Friday, February 3, 2012

Overdiagnosing Asperger's

Two recent NY Times pieces discuss the overdiagnosis of Asperger's.

This op ed is written by someone who was mistakenly diagnosed with Asperger's as a teenager by his psychologist mother who (surprise!) specialized in Asperger's.  He eventually outgrew his social awkwardness, but wonders if he would have if he had been diagnosed younger, or would he have withdrawn even more in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy:


I wonder: If I had been born five years later and given the diagnosis at the more impressionable age of 12, what would have happened? I might never have tried to write about social interaction, having been told that I was hard-wired to find social interaction baffling.

The authors of the next edition of the diagnostic manual, the D.S.M.-5, are considering a narrower definition of the autism spectrum. This may reverse the drastic increase in Asperger diagnoses that has taken place over the last 10 to 15 years. Many prominent psychologists have reacted to this news with dismay. They protest that children and teenagers on the mild side of the autism spectrum will be denied the services they need if they’re unable to meet the new, more exclusive criteria.

But my experience can’t be unique. Under the rules in place today, any nerd, any withdrawn, bookish kid, can have Asperger syndrome.

The definition should be narrowed. I don’t want a kid with mild autism to go untreated. But I don’t want a school psychologist to give a clumsy, lonely teenager a description of his mind that isn’t true.


Under the headline: "Asperger's History of Over Diagnosis,"we get a shout out as the only people who might not eventually be labeled as being a bit of an Aspie:


For better or worse, though, Asperger syndrome has become a part of our cultural landscape. Comments about a person’s having “a touch of Asperger’s” seem to be part of everyday conversations. Even an episode of “South Park” last year was devoted to Asperger syndrome. We can only hope that better physiological markers distinguishing between the autism-spectrum disorders and pure social disabilities can stem this tide of ever more pathologizing.

But, as Martha Denckla, a pediatric neurologist at Johns Hopkins University, has lamented, the only Americans in the future who will perhaps not be labeled as having a touch of Asperger syndrome will be politicians and lobbyists. Members of the political establishment may have other kinds of psychopathology; but, unlike the rest of us, they at least cannot be thought of as Aspies.


Of course we can all be glad that we will never be diagnosed as having Asperger's (which doesn't mean that I won't sometimes throw out that I am also a little bit Aspie to get sympathy and leeway). I guess we can also be happy that people seem so reluctant to diagnosis anyone who isn't a murderer a sociopath (and categorically exclude children).  In my mind, though, I don't see anything wrong with labeling people a little bit Aspie or a little bit sociopathic, unless it's an issue of prescribing medication or other radically different treatment.  But if there are no meds and there is no treatment, then what is wrong with slapping a label on someone as long as it helps others understand them (and helps them understand themselves) better?

93 comments:

  1. Ah, the aspergers post. Funny i always happen to come around when one of these comes up. Everybody is a sociopath too.

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  2. Btw, ME, psychopathology does not mean psychopathy, if that is what you meant by a "shout out". It can refer to various disease processes.

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  3. Sooooo....

    I've been getting these voicemails late tonight from someone I don't know who's looking for 'Nikki'. He sounds like he's on drugs or very drunk. The last message he left said he had some dildos he wanted to try out on me.

    Clearly, this guy has the wrong number, but this seems like a good opportunity to fuck with a douchebag for fun.

    Suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. don't do it... he may have the wrong number and be drunk but you know what you are doing, could be trouble... dildos can be fun though

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    2. You're fat medusa, you should mos def do it. I mean, a chance like this comes for you once in a life time. That unless he won't want to try anything on you once he sees you. I am shallow I know. xd

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    3. I'm glad you posted this. Now I know I called the right person...

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  4. i remember when i use to smoke cigarettes and pot and the flavor the two would make together when smoking a jay with a cig... more than a flavor, more than a meshing, it was an experience, it was something that tasted really good and right... glad though i quit both of those addictions, got to work on other ones

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  5. Hi assholes! I just posted a video of me singing. Click my name and enjoy.

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    Replies
    1. Nice of you to show us the real you!

      Delete
  6. Theme Songs for SW RegularsFebruary 3, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    Theme Song for Haven no 8


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2aezfS83i4

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  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFljKzyvy3g

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  8. Theme Songs for SW RegularsFebruary 3, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    Blasts from the past
    Theme Song for David


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCLOMBbRVB0

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  9. You can actually add the link to your name when you post Theme's, so the other losers can just click on the name to see the link.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you, Demon but it seems hard for Themes :P

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  11. "It is no secret that I have killed people. I have actively and violently put people to death, and thus I am legally considered a murderer and I have been sentenced as such.

    I have received many mails from readers who ask me if I will write about these events, and of course I have been aware that I would have to address this topic sooner or later. When I haven't done so thus far, it is because of mainly two things."

    Fear me, for I am psychopath

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  12. Give it up Zhawq, the game is over.

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    Replies
    1. I dont think thats Zhawq. I think its someone poking fun at Zhawq.

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  13. place is dead now

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  14. It would help if people understood the difference between "Add Comment" and "Reply". If people would utilize the new format instead of bitching about it, the comments would be easier to read.

