Do As They Say, Not As I Do

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Do As They Say, Not As I Do

Patrick, avid gamer and father of three, struggles to reconcile expert advice with his own instincts.

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Interesting read. Never knew that screen-based stimulation could have such a different effect on people like that.

Fascinating article. I think behavioral psychology in that regard is highly applicable and significant to life.

As an aside, the author seems to have a great view on what it takes to be a good parent. Kudos.

Really interesting. My brother is severely autistic (has never been able to talk), and at age 50 still flies into the most tempestuous tantrums if things change around him to suddenly. I hadn't really thought how he might react to screen-based entertainment. I suppose he's the wrong generation really... Fantastic painter though; I suppose that would be his drug.

Wow, I never thought I'd read an article like this here.

You gotta find a focus for him that will involve interacting with OTHER people ,i.e playing a musical instrument, or the chess thing is a good way to start. The only way to deal with life is adapt to it. Games can be intensly addictive but you you shouldn't cut him off entirly if he doesn't want to. Otherwise he might think something is wrong with him and to him there isn't. Wouldn't that kinda piss you off too? its MUCH worse on his end, but like everybody else he is a slave to his brain, If you wanna teach him anything thats gonna help his condition through out his life teach him how to use moderation effectivly the more you do that as the older he gets he get a better grasp of whats important to focus on, if hes higher functioning, but it sounds like your doing a good job at that anyway. Keep it up.

Great article. I have no personal connection to the syndrome, but my wife & I watch Parenthood, which gives us a very infinitesimally small modicum of understanding on Asperger's.

I have a lot of respect for a parent going through that without having a mental breakdown themselves.

I can only hope when the time comes I'm half as diligent a father when it comes to pushing the gaming aside for the children as Patrick is.

This was a really, really interesting article. As a gamer, game-designer-in-training, and, rather unexpectedly, now a mom... stuff like this really hits close to home. I've learned a lot of valuable things from games, and my own mom was fantastic about understanding, accepting, and even encouraging me to learn using methods that worked for me - and the thing I want most in my life is to do the same for my daughter. But who knows what sort of person she'll end up being? Only time will tell, at this point.

It would be hard to find yourself in a position like this, but ah, parenting. What we do for our kids - maybe not thrilled about it, but we'd happily do anything for their sake. It's really something to think about, and I'm glad for it. Definitely shows the human side of the community.

Ugg. Being a parent sounds terrifying.

Patrick Gann:
Do As They Say, Not As I Do

Patrick, avid gamer and father of three, struggles to reconcile expert advice with his own instincts.

Read Full Article

Thank you so much for sharing this. Not only is a topic like this very personal because it involves both you and your son, it hinges on topics that a lot of people have very strong (and often uninformed, or at least unempathetic) opinions about. I hope the overall response is favorable, and I hope more people see your article as being helpful, rather than seeing it as a request for help.

I spend a lot of my time picking apart what and how kids learn, and there's a lot of guesswork being used. The unfortunate truth is that, whether a child is "normal" or "special-needs," a lot of people focus on short-term results instead of long-term growth and learning. They could all take a lesson from your experience.

In education, we have a tendency to overuse tangible incentives and heaps of praise. These "instant gratification" mechanics can, even in the minds of the so-called-normal students, act in the same way as videogames. Instead of raising the children in the real world, where there are both good and bad consequences for their choices, and the good is only so good, we create an "alternate world" for them in which they are shielded from the bad, and every small good is amplified.

The result? We teach dependence. Students come to depend on us to constantly transform the real world into this fantasy world. By the time they get to me, they're middle schoolers -- just a stone's throw from adulthood, really. When we put responsibility on them, or put them in front of real challenges that call for real independence, many of them fold. Even (or especially) the "smart" ones, because it's harder to succeed with real tasks than it is to earn praise and rewards in the alternate world on which they're hooked.

Why do we still do it? Because it feels positive. And because it get short-term results. You get the child to give you the behavior you want without a fight, so it must be a good thing... or so goes the thinking. When we measure learning purely by the result, we often ignore endemic problems in the process. We sweep them under the rug, for next year's teacher to deal with.

