Is autism overdiagnosed?

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Aral

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It dovetails a bit with my post of a few months ago about neurodivergence being the new cool stuff to be diagnosed with, but I see so many people being diagnosed late with autism, and that generally my generation (zoomers) seems obsessed with autism. It looks like the era of diagnosing every kid who is being a kid with ADHD is over, now everyone and their mother has autism.

It makes me wonder whether there are truly more autistic people that weren't detected before or simply if it's another overdiagnosed condition like ADHD. Trauma can make you display symptoms that can seem autistic and the culture we live in seems to increase the risks of autistic-like behaviour (tech addiction, especially in young children, who magically seem to lose their autism and catch back up on language and social skills once you take them off Cocomelon and daddy's phone/iPad), not to mention the norms' goalposts being constantly moved and the very unnatural behaviours and habits the society we live in imposes on us. Autism is now a spectrum, not so much a condition in itself, and I feel iffy about it: that means more and more of the population who doesn't stand this very unnatural way of being could fall under 'autistic spectrum disorder', which would imply that THEY are the ones with a problem, when in fact it's the society we live in that has a problem and repeatedly and chronically traumatizes us and keeps us in a state of constant hypervigilance.

On one hand I think some people, especially women and girls, fall under the radar and are truly autistic, but on the other, it feels like there are way too many autistics diagnosed for it to be "real". I don't put into question the reality of autism itself, don't get me wrong (although I don't think many people would get me wrong on here, it's not Twatter where they literally analyze your tweet just to find something to reproach you or attack you about, but just in case...) simply questioning whether it's truly autism in the majority of cases or something else. It can even be a completely logical and normal reaction to a very illogical and abnormal environment. We aren't so different from our cavemen ancestors, despite what modernity wants to push on us.

What do you think? I condensed my thinking a bit in this post as to not make a huge ass wall of text, and also because I'm not sure whether I'm saying bullshit or saying something that holds truth.
 
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bnuungus

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I feel like it is. I get the general sense that a lot of kids think of it as "weird and have trouble participating in how the world works = autism" but that's not what autism is. I mean, we're all weird in our own ways (which is good) and our current system is difficult for nearly everyone to participate in because it doesn't foster living a real life. But no one's gonna correct people because pharma money. please someone correct me if I'm wrong in this assessment.
 
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LostintheCycle

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Perhaps now kids are becoming retarded by their use of devices, but this was not a problem affecting people in the adolescent to young adult range where there is signficant amount of 'autism'. Here I have slopped together a post describing my thoughts, it's probably imprecise and of course not wholly my own ideas.

Autism can be described as infantilizing because an autistic person is usually more dependant and acts in a way which we could describe as less mature. I suspect the zooms co-opted autism as the collective excuse for their own extraordinarily low maturity in multiple areas. Zoomers are not very mature to say the least, I don't think I need to go in depth describing this.
Isn't it funny that it is too unpleasant to be the type of autistic where you are incapable of caring for yourself? It's better to be the sort who gushes over pricey noice-cancelling headphones because they get 'sensory overload'. Or you can be really into videogames like >95% of zoomers are. Or be obsessed with buying shit like plushes or toys or whatever.
You'll see an awful lot of people nestled comfortably into this type which is different but not repungent, with little variation.

Now, I don't have autism but I sure got that terminal-onlineness the rest of us zooms got, with an extra helping of social ineptitude probably from inferior social development as a child. Hence, I was called autistic all throughout high school, being on /r9k/ didn't help me much. I was at time convinced that I was autistic.
Around ~17 I had an epiphany that if I went to enough psychologists I would get a diagnosis eventually, that was a fact. "To what end is this for?" I asked myself. Admittedly, probably so I could blame my shortcomings on a disorder, which would effectively offload my personal responsibility to change and mature. You can't change that, I have autism. This is the crux to me of why it's so attractive to zooms to have any sort of disorder, and I understood that now. So, I refused to follow that, and though it didn't really fix my social awkwardness (it has gotten worse), it has fixed my attitude at least. I am not helpless, I know now.