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    Replies
    1. It's usually only the stooopid anon's that fuck that simple task up.

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  15. Good point about reply and comment :P

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for illustrating what not to do :P

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  16. Why is ME so interested in Aspies?

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    Replies
    1. Because they are the socially acceptable empathetically challenged people, which is strange because they are the ones who stand out as being antisocial because of their social awkwardness, as opposed to the sociopaths who are socially graceful, yet outcast due to their empathy issues.

      I think people like Aspies in general because they are easy to identify and quickly put in a box. They stand out.

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    2. And don't leave enormous swaths of carnage and destruction in their wake. Don't forgot that part.

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    3. Not when you get them baked.

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    4. Agreed. Sociopaths will never be accepted because of the destruction they cause.

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    5. .... the lower functioning ones, no.

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    6. If you do not behave like a sociopath, then how can you be deemed as one?

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    7. How does one behave ? Are all socio's cookie cutter types ? all the same ?

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    8. There is a pattern amongst them all. A person who lacks empathy sometimes, but can be caring is not a psychopath, because a psychopaths lack of empathy affects every area of the psychopaths life.

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    9. wow really ? Please tell me more about myself! I am eager to know !!

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    10. Example. The traits are chronic.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8RE5Tr7KQc

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    11. Do you think they know what sarcasm is???

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    12. Obviously. Psychopathy has no relation to autism.

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    13. It's good that the new layout keeps all of your idiocy condensed into one spot.

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  17. I was tested for Aspergers before I got diagnosed. I was in a work vicinity where rules and conforming were everything, and I did not abide by either. My behavior was seen as peculiar, disruptive, and eventually I was forced to see the facilities PhD. who specialized in personality disorders. He noticed my" "oddities" and tested me for this first, but I "failed" epically because I was not an idiot savant, and couldn't count backwards in threes :(

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  18. I am in a big dump right now. I had to wake up this morning early and so now I am tired as shit and can't sleep like this cause I haven't done anything. And I mean, FUCK!!! I feel like punching holes through walls. Somebody better start a fucking interesting conversation around here soon.

    Thing is aspies aren't interesting at all. They are very logic: big shit. I don't even feel pity for them. They are the biggest waste of space after Ricky Martin. xd

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  19. Glad to see nothing was missed here...

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  20. I am doing much better. SW is a big part of that. I have been feeling a stronger sense of self. I am very happy, as one is really screwed without it.

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    Replies
    1. SW is not your own personal diary, you know. All you ever do is talk about yourself, and ignore everything else going on.

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    2. Everyone is so proud of you for needing a bunch of random strangers who dont give a fuck about you in order to be happy.

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    3. No you aren't. You've just fallen deeper into a delusion and a trap.

      Delete
  21. The Psychopath

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jHJwmRG0VM

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  22. "it is said if you look into a psychopaths eyes, you will be able to tell if that person is a psychopath, especially if that person is smiling, there eyes will give them away because their eyes don't smile."

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    Replies
    1. Zhawq is a fucking pussyFebruary 3, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Look into my eyes, and tell me what you see!

      Delete
  23. HOW MANY SW PEEPPS HAVE MADE COMMENTS ON ZHAWQS NEW BLOG PAGE???????

    ZERO COMMENTS THUS FAR!

    ZHAWQ YOU PUSSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  24. hello sw from frankfurt f.

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  25. So my friend from class told me yesterday that I'm a little harsh. :D I've been thinking about it a lot because I really take it as a compliment. My friend from forever also told me the day before that I've always been blunt, and brutally honest. That conversation came about because I implied my brother was fat, and he started working out two days later. All in all it's been an encouraging couple of days. I'm thinking about pursuing interviewing people as a career.

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    Replies
    1. Thoughts on the layout?

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    2. no sociopath would put up with your big mouth kany

      i bet you get beat all the time

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    3. Really? Really anon? Not one?
      Why are my best friend and my husband both a sociopath?

      And medusa, I try to embrace it

      Delete
  26. The most beautiful phrase in the English language - "I love me"

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  27. I think a *Like* system should be put in place, much like Facebook, for the lazy sociopath... a simple *Like* thumb up when you agree on the comment.

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    Replies
    1. I would have more LIKES than you btw.

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    2. Only because generally people prefer the underdog.

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    3. Right.

      So your goal is to accumulate 'likes'.

      Need approval much?

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    4. But nobody never agrees with you, insect. So what will you have to gain?

      Delete
  28. Narcissistic BuddhaFebruary 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    When I go to a party, I become the party. I take ownership over the whole establishment from the moment I pass the threshold. I see the looks on every man in the room. They are thinking: Please don't show interest in my girlfriend. I don't want her leaving here with you.

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  29. what is this low and high functioning psychopath thing anyway the low functioning is the serial killer and the high functioning is just a regular dude only jerk yes ?

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  30. frankfurt f is a grain of sand in the whirlwind of life.

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  31. It is written: Let the first glass be empty before the sun is down. ;)

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    Replies
    1. said the drunk pig...