Good parents (and those of us teacher who see students for more than one year at a time) realize early on that short-term results at the expense of long-term health are just not worth it. And intelligent gamers are learning not to react to every "anti-gaming" opinion as though it's automatically wrong for "attacking" our hobby. You're providing a great model for the intelligent gaming parent.

______

Going back to what this also means for the "neuronormal" kids out there, video games aren't unique. They do, however, represent the easiest-to-find example of what I consider Overly-Rewarding Environments. A few basic button pushes, and you've saved the world. Minimal effort, maximal reward. There are plenty of other experiences that we create to work in this way, so video games shouldn't be burning on that stake alone.

Are any of us surprised that people prefer those OREs to the real world? In the real world, I can put in a ton of effort, and the best I get is "nothing catastrophically fell apart." Compared to Skyrim, it's easy to feel like that's somehow a failure. And I'm an adult! For me, that feeling is subconscious, but tightly controlled by a conscious mind that knows better. What about for kids, who don't yet have that knowledge?

That felt very personal, you seem like a fantastic parent to have

What a great article (informative change of pace). Very interesting to read throughout. Learned things about screen-based simulation that I didn't know.

And for what it's worth, you sound like an excellent father. Wish you the best luck.

That was very interesting. Thanks for sharing. It goes to show psycology is so complex that saying "X causes Y" is such a crude way of representing what really goes on in peoples minds, the many factors involved. Andrew might have loved mastering a skill, putting his mind to things, perhaps his focus was so extreme that attempting to overtly shift it caused such a meltdown. Perhaps the dedication and determination to be the best at something or learn it constantly (no matter how improbable) consumes us to a degree. Shown in a more exghaggerated way through andrew due to his irregular neural pathways.

Fantastic read though. Good article.

Great article. As the father of someone on the autism spectrum I feel for your situation. I have the same battles, trying to do what is best for my son while at the same time finding ways to share those things I love with him.

Best of luck!

Patrick Gann may be my doppleganger. I am also a father of three (hence the name) with a 6-year-old special needs son. He also has Sensory Integration Disorder - the mention of body brushes made me chuckle - and is a high-functioning autistic and his experiences with videogames were remarkably similar early on. He's had occupational therapy for 4 years now with a stated goal (among others) of activity transition. While he has the same obsessiveness, as long as he is given a warning as to when computer or Wii time is over, he will transition away quite calmly. He has trained himself to "power down" the sensory input and disengage from the activity. It is still possible to overload him if allowed to play for too long, but that would be true for any child.

And he whips my ass at Mario Kart.

A very inspiring article, and somewhat scary too. Best of luck to you and your family.

As a side note, I think my brother has a very similar problem. He is going through his late teen years at the moment, and is supposed to be attending college, but is constantly reluctant to even go because he feels compelled to play video games every waking hour. Needless to say my mum is going a bit crazy about the whole thing and is taking away his console, TV, music, and as a result he is spending his days in bed, rotting away, not washing eating, changing clothes, or going out.

That got a bit long, sorry.

I remember going through similar things with Magic the Gathering and D&D when I got into my dad's hobbies. It's all I ever ate, slept, breathed I wouldn't talk to my dad about anything other then those table tops.

After awhile my dad stop playing and forceably took those things with him and I wasn't allowed to play those games. But it was still all I thought about for along time.

I still get obsessed with things but now that I'm older and more experienced in life its no where near as bad. I do have medically diagnosed aspergers and its kind of interesting to see things from the perspective of my parents.

TripleDaddy:
While he has the same obsessiveness, as long as he is given a warning as to when computer or Wii time is over, he will transition away quite calmly.

I remember from a young age, my mother made me keep an hourly schedule planner. I had activities planned out from video game/ TV, to home school lessons, to eating, showering etc.

I was always made to look over my schedule, I wonder if thats something my mom was told to do by our doctor.

