Sunday, July 20, 2014

Are Asperger Children Farouche?

Farouche: Shy, retiring, unsociable, hesitant, sullen or shy in company, stubborn, intransigent, marked by shyness or lack of social graces, and when applied to women, distant and unapproachable

Origin: Wild, shy, from Old French, alteration of forasche, from  Late Latin forasticus living outside, from Latin foras outdoors; akin to Latin fores door. First Known Use: 1765

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Exhaustion: It's an Asperger Thing

Running errands requires some social interaction. I often do this type of 'socializing' all on one day because I know I'll feel exhausted whether I do one errand or several. It's not the same fatigue one feels after lifting heavy boxes or cleaning out the attic. It's hard to describe.

I have felt this way all my life, and I know that it's built into my perceptions and reactions because no "method' I have tried has changed how I feel, such as practice speaking with people, including people I know or like, or talking it over with a therapist, or learning relaxation techniques.  

When I'm speaking with someone I feel extremely awkward. I have no language or speech disability; what I'm saying sounds fine, but it feels wrong. I look at the other person and have no idea whether or not my awkwardness is apparent to them. It probably doesn't matter. I would feel uncomfortable even if the person came right out and said, "You sound perfectly normal to me," or "Wow, you are one odd human being."

What causes this type of simple verbal exchange to use up so much energy? The explanation that feels correct is that it requires me to focus my mind in a way that is not normal for me.  This takes great effort, as if I'm a fish that has been lifted out of the water and is gulping for air. When I return home to my comfort zone, or escape to the countryside, I'm a happy fish that has been released into it's proper lake or river.

"Look Henry, you caught an Asperger. Better throw it back!"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good News! New blog on Wordpress

A new blog on Wordpress /

Asperger: The HypoSocial Human

in contrast to Neurotypical: The HyperSocial Human

The new blog asks, How did we get to the present state of human development, in which a new, hypersocial human (Homo sapiens sapiens or Modern Human -  a domesticated version of Homo sapiens), which has existed a mere few thousand years, has eliminated older humans? 
Sneek peek: I explore the
Social humans gave up a lot of brain power
in exchange for the false security of 
supernatural beliefs. 
 possibility that Asperger individuals retain legacy brain functions that were common for 95% of human history, prior to the Agricultural Revolution, an event that challenged and changed humans in ways far different than those that shaped early humans. Permanent settlements, a dramatic increase in population density, and dependence on labor intensive agriculture, transformed an ancient vision of seamless reality into the steep pyramid of social inequality that rules the peoples of earth today. 

Whatever happened to our wild ancestors?   

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Problems with Visual vs. Abstract Thinking: Calculus

Examples from my college days preserve vividly the difference between those who think visually and those who are adept at abstract thinking. Although visual 'talent' as it was sometimes referred to, was a big bonus for studying geology, from geomorphology (landforms), to mineralogy (the crystal classification system) to structural geology (deconstructing relationships in space and time), in order to earn a degree, geology students were required to pass three semesters of Calculus and Calculus-based physics. I am not an abstract thinker; once mathematics leaves 'Concrete World' my visual mind simply goes blank - literally.  
No problemo! My visual brain could spin the wooden models that (no longer) are used to learn crystal forms, while other students were on the verge of emotional breakdown when tasked with this test. 

First panic, then strategy: I signed up for Calculus based physics before taking a Calculus course. I had to 'see' what Calculus looked like in the real world. It worked; I passed physics by sacrificing a few points on the mathematics while storing equations as whole images, and giving them names like, "the double violin with a thingy under the roof" and attached the image to a process for solving the equation. I had no idea what the equation described mathematically, but I could usually solve it. Calculus texts aid this approach since each chapter is organized by groups of similar equations.
I had no problem with the math that describes geologic processes like stream flow, because I could easily see the realization in nature. So, physics itself was understandable as it applies to the familiar world of motion, energy and behavior of objects, but getting through Calculus as a foreign language was like decoding signals from a very advanced and very alien civilization. 

Graphs! A visual window into the abstract language of mathematics.

From Paul's online math notes:
"Now, let’s take a look at just how we could possibly get two tangents lines at a point. This was definitely not possible back in Calculus I where we first ran across tangent lines. A quick graph of the parametric curve will explain what is going on here. So, the parametric curve crosses itself!  That explains how there can be more than one tangent line.  There is one tangent line for each instance that the curve goes through the point."

