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Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic
Posted on Monday, March 12 @ 09:23:00 EDT by
WrongPlanet Tips Most people with Asperger's Syndrome have some intense interest that they pursue with a passion (I'm one of those) and it's pretty clear that OCD tendencies go hand in hand with Asperger's Syndrome. Serotonin is the chemical that plays a role in causing aspies to pursue their special interests and similarly causes people with OCD to be obsessive or anxious. Certain levels of serotonin are also linked with the autistic tendency of "stimming."

While reading some interesting literature, I stumbled upon research that showed similarities between serotonin's role in OCD and the role serotonin plays in neurochemical bonding, more commonly known as "love." The idea of chemicals causing love, and the fact that at least one of these "love chemicals" is directly responsible for giving us our aspie traits, fascinates me.



Serotonin is actually the chemical that interacts with the brain during the initial "attraction" phase of a relationship, along with dopamine and norepinephrine (it's no coincidence that the anti-depressants prescribed for OCD, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, can cause a decrease in a person's ability to fall in love). Interestingly, lower-than-normal levels of serotonin are common among "newfound lovers" and are also common in, you guesssed it, people with OCD.

Consequently, you could say that the newly-lovestruck couple going to prom together for the first time have actually fallen into OCD with each other; although you'd probably receive strange looks from anyone who hears you utter such a bizzare bastardization of a ubiquitously understood phrase. Wow, the term "love-sickness" is starting to make a whole lot of sense now, isn't it?

Unlike Serotonin (which plays an important role in the early stage of a relationship), a chemical known as Oxytocin is linked to the long term bonding phase of a more mature romantic relationship. I bet you can guess what chemical is released into the brains of two lovers after they experience an orgasm (hint: it starts with a big O).

Oxytocin may not be directly linked to OCD, however. But Oxytocin and Sertonin, along with other neuro chemicals (such as Testosterone, Estrogen, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Vasopressin) interact to create the whole spectrum of "romantic love" that two humans experience together. An even larger variety of neurochemicals constantly work in parallel to create the full human emotional experience, which manifests itself mentally as well as physically (it's not just a coincidence that your palms start to sweat and your heart begins to beat a little faster when you run into that special someone).

Interestingly enough, due to the bizarre ways these neuro chemicals interact with your brain, certain levels of Oxytocin may play a role in OCD and Asperger's after all! Why else would the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology publish a study2 in 2003 entitled Oxytocin Infusion Reduces Repetitive Behaviors in Adults with Autistic and Asperger's Disorders? This study argues that "repetitive behavior in autism spectrum disorders may be related to abnormalities in the oxytocin system, and may be partially ameliorated by synthetic oxytocin infusion." Say what?

Wait. Does this mean that having a lot of sex will decrease the amount of time you spend stimming and also cause you to spend less time focused on your special interests? I have no idea; I'm not a clinical neuropsychopharmacologist.

References

  • [1] "On Love," National Geographic, February 2006
  • [2] Neuropsychopharmacology (2003) 28, 193-198.
  • [3] Wikipedia contributors, "Love (scientific views)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Love_%28scientific_views%29&oldid=113411348 (accessed March 11, 2007).

The swan photograph, by R Neil Marshman, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license.

© Alexander Plank, 2007



               


 
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Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Chapter13 Sunday, December 09 @ 01:59:05 EST
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I've studied neurochemistry and frontal-subcortical circuits for my PhD thesis and enjoyed your article. Neuropharmacology is a very interesting topic, but one must always consider that organization of the brain is very important for normal function. I haven't read that much about autism specifically, but it would seem to suggest unusual gating of input and filtering of information. So I suspect abnormalities in connectivity between parts of the brain may be as much underpinning differences in autism as amounts of neurochemicals. Of course, neurotransmitters are important in choosing which neural pathways to reinforce and which to discard during development. I appreciate the comparison of love to special interests. I had never thought about it in that light before, but with my first relationship, I gathered information (family names, birthdates) into a notecard, and 'studied' my mate to learn all about her. I suppose knowing this now, I might be able to avoid spooking my next girlfriend (in the highly unlikely event that I'll ever have another one). Thanks for your article.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by WARTORIOUS Monday, October 22 @ 20:08:42 EDT
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This article suggests to me people with OCD can be cured through serotonin uptake inhibitors and a little classical conditioning. Every action that is rewarded is repeated, so you use SRI's to block the positive effect of the stimming and you'll be "better". dude I hope this can help someone just like the time when I explained why benzodeasapans take 2 weeks to work :) Email: Wartorious@yahoo.com



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by computerlove Wednesday, March 14 @ 13:14:45 EDT
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I think that yes, it's true. When I was with this girl, the first months/year I was very happy, and I think it helped me a lot to be less AS. And I'm also thinking that when the relationship was coming to an end and I didn't want to be with her anymore, I felt more AS ... :(



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by RedMage Saturday, March 17 @ 04:29:12 EDT
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That's just weird...