As someone who has been diagnosed with multiple types of mental Disabilities from Asperger's, ADHD and higher functioning autism i can relate to what your son is going through and the difficulties you find as a parent.

Im not going to say our cases are exactly similar and should be treated with the same methods, unlike some Psychiatrists that i have been appointed too. i have learned that people with Disabilities such as myself are varied and all have there own challenges and a one sized fits all strategy just wont work. but here are a few problems and strategy's for success I found.

1.-Selective/ Extreme focusing- Many people with higher functioning have a problem were they can focus on a task incredibly well ie.(chess or video games) but have troubles focusing on tasks they do not like or have troubles with.
This usually leads to troubles with tasks such as homework and the inability to follow instructions, take dictation effectively and chronic procrastination.

For example in a class room setting i was always off somewhere else not paying attention, however i always got good grades. This is because i quickly picked up and understood the structure of "the test" i quickly learned to analyze and remember key points of lectures and assignments that would be placed on tests. Similar to how your son quickly picked up the rules of chess.

The best solution i found for procrastinating is to use reward systems ( never use punishment) to prioritize tasks. focusing on what im being told to do at work however is still an issue as i focus on one aspect and the rest seems to drown out. Making lists where i can focus down tasks makes me much more effective though.

2. Fitting in, not gonna lie this was a bitch to figure out and made my elementary and middle school hell for me, in middle schooll i refused to belive i was "challenged" beacuse you were a target for bullying, i got good grades so i refused any kind of help beacuse i thought i was fine without it and taking help would be seen as a sign of weakness. but please avoid treating your son as special or gifted and watch out how teachers treat him as well as video games which tout you as the all important hero do not help either. this can lead to some ugly self importance issues as well as extremly hard to deal with confirmation bias.

3. "Try" medication.
there are tons of horror storys from parents about how medication changed their child and they took them off the evil drugs right away. The issue is that the child usually has never experinced life without use of medication and has to adjust to the new emotions and thought procsees, give it two or three months on regiment before you make a final decison on wether medication is a good choice for your son, and let him decide at a proper age for himself ie 10-12

I wish the best for you and your son, and i apoligize if i seem to be projecting my own problems, just trying to give you a heads up about my experinces which sounded very simillar to your son.

PS: Education games such as math blaster are great i had mastered grade 5 math by the time i started school.

Great article!
I wish the best for you and your family.

That was a great article. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

I also had Sensory Integration Disorder when I was a kid, and I know how miserable it can make life for the parents. They have some crazy stories about the shit I put them through, even if my case was a fairly minor one. It mostly manifested itself in taste, touch, and decision-making. And yes, I also used to be unhealthily obsessed with video games for almost the exact same reasons your son is.

I'm 20 years old now and and it's virtually gone (I still have a few quirks left over, like getting random bouts of stress about silly things, but I now have the maturity to work through it). So while it may seem awful now, my family and I can assure you that there's light at the end of the tunnel. The therapists you've talked to definitely have you on the right track.

Thanks again, and best of luck to you!

link55307:

1.-Selective/ Extreme focusing- Many people with higher functioning have a problem were they can focus on a task incredibly well ie.(chess or video games) but have troubles focusing on tasks they do not like or have troubles with.
This usually leads to troubles with tasks such as homework and the inability to follow instructions, take dictation effectively and chronic procrastination.

For example in a class room setting i was always off somewhere else not paying attention, however i always got good grades. This is because i quickly picked up and understood the structure of "the test" i quickly learned to analyze and remember key points of lectures and assignments that would be placed on tests. Similar to how your son quickly picked up the rules of chess.

The best solution i found for procrastinating is to use reward systems ( never use punishment) to prioritize tasks. focusing on what im being told to do at work however is still an issue as i focus on one aspect and the rest seems to drown out. Making lists where i can focus down tasks makes me much more effective though.

Huh. Since when did I start using username "link55307?"

You just described my childhood, sir/madam.