For me graphic images, which can be quite a distraction due to their beauty, do help, but in order to 'do math' I had to approach maths as foreign languages. The analogy is fitting: one can learn the forms and grammar of another language, but never become fluent, nor speak it like a native.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Special Hell Reserved for Asperger Females

Is it not understandable that at times Asperger females may be irritable?
Traditional Christian Myth, or "The Story of Man," goes like this: A female over-flowing with self-confidence contradicts the well-worn prejudice that women are inferior to men and therefore ought to be submissive in all things. As a young child on the track to being socialized into the "sisterhood" of self-denial, I soon discovered that it is a crime against God, Nature (not actual nature, but some trumped up feeble concept of nature) and of course, Men, for a female child to wander the world freely displaying equal confidence, intelligence, and expectations for success and fulfillment that males automatically demand. What
really irked me was that I was told that when I encountered a male who was less intelligent, that I was to act dumb and helpless. 

If it had been known at the time (1950-60s) that I was Asperger, my life would have been over: my brain handed on a platter to the Priests of psychology, for re-education, retraining, and possible water-boarding. I would have been  forced into drug-induced conformity. I would have heard ceaseless condemnations about how I was born without empathy, a theory of mind, or the ability to use my eyes properly. I escaped all this by being born in a pre-Asperger's Era: I made my own life out of what I had.

The sad irony is, that many males (grudgingly perhaps) did accept my peculiar female aberrance without much more than an initial statement of surprise; male coworkers and friends often noted my confidence and abilities as unusual, but not as unwelcome. As predicted, males who lacked confidence sometimes reacted badly, but again, males adapt; they adapt every day to being around more confident males.

The Hell that awaits Asperger girls is the special hatred that comes from the sisterhood, that self-aggregating gang of killer-cannibals who defend the status quo of female inferiority. No one who has seen these females in action can deny their blood lust; no female who has received their wrath can shake the shock of vicious betrayal by her own sex. The equality and trust that Asperger individuals crave from birth are dashed, like a baby seal being clubbed to death.

Yeah, this is what it feels like, ladies.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Theory of Mind" Exposed as Delusional Thinking

It turns out that the vaunted psychological “Theory of Mind” is psychology's euphemism for delusional thinking; a supernatural, superstitious, and magical type of brain processing common to “normal” people. Anyone who demonstrates rational, science-based thinking is abnormal.
The fact that Scientific American would publish this is shocking.
People with Asperger’s less likely to see purpose behind the events in their lives By Karen Schrock | May 29, 2010 |SCIAM BLOGS

BOSTON—Why do we often attribute events in our lives to a higher power or supernatural force? Some psychologists believe this kind of thinking, called teleological thinking, is a by-product of social cognition. As our ancestors evolved, we developed the ability to understand one anothers’ ideas and intentions. As a result of this “theory of mind,” some experts figure, we also tend to see intention or purpose—a conscious mind—behind random or naturally occurring events.
A new study presented here in a poster at the 22nd annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science supports this idea, showing that people who may have an impaired theory of mind are less likely to think in a teleological way. 
Bethany T. Heywood, a graduate student at Queens University Belfast, asked 27 people with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild type of autism that involves impaired social cognition, about significant events in their lives. Working with experimental psychologist Jesse M. Bering (author of the "Bering in Mind" blog and a frequent contributor to Scientific American MIND), she asked them to speculate about why these important events happened—for instance, why they had gone through an illness or why they met a significant other. As compared with 34 neurotypical people, those with Asperger’s syndrome were significantly less likely to invoke a teleological response—for example, saying the event was meant to unfold in a particular way or explaining that God had a hand in it. They were more likely to invoke a natural cause (such as blaming an illness on a virus they thought they were exposed to) or to give a descriptive response, explaining the event again in a different way.
Once again we see that so-called scientific studies by psychologists are tainted by a bizarre insistence that delusional (magical-supernatural-religious thinking) is required in order to be a socially-acceptable human, and indeed that supernatural belief is necessary to social acceptance. Is it surprising then that American education is deficient in science and math instruction, and is instead focused on magical social ideas like the insistence that smiley face stickers 'create' self-esteem? 
It's unbelievable!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


If you want to know about gardening, ask a gardener.
If you want to know about mountain climbing, ask a mountain climber. If you want to know about being Asperger, ask an  Asperger.

