I used to research Autism and Asperger Syndrome. I did this from 2006 to about 2010. By 2007, I was reading everything I could get my hands on having to do with adult Asperger Syndrome. Why would I read such a thing. I had a boy-friend (2005?) he was going to school to earn his masters in counseling psychology. He kinda started to use me as a case. I now view this as wrong and unethical since he was supposed to be a friend of mine instead of judge me as if I was his patient. He first learned about Autism from his graduate level classes in psychology. After he learned the “behaviors” associated with both classic Autism and Asperger Syndrome – he noticed them in a key few children on the dorms were we both worked. Then after a while, he labeled me.
At the time I thought nothing of it. But a friend of mine was pissed off at him for labeling me of some kind of disorder that he had no real training in. My friend said something to the effect of “No, I’m sorry, he does not have a right to label you as such just because he saw a few behaviors out of you, it does not mean you have Aspergers Syndrome.” Her word for this disorder is “Ass – Burners”. I looked at him as some sort of “god” after I started reading up on Aspergers. It was as if I had found the holy grail of what was “wrong” with me. I kept reading things about A.S. and I said “I do that too”. But I didn’t realize that just because a person exhibits a few signs of A.S. does not mean that person HAS a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. I found out through at least three other clinically trained therapists that I do NOT have Aspergers Syndrome. Around 2013 . . .I was told that I probably have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to all of the things that happened to me as a child with the hip dislocation and the nail going through my hand – both happened at age 12 and 13. And one therapist I had didn’t like the fact that this “friend” of mine was basically taking one part of me and making it “pathological” and turning some character traits I have into Asperger Syndrome. She said to me “It sounds like he is trying to project his own issues on to you. May be he thinks he has it and he is thinking you have it”
But read up on Asperger Syndrome I did from 2006 to 2009. I read nothing else I was so consumed with the topic. I began to fully believe I had A.S. Something happened in 2011 that woke me up from believing this lie. I was given some insight to myself with the help from a therapist that anyone could go into the DSM and pick out their own diagnosis.
Once 2011 came, I started to research more into what really causes mental illness since I really wanted to know. Just telling me “It is genetic” is not enough. I ask questions and saying four words such as “It is a brain disorder” does not cut it for me. I don’t believe everything I’m told! I like to do something called research. I question what I read all the time.
So I went from an obsession of Adult Asperger Syndrome to an obsession with the causes of all mental illness. Now it seems I’ve ran into a bit of an inverted fork in the road. Instead of one line breaking off into two lines, it seemed that I was walking down a line (and I saw the other one from a distance). One line was labeled “Mental illness” and I was on this road for 3 years starting in 2011. The other was “Autism” which is not a mental illness. The two lines came together into one. Amazing.
I remember reading articles about leaky gut syndrome within those that had Autism and how children with Autism couldn’t have certain foods, due to a sensitivity to gluten or wheat. It was something in the gut, something wrong in the lining of the gut and the gut would “leak” out some chemicals or food. It doesn’t matter to me what was being leaked out, but the fact (or theory) that the gut would leak and the stuff inside would not stay inside – and that causes the behavioral issues (not to mention the other issues that come along with classic Autism) found in Asperger Syndrome. It’s been a long time since I read up on anything having to do with Autism and diet. Many of the behavioral issues that come up with Autism and A.S. is due to lack of theory of mind and that is what makes the people with A.S. seem down right rude. That is the social interaction part of it all. They literally do not know what someone else could be thinking or feeling. They literally can’t put themselves in your shoes. They can’t even guess as to what you may be thinking or feeling, even though they are human – just like you. Empathy is lacking in people with AS and that one thing – empathy is what gives us our human-ness. It is what glues us together so we know how to act and helps us understand each other. We know when someone is sad. How? We have been sad before and we know when we are sad we show a certain face. Did you know that when someone cries something happens in our own brains that produces a chemical reaction in our brain and we start to weep too and we may feel sympathy or more – empathy – if we had the same experience.
I know when someone is down right freezing when it is cold outside, windy, raining and when the person is swaying back and forth with his/her head the jacket. I know what that person is thinking. How do I know? I have been there as a human. I had that experience before. I was so cold at an outdoor event/play. I forgot it gets very cold around 4pm and no one let me borrow their jacket. It seems no one was looking at me swaying back and forth. So if I saw someone swaying back and forth and if I knew it was cold outside – I’d know this person was very cold since I had the experience. And with empathy I’d be able to help that person with another jacket or a warm cup of coffee/hot chocolate to warm up. But a person with AS would not do this. They wouldn’t understand this. They would have sympathy and say “oh how sad, I’m sorry for you” but sympathy doesn’t make you move into action like empathy does. That is the “Autism” line that I used to be on before 2009.
I recently (few months ago) read an article on Schizophrenia and it said that “until DSM-II included children with autism under the diagnostic umbrella of schizophrenia, childhood type”. In 1943 egocentricity was labeled “Autism” by Kanner. Egocentricity? God. Hello? Can we say Bipolar Disorder? Can we say Schizophrenia? I’ve meet people that think outside the box with both. Some may say that egocentricity is a bad thing. I look at it as a good thing.
