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Autism from the inside


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Working On Yourself – Autism & Borderline Personality Disorder

Body Parts 2018

Note this is from a personal perspective

To say that my “autism” is all about “me” is highly reductive and naive statement to make it doesn’t take into account my life experiences, expectations, emotions and other worldly things that colour the palette of “who” and “what” you are.

Over the past year I have one and off thought a great deal about my own sense of self-awareness and the solidarity and sanctity of knowing your own vices and working on them.

Emotional Frequencies

For some people being “borderline” can about emotional Dysregulation and timely fluctuations in mood and the ability to manage them with a level of coherence and candour. This can lead to confusion for people around them a lack of continuity can scare and even push people away. The ability for me is to be objective and reign my emotions in.

Thoughts Vs. “Reality”

For some being “borderline” means thoughts and feelings are powerful and depending on your upbringing, emotional supply, developmental an environmental factors etc you can look at them as friend, enemy, partner, and divorcee. I have learnt that when a feelings are recognised over the years to “let it go” intensity subsides and management in the end is about taking control over something you may feel is “uncontrollable”.

Do Not Be A Doormat

For some being “borderline” may mean being passive and disagreeing and agreeing not making the inner connection with what is right or wrong which such a way of approaching conversation and you find yourself around strangers rather than people you really want to spend time with. Being honest with me has been a great help cutting of the cycle of being “used” because in the end I was letting people in with an open invitation.

Dissociation Vs. Self Identity & Fear Of “Aloneness” 

For some people being “borderline” can mean issues with boundaries and a lack of “self identity” and being prone to dissociation (derealisation and depersonalisation) that can hinder interpersonal relationships/friendships. Remaining a sense of “self” means the ability to become your own best friend not in egotistic or narcissistic sense but having a level of awareness of you own identity (groundedness) that you do not idolise nor demonise people.

Balance Is The Key

Everybody has 4 to 6 Personality types that include people on the autism spectrum so other factors for me are:

  • Visual perceptual disorders such as Faceblindness, meaning blindness and object blindness will have an impact on context, learning, mentalising and ability (or not) to retain “visual” information.
  • Language processing disorders such as aphasia, verbal agnosia, oral apraxia which has an impact on not only my ability to speak but to retain language with “meaning”.
  • Body disconnection, pain “deadness”, body agnosias, hemiplegia and alexithymia have made me at times unable to “recognise” and “perceive” inner emotional states and social-emotional frequencies.

Working on these challenges and seeing people as whole people as such will aid, empower and promote and healthy sense of “who you are” and build up sustainable and realistic foundations for autonomy.

Paul Isaacs 2018

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The Problem with Somatisation Disorder

Image result for Somatization disorder

Note this is from a personal perspective

Certain personality types (such as mercurial/borderline) are more akin to having somatisation type disorders in which person feels they are becoming increasingly ill and/or have serious and multiple symptoms that indicated a serious illness and/disease.

“The main features are multiple, recurrent and frequently changing physical symptoms of at least two years duration. Most patients have a long and complicated history of contact with both primary and specialist medical care services, during which many negative investigations or fruitless exploratory operations may have been carried out. Symptoms may be referred to any part or system of the body. The course of the disorder is chronic and fluctuating, and is often associated with disruption of social, interpersonal, and family behaviour.”

Awareness of Emotional States and Somatic Pain

The persistence is the pain and the feeling that invokes, having alexithymia means that I have problems identifying what my inner states are leading to often painful and chronic psychosomatic symptoms which in my life time have included as follows

  • Nausea
  • Tension Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Jaw aches
  • Lower back Pain
  • Arm and Shoulder Pain
  • Pins and Needles in Legs and Feet

The recent bout is having a pulsating tinnitus in my left ear which is anxiety/stress related and is not due cardiovascular disorder and or stroke related symptoms but never the less is persistent at the moment. Age and awareness in my case have helped with these areas of anxiety and “getting on with it” as means to move on and look towards the psychological/developmental aspects they have on me in terms and working from there.

Paul Isaacs 2018

 


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Autism & Personality Disorders – A Personal Perspective

Compasition Photos17Note: this is from a personal perspective and doesn’t represent all people on autism spectrum

Personality Disorders & Autism

Yes they can co-occur and yes it does happen, personality disorders and autism these are types/trait which are “extreme” and “disordered” versions of “normal” personality type this can happen for variety of different reasons an environmental trigger, isolation and alienation, victimisation or genetic predisposition to having such extremes but is idiopathic in nature. (these can happen to ANYONE).

I Have “Been There”

I am a person who has “been there” in terms of personality disorders and it was during my early 2os, at this time I was being bullied at my workplace and into between hanging on there and leaving (which I did soon enough) it was a mixture of additional mental health conditions, unipolar depression, mood disorder (low mood dysthoria), self harming and suicidal ideation.

