperament.

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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

a lot of people seem to be in denial about how they are feeling but just seem to struggle on with it, obviously partially because they have to but to me, it’s backwards, all of it, if aspies had designed the world it would probably be easier in some aspects but not others. Eg, most of us like to be alone and don’t understand why people need constant contact with others, so if we designed jobs for people where they were on their own 40 hours a week, that might be good for aspie workers but horrible for other people. But then, other people might naturally have a different body clock, some people wake up at 7/8am and fall asleep at midnight, others find going to work at 8/ 9 pm comes much more naturally to them. When I did 6pm until 7am, I was alone for the entire time, and happily so, but when I was surrounded by people and staff in a retail store from 8 until 5pm, it drove me down mentally to the point of exhaustion, which is what a lot of people I talk to say they have. That would indicate working morning until evening isn’t actually the most suitable shift pattern
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I’ve been to New York City, Rochester, NY, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, bawl more (that’s Baltimore to you non-natives, hon), Warshington,DC (yes, that’ how the natives to Baltimore and Washington, DC, pronounce it., Chicago, M’wokee (that’s how the cheese heads pronounce Milwaukee, where the street car goes down around the corner, aina-heh), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Rahckford, IL (Rockford), and Dallas/Ft. Worth. I keep coming back to South Central PA, since it says HOME.
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

Originally Posted by
Had Aspies been a majority & had the right to design the world, it would be very different indeed!
I have had a number of people tell me they want to see me in politics because they like the way I think. I’m probably not the only aspie in this department. I believe its because we see the reality of the situation, not the sugar coated bleeding heart happy care bear version many NTs want to believe in.
King Oni … have you actually stopped and thought “nothing is wrong with me”. You might have, I dunno. In a Neurotypical world I guess there is something wrong with us because we don’t conform to the Neurotypical way of thinking or life. And I think its so sad that a doctor would say “here’s some meds for you” when being an aspie is who we are. It almost sounds like the doctor is handing out meds for having blue eyes or something.

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some of us at least had PTSD. How many of us have had the Neurotypical world tell us we are mentally ill or unstable? If we accept the Neurotypical view that we are retarded then that’s what we will think. But I guess we all have to fight in our own way to show the world we are not retarded. We are part of it and until the world stops viewing us as disturbed or mentally ill we are going to fight an uphill battle.

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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

So the entire PTSD deal drags on with me… I’ve been reading into it a bit more recently. I’m still not decided if I should see a doctor that might give me something more “professional”.
Fact is; I don’t know if it will help me a lot. Especially in the issues where it’s the biggest problem; getting employed. Factor in that more recently I’m figuring out that part of my PTSD-like symptoms actually stem from jobs I had. Simply put I’m willing to say “any job I had in the past put me in a place of mental abuse”. I’m willing to blame me aspergical mind for that. It’s how I process this information that makes it sound like verbal and mental abuse. No wonder I’m really, really, really cautious to get employed or even in talks about employment. It’s perfectly sensible self-preservation.

And it doesn’t stop there. There’s way too much in daily life that puts me on edge. Past memories and issues I’ve had (including rather small things like past relationships, but surely big things as well pretty much constant bullying), and the worst probably is; If I look at it myself I haven’t been dealing with deaths, I haven’t been in a war. It’s not the.. let’s say “common cause”. It’s merely the way my mind processes information that makes me hypervigilant and on edge 24/7.

I’ve been reading about how to get over PTSD as well. Seems a lot of people tend to avoid things that are related to trauma and that’s apparently not the way to go. The best way to get past that feeling is by confronting it. if you’ve been in a car crash, the best thing to do is get in that car again. And perhaps that is the best way. Perhaps it’s also the best way for Neurotypical people.

For me personally and the way my mind processes things, forcing me into a job will most likely create another trauma unless there is a lot of care to how I function and met halfway beyond PTSD and taken in consideration there’s a big part of autism in this as well. I’m certain I pose a big problem for any employer to get me back into the system. It’s not just that I have a temporary problem that needs to be taken care of, there’s a perpetual problem as well, which can lead to new temporary problems. It would put anyone around me on edge to try really hard and not mess it up to put me back in a place that poses new problems for me. Honestly, I don’t see that working.

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#13
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Re: A higher chance to develop PTSD like symptoms due to ASD?

I haven’t really paid attention to this thread before but now I’m reading your last post and thinking you might be right. I think a lot of people of the spectrum have issues identifying how badly they’ve actually been traumatized by certain evens in their lives (it doesn’t matter how you scale those event, if they effect you, they serious enough). I understand you’ve spent lots of money on specialists already but that is something you might want to deal with if you believe it could make you feel better. I think anyone will benefit from learning how to deal with trauma but especially people on Autism spectrum. There’re some simple and quite effective techniques for dealing with PTSD, so just see if you can find someone who has experience with things like that. My suggestion, stop thinking about it, and, if you have a chance, try to get some help. But again… Just a suggestion.
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