Thanks everyone for the wonderful and insightful feedback! Too much to respond to everyone individually, but here are some noteworthy things I'll mention:

1) re: the TV show Parenthood. I love it, and my wife loves it, we've seen every episode to date. Most people I know in ASD topic circles agree that the portrayal of character "Max" is probably the best, most positive, and most accurate portrayal of someone with Aspergers. That said, it's always important to remember the "spectrum" concept, and that everyone is at a different place. My son, for example, is a little more high-functioning on the social scale, and at the age of 5, it's still too soon to definitely determine or definitely rule out a specific diagnosis (hence the "NOS" in PDD-NOS).

2) Meds. It's not even an option at this point. In a few years, depending on how well he does or does not cope with school, we'll consider it. Doctors and therapists are 100% agreed with us on this.

3) "Being a parent sounds terrifying." It is. It's also quite rewarding. But let that healthy fear sink in before choosing to procreate!! :P

4) To all the parents who have similar experiences, or to those who have had similar experiences as our Andrew growing up, thank you so much for sharing your stories. Just knowing you're not alone is helpful.

And a short addendum to the article since it was first drafted: we've chosen (with the therapist's guidance) to allow some scheduled computer time for Andrew on pbskids.org -- it's a small amount (30min/day), and it's considered a privilege which can be revoked based on behavior (esp. at pre-school). Part of why we allowed it is that his younger brother (age 4), who does not exhibit any of his older brother's behaviors, was also interested in the site; and trying to parse that out became hellish. So we're letting both of them have some PBS Kids time as part of their daily routine.

Thanks again everyone!
Patrick

Patrick Gann:
The official medical transcript cites PDD-NOS (the "NOS" being "not otherwise specified").

Ah, NOS. That's pretty much fancy medical speak for "I have absolutely no fucking idea."

Really good article.

I don't really understand why people want to introduce children to video games at all. I didn't have much access to them until I was about eleven or twelve, yet by the age of sixteen I was very comfortable using a computer and was learning programming. Technology is far more available now than it was then - kids will inevitably pick it up and will discover the joys of gaming in their own good time.

Sandytimeman:

TripleDaddy:
While he has the same obsessiveness, as long as he is given a warning as to when computer or Wii time is over, he will transition away quite calmly.

I remember from a young age, my mother made me keep an hourly schedule planner. I had activities planned out from video game/ TV, to home school lessons, to eating, showering etc.

I was always made to look over my schedule, I wonder if thats something my mom was told to do by our doctor.

My son functions best when he has a clear understanding of what the routine for the day will be. The first two weeks of kindergarten were rough for him until he figured everything out and breaking routine is never done lightly. We have a family reunion coming up in July that I am absolutely dreading because it will mean a stay overnight in a hotel.

Articles like these are what keep me reading the Escapist. This issue is tangential to gaming news/entertainment, but it represents a real issue in the culture, one of many problems coming to the forefront as gamers become parents in the 21st century. Thanks to Gann and the Escapist for providing such fascinating and informative writing. Best of luck with your son.

link55307:
PS: Education games such as math blaster are great i had mastered grade 5 math by the time i started school.

This. I played English and mathematics games before a lot before I started school and when I after a few months of being there they skipped me ahead two years. I stand by the right sort games(learning games) are beneficial to children. Still no substitute for running around the back yard with a wooden sword slaying monsters though.

thanks for taking the time to write this article and share what you've learned. i'm a pretty avid gamer myself and wrestle with how that will change once my wife and i start having children. although this can't have been easy for you, it sounds like you're doing a great job as a parent.

Fantastic article good sir. I come from a family where myself, my sister and my brother are all on the ASD (though I myself have never had any official diagnosis), and reading your article just brought back so many memories of exactly the same sort of things from my childhood. While I no longer meltdown as you described your son doing, I still require sticking to some form of routine and absolutely hate it if it gets broken, though this has also mitigated itself over the past few years.

Rest assured, I can totally sympathise and empathise with where you are, as having to look after my brother and sister when they visit ranges from tricky, to near impossible at times. Fantastically informed read sir, definitely nice to see someone who knows what they're talking about. Will pass this on to my mother, she'll probably find as interesting as I did.