One day quite recently I was hanging out with a friend and a friend of his, who is a walking charicature of what I described earlier. Out of the blue they asked me if I had autism. I had been expecting this to happen at some point. I said "Not that I know of," for the sake of not giving a blunt answer like "No I don't". They said "Are you sure?", and I stopped myself from throttling them. This had made me start to think more about how this 'autism' might propogate more socially than I thought. I could attest that I'd never have thought I had autism if people didn't suggest it to me constantly. This particular person was an avid Twitter user, part of 'autism'-adjacent groups as well. People refuse to admit for selfish reasons the extent which they are influenced by the outside because it implies lack of individuality. Unfortunately, it is the truth for almost all of us.

Uhh, in summary, this was the background to my overall though which is this: '''autistic''' people have deluded themselves through social mechanisms that some of their personal inadequecies are explainable by something beyond their control, otherwise they would have to face the reality that they are responsible for themselves.
 
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Cobalt

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FAB2592D-2353-484D-8C54-C1925633C0B4.gif

Interesting thread. I do agree that things like autism are probably becoming over diagnosed. I think a lot of it is due to stuff like the internet and technology causing young people to have very poor social skills, poor attention spans, a general lack of maturity, lack of any concrete identity, etc. just a lot of the youngins' coming up right now are very maladapted people in a myriad of areas, and some more than others.

GIF very much related.
 
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interesting thread you've got here. having spent some time in special ed I know autistic when I see it as well as ADHD and yes people are overdiagnosed mostly our good old zoomies on the chinese spyware app here are some of the thing they do and say you can see
  1. they see the spectrum as a scale NOT a spectrum. a spectrum is like the color wheel on art program where you'd go from green autism to red autism to indigo autism to cyan autism and so on and so on but you're always as autistic. This is all because of aspergers and high functionning autism where they'll think those are like better autism where you have less of it like if autism could be quantified in midichlorian countor something. instead they see a black-to-white scale going to normal (white) from screeching nearly human creature punching through walls and sniffing your hair at mc donalds (black) so they can cope out and go haha i'm le autistic XDDD *flaps hands around for way too long* lol the song makes me go all crazy hihihi oh no I'm not this kind of autistic I'm light gray autistic anyway you need to excuse my every quirk because of this *giggles like a retard and look away from the camera to simulate shyness*
  2. they always have the same fucking qirky autistic default like I can't look at you in the eyes but they do it like a 13y old girl in love or oh I have hyperfixation and it's just 15 plushies they bought this month sitting on a shelf or the OCD that is always not OCD like "I gotta have my hands always clean" or the worst offender "this obvious flaw in architecure is bothering me OMGGG" LIKE YEAH NO SHIT YOU DUMB BITCH IT BOTHERS EVERYONE NO ONE LIKKES TO SEE A 87 DEGREE ANGLE NEXT TO A BUNCH OF 90 DEGREES ONES EVERYBODY IS BOTHERED AND EVERYBODY SAW IT YOU JUST NOTED IT BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ATTENTION WHORE FUCK YOU FUCK YUO. you never see them being loud when socially akward they're never obsessed about sonic they never played too hard and hurt their little siblings they never bit anybody and they never gort into a fight wwith their grandma because of the way she arranged the dishes in the dishwasher and they sure as hell never got bullied and ridiculed because of the way they acted.
anyways what I'm trying to say is that those people are just fake attention and are mostly just fucking pussies trying to act quirky for clout like you said i just wanted to vent a bit because having known autists and being one myself I despise these shithead so hard it hurts
 
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i seen simulations on video, but how is autism like on mental level? is it like in some greentexts, when you missed context, made mistake and ruined situation? or oversimplifying/overstressing-overcomplicating situations, cues, people, behaviours?
 
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RisingThumb

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Let it suffice to say that I do not believe Autism is a useful diagnosis. This is hypersensitivity was remarkably useful in the past. Instead we have designed a society that overstimulates people to the point of overstimulating average normal people- and the TikTok overexposure of those who would damn others to some mental illness or other doesn't help. In the same regard, ADHD has been overexposed. People possess the powers to be focused, but they have never been rewarded for it within society.