The Internet is an ocean of trivia, misinterpretation, hearsay, repeated repeats of out-of-context quotes, pseudoscience, bad interpretations of surveys and studies, and information tailored to sell products and services. The Internet is like the mid-Pacific gyre, a vast floating collection of human products collected by ocean currents into a tangle of debris that must be teased apart and reassembled in order to discover the sources of its content.

The diagnosis known as Asperger Disorder is like the gyre - a collection of sometimes contradictory symptoms and behaviors, both vague and specific, negative and tolerable, treatable, but not treatable. Those individuals who are not diagnosed as children, but as adults, face a dilemma. On one hand the diagnosis is a relief: light bulbs go off and illuminate the mysterious tension in the dialog between the individual and society, but the light is also harsh, falling on failed relationships, on bullying and rejection, and on cherished goals that have receded across the horizon while one was simply trying to survive in an alien world. 

The unshakable feeling remains that the Asperger diagnosis reflects a hidden fact of nature: I am different, fundamentally and irrevocably different, and no diagnosis that claims that the Asperger style of brain processing is defective, simply because we are not socially-obsessed, can change the certainty that we embody an equally valid human type.  
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Visual Thinking: Neurotypicals Have No Clue

Neurotypicals have no clue as to how visual thinkers think. This is easily demonstrated. Visual thinking is achieved WITHOUT WORDS. That's why it's VISUAL thinking. Visual thinking therefore takes place without concepts. It's  concrete. Many animals are visual thinkers. To read a description, please go to Post 4/10/14 - Childhood: A Female Asperger Mystery 

1. Arranging concepts graphically is not
visual thinking.

2. Arranging concepts by drawing squiggly lines instead of straight lines is not visual thinking.              

  3. Drawing words instead of using type fonts is not visual thinking.

 Visual thinking starts with the
one-to-one correspondence of memory with visual information. 

Visual perception and visual memory are very old in evolution, and are considered primitive by people who believe that verbal language is superior. However, images are packed full of information about the environment that word language simply cannot duplicate.
Illustration from Don Hoffman, Visual Intelligence 
My experience of 'the world' is predominantly visual. My information processing is unconscious. I didn't have to learn to think visually, it's normal for me. Despite scoring high on verbal aptitude tests, I must consciously translate my visual thoughts into written language; it's easy if I'm talking about objects and processes and not concepts, which can have little meaning. 

Translation from visual to verbal description is exhausting, like having your dominant hand tied behind your back and being told to write a journal entry each day for the rest of your life, and that you are only allowed a vocabulary of  10 words. Visual vocabulary is HUGE and common verbal language is so limited and distant from concrete-visual reality, that communication, is at times, nearly impossible and it's best to walk away.  

Neurotypical language does not describe physical reality, it expresses ideas about reality, most of which are incorrect. 

While necessary for functioning in modern social environments, verbal language has become so nonspecific in everyday use that it no longer connects with anything real; it's devoid of content and meaning. What passes for communication is the repetition of empty phrases and the recitation of supernatural scripts. In visual thinking, the image is the content and meaning.

The social demand to use and respond to verbal-written language has diminished visual processing in modern humans; the process is there, but has atrophied; brain resources are redirected or subsumed by words. Visual thinking was likely negatively selected during human domestication. Evolution has a rule: What you don't use, you loose. Research does confirm that typical humans are very poor at visual discernment and memory. The remnant population for whom thinking is predominantly visual is very small. I think the world had better hang on to us before we disappear.

From Don Hoffman, author Visual Intelligence, UC Irvine 2004.
"This seminar is a highly illustrated and accessible introduction to visual intelligence, informed by the latest breakthroughs in vision research. Perhaps the most surprising insight that has emerged from vision research is this: Vision is not merely a matter of passive perception, it is an intelligent process of active construction. What you see is, invariably, what your visual intelligence constructs. Just as scientists intelligently construct useful theories based on experimental evidence, so your visual system intelligently constructs useful visual worlds based on images at the eyes. The main difference is that the constructions of scientists are done consciously, but those of your visual intelligence are done, for the most part, unconsciously." 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Heavyweight Psychology Wars: Piaget vs. Vygotsky

Piaget vs. Vygotsky - like I said in a previous post, EVERYTHING is a war in American culture. I'm only bringing up this clash between two theories in the psychology of child development and learning because the basic assumptions expressed by Piaget and Vygotsky have a huge bearing on how Asperger's children are defined, viewed and treated by the Helping, Caring, Fixing industry.