Gotta love modern psychology. "A diagnoses for every variant" would make nice motto. Give it another fifty years and we'll have a name and treatment program for children who don't like school.

Idsertian:
I myself have never had any official diagnosis) [...] I still require sticking to some form of routine and absolutely hate it if it gets broken, though this has also mitigated itself over the past few years.

Anyone else feel it is a tad insulting when someone, undiagnosed too boot, decides they have a mental disease or disorder because they like to live an organized life?

I feel like I went to sleep and awoke in some sort of nightmarish future, where it's "in" to have some sort of mental disorder and where a diagnosis is handed out as freely as mints. Anyone not know at least a few people who claim to have some sort of malfunction? We look for all these reasons why mental disease and disorder is on the rise (particularly in areas like ADHD and manic and/or depressives) and blame everything from video games and music to what we feed the cows, but so few people stop and think "Hang on, maybe the ratios are going up because we slap these labels on anyone who so much as coughs queerly."

Mental impairment is a pretty fucking serious issue and it gets my blood running hot at the sheer ease with which we are willing to label one another. I've news for some of you--just because your child is an energetic handful and an utter brat at school, doesn't mean they have some attention disorder, and just because your teenage offspring is going through a phase doesn't mean they are enduring a major depressive disorder. Mental disorders are kind of an important deal and throwing them at anyone who so much as steps two feet out of line, or slapping them on some kid whose patents can't control them is a huge disservice to the issue.

I'm no old woman, fondling remembering the days of old when we would just hit someone up side the head when they expressed an oddity of behavior or thought, or when we would send a child off to the military when they had trouble at home, and I don't believe a hard day's work cures any alignment. Hell, I'm twenty-years-old. But c'mon, people. Labels, names, diagnosis and pills may well make you feel a little better and I'm sure they can help to shoulder any blame, but we can come up with enough conditions to give one to every human on Earth and we still won't be any better off.

Grey Day for Elcia:
Anyone else feel it is a tad insulting when someone, undiagnosed too boot, decides they have a mental disease or disorder because they like to live an organized life?

Allow me to re-instate the bit you kindly cut out in your double-post:

Idsertian:
and reading your article just brought back so many memories of exactly the same sort of things from my childhood

To further elucidate, I have other social, emotional and learning problems that have prevented me (and still do) from leading what would otherwise be called a "normal" life. Just because I have never obtained an official diagnosis, doesn't mean they don't exist. Before you pull out the "hurr hurr self-diagnosed basement dweller" card, this is actually coming from my mother and her tireless work researching the subject of ASD's, spending vast quantities of her time studying books and articles, listing every characteristic she saw in us and comparing them to known disorders, all to better understand the problems that afflicted myself and my siblings, so she could try and look after us better and be more sympathetic to what might be going through our minds at any given point in time.

I agree with you, mental disorders are a serious matter, but just because someone isn't diagnosed, or doesn't fit in to your chosen "image" of what someone with a mental disease/disorder should be, doesn't mean their problems don't exist. I personally find it damn nigh impossible to do things that most other people my age take for granted.
I am terrified of any social situation outside my comfort zone of the few people I know, I overly fixate on things, I intensely dislike being forced to operate outside some form of loose routine at least, things must be done in a certain way, in a certain order, I find it hard to concentrate on things, am easily distracted/sidetracked, take longer over doing things than most other people would (as an aside, sometimes because I'm doing them more thoroughly, though often it's due to the aforementioned lack of concentration/being distracted), going into incredible detail where I don't necessarily need to and others that have probably slipped my mind for the time being.
When I was around the age of Gann's son, maybe slightly older, I would often have severe meltdowns because of what my parents would see as a minor change to the days' plan, but because I had it set in my head how the day was going to go, and due to my problems rendering me incapable of adjusting (or making it difficult at the very least), it would make me incredibly distressed and upset, resulting in what you might call a "tantrum", but what is, in actual fact, my trying to adjust, failing and getting incredibly frustrated in the process.