The only usefulness of these diagnoses, are if you are genuinely retarded, and I use that term earnestly and not in a derogatory way. If you are genuinely retarded, and need the support of others to help you- but those cases will be self-evident as they cannot operate in everyday life. The only other use I find in these diagnoses, is to get your tax money back in benefits and welfare.
 
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This is hypersensitivity was remarkably useful in the past. Instead we have designed a society that overstimulates people to the point of overstimulating average normal people
shift. we were always like this. always would be, if tiktok and shorts(tm) were around from earlier. (shockedPikachu) <hopes they will grow out of it - but what then? what are the idols, who to follow, any roots?>
question: but if i think i am useful no one needs me and wil demand from people to need me, because i dont want to fight between yipee millenials, arent i autist, or am i just dreamer who want "social justice"? (used as insult here)
 
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Aral

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shift. we were always like this. always would be, if tiktok and shorts(tm) were around from earlier. (shockedPikachu) <hopes they will grow out of it - but what then? what are the idols, who to follow, any roots?>
question: but if i think i am useful no one needs me and wil demand from people to need me, because i dont want to fight between yipee millenials, arent i autist, or am i just dreamer who want "social justice"? (used as insult here)
If you demand to be needed by people, I think you'd be perceived as an entitled asshole lol
 
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If you demand to be needed by people, I think you'd be perceived as an entitled asshole lol
correct, that was expected (or masochist/male domina(trix))
it is that i dont matter then and i can do what i want, but it doesnt matter because ive been psyoped from everyone "that is selfish" -
it feels dirty. i cant hold myself. either you need me, or i will take it and become Napoleon... it is always what happens in my head. this scenario.
nothing in reality. i am too afraid. i dont want to hurt no one. but if others can, why i still care!? if wrong things get normalized, then, how i still can tell the difference!
my head want to tell me when i dont matter, i am invicible because this is not about me. you dont need me. you just need another workforce you can make "your family". you can psyop (me, us) ever more. we dont matter. young people dont. no one does. it is always the same. nothing ever changes. but why i feel bad for that then!!
feels so stupid. i should not care. i dont want to. but i cant! i want to save everyone. want to show them path. because... i just want them to shout at me. but not only that.
i just want to know why (i feel) all that. what this means, why is my head acting up! i just want from them to tell me what is wrong with me!! **god knew he cant make me be able to learn how to manipulate people, or i would be too dangerous...
- it just seems like only way to get along. to change everything. yet, i dont want to. i dont know whar tells me it is wrong. but it is only mildly, that i am good. i just dont know how. i was just told to it is. learned that. and i just accepted it. i can, but dont want to be bad. what it ever means anyway. it is another shortcut. god, if this post was shorter and i could find out what all this^ means... messiah complex? just one-cut zoomer? is everyone such idealist, at least once??

many people hate capitalism, but done nothing to change that. got no idea. maybe they think they will be at top, after the revolution. yes wishes. > "orange emily"s?

picrel: (orange emily)
ph9zm5mv7pf81.jpg
 
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RisingThumb

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If you demand to be needed by people, I think you'd be perceived as an entitled asshole lol
question: but if i think i am useful no one needs me and wil demand from people to need me, because i dont want to fight between yipee millenials, arent i autist, or am i just dreamer who want "social justice"? (used as insult here)
I think you both misunderstand what it means to be needed by people, and what it means to be wanted by people within a community. The goal isn't possession, obsession or any form of clinginess. In other words, you have to have the energies and powers to be independent. But the goal isn't to completely do away with society or community as a whole, as Humans are social creatures and we exist best within tribes. The goal is to be intradependent. Fully capable of being an entire person, an individual unto yourself without needs for others- but allowing yourself to fall on others.

