I'm new to this forum. I have been officially diagnosed with (deep breath) GAD, Major Depression, Social Phobia and Asperger's Syndrome. I also have some aspects of OCD, hypochondria and SAD. For those of you who have never heard of it, Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is on the spectrum of autism. Those of us with AS usually have normal or above normal IQs. It usually manifests as an inability to understand how to interact socially. I believe that having AS is why I suffer from severe anxiety and depression. I've never had a clue how to interact normally with people, even as a very young child, and this has led to making a lot of mistakes and very bad relationships, creating a vicious circle of stress and worry and depression. Argh.
I'm very heartened by this board, and because of another thread here I ordered some stuff by Claire Weekes from Amazon.
It's great to be able to read what others are going through and to also give my input. It helps to put it in perspective, even though I often feel like my life sucks more than anyone else's. But I'm probably not alone in that thought, either.
I suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks and I have a husband and one son with Asperger's. My younger son does not have Asperger's. While my Asperger's family members don't have full-blown anxiety, they definitely have some social anxiety and even situational anxiety, such as text anxiety. As you stated, the confusion of interacting with people can often be overwhelming and cause anxiety. It is actually a bit different from someone with just straight anxiety because the good news is that if you can improve your social understanding and practice relating to others more comfortably in social situations, it is very likely that your anxiety will improve dramatically. I don't know how old you are, but you'll also just get better with age. My husband wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until our son was. Everyone knew he had a hard time relating to others and was very smart and "different" but noone had put a label on it. (He still doesn't have an official label from his regular doc because he has a sensitive occupation, but the Asperger's doesn't interfere with that anyway). I'm working with my son doing all sorts of social interaction practice before he goes into new situations (such as a school dance or pep rally) so that his anxiety will be reduced. Anyhow, just wanted to say hi and tell you that even though all this stuff seems daunting, you can get through it and have a fulfilling life.
I am much like you, I have AS and have quite a few diagnises. Anxiety and Autism though, most likely go hand in hand. I have have Selective Mutism with severe Social Phobia, as well as agoraphobic traits, Obsessive-compulsive traits and panic. I also have Schizoaffective disorder, and suffer from cycling major depression.
I do think, my moods and anxiety go with Autism. It is as if our brains are prone to it. However, therapy and medications still help.
lots of info on the net about aspergers which is frequently misdiagnosed as social anxiety disorder
its a big help if an aspergers sufferer can find someone who will tell them what they are doing wrong and offer constructive advice on how to act during social situations
an example is to not take every question literally 'How are you?' doesnt require a detailed summary of your health, for example
sadly however, many psychologists,and therapists are strongly indoctrinated to never give advice to their patients at all, I suggest any aspergers sufferer seeking help should firstly establish whether the helper is prepared and trained to give advice