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by the42the42 Saturday, March 17 @ 13:20:31 EDT
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I have noticed that when I am in a relationship, I tend to treat my girlfriend as an "interest". This has helped and hurt every relationship I have been in, and I try not to go too far with it. I have also noticed that I spend much less time on my other interests while I am in a relationship, though I do not stop any of them entirely.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by pi_woman Saturday, March 17 @ 15:31:46 EDT
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Fascinating. I wonder if the serotonin level connection is cause or effect? Nature or Nurture?



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by nickdujunco Sunday, March 18 @ 23:09:58 EDT
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that is soo weird... but i guess it's true since all of us acted in one way or another (relationships or hobbies). man that is sooo weird.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Xon Tuesday, March 20 @ 16:51:47 EDT
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thanks for writing this article, alex. it was interesting.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Clueless_Rhino Wednesday, March 21 @ 09:53:03 EDT
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I hate it when I do that. I do it all the time and the poor victim thinks I want in thier pants or something. Also, I can't seem to keep it in my head that "friendly people are not necessarily your friend". I really wish I'd learn that one. And one more thing, after people get to know me a little bit, as a friend, they suddenly decide to run the other way. I don't appear autistic, or "retarded", so no allowances are made. Several times I thought about getting t-shirts made up saying "Socially Disfunctional". I hate my social life...er, lact there of.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by KBABZ Sunday, March 25 @ 09:38:20 EDT
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Hmm, so when we are obsessed with something we're technically in love? Also, does that mean that when The Cure comes along we'll be deprived of falling in love? (that's pretty sad if you ask me)



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Raph522 Sunday, March 25 @ 16:11:59 EDT
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But if this is true then why are so many aspies/auties asexual?



