Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
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24-02-2011, 09:54 AM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
That's awesome! Good for you. My nephew has aspergers, so I'm really just learning about it. He's only 3 years old, but already shows some amazing talents in some areas. Thanks very much for the info!

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24-02-2011, 10:01 AM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 09:54 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  That's awesome! Good for you. My nephew has aspergers, so I'm really just learning about it. He's only 3 years old, but already shows some amazing talents in some areas. Thanks very much for the info!

If you're going to be around someone with Asperger's keep these things in mind:

1) A big part of why we can't communicate well is because we see things so differently. Our looking glass is different than yours, very different.

2) Just because we don't say anything or avoid talking to you doesn't mean we don't like you.

3) Take what we say with a grain of salt. A lot of the times what we say and what we mean can be very different. Sometimes it is going to take some time to mentally chew what we say to decipher what we're really trying to communicate.
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24-02-2011, 10:06 AM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Again, thanks for the insight. My nephew doesn't communicate much, but I actually love the way he expresses himself. The other day he walked up to me, moved my arms out of the way, and sat down on my lap as though I were a chair. He totally ignored me, but at the same time, it was like him saying, "I don't feel like interacting, but I want you to know I like you!". It was a really cool feeling since he doesn't talk TO people, and refuses to make eye contact. He's the coolest little bugger ever!

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24-02-2011, 10:37 AM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

Just curious what you guys/gals might think.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

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24-02-2011, 11:38 AM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point.

Nah, I'm good.

All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid.
-- It keeps me warm.
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24-02-2011, 01:01 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 09:48 AM)Sacrieur Wrote:  And sometimes Asperger's actually is a strength after getting comfortable with being social and learning how to talk and communicate (which I still struggle greatly with). My obsession with building things and later, mathematics, really benefits me. I can sit down for twelve hours and do math the entire time while being completely immersed in it.

A lot of people view Asperger's as a curse, but really it isn't, because I've noticed people with Autism and Asperger's are very often extremely gifted in some areas. We have different struggles than the general populace is. We're just different, it's not that we necessarily have something wrong with us, we're just different.

Yes. That's it exactly.

Most people instinctively know how to interact with others, and can read body language and social cues fairly easily. People with Asperger's don't have that built in knowledge, and most of us are seen as asocial because of it.

It isn't that we deliberately avoid communication with people (most of the time, anyway). We just... don't. We don't talk to people, we don't go out of our way to do things socially. We'll do it if it's necessary, or if we just get caught up in something someone else initiates, but we don't see the need to go speak to people.

Because of this, our stunted social skills usually stay that way. It isn't that we're incapable of interacting with people. It's that we don't know how. We can learn, but by the time we've reached the point where we want to, anyone with our level of social awkwardness is usually rejected and made fun of. So some Aspies (slang) become ashamed of their lack of social abilities, and rather than try to interact with anyone in order to improve them, they decide to ignore the problem entirely and become extremely introverted. If you take the time to get to know us, though, and understand that our lack of social graces isn't our fault and isn't permanent, we're just ordinary people who lack a certain skill set. It's like people who can't cook because they've never tried it: they can learn, but they probably won't, because anything they try to cook ends up tasting nasty unless they spend a lot of time working on it.

But Asperger's isn't just a fancy term for "lacks innate social skills". Aspies usually see the world in a radically different way than others. Because of this, we often become intensely fascinated with certain areas of study, and have the capacity to focus on and learn about these things to a level that most people never will. It's not that other people can't, but that they usually aren't as obsessive about the subject as their Asperger's counterpart might be, and so don't dedicate as much time to it.

My areas of obsession, for example, are stories, games, and music. Ultimately, though, the obsession over the latter two is an extension of the obsession over the first. However, it's incredibly difficult to put the connection between, say, music and stories into words. I can't explain the way I see music to anyone else. I can't explain the way that I look at games to anyone else. But I can remember stories word-for-word months after I've read them, and analyze them for all the little details that a lot of others might miss without even consciously trying to do so.

From what people have told me, though, this area of focus is a little odd for Asperger's. Most people with Asperger's focus on something like math, physics, engineering, or chemistry. From what you've said, Sacrieur, it sounds like that's you, with the way that you can get into math for hours. I can do that, but it's with reading, or studying a new game that I've got, or listening to a piece of music over and over. For example, right now, I'm on the twelfth loop or so of "Blue Suede Shoes", and I haven't even begun to get bored with listening to it.