1. Schizotypal Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, pg. 645) describes Schizotypal Personality Disorder as a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • ideas of reference (excluding delusions of reference);
  • odd beliefs or magical thinking that influences behavior and is inconsistent with subcultural norms (e.g., superstitiousness, belief in clairvoyance, telepathy, or “sixth sense”; in children and adolescents, bizarre fantasies or preoccupations);
  • unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions;
  • odd thinking and speech (e.g., vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, overelaborate, or stereotyped);
  • suspiciousness or paranoid ideation;
  • inappropriate or constricted affect;
  • behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar;
  • lack of close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives;
  • excessive social anxiety that does not diminish with familiarity and tends to be associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgments about self.

2. Borderline Personality Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, pg. 654) describes Borderline Personality Disorder as a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment;
  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation;
  • identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self;
  • impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating);
  • recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior;
  • affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days);
  • chronic feelings of emptiness;
  • inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights);
  • transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

What Are YOUR Personality Types?

When you look at these two sets of personality disorders from a person perspective they at both ends of the spectrum with one being marked by non-conformity and the other a sub-conscious wanting  how did I get through this ? Firstly knowledge – understanding my autism “fruit salad” meant looking at the whole package and that included personality types of which I have 4 these two above in there “normal” variants are 1. idiosyncratic and 2. mercurial balanced and have bettered my functioning along with my tinted lenses for visual perceptual disorders for example.

It Can Be Apart Of The “Bigger Picture”

By picking these aspects of functioning I think is important when looking at an autism diagnosis could be that undiagnosed or unrecognised personality disorders could hinder functioning of a person but could be just be thought as “the autism”. For me dissociation, suicidal ideation, interpersonal issues (compacted by the pds), auditory hallucinations and psychosis were the tip of the iceberg not only in my “autism fruit” salad at the point but also the development of my identity and personality as a whole.

Trying Introspection

I have learnt over time to take control and autonomy of my emotions despite having problems with mentalising and alexithymia, I have learnt to not be too intense with people I like and if sense that I am back away and “turn the volume down”, I have learnt the importance of autonomy and not fearing aloneness chronically, I have learnt and accepted that dissociation and being “borderline” gives my problems with “self identity” along with other issues such as “self and other” processing, alexithymia, visual perception, I have learnt that being “odd” means that something is up and I need focus of getting grounded again. I have learnt that overall with all the interacting pieces I know of that balance is the place to be that is message of hope.

Last Question

I challenge politely people on autism spectrum who think that autism is “all of them” with so many interwoven personality types in human beings would it really make sense for autism to be “all of the person?” considering autism is made up of pre-existing conditions anyway? I wonder in the future will they diagnose or recognise personality types in people on the autism spectrum? I certainly think that would beneficial.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Personhood First Autism – Why is it Important? Why Are They Separate? And Why They Co-Exist?

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OVERVIEW

Note – This is my personhood and Autism Profile from a personal perspective  

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome are developmental disorders which affect people in different way to the point I cannot generalise at all but for an example I shall give you my Personhood and my Autism “Fruit Salad” – Using Donna Williams’ Fruit Analogy (1995/2005)

I was diagnosed with Autism in 2010 & Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome & Visual Agnosias, Learning Difficulties in 2012.

MY PERSONHOOD
My personhood is what comes first below you will see my developmental trajectory which is separate but co-exists with my personality (in the mental health section you see two PDs Schizotypal and Borderline, now Schizotypal is the extreme/disordered
These became extreme because of years of bullying, victimisation – Schizotypal is the extreme/disorder  of the idiosyncratic personality and Borderline is the extreme/disordered version of the emotionally sensitive personality. You can have these traits WITH OR WITHOUT Autism (Developmental Disorder).
Fruit Salad Analogy Donna Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

 Idiosyncratic Personality Type
  1. Inner life. Idiosyncratic individuals are tuned in to and sustained by their own feelings and belief systems, whether or not others accept or understand their particular worldview or approach to life.
  2. Own world. They are self-directed and independent, requiring few close relationships.
  3. Own thing. Oblivious to convention, Idiosyncratic individuals create interesting, unusual, often eccentric lifestyles.
  4. Expanded reality. Open to anything, they are interested in the occult, the extrasensory, and the supernatural.
  5. Metaphysics. They are drawn to abstract and speculative thinking.
  6. Outward view. Though they are inner-directed and follow their own hearts and minds, Idiosyncratic men and women are keen observers of others, particularly sensitive to how other people react to them.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