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by biostructure Sunday, March 25 @ 16:31:52 EDT
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Interestingly, the most common finding with regard to serotonin in autism is elevated blood serotonin. This unfortunately doesn't tell us what's going on inside the brain, since serotonin is a charged and quite nonpolar molecule that doesn't easily cross membranes such as the blood-brain barrier (as a side note, this is very useful physiologically--the fact that the brain's chemical environment is separate from the blood means that the same chemicals can be used for totally different things in the two places without "confusion"). On the other hand, it seems that OCD is due to LOW serotonin in the brain, as evidenced by the fact that elevation of brain serotonin with reuptake inhibitors tends to cause improvement. There's a general theory in neurochemistry that the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are oppowsing forces, with dopamine causing fixation, goal-directed behavior, hyperactivity, and (in some cases) paranoia, and serotonin acting to dampen this effect to allow flexibility. This is most certainly an oversimplified picture, but it seems to have some validity in the big picture sense. This would make it hard to understand how elevated serotonin could be a cause of autism, as opposed to some random side effect.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by SamuraiSaxen Wednesday, March 28 @ 02:09:14 EDT
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That's weird . . . but interesting.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by kingjim Friday, March 30 @ 05:46:51 EDT
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Yeah.. but, I know that taking "st john's wart" really evens me out somehow. but (and I've done a few expirements on myself too see.. Yeah, it stabilized ne alittle. Great! But I became suicidal. Hmmm... BUT, coming off that stuff is one of the best highs I ever had! (and mind you, I had accidental meth, coke, pcp, opium...) these pharmecuticals are way harder... They really have you in their drug dealing circle. If you buy in.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by jackie31337 Friday, March 30 @ 06:08:28 EDT
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I'm not a clinical neuropsychopharmacologist either, but speaking from personal experience, oxytocin definitely affects my aspie traits. The only time in my whole life that I can honestly say I felt empathy was when my daughter was an infant and my oxytocin levels were sky high from breastfeeding her. It was as if she was literally an extension of me. When she cried, I felt physical pain and an urgent need to comfort her. When she got hurt, I cried, too. Between 1 and 2 years old, she gradually weaned herself. As she nursed less and less, my oxytocin levels fell, and I felt more and more like she was a separate person from me. Now I can't "read" her cues (for hunger, tiredness, etc.) like I used to, and I struggle to understand the needs that drive her behavior, all of which used to come intuitively to me. To some extent, I know it's because she's becoming a much more complex little person, but I'm also sure weaning and the drop in oxytocin had something to do with it.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by zaniac Monday, April 02 @ 19:13:15 EDT
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I've found it difficult to fall deeply in love, or indeed to experience most other emotions, other than bipolar mood swings, very strongly. I can get taken advantage of, since like many AS people I'm rather too nice for my own good, but it's pretty easy for me to bail out if that's the case, and that becomes apparent pretty quickly. For the most part, I'm fine with the inability to experience most emotions very strongly; it leaves my head clearer for something called "thinking". It's not that I don't care, I manifest my caring in some very practical ways, it's just that I don't get "attached". Some people consider me to be "cold", but most such people think I'm rather weird and geeky anyway, so I don't pay much attention to them. I do try, however, to adjust my own expectations to a little something called "reality", which makes my search for love (or sex anyway) a bit less frustrating. It's also allowed me to make a few very good (non-sexual) friends -- mostly AS themselves, of course. I've also lowered my expectations about people in general; a healthy and balanced dose of good old-fashioned cynicism has proven to be very helpful. I do take prescribed meds that inhibit the re-uptake of dopamine and norepiphenerine(?), which helps a lot with my bipolar mood swings and ADD. However, I'm not taking any SSRI's, so my serotonin is possibly either on the low side or not getting used very effectively. I've been thinking about trying L-tryptophan, which is available again in the US, and which can boost levels of serotonin in the brain without the hazards of 5-HTP, but I do plan to talk to my doctor first. I am skeptical about the effectiveness of at least some of the SSRI's, in light of recent revelations that the publicized data may have been "cherry-picked" to make them look more effective than they really are, and I don't think I'd like the effect on my libido anyway.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by chairbreak Monday, April 09 @ 13:16:50 EDT
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This absolutely makes sense to me, as I've noticed two patterns with my special interests. One is that they become more intense when I'm lonely, and the other is that pursuing them seems to cause some sort of chemical emotional pleasure, like a mild drug I suppose. So this seems like a good explanation for why those things seem to happen. I also didn't have any real special interests when I was in my relationship, but as soon as that ended, they came flooding back. If I was replacing the "love chemicals" from my relationship with ones that come from pursuit of a special interest, that makes a lot of sense.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by RedMage Friday, April 13 @ 21:42:28 EDT
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I told mum about this and she said it's a load of rubbish.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by MarkUK30 Tuesday, April 17 @ 19:08:27 EDT
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I agree with this statement, although love is regulated my many hormones, and Serotonin is key, Oxytocin, Dopamine, Vasopressin and other neurotransmitters play an important role. I used to be on a Pharmacy degree and a while back I looked into the chemistry of love. Without saying anymore on the subject, it was this that led me to believe I had a serotonin deficiency which caused me to be how I am and led me to start taking anti depressants, but now I think Dopamine also plays a role in autism spectrum disorders as well, as like has been said, they are opposing systems. As soon as I find somebody to love I can carry on my research lol.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Benu Saturday, April 21 @ 13:21:22 EDT
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Of course you, the research, are correct. Sex/love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe, right next to divorce. Since Aspies are an exceptional/special species of humans it goes without saying that there are connections in the biochemistry of the different areas. I noted that Tiger Woods stopped being the top golfer when he fell in love/got married then bounded back up when they separated. Please feel welcome to correct me, as I'm sure somebody will on this forum, if I'm mistaken as to the timing. I'm not saying Tiger Woods is an Aspie. I don't think he's that fortunate. I see the traits of successful people concentrated in Aspies. Of course it is good to see more research shedding light on the possible inner functioning of NT's and Aspies. Hopefully it will yield treatments for people whose traits are incapacitating. Thanks for sharing it with us.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Benu Saturday, April 21 @ 22:11:46 EDT
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Knowing about the actions and interactions of brain and body chemicals is a good thing but using that knowledge via "medicines" will be a challenge. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These are things like prozac and other anti depressants. Known to induce suicidal and homicidal impulses in significant percentages of users. There is rarely an easy solution. Still, careful usage of drugs that work is a good thing for some. Personally, I prefer the track you were on, i.e. that lots of sex can be used to modify behavior (it's always worked that way for me), etc. I'm a self practicing neuropsychopharmacologist. I've been adjusting my programming most of my life, almost all of it without knowing I fit into a category name. Ignorance was bliss for me.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by sounded Wednesday, April 25 @ 23:09:01 EDT
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Maybe it's not the brain's chemicals but it's structure. Recent research has shown that the caudate nucleus seems to be the cause of the 'I've just fallen in love feeling'. It's known to have a role in motor control, language and memory and is suspected of being involved in OSD. Scans of those with ASD have shown abnormalities in this region of the brain.