Now, I'm fairly certain you don't have some heretofore unknown telepathic link to my brain, and I'm damned certain you aren't me, so I would greatly appreciate it if you don't try and pretend you know a thing about me or how my mind works and whether or not I have any sort of disorder. I politely suggest you do some reading into ASD's or even Autism in general, to gain an understanding of just how much, or how little, it can actually affect someone. I respect your right to be "insulted" by what I said, but I do not agree with it.

Good day sir/madam.

CAPTCHA: firecracker. Apt.

Idsertian:
-

Your mother, who you tell us has spent countless hours looking in to the complicated realm of autism, has never seen fit to have you diagnosed? Nor have you yourself ever seen fit to request one? I find it difficult to believe someone who claims to have been so drastically affected, to this day even, by a supposed affliction would not seek out an appropriate professional. Fear, trepidation and an unbreakable routine haven't kept the millions of others from, in one way or another, being professionally diagnosed.

You list what sound like the traits of a rather picky and easily bored individual. Throwing a "tantrum" if you can't have it your way and not being inclined to focus on things you do not wish to, could well be said of any child on this Earth. Retaining those traits into adulthood is not sufficient ground to so fervently demand from the world you be seen as mentally impaired.

As I said, the more we so freely self-diagnose and hand out labels and claims to affliction, the less and less relevance they hold. What was once seen as a personality trait now has a treatment plan. Those of us more boisterous than others are now given drugs to calm us. A shitty month is cause for a therapist and depression is worn like an undeserved badge of honour among many of the young. No hyperbole and no misquote, I honestly heard a boy, no more than eight, ask of his friend "Remember when I had depression a week ago?" He then went on to ask how many times he had tried to "commit suicide," as if the words being spoken aloud by his same-aged friend would afford him some prestige. I'm sure we all have known at least a few girls or boys with scarred wrists who would tell us in private how horrible their lives are. You know the kind. Speaking as someone who survived a suicide attempt solely due to unwanted help, an ambulance and some dedicated doctors, this sort of faux ailment feels like a spit in the face. For every "pretender" there is a real sufferer having their real illness belittled to that of temporary annoyance.

I'm not suggesting those who self-harm and report it to others do not suffer from mental illness, mind. It is an accepted fact among the medical community that self-harm is or was once present in more than three quarters of suicides. I'm not referring to genuine self-harmers here and I know who they are, having seen with my own eyes individuals who've cut their arms from wrist to shoulder wide enough open to see bone; people who so genuinely seek to harm themselves that they'll cut open their neck with a broken fingernail if no sharper tool is available. I speak only of, if you'll pardon the tired cliche, the "angsty teens" that make it hard to find and help the real teens suffering depression or suicidality.

I had a friend diagnosed with ADHD. We were at primary school. He was hell for the teachers and his parents had either given up by the time I met him or never cared to begin with. In class he would utterly ignore teachers and had no interest at all in ever changing. The school went out of its way to accommodate him, giving him a special aid to follow him to class and assist in his learning, among other such assists. Any time he would normally be reprimanded, he would be given a waiver or ignored--"He has ADHD," the excuse always given. Never intentionally harmful or foul to anyone, he was simply... uninterested in doing what was asked of him. His I-don't-care facade continued on for quite some time, but ended rather abruptly; see, he was diagnosed with cancer that required a few surgeries to remove and more than a handful of chemo rounds, and just like that, his ADHD vanished. How odd that a little perspective could cure a brain-chemical disorder. Of course it didn't, I know. He, like many diagnosed with ADHD, required only life to kick him in the ass. Rock bottom does wonders for the human psyche. Maybe that's why the U.S., one of the luckiest countries and populations on Earth, continues to see such zealous ADD and ADHD diagnoses.

People make martyrs of themselves so much I'm forced to wonder just how wide Munchhausen's can stretch.

Look, you may well suffer a mental illness--as you mention, I don't know you and (sadly) I'm not telepathic. But I would wager that of late I've had to deal with more people in need of a wake up call, than genuine suffers of illness. After a while one gets kind of fed up with how... almost mundane it all is. When did mental-fucking-illness become something one could casually posses from time to time? When did it become hip to cut your wrists? Why on Earth are we handing out more medication than ever before? Life is meant to be getting better--and it IS--but we continue to find new ways to show just how sick we are--at least in our own minds.

