QUestion on ASD and difficult thoughts

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Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 2:51 am

Howdy folks!
I read this: "An OCD sufferer are bothered by their thoughts, whereas some with Autism is likely to enjoy them"
Quote from ocdtreatmentcentre

My question: Do people with ASD really enjoy their thaughts that much?
Is this more of a streotype? Isn't this romanticizing ASD (even thought it is true in some circumstances)?

I don't always enjoy my ASD thaughts. Sometimes I really disslike them. They make me focus on the thing I should not focus on. I hate overthinking subject. How is that enjoyable? I do not have OCD so my thoughts are described by an Asperger's syndrome diagnosis.



Edna3362
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04 Jun 2021, 3:28 am

Depends on one's mental health, one's comorbidities concerning regulating thoughts and emotions (other than but also including OCD and other anxiety based related issues).

And specific circumstances in which personal preferences aligns with said thoughts and emotions, drawn from memory and/or experience, along with the ability to act upon (or not act upon) said thoughts.



There's an apparent distinction between hyperfocus thoughts commonly referred around autism;

Obsessions are merely hyperfocus thoughts of a specific subject -- whether or not they enjoy it, it is intrusive and can interference with one's life, just like OCD.
Yet unlike OCD, it is not anxiety based, but more around gratification.
It doesn't necessarily mean enjoyable, but more like a form of addiction -- so it is true that not all autistics enjoys their thoughts related to this.

Those who actually enjoys said thoughts are called Special Interests. Those are mostly pleasure based and do enjoy it.
Some are more useful and lead to a more fulfilling life.
Some don't and it is like any difficult thoughts, distracting -- or worse, destructive and may lead to trouble with the law.


But yes -- not all autistics have special interests. Instead, having obsessions they'd rather get rid of.


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Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 4:20 am

If this is true why do people, both professionals and other people, say that people with ASD are natural worries and that their lives are filled with anxiety?
I have heard that we can be perfectionists and worry about unimportant details. Where is the gratification in this?



Edna3362
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04 Jun 2021, 4:35 am

Dandansson wrote:
If this is true why do people, both professionals and other people, say that people with ASD are natural worries and that their lives are filled with anxiety?
I have heard that we can be perfectionists and worry about unimportant details. Where is the gratification in this?

You are referring to anxiety disorders and stress related issues usually stemming from vulnerability of one's autistic traits, circumstances and environmental triggers.

Just as not all autistics enjoy or have special interests, not all autistics have anxiety disorders.
One can both have anxiety disorders and special interests -- which is more common than only having one of either.

And the source of anxiety and special interests are more likely independent from one another, though it can overlap.
With the latter can be a coping mechanism against the former.


Unfortunately, most autistics are not lucky to have an environment -- social or otherwise -- that prevents them from having anxiety.
And it seems that it's rare for an autistic to overcome anxiety altogether.


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Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 4:47 am

With a special interest you have a lot of difficulties that you have to deal with. You will have to deal with those frustrations. They are not that pleasurable at all. They are just making things frustrating. We don't enjoy them. They makes you angry and irritated.
This is why the quote seems so anti-reality in many ways. We just love our frustrations and the thoughts that come out of it?



Edna3362
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04 Jun 2021, 4:53 am

Dandansson wrote:
With a special interest you have a lot of difficulties that you have to deal with. You will have to deal with those frustrations. They are not that pleasurable at all. They are just making things frustrating. We don't enjoy them. They makes you angry and irritated.
This is why the quote seems so anti-reality in many ways. We just love our frustrations and the thoughts that come out of it?

Again, it depends on the personal circumstances -- if the obsessions aligns with the personal preferences, interests and capabilities. :lol:

How attainable it can be. How acceptable it is within the norm. Or in which the domain can branch or flourish into something healthy.



I thought it was funny, with people mistaking obsessions for, say, experiences with sensory pain and social rejection.
Or that both issues cannot coexists.