Sensitive Personality Type

  1. Familiarity. Individuals with the Sensitive personality style prefer the known to the unknown. They are comfortable with, even inspired by, habit, repetition, and routine.
  2. Concern. Sensitive individuals care deeply about what other people think of them.
  3. Circumspection. They behave with deliberate discretion in their dealings with others. They do not make hasty judgments or jump in before they know what is appropriate.
  4. Polite reserve. Socially they take care to maintain a courteous, self-restrained demeanor.
  5. Role. They function best in scripted settings, vocationally and socially: when they know precisely what is expected of them, how they are supposed to relate to others, and what they are expected to say.
  6. Privacy. Sensitive men and women are not quick to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with others, even those they know well.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

I want to be know as “Paul” that is before my Autism and Processing –

  • Helping others
  • Giving to others
  • I like to think about others and give/help when I can
  • Conscious/sensitive of other peoples  thoughts and feelings
  • Making people laugh and feel happy
  • Think outside of things and convention/looking at the other side of things
  • Fun, Silliness, Having a Laugh 🙂

I like to offer this knowledge to you the folks reading this blog, do you want to be seen as a set of “traits and symptoms” or do you want to be seen for your personhood. 🙂 I like folks on the spectrum such as Donna WilliamsSydney Edmond Carly Fleischmann not defining themselves by their Autism. 🙂

MANA-SAMA – JAPANESE – GUITARIST, MUSICIAN, SINGER & FASHION DESIGNER

Mana Sama 2He fits the idiosyncratic personality type he isn’t conforming he has chosen his own path in terms of his style, dress, the way he speaks (he is more or less mute in televised interviews whispering into a band members ear/ yes/no card etc. 🙂

Mana Sama 3

MANA – INTERVIEW 1999

MY AUTISM FRUIT SALAD (2014)

Expressive Agnosias

Receptive/Expressive Language & Movement Issues (Speech & Communication)

Echophenomena 

Visual Agnosias

Auditory Agnosias/Aphasia

Body Disconnection

Dissociative Disorders (Updated 2014)

Mental Health

Learning Difficulties

Auto-Immune

  • Bruxism – Teeth Gnashing
  • Genetics – Developmental Agnosias

Cluster Syndromes

  • Gertsmann Syndrome – Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Finger Agnosia, Left-Right Disorientation & Aphasia.
  • Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome/ Light Sensitivity/Sensory Integration Disorder   – Light Sensitive Depth Perception, Headaches, Fatigue – Associated with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia, Visual Fragmentation.
  • Premie Syndrome  – JaundiceCerebral Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to brain)Silent StokeBrain Injury (Left Hemisphere) Auditory Agnosias, Aphasia, Visual Agnosias, Pain Agnosia, Colour Agnosia, Echolalia, Echopraxia, Echomimia, Speech &  Language Delay and other issues such as Oral Apraxia & Visuospatial Dysgnosia & Form Agnosia)
  • Multiple Complex Developmental Disorder (MCDD) – Depression, Anxiety, Dissociative Issues, Sleep Disorder, Synaesthesia, Tic Disorder.
  • Genetics – Developmental Agnosias – Alexithymia, Social Emotional Agnosia, Dyslexia, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome.

CONCLUSION

I have Autism yes but I also have a personhood which I feel is what is needed to be understood just as much, and I’m saying this so others can see the their sons, daughters, partners, friends and/or family members personhood on the spectrum. 🙂 We all want to share our personality with others and people with Autism do have a personality. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Autism & Personality Disorders They Can Co-Exist – Borderline Personality Disorder

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OVERVIEW

Note- This is my personal perspective of having Autism and a PD

In previous posts I have come to the conclusion that my Autism doesn’t define me, but in my early twenties and when I was in my first job which was awful, two Personality Disorders came into the forefront which were “extremes” of my “normal” personality traits.Donna Williams has done extensive research into these areas of personhood (including extremes) and the developmental aspects of Autism and how they co-exist.

BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER – THE EXTREME/DISORDERED VERSION OF MERCURIAL PERSONALITY TYPE

It is characterized as:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationshipsself-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sexeating disordersbinge eatingsubstance abusereckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
  9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

This was extracted from Wikipedia with the DSM-IV TR Diagnostic Features Copyright World Health Organization 

CAN AUTISM AND BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER CO-EXIST?

The answer to your question is yes it can. I had the features of self-harming behaviors which involved cutting, suicidal thoughts, over eating which included binge eating and under-eating, Feelings of emptiness, paranoid delusions, anger issues which made me snappy, problems with self image and the sense of who I was and my identity to the world, high levels of uncontrolled anxiety. This was due to problems with bullies in the workplace and not being able to fight back. However I will say this a strong controlled loving household (my parents) got me through this with positivity and self belief and convincing me that I wasn’t a victim!

Paul Isaacs 2014