My problems with talking to people is affecting my life - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 01-13-2008, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having significant issues in communicating with people. I have Asperger's syndrome, and I've never really been a big fan of talking to people, but lately, I've been going out of my way to not talk to people. Sam will ask me if I can go downstairs and visit his mom and her SO (they live in the same apartment complex as we do), and, usually, I don't, or I'll be very reluctant to do so, and he thinks I don't like them. It's not that I don't like them. I think they're both very nice, intelligent people. I just feel uncomfortable talking to them because, first of all, I feel uncomfortable talking to anyone but Sam, and second of all, I barely know them and I don't know what to talk about. We just moved here in October. Usually, when I'm anywhere with Sam, he does all the talking, and I add input occasionally or answer a question if I'm asked, but that's it. If he needs to leave for some reason, and I'm left alone with that person, I think, "Please come back! I can't talk to this person!" and it's very awkward for me until he comes back. It's not just his family that I have problems talking to; it's my own family, as well. I haven't talked to anyone in my family on the phone in ages, and I hardly ever email them.

I was bullied a lot as a child and emotionally abused by my parents, so I know this has a lot to do with it. In junior high and high school, every one of my friends was diagnosed with a mental disorder. It was hard because they would ask for advice a lot, and, because I wanted to be a good friend, I felt like I needed to shoulder their problems. It was also hard because I felt like I couldn't make friends with anyone but people with mental disorders. For these reasons, I drove a lot of them away. One of my friends had severe depression and was on Zoloft. She was my roommate on a band trip and she attempted suicide. Understandably, this was extremely traumatizing, and I decided that I was done with having friends from that point on. Dropping my friends out of my life was a gradual process. I still talked to people in class sometimes, but I didn't go over to anyone's house after that. After awhile, I stopped going on AIM to talk to friends from where I used to live. I stopped going to church to hang out with my friends there. After graduation, I ceased communication with everyone I had talked to before except for one person, and I only talked to her because she had become acquainted with Sam. Now, I'm not even talking to her. So I literally have no friends. I joined some parenting groups where I live, but I haven't been to any meetings yet and I haven't introduced myself on the board at all (my reluctance to do so isn't just because of this problem, it's also because I feel uncomfortable and judged as a 19 year old mom, even though we can financially support DS.) It honestly doesn't bother me that I don't have any friends, probably because I'm still affected by my last friend's incident, but I don't want Sam thinking that I hate his family because of this, because I really don't. Sam suggested that I should see a psychologist, but I haven't called them because of another problem of mine: a severe phobia of talking on the phone. I'm not on any medication. I convinced my doctor to give me Paxil, because I had a severe bout of anxiety and depression for two weeks, but didn't take it because I got pregnant, and I left it at the old house when we moved because I didn't think I'd need it (and I still don't think I do.) Does anyone else have the same problem?
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#2 of 7 Old 01-13-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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I am very concerned for you. Kudos for reaching out here ((((hugs)))) Maybe a good psychologist will be able to help you. I used to have alot of anxiety about talking to people, so I understand. I have seen the origins of my problem and it has helped. I am quite outgoing now. I will be thinking about you. Hopefully someone will give you better ideas on how to handle this.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#3 of 7 Old 01-13-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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Aww I just wanted to give you a big hug.

I don't have AS but I think my husband might and I have had a lot of issues with depression and social anxiety so in that respect I totally know where you are coming from and how you feel. I really hope you are able to find a good counselor or something and can work through some things. I started going to a therapist about a year ago and it has really helped me.
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#4 of 7 Old 01-13-2008, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was also diagnosed with social anxiety, coincidentally, by the same psychologist who diagnosed my AS. I think another reason why I'm reluctant to start seeing a specialist is because the first one I saw wasn't too helpful, and she made me feel uncomfortable. She smiled all the time and she wouldn't give me very helpful advice about things. One time, I told her that I didn't like Thanksgiving, and instead of giving me advice about how to enjoy being around my family, or how I could try new foods (I don't like a lot of foods served at Thanksgiving dinner), she told me that she didn't like Thanksgiving either and that she would be traveling to Europe. That wasn't too helpful because I was 16 at the time and couldn't exactly buy a plane ticket, and my parents always stressed the importance of family get-togethers (mostly by making judgmental comments about the people who didn't show up.) She also had a lazy eye, which I knew wasn't her fault, but it made eye contact a lot more difficult than it already was, which made me wonder why she was an AS specialist.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-14-2008, 02:07 AM
 
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Have you sought any information about AS on the internet? I don't have a lot of information or experience myself, but I do know of a few online mom friends who have AS and maybe I can find out something that they know that helps them. And as far as social anxiety disorder, wouldn't it makes sense that if you have AS you would also have a social anxiety disorder? I think that it would be quite common to see both in the same person. I keep hearing more and more about AS being diagnosed for people, so I would imagine there should be a lot more information and resources for it.

If you are interested, you can pm me and I can give you the link to a very understanding online community of Christian mothers (and where I definitely know of some mothers there with AS). Maybe they can help you. And no, they won't care if you are a young mother. They are very grace-based and have no bad judgements on young mothers (I know this because we had a very long discussion about it once and just about everyone was very supportive of our young mothers posting).

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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#6 of 7 Old 01-15-2008, 01:42 AM
 
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I don't think I have a diagnosable disorder, but I do have a real distaste for talking to people in certain situations. For years I also had a near-phobia of talking on the phone to people, I think because I find body language really important, and it's harder to judge what is going on when you are on the phone.

Anyway, as dorky as it is, I started writing scripts before I made a phone call. You know: "Hi, my name is ...... and I would like to set up an appointment, please." Then I listed on the paper answers to many questions that might be asked. If I were you, thinking of calling a therapist, I would have an open calendar in front of me so I would know what dates were good for me. I would also have my medical information readily available, and a list of symptoms. Having everything written out and in front of me gave me a feeling of control over the conversation, like I would be ready for any questions.

If I am going into a situation where I'd have to make small talk, I make a sort of mental list of the same sort. I used to have a physical list but then grew a bit more confident. List everything you know about Sam's mom, like her interests and her past history. Brainstorm things you could ask her about if there is a lull in conversation. Think of and rehearse a couple of cute stories about ds, as grandparents always like to hear about their adorable grandchildren.

I'm so sorry you are feeling uncomfortable with others, and I hope that you will find a way to be more comfortable!
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#7 of 7 Old 01-15-2008, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's not dorky. I have to do that all the time or I completely blank out and hang up the phone.
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