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  32. frankfurt had two glasses of sweet wine. lets get it on.

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  33. DSM-5 sledgehammers over diagnosis by getting rid of aspergers and just having ASD. Most legitimate aspergers will be reclassified as ASD. You can now be on the spectrum and not be diagnosed unless it interferes with your life. It's a win for everyone except a few aspies who are going to whine about being "lumped with retards".

    Aspies often mean well and trip up by being oblivious. That is why they are mostly liked. That and, instead of being viewed as a personality disorder most people see autism/aspergers as something else. Which is semantics really, but don't bother trying to explain that to people.

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  34. Story of female sociopath.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7396728n

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    Replies
    1. Her fake crying was awesome.

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    2. Haha. This story is so fake. The story the girl told on the stand.

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    3. That's one cold bitch.

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    4. Is that the real video or a dramatization? she reacted too quickly

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  35. I have met kids diagnosed with ADHD who don't seem to have ADHD. I have met kids diagnosed with bipolar who aren't bipolar at all. One of my closest friends is diagnosed with bipolar and he has been off of his meds for a long time. Guess what happened... nothing. This person was never biopolar.

    I have NEVER met ANYBODY diagnosed with aspergers who doesn't possess the crippling lack of social awareness that is typical of people with aspergers. I am also very suspicious of people diagnosed with aspergers who consider themselves to be normal, because sadly, one of the biggest symptoms of aspergers is an extreme lack of self awareness.

    I have also never met anybody diagnosed with aspergers who uses their diagnoses as an excuse to give up on improving their social life. I have, however, met some people with aspergers who get very defensive when I point out that they have aspergers and try to minimize the influence that the disorder has on their lives. Perhaps that is what the author of this little article is doing. I'm not totally convinced that he is socially competent just because he sold a novel "of the psychological realism variety." Just because he moved to a big city and made friends with a bunch of other introverted writer-types, doesn't mean he has mastered the social arena. Not everybody with aspergers is into math, or even competent with numbers. It's perfectly possible to be an obessive dweeb about words instead of numbers.

    I myself grew up very shy, socially dysfunctional, and "bookish." I was suspected of having aspergers and even tested for it twice. Guess what? I don't have it, and so I was never diagnosed with it. At that point in my life, I actually wanted to be diagnosed with aspergers, because I wanted some sort of excuse for myself. According to the doctors I have too much "empathy" however.

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  36. Whats up SW? I am soooo drunk. Weeeeeeeeeee

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  37. This reply shit sucks. I was a little confused at first, I'm not gonna lie

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  38. As a personality disordered (somewhere between AvPD and SPD) I found it quite offensive when some professional tried to give me ASD label. On the other hand it was quite amusing to see so baffled psychologist when she met me. The psychiatrist on the other hand saw right trough my condition. It was certainly an odd experience.
    I push people away, people don't usually push me away. I have high standards when it comes to social interaction as friendship basis (I'm not a narcissistic. I don't care who is it status wise. Just some sense of intellectuality, common interest and social awareness, please). Having an aspie as a friend is definitely out of question. I could help him/her in trouble but nothing more. I've met few of those people.
    On the other hand I have found darker side of myself when I'm not anxious: I can manipulate. When I was a child I used this skill sometimes.
    I see right trough when some is trying to cheat and sometimes I play along when there's a little to loose in order to test person little bit further. People with AS can only dream of this. I'm perfectly aware of others even when I don't show it.
    Luckily for others I have very strong sense of conscience.

    Sincerly
    Nearly an AS diagnosed people reader
    ;)

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  39. I was diagnosed with being a "teensy weensy bit" (my psychiatrists words) aspie, but the more I read your blog and other information I've gathered, I feel I fall more under the category of a sociopath. When I told my doctor about the obsessive way that I love my fiancee, how I desire to harm other people that aren't in my small "circle", how I lie, steal, and play nice with people if it's advantageous to me, he just told me "oh you're also bipolar". I can't tell if he just doesn't want to give me that diagnosis or if I'm just wrong, but I doubt it.

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    Replies
    1. Why the hell would you talk to a doctor about your shit. Oh wait... You're just an attention whore.

      Delete
  40. Wow!!!! Interesting psychobabble there boys and girls. You peeps are soo bad off, people actually saw your problem as some kind of problem. I on the other hand am an under the radar aspie. I have had some of the most socio friends around, and no one knows unless i tell them. My mom being an child molesting narcissist abusive bitch. Im 42, and she is soo bad off, she is in denial of me and still cant see the light of day as to what i really am. Psycopaths are gamers. I play your games better than you, just to get by. There is some dysfunction with me, but when socios come around me they dont stand a chance. I change up to these half emotionless fuckers. And im still good about it. I know how. My level of intellegence is far superior. I trick the trick, and fool the fool. And they go down. I let them win, just like there pridictibility states, and they dont. Remember. If it wasnt for us. You would be fighting for scraps with the wolves. Because we invented and figured out just about everything you have and do. So go ahead. Get drunk, use, and believe this world is all about you. Live the lie, whatever bursts your emotionless bubble.

    ReplyDelete

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