Piaget is famous for his 4 stages of development, in which children are like trains that must arrive at specific stations on time. This schedule is absolute, in that behavior and cognitive development is "written" in the Big Book of Universal Law, and any deviation from the rule is a sign of a defective child. Also, children are on their own when learning: children must "discover" knowledge by themselves, without social interference, which begs the question, why do we build schools and hire teachers?
How bizarre! The advantage of the long and open window of learning in humans, is that it's efficient! The individual doesn't have to re-discover a vast trove of existing knowledge, which no individual could possibly do, but has the tremendous advantage of learning from OTHER HUMANS, even those who died long ago. 

In my opinion, Piaget's demands are highly unrealistic (indeed wacky) and are founded in religious prescriptions (supernatural ) rather than being scientific. According to Piaget, a child's behavior must conform to a specific set of instructions, regardless of his or her environment, culture, or social reality. Individual talents and personality 'don't count.' Whether or not a child is born in Madagascar, Siberia, or California, this scheme for learning and development is The Scheme. Wow! Sounds like the justification for the American tradition of Corporate / Religious take over (extermination) of cultures around the world.
Vygotsky, as one may guess, since this is a war, is thoroughly disparaged by some 'assembly line' advocates who follow Piaget. It could be that because Vygotsky was Russian, this irrational state of mind is a legacy of the Cold War. The basic differences are:
1. Vygotsky maintained that the cultural and historical context in which the child is born is vital in child learning and development. 2. There are no "stages" of prescribed development. Children  develop along a curve, not in steps. 3. Children learn, not in isolation, but from the adults around them, who provide knowledge and demonstrate skills that help the child to think in increasingly advanced ways until they can function as adults - on their own. Wow! Sounds like a Commie Plot to me!

The tragedy of Psychology Wars, is that American public schools have become the laboratories / battlefields on which competing theories are being tested. Theories are weaponized, politicized and bastardized in the hands of educators, school boards, parents, teachers, consultants, so-called experts, lawyers and publishers - armies of contestants in the dash for funding, contracts, grants and salaries.  Meanwhile, classroom applications of competing psychologies, which are falsely presented as  scientific fact, work at cross-purposes in the classroom, and serve to destroy education.

How does this clash between Titanic Theories of Psychology affect learning and development in Asperger children and - importantly - how society judges us?
Need I say more? This is not how the world works: this is how psychologists remake the world in their own irrational image.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Flight, Fight or Freeze / The Stress Response

Chronic Stress
This cartoon of a fish in a blender sums up what modern life is like. The fish is trapped in an open-ended fear of being chopped into a fish smoothie, and activation of the blender is beyond its control.

For most of human history, threat was a product within the local setting. Quick feet and quick thinking were automatic - you escaped or died. Danger from remote sources (violent storms, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, flood and fire) was assigned to nature spirits, and later to powerful humanlike gods, whose behavior could be influenced by sacrifice and through gifts. The human tactic of preemptive sacrifice, with humans and  animals as victims, is familiar to children - when we disobey our parents we pre-punish ourselves by going to our room or giving up a privilege, in a 'cunning' effort to plea down the consequences of our offense.

Eventually individuals and groups assigned the task of negotiation with the gods to an intermediary or to a priestly class, thereby reducing psychological stress, but not real danger. The establishment of a social hierarchy created new stresses, which modern humans have inherited and increased beyond what is tolerable.

The human body and brain evolved to cope with brief and terrifying stress in the natural environment; after such an event took place (a narrow escape from a flash flood or a confrontation with a large carnivore, let's say) the body needed time to relax and recuperate from the surge of hormones that activate the ancient Fight or Flight response, which is the fundamental response to stress in the animal brain. As modern humans we are thoroughly familiar with this sudden and automatic chemical alteration in our brains and bodies. The loss of control while driving on ice or the sudden intersection with a deer crossing a country road, is enough to send our respiration and heart rate soaring and to distort time and memory. If our stress system is healthy, once the danger has been resolved, our body will return to baseline functions and we are left with a 'focus' lesson in mind. Pay attention, slow down, watch for obstacles.

Humans are not equipped to cope with high levels of chronic stress. The structure and demands of contemporary society fail to deliver what we need to be healthy animals, but instead promote chronic stress that slowly alters and eventually will destroy the mind and body. Many of these stressors are ongoing and inescapable, and the body and brain therefore cannot relax and recuperate.

