I am 39 about to turn 40 and I think I may have asperger’s. I live alone, have only one friend, never dated, can’t hold a conversation with anyone, very intelligent but am completely isolated from people. I hate changes, very anxious and paranoid when things change, can’t understand what people mean when they talk to me (if joke, serious, etc). When I am in a car with someone I rarely if ever speak…I am too busy looking around…even when driving I am committed to the road and my thoughts are constantly changing. I become obsessed when I do meet someone I would like to become friends with and quickly lose them. I want to go get tested but am afraid that being diagnosed with aspergers or something else will prevent me from working. Every job I get I lose because of social interactions…no complaints about doing my job just my interactions with people. I know I can’t keep on like this but am anxious about taking the step to get tested. Even with family I can sit for hours in the room with them and never say a word. I have difficulty when alot of people are around…I NEVER join in on conversations…never know what to say. I just don’t know. Am I one or not…. I am at my wits end with all of this.
A: Some of my very best friends have Aspergers. They are very smart, know a great deal about things that interest them, and they are very loyal friends. The diagnosis itself is not something to fear. If you do find you are an Aspie, it may in fact be quite a relief. You will know what you are dealing with.
Here’s the good news: There are therapists who specialize in helping adults with Aspergers learn how to manage social interactions well enough to get along in the world and to hold a job. You didn’t mention what you do for work. My guess is that you know your field very well. Your therapist or a career counselor who works with Aspies could help you identify a job in your field where there are fewer social demands and where your expertise is valued so much that your social difficulties are overlooked.
Please do get an evaluation from a mental health counselor who works specifically with people who have Aspergers or high-functioning autism. I think you’ve suffered far too long with the uncertainy and loneliness.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Nov 2011
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Might I Have Aspergers?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/11/06/might-i-have-aspergers/