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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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I'm a 55 year old woman just diagnosed with Asperger's

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Hello, I'm a 55 year old woman just diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. I'm fine with this label, in fact it would answer a lot of questions. While in a lot of ways it seems to fit well, in others it doesn't at all. For one thing, I've never had a preoccupation with a certain subject. Another trait that I don't have is a lack of empathy for others. In fact I'm just the opposite, I'm good at reading emotions and am careful not to hurt other's feelings. Is it possible that I may have Asperger's without these traits? Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Optional Information:
Age: 55; Female, Pennsylvania
Already Tried:
I've been in therapy in the past to address painful issues in my life. My dysfunctioal family was always assumed to be the source of my anxiety and depression, however I always believed it to more than that, yet I could never find an answer. As I explained to the Dr. that diagnosed the Asperger's, I feel i was born this way. I know you can't make a diagnosis, I'm just wondering if I can really have Asperger's with out the traits I mentioned.
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 8 years ago.

I'm somewhat skeptical of this diagnosis, especially since you have been in therapy for so long and seem to have relatively normal social interest. Just based on what you said, it does not sound like Asperger' syndrome to me. Also, if you do not have obvious impairment in social interaction or any type of stereotyped, repeptetive behaviors or interests, you would not meet DSM-IV-TR criteria for the disorder. I have worked with several people with Asperger's and I knew it within a few minutes of talking to them. It seems like somehow you might like to believe this is true, rather than to just think that your family and your relationships could be contributing to your depression and anxiety. Perhaps some sort of syndrome might make you feel less responsible or maybe it makes it easier for you not be angry at your parents. I'm not really sure because I do not know you, but I can tell you that if what you are telling me is true about yourself, I highly doubt the possibility of Aspergers. Usually this disorder is diagnosed at a much earlier age. I cannot be for sure without conducting an assessment, but I will certainly tell you that I would get another opinion. Please visit the site below at some point. It lists the DSM-IV-TR criteria for the disorder. You can take a look at that for yourself.

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