The photograph of a fish that responds to the source of stress by exiting to a better environment, models the Asperger flight response, which in nature is a vital and much more common option that confrontation. One might call it Nature's intelligent conservative force. But, aggressive male-dominated societies label self-preservation as abnormal, defective, effeminate and cowardly. Wow! How crazy is that?

Flight or retreat is the typical Asperger response to social stress. In modern societies, one is unlikely to be attacked by wild animals, but more than enough danger is provided by the social environment. The person(s) one encounters may be hostile and aggressive due to chronic stress, arrested intellectual and emotional development, or by indoctrination into a cult of bullying and violence. One may be trapped with people whose self-worth depends on demeaning others or who put 'lesser' beings in stressful social situations. Stress is chronic; unnatural levels of conflict, both within the local setting and from global sources, keep individuals in dangerous states of chemical imbalance. Governments and corporations exploit the stress response, because humans cannot think rationally (or think at all) when "stressed-out."       

The male-dominated American culture promotes the fight response: War, war, war! Everything is a war. The War on Poverty, The War on Obesity; Storage Wars, Cupcake Wars! The normalization of conflict as the default mode of human interaction has poisoned civic and political life. The cult of extreme American 'maleness' involves the U.S. in acts of aggression around the world. Up and down the social pyramid, from poor to rich, being a bully is lauded and rewarded.  

In American culture, the instinctive fight response has been perverted from a 'no-other-option' defense to a demand on males to adopt psychopathic behavior; society values  conflict and violence, not cooperation or fair play. Equality has become an obscene joke. Boys are raised in the belief that aggression toward other humans, especially females, is necessary to be considered a man. This pushes vulnerable boys to the emotional breaking point and dooms many males to arrested intellectual and emotional development, with little hope of being adequate fathers. This extreme definition of being male is NOT the traditional and natural view of male strength, which constrains the use of force to the protection of the family and community.  
Instead of government and the people cooperating to correct damaged  environments, the severe maladjustments that have become pervasive in millions of  Americans are 'treated' with illegal and prescribed drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, financially reckless behavior, bullying and other destructive behavior. Television, films, videos, and popular music pummel kids with one message: Violence, whether physical or emotional, is the shortcut to what you want, and it's legitimate. The profitable lie that objects can substitute for human fulfillment is relentlessly promoted via advertising and entertainment. And yet, the inability of millions of Americans to finish minimal education requirements or to function well-enough to hold a job, remains a culture-wide mystery! 

Some environments have been devoid of what the human animal needs for generations; no one alive remembers that life can be secure, productive and fulfilling. Children born into high stress environments cannot know that safe streets and intact families exist, except as distorted media fantasies. Chronic stress has taken over so thoroughly, that we no longer produce competent  and rational citizens and leaders. 

Nature's third response to stress is
the Freeze, which is instinctual in young animals, from deer fawns to lion cubs, whenever the mother must leave them unguarded. The Freeze can be temporary; rabbits will remain motionless, buying time to acquire information about the threat - which direction to run and when? The Freeze in human interaction often is expressed as subservient behavior, learned helplessness, depression, emotional paralysis and chronic fear. These states of mind can mask tremendous rage or end in self harm.
Societies have elaborate systems of behavior that exploit Fight, Flight and Freeze. These responses play out differently in people diagnosed as Asperger. Typical social humans misinterpret an innate flight response as defiance or disobedience, when in the natural world, running away from danger is by far the most successful life-saving action.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Profiting from Created Disorders and Diseases

...As opposed to interaction with elephants, chairs or watermelons...

What isn't mentioned is that the primary function of society is to judge, evaluate and 'be mean' to people.

Creating and treating social anxiety has become a major profit-making engine in the abnormal psychology industry, and in related medical, publishing and consumer products industries. It's a good cop / bad cop business: prey on people's fears of being inadequate, defective and socially unacceptable through advertisements and entertainment. Flood TV with corporate propaganda that masquerades as health news, diet and exercise schemes. 
Pressure, pressure, pressure is applied by cosmetic and retail enterprises, and aimed at young girls and women. Be perky! Be a bitch! Be a whore! Whatever you do, don't be yourself - wear a mask at all times. Your face and body are mistakes that must be corrected.  