It was thought in the 1940s that Autism was a form of schizophrenia. Imagine that. Then I read that there are similarities between Autism and Schizophrenia. What? How could this be? I was on the Autism road for 4 years. I thought I was off of that road. Since 2013/2014 I wanted to find out about the king of all mental illnesses (schizophrenia). I found this to be a very odd pair. Schizophrenia and Autism in the same bed – together? No way!
Well, since people with classic Autism sometimes – are non verbal, I guess may exhibit the same exact behaviors as someone with schizophrenia. The reason why a person with schizophrenia may not talk – is due to all of the meds someone is on. (I’ve seen it where people find it hard to think and form sentences since the medication has made them basically walking zombies, and they looked too tired to keep their eyes open or their head up). I’m wondering if the poor eye contact with youth (with a schizophrenia label) comes as a way to avoid looking into the eyes of others since the person may be experiencing some positive symptoms (positive symptoms are what adds to the “disease”. With schizophrenia it would be verbal or visual hallucinations. But there is something else going on here. If a person around the age of 19 got the label of Schizophrenia and if he/she was “normal” before the diagnosis, then this child would KNOW the stigma associated with this “disorder”. What youth would want to look into someone else’s eyes if they (the person with the diagnosis) knew they had it. Now I’m talking about 20-50 years ago. If the studies show that youth (or adults) with Schizophrenia typically do not make eye contact, there must be an underneath reason and pure SHAME of having such a diagnosis may be one such reason. There is a LOT more “openness” about having Schizophrenia now. Think back to the 1960s. The label of schizophrenia is one of the worse labels to get. That is psychiatry’s big god. I could understand why a teenager or young child wouldn’t want to look into the eyes of others with this label. The article (below) states more similarities between Autism and Schizophrenia that you can read on your own.
The one part I want to stress is one paragraph below the story of the young boy:
“Specific deletions associated with schizophrenia include 22q11.2, 1q21.1, and 15q13.3, which have been found to be associated with autism, attention-deficit disorder, and mental retardation. In individuals with velocardiofacial syndrome (chromosome 22q11) , rates of ASD and psychosis are higher. Similarity, 16p11.2 microdeletions or microduplications have been reported in 1% of cases of autism and in 2% of the NIMH COS cohort .22-24. These copy number variants confer a risk for a range of neurodevelopmental phenotypes that include autism and schizophrenia. Although there have not been systematic comparisons of genome-wide association studies for autism and schizophrenia, some functional links have been reported at voltage-gated calcium channel genes, which are integral to presynaptic function and plasticity, across phenotypes”.
I am more interested in phenotypes and less interested in genotypes. If you want to know the difference, please research this fascinating topic further since I will not go into phenotypes/genotypes here. My question in all of this is IF it is true that some of these deletions of Neurologins – could I make a hypothesis that treating both Autism and Schizophrenia with a new special diet would help?
I only say this due to the overwhelming voices of parents of Autistic children posting on blogs on the internet how they state that changing their child’s diet – has proved to be a success in their children’s life and that their so called “bad” or unwanted behaviors go away. If something as simple as changing a child’s (or adult) diet (eating gluten free food and limiting extra sugars, works for mothers of children with Autism) . .. . . . .Could it or would it work for mothers with children with Schizophrenia as well? So now we are back on one road. It is not a separate road. It is not LEFT ROAD: Autism. RIGHT ROAD: Schizophrenia. Make your choice. It seems to me I’m on ONE road with the same label.
Wouldn’t it be better to try to treat someone on a holistic level and damit – see if it works before running off to a psychiatrist that has been duped by big pharma and their lies? I’m anti-big pharma and it’s NOT only the psychotropic medications that do harm to people. It is all medications. Too much medicine in our body – harms the body. Look back to just 1000 years ago. Our medicine used to be the food we eat. The American Indians know this. Chinese know this. Many cultures know that food is the best source to helping many body aliments. But in the United States or any other westernize state – we run off to medication due to being duped by Big Pharma.
Look back to the 1800s. We didn’t “know” back then that the blood was what kept us alive. People were bleed since the doctors thought that the illness was in the blood. Many died since you got to have blood in the body to live. If you loose too much blood to fast, you die. What if doctors had known this in the1800s? Was this an ethical thing to do at the time? But the doctor didn’t know it was unethical at the time. That is where we are at right now with our current use of medication for “mental disorders”.
It was viewed as ethical at the time since we didn’t have the science to know any better when we use to bleed people. We believed it would help people due to lack of science. Doctor’s believed bleeding people would help. If I was alive in the 1800s, I’d probably go along with it. Times have changed. We know better now.
But at the time doctors now – they really believe they are helping us all with pills and “treating” illnesses after one is “sick” instead of being proactive and using preventative care. Let’s go into the time machine and go just 200 years into the future. That will be 2214/2215. What will we see when we look back at our treatment (highly medicated zombies) of those with schizophrenia in 2014 . . .What will happen when we discover the science behind mental illness that will unlock the doors to Schizophrenia in the year 2100? Or in 2075? Or in 2050? Folks, this is only 35 years away (2050 – 2015) The field of psychiatry is very young. What will our history books say? Would will our descendants think of all of us? Will they say that we today are unethical? Something to think about.