I'll apologize for the way I spoke to you. I was less than pleasant. But, like you I'm sure, the actual contents of my opinion remain as such.

Articles like these are why I read the Escapist. Very interesting read and I can totally see how you would want to share one of your passions with your child and the struggle that follows when one really shouldn't. I myself have a one year old son, and while I love gaming, I am not sure how to handle this in the future.I found your read inspiring.

Grey Day for Elcia:

Idsertian:
I myself have never had any official diagnosis) [...] I still require sticking to some form of routine and absolutely hate it if it gets broken, though this has also mitigated itself over the past few years.

Anyone else feel it is a tad insulting when someone, undiagnosed too boot, decides they have a mental disease or disorder because they like to live an organized life?

While I get your point, I think you are the one being insulting here to a well meaning fellow escapist. As a psychologist myself I do not agree with your view that one can only have a mental disorder if one has been diagnosed (that is what you say, I know, I know not what you mean, but still....). Maybe Idsertian would be diagnosed with a certain disorder if he would go to a therapist, how would that make any difference regarding his problems? A diagnoses is rather meant to determine the best way to help a person, not as fashion label.

To Idsertian I would suggest to seek help if you feel limited in your possibilities to life.You might be surprised how much can be achieved through the right help. Just make sure you seek out a decent Psychologist with a Masters degree. Also, don't go to a psychoanalyst (Freud based) as this horribly outdated and will not help you. Rather look for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or something similar.

Grey Day for Elcia:
-snip snip snip-

No worries, perhaps I responded a bit harshly myself, but I do get somewhat defensive when it comes to this subject. On the topic of professionals, I was, in fact, sent to two different psychiatrists, neither of which cared to give any sort of diagnosis. The first one put me on Ritalin (twice), which had no affect other than to make me lose my appetite and thus, a ton of weight, then fucked off to another country. The second had no interest in my case beyond how much money it was making him and his department of the hospital, making absolutely no effort towards making a diagnosis or helping at all. I cottoned onto his act pretty quick, quicker than my parents at any rate, though to be fair, we stopped going after they did. As a result, I don't have a lot of trust in psychiatrists, so have never been to one since.

I realise that ASD's may or may not be as serious as other mental conditions, which can only be determined on a case by case basis, I'm not trying to make out that "woe is me, it's the end of the world", I was just sympathising with the OP as I can totally see where he's coming from. I can pretty much visualise what's going through his kid's mind as I used to be exactly like that, is all.

Also, it's the less visible traits that have followed me into adulthood, meltdowns are not part of my repertoire of symptoms any more. :P

EDIT: Yes, opinions we have, and strongly, we hold them. /yoda

EDIT THE SECOND:

sibrenfetter:
While I get your point, I think you are the one being insulting here to a well meaning fellow escapist. As a psychologist myself I do not agree with your view that one can only have a mental disorder if one has been diagnosed (that is what you say, I know, I know not what you mean, but still....). Maybe Idsertian would be diagnosed with a certain disorder if he would go to a therapist, how would that make any difference regarding his problems? A diagnoses is rather meant to determine the best way to help a person, not as fashion label.

To Idsertian I would suggest to seek help if you feel limited in your possibilities to life.You might be surprised how much can be achieved through the right help. Just make sure you seek out a decent Psychologist with a Masters degree. Also, don't go to a psychoanalyst (Freud based) as this horribly outdated and will not help you. Rather look for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or something similar.

Chill fella, chill. Just a minor disagreement between me and him/her, I think it's already fizzled out. :)

Yes, seeking out help for a diagnosis would probably help a bit, but it's only part of the problem I think. The other part is that I just don't have the faintest clue what I want to do with my life, possibly due to reasons I'm not going to go into here. Maybe getting a diagnosis would help with that, maybe not. Feh, something I need to think about on the already long list of such things.

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