How Do I Draw the Line Between Asperger’s and Social Anxiety?

Question by Joan: How do I draw the line between Asperger’s and social anxiety?
I don’t understand the difference. I have trouble empathizing (empathizing as in feeling sorry for people/caring about people) but I think I’m fairly good at putting myself in people’s shoes. I DO pick up on social cues, but oftentimes I exaggerate them because of my social anxiety (this person didn’t smile, he hates me and thinks i’m awful and never wants to see me again, you get the point)

I’ve realized that when my barriers are taken down, such as when I’m drunk/high or when I have a boost of confidence, I’m able to engage in conversation with someone and keep it going for ~5 minutes.

However, my social anxiety is truly terrible and keeps me from getting a job, making friends in real life (I have almost no close friends in real life), and getting people to like me. I can clearly tell when I’m doing something “wrong” socially, but I can’t figure out exactly what it is and I can’t bring myself to act “normally”, either because of my anxiety, or because I find that idiotic.

I haven’t had an IQ test since I was a kid, but I tested “highly gifted” at 6, learned calculus at age 9, and read several grade levels above my age.

I’ve been through six years of horrible child abuse however, and because of that I struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety and also a lack of social understanding in general.

Is it possible that I have Asperger’s or is all this just a result of a bad childhood/high IQ/social anxiety?

I have long trains of thought that leads me nowhere, and I’m actually really good at seeing both sides of an argument, even when it’s something I feel passionate about. Therefore, I’m really good at writing argumentative stuff.

Best answer:

Answer by AnSWeRs wiTH AtTItUDe
You can’t get diagnosed with aspergers anymore. It I’ve already been diagnosed so I don’t know what I am now. Don’t worry about diagnoses anymore just keep going. My therapist once told me I wasn’t normal.

Answer by Robin
The simple answer it, you don’t…a qualified doctor does.

I will let you in on a secret… people with high IQ’s often ‘over-think’ things… we have extra capacity and when we don’t use everything we have on the job in hand it is so easy to get into studying other people at the same time, working out what they are thinking, where their conversation is going, what their agenda is etc. You probably put that they are talking about in a context and work out a solution or two before they have even finished talking. Now when you are left on your own, your brain doesn’t stop…it carries on just the same but without external input. The answer is easy… learn to know yourself… and forgive other people for not being able to see everything you do. Oh by the way, there are lots of us out there… don’t ever get to big headed, there is always someone smarter. Have you tried playing Chess… it will stimulate the brain and it is kind of ‘social’ without the need to talk much.


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