And without taking account other conditions that accompanies autism...
And just say it's all only autism instead of autism plus whatever. :lol:

Autism is not like OCD reversed in that specific matter. It's much complicated than that.


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Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 5:02 am

I only have ASD. When I cannot solve a problem I get frustrated. Extremely frustrated at times. I get stuck. Do people enjoy getting stuck?
I might be atypical as I have this issue.
I thought all peoole with ASD got stuck but it seems it is rare. My symptoms are rare?
Most people are actually very good at their special interests and never have any difficulties?
I was frustrated as an infant but never grew out of it.



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04 Jun 2021, 5:17 am

Being prone to get stuck relates to few things around autism; rigidity related to repetitiveness and order, executive functioning and/or mental health issues.

With the latter can exacerbate the former traits.


Being more flexible, having more frustration tolerance, able to let go of hard thoughts can get easier with maturity and practice.



I don't know about you.
But I end up being more tolerant around that issue due to my upbringing.
The tolerance around the thought part is easy -- the emotional thresholds part is not. At least for me.


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Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 7:26 am

Edna3362 wrote:
Being prone to get stuck relates to few things around autism; rigidity related to repetitiveness and order, executive functioning and/or mental health issues.

With the latter can exacerbate the former traits.


Being more flexible, having more frustration tolerance, able to let go of hard thoughts can get easier with maturity and practice.



I don't know about you.
But I end up being more tolerant around that issue due to my upbringing.
The tolerance around the thought part is easy -- the emotional thresholds part is not. At least for me.

"An OCD sufferer are bothered by their thoughts, whereas some with Autism is likely to enjoy them"
When most people with ASD have an obstacle or a difficulty they actually enjoy it whereas I am a person who is extremely atypical and hate it?
Most people with ASD love the difficulties and focusing on them? The quote only refer to the typical type and not my atypical "aspie" type?
I thought people with ASD had to get stuck in thoughts they disslike but it turn out that it is in fact an atypical symptom. Most people seem to love their thoughts.

This is why reading about ASD can be problematic. It is based on a lot of generalizations which often don't mention the atypical people like me.

I know many "NTs" who have thughts they disslike. I just don't know how people with ASD can enjoy all their thoughts and at the same time experience meltdowns and shutdowns. I thought most people with ASD overanalyzed stuff and hated it but it turn out that most enjoy it.
I am extremely atypical.
I am different from "NTs" but also different from "aspies". I don't belong in any category.

Am I the only one who experiencse that a lot of the descriptions of the "aspie" is not who you are?



QuantumChemist
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04 Jun 2021, 9:15 am

I can only express the way that I think, as not everyone on the spectrum thinks the same as I do. Most of the time I have control over my thoughts and what I want to concentrate on. There are times that I am stressed where that control lessens. When that happens, I have specific projects in my head that I work on to release the stress. In a way, these projects allow me to regain my balance.

But, I also am not a typical thinker. My mind is extremely visual based, way more than normal. I also have a severe Dr. Frankenstein side to my personality that sometimes bleeds into my though process. You really do not want to know what lurks in there, as it was initially fueled by my quest for revenge due to extreme bullying in my youth. I have had to restrict some of those related thoughts to prevent me from obsessing over them. To do so, I developed a coding mechanism using a series of songs that locks them away in my mind until I need to use an idea from that area. Could I teach another the way to do this with their thoughts? I doubt it, as it took me many years to figure out my own way. Maybe you can find a route to control your thoughts in a similar manner if you try it.

Special topics tend to be favorable to me to work on in my mind. One of them involves exploring the quantum world using an adapted version of String Theory that I developed. On occasion, I reach a road block problem that I cannot easily answer. Rather than getting frustrated about it, I use that as motivation to seek the answer to the problem based upon the data that I can find from other sources. Every time I find a possible solution, I get enjoyment in the process. It is a never ending cycle because I sometimes find more questions than answers along the way. My special topics are things that do not control me, but make my life better thinking of them. It is my own world inside my head that I often visit.