(Stimming???) Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by EgaoNoGenki Friday, May 11 @ 18:22:32 EDT
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"Stimming" is not in the dictionary. See? The term is empty. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stimming However, you can add the term to the dictionary if you know what it means. Please go ahead. Thanks.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Kohav_Esh Sunday, May 13 @ 12:12:54 EDT
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interestingly, i find myself constantly falling in and out of love/obsession? is this an aspergers thing or am i just weird???



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by tomamil Saturday, May 19 @ 18:49:33 EDT
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so, my inability to fall in love can be caused by some chemical deficiency of some stuff in my brain? hmm...



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by SocialParadox Wednesday, May 23 @ 08:52:49 EDT
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Does this mean that obsessions are our love ? Should we just stick with them and be happy that way, maintaning good weak relationships with people and stopping pursuing something (love) we just are not bound to ? This sounds fascinating to me.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Cindy32 Wednesday, May 23 @ 12:16:54 EDT
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This was a very interesting article. I am new to this site as well as the whole Asperger's thing so will be a good learning situation all around. I agree with a lot of the replies as well. Before I ever even knew that Asperger's existed I made "jokes" about being dating dyslexic, relationship retarded and socially disfunctional, little did I realize just how true that really is. I really think that like another person talked about having a T-shirt made up so that people could understand why we see things so differently that I will make up one with my saying on it. Maybe we should all make up shirts to start getting the information out there so that we no longer feel so alienated.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Matthew9 Friday, May 25 @ 00:55:54 EDT
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I have that issue too. There is this girl named Kiera who likes me, but I'm not sure if I like her back or not. Part of me tells me to go for it, while the other part tells me to just be friends with her.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by St-Mauritius Friday, June 01 @ 14:04:17 EDT
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I’m an aspie (I do not like to write it whit a capital A) and have a Ph.D. in medical biology. First of all, hold your horses when reading an interesting scientific publication. One publication of research data does not make the hypothesis a general excepted theory, and certainly not a new scientific law. It takes an expert scientist in this field – which I’m not – to fully understand the paper and consequently value it. This said, I also believe it is a interesting hypothesis. As several of you already mentioned, I too have less aspie behavior when I’m in a relationship, because the girlfriend becomes the new preoccupation. Besides, it struck me that the use of a particular anti-depressive not only got me out of a depression, but also improved my “normal” cognition. I behave less black/white, I enjoy more the little things in live (no long only my special interests) and – talking about orgasms and oxytocin – improved my experience of my orgasms dramatically. Needless to say, I’ll never stop using this anti-depressive in my life. My psychiatrist and psychologist are perplexed about the effect on my orgasms, because the drug is normally known to potentially decrease the libido! So, yes, it would not surprise me a particular shift in the balance of neurotransmitters could play a role in both Asperger’s syndrome and love.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by darkenergy Friday, June 01 @ 20:02:47 EDT
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The recent flight in neurological research has led to a tremendous amount of dumping of statistics, 'scientific facts' (buttressed with chemical jargon) etc. etc. onto the media, including - of course - the Disinformation Highway. After a while, one gets a bit fed up and starts asking questions like 'so what?' Something with chemicals has been spotted. What can / should we do with it? Create a new drug? Brave New World around the corner? Pop a pill and become 'normal'? To me, such 'research' looks rather trivial and useless (just about anyone can be drugged into any kind of behaviour, for a while). Unless you're a diehard materialist, for whom life is nothing more than a bunch of freak chemical processes, it doesn't say why aspies exist at all, what the meaning of their lives is, or how they should live. I really don't know what to do with this 'information'.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Genius-Idiot Tuesday, June 05 @ 00:12:23 EDT
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Funny to see this now. Just a couple of days ago, I came to the realization that sex is a stim for me. There has been a pattern over my life since I became sexually active where each girlfriend has first told me I was absolutely the best lover ever, then told me she needed a break, then told me it was way too much, then told me she's fed up and thinks that's all I want. I've never had a problem falling in love, even before I had sex, so it truly wasn't all I wanted; I was heartbroken every time a relationship ended, even when I did the leaving myself (knowing it was necessary). But I have a tendency to want to spend literally all my time in the throes of passion. I never could explain -- even to myself -- the powerful frustration I felt when intimacy was denied. So now I'm in search of any kind of stim that might relieve the demands I make on a girlfriend in that sense, so I can actually have a successful relationship. Or, as a possibly better but less likely solution, it might be cool if I could find someone else like me. On second thought, eating and sleeping are healthy activities.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Kenny Tuesday, June 05 @ 11:24:00 EDT
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Hi, Alex And everybody else. I fall in love way too easy, looking back on who I picked. Not like I have much to choose from, they choose me. I am a natural born scientist- no, I came from a family where I was given the nature & nurture of one. I can only study that which intrests me and social skills have yet to top my list. I am newly self-diagnosed via wikipedia, that was creepy finding my every intimate detail on one webpage. Considering the source, meaning it's written by the people affected, supports the validity of self-diagnosis. For me to seek direction from a common tricyclic lombotomist would be like little green men asking directions at a gas station, from the attendants child in the playpen out back. I would have an associates of science degree and who knows what else, if I had better study habits. Seeking to exchange advice, kenny