Note how shyness, by being paired with social anxiety, expands the ever-growing population of individuals who are abnormal and need "help."
Convince parents that their child is a monster from Mars or the Spawn of Hell. Reassure them that that the kid's problems are not their fault and then sell, sell, sell the Hell out of books, guides, and services. The promise of social salvation rakes in billions in consultation fees, testing fees, publications, seminars and so-called expert advice. Curiously, just like old-time religion, salvation from social rejection requires spending (donating) a lot of money, so get out the credit cards. 
Once a frenzy of self-doubt and insecurity has been achieved, institutions and corporations get even more money on the back end, by promising to treat or cure the abnormal mental state that has been created. It's so American: money, money, money.  
How children in the U.S. are supposed to look - perfection is a monster that kills happiness, and sells products.

American economics is aimed at achieving high levels of anxiety in the population: it's good for business. Entertainment and advertising, as well as distortions of reality presented by 'news' programs, serve to drive feelings of fear and inadequacy in the population. We're a 'Fadistic' (rhymes with sadistic) culture.

And don't forget profits realized by treating the physical damage and disease caused by socially-induced stress! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Being Asperger / Some Reactions

Feeling time after time that you need to say "I'm sorry", and not knowing what it is you did. 
Being abandoned by a person whom you thought was a friend, when he or she realizes that you are really different, and not pretending.

Being treated like an object, and wanting to yell, "I'm human."

Being referred to as 'quirky' 'eccentric' 'our favorite weirdo' or 'strange, but harmless' when being introduced to someone new, as if the person speaking anticipates that you will do something wrong, and apologizes beforehand.

Being told that you don't care about people, nor do you want friends: that you are incapable of love and affection - by people who claim to care about people, but either they don't, or they don't consider you to be a person. 

Being told that because you are intelligent, well-spoken and an attractive female that you can't possibly be suffering. Your life is perfect.

The instinctive hurt of social lies, especially the big ones, about justice, equality, and fair play; the pervasive disrespect for people of 'lesser' value, by so-called 'normal' people. 
F. Nietzsche, a smart guy!
People criticize your desire and need to spend time alone, but at the same time they want you to go away. In fact, they want anyone who isn't like them to vanish from the universe.

People who think that they own the universe, and go on trashing a planet to which all people belong, but is owned by no one. 

Living in a social world in which 90% of what humans need and value is missing. 

The constant awareness of an invisible cage of words and looks and expectations that social people accept without being aware that it limits or controls them, but which for an Asperger individual is like being locked in a nightmare. 

Knowing that a touch of Asperger's would result in a happier and healthier human population, better distribution of resources, effective problem-solving and greater equality in society, but that nothing we can do or say convince social people that we have a contribution to make.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Divide and Profit: Extinction of the Individual

We must look to the wisdom of the past when so little can be found in our contemporary world. I'm old now; I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, supposedly a less free, more conservative time in the United States. But, I have never felt so confined, defined, categorized, unhinged from history, from common humanity, from belonging, from kindness, from the "values" of a democratic society than I do now. The individual has been erased and replaced by stock characters in a game of ‘diversity-demographics’: Divide and profit. This ongoing process of extinction of the individual is critical to those FKAA(Formerly Known As Asperger) for whom individuality and its correlates, Honesty, Justice, and Equality are essential.

The very act of 'doing away with' the Asperger's diagnosis demonstrates the willful 'doing away with' our personalities, preference and voices - we are subsumed into a 'spectrum' of socially undesirable persons, classed with psychopaths, but grudgingly said to have some usefulness to society, which is a very narrow and easily removed permission to exist.

Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

“It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations -- past and present -- are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia.”
_Eric Hoffer, 1902-1983

“The larger the group, the more toxic, the more of your beauty as an individual you have to surrender for the sake of group thought. And when you suspend your individual beauty you also give up a lot of your humanity. You will do things in the name of a group that you would never do on your own. Injuring, hurting, killing, drinking are all part of it, because you've lost your identity, because you now owe your allegiance to this thing that's bigger than you are and that controls you.” _George Carlin, Last Words  
For those who would have Asperger children 'ape' so-called normal behavior: "Imitation cannot go above its model.”
“The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity. The inventor did it, because it was natural to him, and so in him it has a charm. In the imitator, something else is natural, and he bereaves himself of his own beauty, to come short of another man's.” _Ralph Waldo Emerson, Divinity School Address
And from old school psychology and psychiatry: “Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally short-sighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations...” _C.G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self, 1875-1961 

“The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization.” Sigmund Freud, 1846-1949


