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Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

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Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby beachbum » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:26 am

Can a person have Asperger's and DID? I am concerned that someone I know might have DID. Is there research that connects DID and High Functioning Autism/Asperger's? Thanks.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby bourbon » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:06 am

http://blog.donnawilliams.net/2010/12/2 ... -multiple/


I believe this author has asperger's and DID... i may have made that up though.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby Una+ » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:19 pm

Short answer: apparently not.

I have read much of the technical literature on DID. I have found no mention of a link between any autism spectrum disorder and DID. I have also searched PubMed and found no publications, not even a single case report, concerning anyone diagnosed with both an autism spectrum disorder and DID. Children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder often do have dissociative symptoms, but these symptoms generally do not amount to a dissociative disorder.

Many people are given labels without benefit of diagnosis. Diagnosis is a process of examining the evidence and ruling out alternatives. When you have a fever and runny nose and you go to a physician who declares you have influenza, that is a label not a diagnosis. The physician has performed no diagnosis, only made a reasonable guess. When a swab is taken and sent to a testing laboratory for diagnosis, 4 times out of 5 influenza can be ruled out. Just like many physicians, many psychotherapists do not bother to use the diagnostic tools available to them and instead make a guess. Depending on the training and experience of the psychotherapist, the guess can be very accurate or very inaccurate.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby boopsy26 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:54 pm

Anything is possible, but it is unlikely that one would have both because of the nature of autism disorders. Asperger's can appear similar to many other disorders because of the disconnect to others, repetitive speech and movements, and other eccentricities. However, the biggest part of autism disorders is that they lack the ability to have empathy. DID is partially developed due to empathy- the split begins to occur, in part, because the child needs to maintain their attachment to the abusive caregiver and maintain an image of that caregiver as loving. Children with autism do not develop attachment in the same way, and so a split would not be a necessary adaptation. On the other hand, trauma effects all people and if somebody with Asperger's experiences trauma they may develop other dissociative symptoms related to PTSD. This is not DID though. The splitting of identities is beyond other traumatic dissociative experiences.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby Maggie_Maguire » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:29 pm

Hi,

It's not generally known but no diagnosis of mental health problems is possible because they are not diseases. They aren't diseases because their cause is unknown and because it is impossible to seperate one "disease entity" from another.

Researchers these days are tending in the direction that all the mental health problems are experienced as dimensional rather than distinct entities. In other words they are similar to what people experience normally but just more intense and more disabling. I think however Asperger's may be considered a developmental disorder.

While people often want a diagnosis, the reason why you probably won't get one is because of this fact. All the doctor can really say is that the cluster of symptoms you are experiencing is similar to those in what is commonly called schizophrenia, asperger's etc.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby Ultraviolet » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:52 am

I think I have both, and the Asperger's makes the DID different. I can't explain it well.

My DID is also less obvious and harder to diagnose. I wish I could understand it more. Parts are either more hidden or less defined.

:(
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby LordScientist » Sat Jan 22, 2022 3:28 am

Asperger's Syndrome is close enough to normality that I'm not sure it's strictly mutually exclusive with any condition I know of afflicting normal people. I guess a condition requiring great social ability might preclude it but I know of no examples.

Most conditions in psychology are very approximate and superficially identified. Psychology often struggles to go beyond a symptomatic classification of disorders. The brain is so complicated that the field is quite limited in many respects.

Asperger's Syndrome is believed to be neurological. There's a lot of concern in respect to what degree such traits are pathological because the social protocols and social demands of a society are not always fixed. Though Asperger's Syndrome is believed to be neurological, it is still identified superficially or symptomatically.

There are an array of conditions some of which may be immediately neurological but most of which are believed to also require circumstances. Many of these are stress conditions. Social anxiety with avoidance patterns tends to be a knock on effect of conditions with social deficits such as Asperger's Syndrome where the individual is quite naturally self aware and compared to others observes things like lower success rates in social situations which then leads to patterns of behaviour such as avoidance which in the short run make sense but in some situations can end up counter productive or enforcing a deficit even where it's absent.

To have a condition such as Asperger's Syndrome which is more likely to lead to either stress or trauma means that any conditions associated with the two are potentially going to be more prevalent as a knock on effect. That includes things such as PTSD like conditions, anxiety disorders, depression and potentially DID.

There are other conditions that overlap and these can also be dynamic making diagnosis difficult. When the underlying condition is stress then secondary psychological conditions spooling of that can flutter around as the brain dances around life's difficulties.

