Okay, so I think I have Asperger's Syndrome. Now what?

I’m not looking for sympathy; I’m looking for practical advice.

So, basically, all my life I wondered why I was so different from everyone else and seemed to have trouble making friends, etc. Then, I happened to hear about the disease Asperger’s and things started to make sense. The monotone, unusual voice patterns, strange motor movements (e.g. I walked without moving my arms for years until this was explicitly pointed out to me, but my arm movements are still very forced and artificial when I walk), social incompetence (e.g. difficulty discerning facetiousness), difficulty with eye contact, nervousness/tension most of the time, excellent math skills, ability to focus on one task like a laser beam (and also the ability to space out), explosive temper, etc. This was finally cemented when I spoke to someone who was formally diagnosed with the disease, although I’m pretty sure she had a more severe form because she is unable to hold down a full-time job and rocks when she sits. Ironically, I spoke to her because we were the two people who were not successfully joining the social cliques that were forming at the event.

Here’s my position in life: Thanks to the lucky compensation of great math/logic skills, I graduated college and have a good job. But, I’m stressed out by the social aspects of my job.

So, what do I do now? Any advice from people in a similar position? Should I see a psychiatrist? Should I get formally diagnosed? Do I keep this a secret or tell people who wonder why I’m such a weirdo? The main thing I’d like to fix is the nervousness and tension. If I could just get rid of that, I think I’d be just fine.

Just sharing your experiences will also be very interesting in itself.

Asking for medical advice is generally frowned upon here. However you seem to be asking for stories, so maybe it will stay open. Regardless with any medical issue you should always consult a doctor of some sort. Family doctors have heard and seen everything. There is nothing to fear from asking a doctor about this, and a lot to gain. So mayhap you should do so?

Be sure that the person you speak to has expertise with Asperger’s. I know this sounds obvious, but sadly some people will advertise that they deal with certain conditions but are really bad at it.

There are Asperger’s support groups online; you might wish to consult one of them or even a local group to get a referral to a psych who can help. There are social skills courses given by some Asperger’s support groups and some physicians. And of course the Internet is a treasure trove. Here’s one link for starters:

The member Mr. Slant figured out he has Asperger’s pretty much the same way you did. He actually seems different now that he’s identified the problem. Perhaps he’ll poke his head in here and let you know what he did…