Sunday, May 18, 2014

INTJ / Bipolar / Asperger's

Not true: The MBTI doesn't label
personality preferences as pathologies. 
I'm not the first person to notice the intriguing similarities between the Myers-Briggs INTJ personality type and Asperger 'symptoms.' The difficulty we face is that having invented Asperger's Disorder in the 1980s, those responsible for writing the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) have deleted Asperger's Disorder as a discrete condition and have moved us onto a new invention, the Autism Spectrum. 
Those of us who are Formerly Known As Asperger's (FKAA) have been killed off with mere words, erased from the DSM-5, and loaded like shades or ghosts on to the back of an overcrowded bus, while psychologists and psychiatrists figure out what to do with us. Makes them appear kind of silly, doesn't it?

I have exited the bus and will continue to examine how it is that I qualify for three different labels: INTJ, bipolar, and the currently nonexistent Asperger's Disorder - FKAA. I must have won some dysfunctional lottery!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

INTJ / Bipolar / Asperger, cont.

I have been comparing the preferences associated with the INTJ personality type as described by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (see previous posts) with supposed symptoms of Asperger's Disorder, and have noticed a curious coincidence, or is it more than that? 
     I was diagnosed bipolar 30 years ago, after a 26-year quest to discover the cause of mood swings that manifested as a self-confident 'high' that alternated with the desire to be alone and away from stress. Anxiety was a near-constant symptom regardless of highs or lows. As soon as I was legally able to do so (in the old days, parental permission was required to obtain help) I sought medical and psychiatric help and worked diligently to understand and change my behavior. I did everything that was suggested to alleviate periodic switches from moderately manic to increasingly serious depression. However no medical doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist from whom I sought help could diagnose what was really going on. As I gew to be an adult, the frequency of these mood alterations gradually changed from years to a semi-annual event. This was a time in which there was little knowledge of 'mental illness' as the result of physical conditions as opposed to the belief that moral or character deficits were the cause.  
Fast forward to the present:
While visiting INTJ sites, it's easy to recognize a mild to moderate type of self-love or over confidence that doesn't go over well with other people. This feeling of absolute and smug happiness was how I felt and behaved when manic. It's an intoxicating state, as though one is united with all that is beautiful and grand about the universe. This euphoria makes it difficult to comprehend why people are upset with your confidence.  

<--How some see the INTJ type.
A Disclaimer: I am not saying that INTJs are bipolar. I am pointing out a tendency for some INTJ individuals to be mighty pleased with themselves, and that as a young person I was prone to this 'natural high.' This mental state of grandiosity in my experience is coincident with mild to moderate mania.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Asperger's: Pathology or a Personality Type?

If you have been given an Asperger's diagnosis, or personality disorder and / or mental illness diagnosis, check out the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). You might discover that some of your frustration, unhappiness and self-defeating behavior is due to a lack of knowledge about your personality. You may be living and working in an environment that doesn't suit you, and that your lifestyle is causing stress. I am NOT advocating the MBTI as a substitute for medical evaluation or treatment, but it is a valuable tool that can add specific and reliable information about your personality-based preferences.

Are you an introvert or an extravert? Do you make decisions based on thinking or feeling? Do you accept information 'as-is' or do you add interpretation and meaning? When interacting with the world, do you rely on logic or perceptions of people and their circumstances? Sixteen personality types are derived from the interactions of these 4 dimensions. Perhaps the most important factor for those individuals who have been diagnosed with 'pathologic' behavior is the stated goal of the MBTI, which views human differences as just that: Differences. 

"The goal of knowing about personality type is to understand and appreciate differences between people. As all types are equal, there is no best type. The MBTI instrument sorts for preferences and does not measure trait, ability or character. The MBTI tool is different from many other psychological instruments and also different from other personality tests."

For complete information about the MBTI, please go directly to the official website for The Myers & Briggs Foundation.
I filled out the MBTI long before being diagnosed as Asperger, and fell into the INTJ type, sometimes referred to as The Scientist. Having the INTJ personality type does not carry the negative baggage of Asperger's Disorder, although many people do regard the INTJ group as arrogant know-it-alls. Some INTJ people are adamantly against any identification of the two assessments, but others are intrigued, as am I. Females of either designation are rare. There is an overlap of 'symptoms' or 'preferences' in Asperger and INTJ descriptions. 

'Symptom' assumes that the behavior is a problem, whereas 'preference' assumes a normal variation in human likes and dislikes. 