Unfortunately, tribes are exceptionally hard to form nowadays- most of the time taking the form of a cult of personality which leads towards life-denying ways of acting. You also have it confused on the topic of fighting. You don't need to fight millenials or other people, you only need to fight yourself, as yourself is the only enemy standing in the way of greatness- I say this with particular importance because the western traditions and cultures have poisoned people into fighting each other, and not aspiring towards greatness, cultivating a great amount of Freudian-style sexual fetishism, which promotes untermenschen, slave-morality-like behaviours, while averting men from ubermenschen master morality-like behaviours. People also further confuse Nietzsche to be a nihilist, but really he sees the western tradition for what it is, life-denying. The west is a poisonous bog for anyone concerned for their health, their mind, their aspirations and their ambitions as it is full of parasites using the weapon of guilt and inherited wrongs. I am an aesthetic man who believes the highest ideal is Gesamkunstwerk... to translate, the total work of art, or the combined art drawing from many mediums and styles, but this greatness means striving for psychological completeness and to embrace life. Your suffering is your life, and likewise your life is your suffering- deny suffering and you have an empty husk of what life is.
<hopes they will grow out of it - but what then? what are the idols, who to follow, any roots?>
You can choose any number of people, fictional, historical, living, mythological or legendary. I would caution against living people, as that leads towards a cult of personality. I would advise seeking out a mentor if you don't know much about this, but seeking out a mentor is extremely hard in today's world, as so few want to give, without reward, and with all the risks modern society puts upon it. Personally, I find my idols in Marcus Aurelius, Wotan/Oddin, Varg Vikernes, Ted Kaczynski, Nietzsche, Carl Jung, Max Stirner, Jesus Christ, Sun Tzu, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ludwig Van Beethoven, King Arthur, Richard Wagner, Mozart and of course, in classic English Tradition... Bilbo Baggins(Those perceptive will note a lot of these are high European Culture, focused around German Romanticism).

I would suggest in this regard, understand what you get from those idols, and understand why they are that way, what makes them click, what their goals were and how applicable they are. I would also suggest in some ways emulating them- if you can view your actions in the world through the lens of mythology and legend it can be very life-affirming towards whatever greatness you strive towards- a greatness that the dead scientific quantitative statements of it would kill and deny.
 
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Autism is not overdiagnosed much but it is greatly exaggerated, autism isn't some brain enchantment spell nor a mentall illness that ruins lives. Autism symptoms are sometimes soo slight and get masked pretty eary by most people and sometimes pretty severe. People just didn't care about the high functioning autists before but now there is research on autism spectrum and we know neurodivergency doesn't cause as much issues as we thought.
 
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SomaSpice

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I believe people search diagnoses as a way to give reason to their suffering and thus some way to grapple and address their struggles, but the thing is that mental disorders have no real solution. Psychiatric and behavioral aid can only at best provide some degree of accommodation.

Self-diagosing "neurotypicals" might seek these labels because it makes hopelessness somewhat permissible. You can stop trying once you accept you're broken, bent, and defective. Obviously that is not a real solution, not even to those who are actually mentally unwell, but I don't doubt that the label creates some sort of relief.
 
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I believe people search diagnoses as a way to give reason to their suffering and thus some way to grapple and address their struggles, but the thing is that mental disorders have no real solution. Psychiatric and behavioral aid can only at best provide some degree of accommodation.

Self-diagosing "neurotypicals" might seek these labels because it makes hopelessness somewhat permissible. You can stop trying once you accept you're broken, bent, and defective. Obviously that is not a real solution, not even to those who are actually mentally unwell, but I don't doubt that the label creates some sort of relief.
ever heard of munchhausen by proxy?
...if project Monarch/Montauk are true and are replicable (many versions of opinions, truths and manufacturing consent...), then you can make autism on demand, as meanings shift all the time...
 
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SomaSpice

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ever heard of munchhausen by proxy?
...if project Monarch/Montauk are true and are replicable (many versions of opinions, truths and manufacturing consent...), then you can make autism on demand, as meanings shift all the time...
I hadn't heard of that. Very interesting.
 
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dorgon

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I don't think it's that autism is diagnosed more per se, but I think it's that mental illness nowadays is glorified so much that everyone and their mom wants to be autistic/schizophrenic/bipolar. Shit like this happens not on tik tok but on almost every platform, and I think it's because giving yourself a mental illness is easier than actually having to develop a personality.

What I do believe is happening is what Cobalt said a couple posts up, that modern technology and media are damaging the social skills of people who grow up with technology. Apps such as social media not only promote mental illness as a "quirk" but they also make insecure teenagers feel more validated in a more general sense by likes and followers. Not to mention the echo chamber, which damages any chance of polite discussion with those who disagree with you.