Dandansson
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04 Jun 2021, 9:28 am

QuantumChemist wrote:
On occasion, I reach a road block problem that I cannot easily answer. Rather than getting frustrated about it, I use that as motivation to seek the answer to the problem based upon the data that I can find from other sources. Every time I find a possible solution, I get enjoyment in the process. It is a never ending cycle because I sometimes find more questions than answers along the way. My special topics are things that do not control me, but make my life better thinking of them. It is my own world inside my head that I often visit.

I hear this all the time. This seems to be very common, ie finding solutions to problems or difficulties.
People with ASD are often very organized and can easily find solutions to difficulties they face when doing what they are interested in. I often get frustrated when things become too difficult.
I don't feel like I belong to the category "aspie" since I am not like you and the rest of the people who call themselves "aspies".
Most people with ASD don't even understand what the heck I am refering to. I know I should live up to a steretype but I can't. Even people with ASD spread stereotypes (mostly without an intent to do so). I am probably not well-liked in the "autism community" as I often don't live up to many of the stereotypes. I am doing an awful job, the think, I assume.
Sometimes I just wanna tell them how much I hate steretypes but they sure refuse to understand, it seems. They just can't understand.
Professionals and people with ASD I talk to IRL sometimes undestand me but the "autism awareness" people often don't. Isn't "autism awareness" a lot about accepting steretypes?



Last edited by Dandansson on 04 Jun 2021, 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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04 Jun 2021, 9:36 am

I enjoy most of my thoughts; although much of my fantasy life takes place in the Golden Age of the Third Imperium as Captain of a Marava-class far trader somewhere along the Spinward Main.

:D


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05 Jun 2021, 1:54 am

I enjoy a lot of my thoughts, and it became a source of frustration to me when I realised that most people don't often share my enthusiasm for them. It's a nasty feeling when I say something I think is worthwhile and at best all I get back is a polite fake smile from somebody who probably just wishes I'd shut up. So these days I keep a lot of my thoughts to myself rather than bore everybody to death. My tendency to over-think also worries me, but that's more a product of my looking at myself and getting a sense of going down a rabbit-hole. The thoughts themselves are at worst tiring, and even that's rare. And hyper-focussing and analysing things to an insane level is a strong distraction from my sensory issues, which would make my life a misery if they could attract my free attention.

I'm not 100% convinced that my thinking habits are the most satisfying thing for me to spend my life on, and I do worry what else I might be missing, but I spend quite a lot of time messing with music - recording, writing, listening, jamming, rehearsing and performing - and that sometimes gives my mind something a bit different to do, which helps me to feel better about it, though I worry about how often I manage to turn what I meant to be an artistic, playful or social exercise into yet another analysis.

It's difficult to decide how much of my thinking is "bad" because my analyses tend to have somewhat realistic purposes auxiliary to the artistic pursuits. Similarly, when I "over-think" matters or turn everything into a question of logic and critical thinking, there's usually an "acceptable" purpose to it, and I tend to get useful results. And I don't get locked up in analysis for all that long, I keep an eye on mission creep and am often questioning what I'm trying to do and whether or not it's wise to keep exploring whatever rabbit hole I've dropped into. It worries me to a degree that I don't have stronger control over the process and that I keep finding myself taking longer than I'd expected to complete the exercise, but I've never allowed these processes to seriously threaten my ability to live independently.

Sometimes it's painful. If I have an unsolved problem, I can barely rest till I've fixed it. I hate backing off and putting anything down till it's complete. I used to get into this state when I was working where I'd take on several tasks and things would start to go wrong, and I'd have a hard time accepting that I had to drop a task or two, though once I'd made the executive decision to do so I soon felt a lot better.

I think all anybody can do about their thinking style, when it proves resistant to attempts to modify it, is to pretty much accept it for what it is, and just try to mitigate its most harmful effects, and to turn the trait to advantage.