The psychology of pathology and developmental retardation identifies Asperger behavior as NEGATIVE and DEFECTIVE. A long list of offensive behaviors is identified and experiments are designed to ferret out individuals who exhibit some specified number of "symptoms" - a number which is arbitrary and keeps changing. Those individuals are then cast out of "normal and acceptable humanity" like blemished peanuts that are sorted and discarded in order to maintain a false standard of peanut perfection - which every peanut must strive to achieve. This is why we see a very long and bizarre array of supposed symptoms attached to the Asperger's diagnosis. The message is, "We don't like people who display these behaviors; they are not normal." The intent is to control the definition of what it is to be truly human. The search for pathologies is embedded in a social (hierarchical) and religious (Puritanical) agenda.

In sharp contrast, the MBTI, which is based on the work of Carl Jung, views human behavior as part of nature and arising from the individual. It respects human diversity. The focus is on self-ownership and the equality that only comes with individual expression in society and the greater world.

These are two extraordinarily distinct and important philosophies, and represent a long-standing struggle between fundamental concepts about being human. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014


The environment 
and my mind are in sync.

From the MBTI website:
Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Friday, May 9, 2014


From the MBTI website / Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).


Monday, May 5, 2014

Manipulation of the DSM-5: Robin S. Rosenberg, Clinical Psychologist

Abnormal Is the New Normal

Why will half of the U.S. population have a diagnosable mental disorder?

By Robin S. Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco and the author of Superhero Origins and Abnormal Psychology. Edited for length; bold my emphasis. Full article can be read in SLATE, Medical Examiner section, 4/12/13. 
In addition to classifying some medical disorders as mental disorders, the DSM also has been nibbling at the edges of “normal” by reclassifying as pathological the patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that were previously considered normal (albeit perhaps weird or odd). For instance, people who are extremely shy and concerned about how others might evaluate them, and who thus avoid certain types of activities, might be diagnosed with “avoidant personality disorder.” These same characteristics didn’t used to be considered pathological, and in some other cultures they are not considered to be so.

Another way that the increased prevalence of mental illness occurs is by lowering the threshold of what it takes to be diagnosed with a given disorder. For instance, DSM-5 will change in the criteria for “generalized anxiety disorder,” a disorder that involves excessive and persistent worrying. Whereas the criteria in DSM-IV required three out of six symptoms of worrying, only one symptom is needed in DSM-5. Similarly, whereas in DSM-IV the symptoms must have persisted for at least six months, in DSM-5 the duration has been reduced to three months.

One effect of a bigger mental illness tent is that there are fewer people standing outside the tent. Although the next edition of the DSM might not increase the overall number of disorders, if the criteria are loosened…then more people would qualify for a disorder. There are, and probably will continue to be, fewer and fewer people who will live their lives in relatively good mental health according to the DSM.

The normal trials and tribulations of life—the periods of sadness, or worry, of anxiety, or grief, of difficulty sleeping, of drinking too much caffeine or having caffeine withdrawal headaches—have been pathologized. They’ve been made into mental illnesses… providing a bigger tent for mental illness leaves us with an increasingly restricted definition of mental health and can make us all more likely to see mental illness even when it isn’t there—where there is just normal human struggle. We can become so used to seeing psychopathology that we think—erroneously—that being odd or having difficulties must be an expression of mental illness.

What is going in our culture that allows for this expanding definition of mental illness? There are many explanations. The first is related to payment for treatment. Psychological treatments and medications can be useful for a variety of problems, but for those treatments to be even partially paid for by health insurance companies, the problems must have a diagnosis. It’s not enough that there’s a problem that’s being addressed. It has to be a problem. (Of course, if you treat a problem before it becomes a mental illness, the health insurance company will have ended up saving a significant amount of money, but they don’t pay for early mental health intervention—there has to be a problem. But that’s a story beyond the scope of this article.)

Second, pharmaceutical companies search for ever-wider markets for their products. When more people are diagnosed with a given disorder (perhaps because of less stringent criteria), or a new diagnosis is created, it widens the market for their drugs. They push for “off-label” uses of their medications that in some way reduce a problem, and then they push for that “problem” to be redefined as a problem.

In fact, DSM-5 and the pharmaceutical industry have a significant number of connections: One study found that 70 percent of DSM-5 task-force members have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Anyone who maintains that the diagnosis put forth in the DSM are science-based is CRAZY...

In a crazy world, sanity must be earned.