Because DID or equivalent conditions do appear about to manifest as coping strategies or a reaction to events (as a strongly psychological rather than neurological condition) then I don't see why not. It would be worth looking at data though with the caveat that data on psychology is particularly prone to being opinionated and having various hangups where conditions are conflated or ignored for a more pressing condition.

A psychologist seeing a case of something like DID might end up ignoring/missing it instead focusing more on the underlying cause if apparent.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Jan 23, 2022 10:37 am

"Asperger's" is "autism without too many dys- and cognitives comorbidities". It's not different from autism really.

All autism spectrum conditions lead to hyper sensitivity to emotions, environment, including hypersensitivity to trauma. It also comes together with an increased tendency to dissociate. Shutdowns and meltdowns are dissociative events.

Moreover autistic people tend to be more often victims of childhood violence and neglect.

Being autistic means, higher chances of having DID. Nothing to do with "normalcy" and everything to do with being more sensitive and more vulnerable.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby Dwelt » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:10 pm

I know at least one person who have both diagnosis (not label, they went through the whole diagnosis process for both condition). I've heard of other people who also have both, but as I don't know them personally, I don't know if both are formal diagnosis or labels put by their psych.

I'm currently going through a full examination for both too, and I know other people who have one diagnosis and one "label/recognition by a specialist", and what stands out the most is : usually, there's one which masks the other. That's why nobody noticed anything.

First thing to consider is, even if there are more specialists for autism than dissociation, autism is also a very unknown condition. Even professional usually have a very stereotypical idea of what autism looks like. I talked about autism with my psych, she admitted she doesn't know anything about it and will not be able to help me on that topic. A lot of psychs specialized in dissociation are the same.

And from what I've heard, people specialized in autism often don't know how to recognize complex dissociation, some even consider dissociation as a symptom of autism, like others consider dissociation as a symptom of psychosis.

Also, for the ones who have only few specifics symptoms of autism and/or can mask it, the dissociation helps masking even more efficiently.

You can also add cultural variations and creations... For example, being gifted is a semi-official diagnosis given by trained psychologists in my country (and some country around mine), we call that "haut potentiel intellectuel" [high intellectual potential]. It's basically made when a child has strong intellectual + school-related skills and specific interests without displaying enough of "bad" symptoms (like stereotypical behaviors, being obviously heavily socially impaired, having huge meltdown, having huge issue with staying focused, having a lot of motor skills issues, etc.) to justify going through an autism/ADHD diagnosis.

It was a big trend when I was young. For many parents, the "gifted" label was less scary than "autism/ADHD", and now, among my generation, there are "gifted" people who face a lot of issues because they were in fact autistic/ADHD children really good at masking, but they are exhausted and can't handle it anymore. And being diagnosed as an adult is really hard, it can take years to have your first appointment, so they struggle to have access to some help.

There are also a lot of children with autism/ADHD+dissociation, or autism/ADHD+CPTSD who received this "diagnosis" and basically saw their needs and/or abuses being ignored. It wouldn't surprise me if some ended up having DID/OSDD.

For the ones who are very impaired by their autistic symptoms and get that diagnosis first, people around them can put everything unusual under the "autism" diagnosis, without even asking themselves if it's coherent or not.

Now both condition are more known, professional starts talking about cases where they encountered both autism/ADHD and complex dissociation, but it's something really new.

On a more scientific level, there's people who just started to study autism and how it can lead to higher risks of developing PTSD, CPTSD and dissociative disorders. The director of the CTAD clinic (Complex Trauma And Dissociation clinic) have made two videos about it : one as an introduction about the link between autism and dissociation, the second is an interview of a researcher working on that topic (there's also a lot of interesting studies in description). You can find them on their Youtube channel.
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Re: Can a person have Asperger's and DID?

Postby YunaTheSummoner » Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:27 pm

I have Autism, officially diagnosed years ago...they did specify that it was Autism and not Aspergers on the report but felt I was 'Atypical' I thought it maybe because I'm female and at that time back then...many more males were diagnosed than females.

I don't have a DID diagnosis but I have always had 'others inside'. when I was a child 'mental illness' was something you got locked up for and received even less understanding than 'learning disabled' children (and back then autism was treated the same as 'mentally handicapped') ....so I never told anyone about them and let people think they were imaginary friends I'd eventually grown out of talking to.

I still am unsure but I've overheard people discussing me before regarding sudden changes including changes in abilities and also seen surprise/confusion on their faces when I've sounded or behaved completely differently to the last time they saw me with no memory (until afterwards) of the previous meeting and 'who' they were expecting! It's usually explained away by 'the autism' just me 'being difficult' or something!
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