In fact maybe we could try and tackle this question: Does a long-term social media presence develop symptoms similar (or even the same, in some cases?) to autism?
 
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Orlando Smooth

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I don't know enough people under 25 to have a meaningful answer to the question at hand, but what I can say is this:

A concerning trend that I've seen emerge in my lifetime is that while the stigma of diagnosis has reduced greatly (or even inverted for some things), treatment of diagnoses has declined in quality for actual sufferers because treatment for loosely diagnosed people is primarily designed to coddle them and avoid addressing the root cause of their problem.

As it relates to autism, growing up there were very few autistic kids in the community but I assure you no one wanted to be them or their families. These were the scream all the time for no apparent reason, bash their head against the wall, incapable of secondary education kids who would be required to live with their parents or in some group home situation for their entire lives. You better believe that their families spent massive amounts of time and money trying to at least get them to a point of being able to reliably be in public without causing a huge scene. That is, they wanted their kids to be able to fit in with the world. Now today it seems as though those kinds of people receive a different diagnosis all together, and hopefully there are better medication and therapeutic options to help them stay stabilized. Meanwhile, the people who are diagnosed with a lot of the conditions discussed in this thread now, seemingly do so in order to receive special accommodations or permissions to act however they want in public. That is, they want the world to conform to them, basically this:
I could blame my shortcomings on a disorder, which would effectively offload my personal responsibility to change and mature
I blame this on the movement that broke away from prior autism awareness/support networks to instead claim that it's not actually a problem to be solved, but you see this in all kinds of other disorders too. I come from a family lineage that has a disproportionately high suicide rate, because of actual biochemical imbalances derived from genetics - I know what depression of that sort looks and feels like, and it's not what a 16 year old feels when they get dumped nor is it what people feel when they spend 17 hours a day looking at screens. So when I hear these people say that they have depression because "wahhhh my life is hard and the planet is on fire" (meanwhile they're firmly upper middle class in America, which makes them amongst the luckiest humans ever to have existed) and then find out that a therapist has said they have depression, that it's not their fault, and they are totally justified in taking multiple days off work to sit in bed and eat junk food or whatever, it boils my blood. Maybe if you're so depressed we should attempt to understand what's making you feel that way and how you can grow as a person to overcome this shortcoming. But no, modern theories of acceptance/inclusion dictate that we can never question someone's past, that they are flawless just the way they are, and that any attempts to change them would be patriarchal. The number of people who've openly told me that "my therapist said I should take the day off / get my nails done / get a puppy / eat ice cream / watch movies in bed when I'm feeling depressed" is appalling. If you actually had depression, those thing would either not be possible, do nothing, or make you feel worse. Very similar thing with anxiety - no, you don't have anxiety just because you're stressed about work or school or your self-imposed comparisons to fake lifestyles you insist on looking at online. That's a normal and expected response to a stressful situation.

I'm extremely bitter about this topic for two primary reasons:
  1. It's very personal. When I hear some privileged college kid talking about how "life with depression is so hard" when in reality the only reason they got their diagnosis is so they could get a "therapy dog" to live with them in the dorms - it's like when an actual victim is socially expected to treat a false accuser seriously. Just, fuck you.
  2. By co-opting traditional psychology in order to tell people that they're justified to essentially do whatever they want, it's become increasingly difficult for people with actual problems to find a therapist/doctor/whatever who will actually help them. In fact, many of these coping tactics will only make matters worse in the long term. How many young people today who actually have [disorder] will receive garbage-tier treatment that ultimately leads them to the same life of misery that sufferers of prior generations had to deal with, even though we theoretically know better by now?
 
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By co-opting traditional psychology in order to tell people that they're justified to essentially do whatever they want, it's become increasingly difficult for people with actual problems to find a therapist/doctor/whatever who will actually help them. In fact, many of these coping tactics will only make matters worse in the long term. How many young people today who actually have [disorder] will receive garbage-tier treatment that ultimately leads them to the same life of misery that sufferers of prior generations had to deal with, even though we theoretically know better by now?
 
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