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October 23rd: Isolation

October 10, 2013

In the middle hour we shared our own experience of isolation and how it affects each one of us. We all suffer from isolation in unique ways and as a group we learned what kind of isolation Aspies suffered the most from whether it was known or unknown; felt or unfelt. Examples of isolation included:

  1. Depression: This type of isolation can be prolonged by considering your character or plight as intrinsic, permanent, and stable. It can be lessened by considering it as extrinsic, temporary and dynamic.
  2. Anxiety of Change: Changing a way of living may be prompted by a job loss and the need for security. The uncertainty of the future for those of us that have had our whole life planned out in the past may be overwhelming.  This anxiety may turn us inward and away from our friends and society and into familiar things like our room or video games for weeks at a time.
  3. Miscommunication: Identifying yourself as on the autism spectrum may help you and your loved ones understand your communication skills and lack there of which may have been misinterpreted in the past as uncaring, haughty or malevolent.  The isolation will disappear when they begin to understand you.
  4. Thinking rather than feeling: In the Aspie world we are good at intellectualizing a situation but we suck at feeling it. Empathy is the bodily response to the other person’s plight or joy. This is tough for us to feel our own responses let alone recognize them in someone else. This causes emotional isolation.
  5. Being Physically Alone: Sports are one way out, especially team sports. These types of athletes often become successful politically, socially and in business,  & they are great surgeons.
  6. We can own our isolation: Crowds can give us too much input. Too many conversations at once is too much input. We can ask for one conversation at a dinner table, one friend at a dinner date., downtime by oneself for periods in the day. Make it known to others you love or work with that this is necessary for you to regroup and to get back to work or to relate more fully. Own your isolation!

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