So yeah, people with Asperger's see the world differently from other people. I know my habit of looping one song over and over tends to drive other people crazy, but I have a hard time understanding why. Because of our different viewpoint, we aren't as socially apt as other people. It isn't that we can't be, it's just that we haven't taken the time to learn the skills. Phrasing theme in game speak, we invested our skill points in Knowledge (mathematics) rather than Diplomacy. Tongue

(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

I don't think so. Most theist forums don't have a thread like this; if they did, I think you'd hear a lot of them saying that they suffered from depression at one point or another. A lot of people do.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
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24-02-2011, 02:37 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

Just curious what you guys/gals might think.
I was wondering this myself and I think there may be a two part answer. First of all, there seems to be an unfortunate increase in mental illness, especially depression, manic-depression (bipolar disorder) and behavioral issues. And as for the believers out there, I think some have it and will admit it, but a lot of them will deny it, either to others or even themselves. How many have you run into that deny even questioning the existence of a higher power? If you won't even admit to curiosity, what else will you lie about or conceal?

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24-02-2011, 03:42 PM
 
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

Just curious what you guys/gals might think.

I don't quite think it is that there is a rise to it, I think that we're simply becoming more aware of it. You know a lot of the time people would just keep quiet about their problems and not tell anyone.

When I was Christian I still had Asperger's and the church said I simply had a discipline problem. It turns out that most churches don't believe most mental illnesses exist. Often touting that it is the work of some devil or that it is a discipline issue. They do seem to be ultra-conservative on the matter (spare the rod and you spoil the child) and still condone corporal punishment despite the mountain of evidence showing that it is detrimental.

Any abuse or other stuff that goes on is kept under wraps and in secret because for some reason that type of thing needs to be dealt with in private, and people are often too embarrassed to come out and say it. My own mother tried to speak out against the church when they told her to hit me harder to cure my Asperger's (she is definitely one of those all love love Christians). Well speaking her message of love got her thrown out of the church and pretty much put on a blacklist (which my church does have, and I'm pretty sure I'm on it for being an atheist xD).

It's all one big ego fest.
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24-02-2011, 06:45 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

Just curious what you guys/gals might think.

For me I have to attribute much of my depression and anxiety issues to growing up in the church. I was never like the others and never felt the things they felt. I was in this constant state of feeling like there was something wrong with me. However, when I finally admitted to myself and others that I simply did not believe in a high power I was able to get fix a few things. Sure, I am on medication but I am also able to live life and enjoy it. So for me the church really caused a lot of my issues.

I would think that mental issues are spread pretty evenly across the theist and non theist communities. However, one reason that it might seem as if its more prevalent in our community is the fact that we realize an issue and work to fix things. For theists they think everything happens for a reason and pray about it. I've also noticed that many of the religious folks that I know are very ashamed when it comes to mental issues. It took my mom many years to finally get some help for her severe depression. It happened right after I got some help and told her I was an atheist. I have a feeling it wasn't just a coincidence.
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24-02-2011, 07:43 PM
RE: Have you suffered from a mental illness? Did it change your life?
(24-02-2011 10:37 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  Is it me , or is there a pattern to most skeptics and non-believers here ?
Most of us seem to have had depression , anxiety or some other form of mental encumbrance at some point .
I wonder why theists don't have this ? Maybe faith is a permanent placebo effect ?

Just curious what you guys/gals might think.

Adding in my two sense, as was said most theists have a fear of being defective and tend to hide a lot of things about themselves. Add onto this that church-goers have a constant counseling system developed of the members of their church and the pastors. Religious people have someone to admit their problems with, and usually this person will suggest the problem is solved as long as it's only discussed with them. Plenty of religious people go so far as to hide their own issues from their partners.

My mother spent years gambling away every cent the family made, and making life horrible before she finally admitted she was depressed to everyone. Trust me she mentions it all the time now, all the sudden it's more like an excuse than admitting what happened. Atheists and theists are pretty similar in all sorts of facets, the main difference between us is our view of the world. Nowadays with all the different diseases they've decided are diagnosable there is no one alive who doesn't happen to have some disease, "healthy" people are just the ones who never go ask a psych which one they have.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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