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Saerain Saturday, June 23 @ 07:42:57 EDT
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Consider me a lab rat for the sex theory. My lover and I have sex between two and nine times a week, depending how much time we have together. We are very affectionate and aside from sex we do an uncommon amount of cuddling, napping together, tickling, and general playfulness and cat-like affection. I would say that sex is therefore my 'Aspie passion', but she shows the same libido as well, and she is not diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. She also seems to initiate two out of every three of our encounters. So, assuming I am not a sex addict due to AS, and assuming sex may decrease AS tendencies... well, it does not seem to hold true for me. Of course it distracts me, but one cannot have sex 24/7/365. I am saying that sex does not seem to affect my behaviour outside of sex.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by hilbert Monday, July 02 @ 08:35:06 EDT
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From my experience orgasm does decrease my unusual behavior for a limited time (about 24 hours) but then it just comes back



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Zion Wednesday, July 25 @ 16:43:35 EDT
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everyone is different? am i right? so one case its one way. another its different.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by wiccanaspie Wednesday, August 15 @ 18:19:04 EDT
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I learned a bit along these lines, in Biology class (college), but I never saw the connection like you so eloquently put it. Thank you for putting it in terms an Aspie can understand.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by MikeH106 Monday, August 20 @ 15:52:27 EDT
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I'm pretty sure that phenylethylamine is the chemical of romantic love, not serotonin.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by Lessian Saturday, August 25 @ 06:04:41 EDT
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Better to be a bit OCD than in a major depressive funk...



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by ginandtonic Saturday, September 01 @ 00:29:09 EDT
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OK I'll accept that my body chemistry is wrong. I'm a male almost 70 years old and have never had any kind of relationship. Do I need to MORE or LESS serotonin/oxycontin. And in either case what do I need to eat/not eat to accomplish this. I'm willing to try anything. WTF do I have to lose now.



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by cerasela Tuesday, September 18 @ 18:54:39 EDT
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Maybe that's why I am so afraid to fall in love, I keep for myself for years and when I do fall in love, the bond is very deep, it happens quik and if the other person does not feel the same, it's a big mess...anyway, I would rather be the way I am than an empty, pathetic Barbie doll, changing men like underware. :)



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by AspieFemme Tuesday, October 02 @ 16:41:40 EDT
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Hi, All! I'm new here, the Aspie mom of a 4-year-old boy with Autism. I originally wanted to post in response to jackie31337 because I, too, noticed a big difference in my Aspie traits during the breastfeeding of my two children. What a difference those surges of oxytocin can make... But upon reading through all of the comments, I noticed several references to t-shirts, and I wanted to point out that I made quite a few for myself that can be found at www.cafepress.com/madwhirl. They are all black (because I tend to prefer the same kinds of clothes every day) and say the things I eventually felt like shouting to the world: "socially dysfunctional" is on there, along with "High AQ", "eye contact is overrated", and a bunch more. I came out of the closet when my son was diagnosed (I don't want him ever to be ashamed of who he is), and now I'm a proud Aspie!



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by kikker Friday, September 05 @ 19:40:20 EDT
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Reading that Oxytocin plays a role in Autism, gave me more confidence in my own observation since long, that: My AS features differ as a function of my hormonal levels - as a function of where I am in my menstrual cycle. Now, - some of the male readers may want to close their ears -, but it is my observation that during my period, my AS type of behavior virtually disappears!! It's just not there! It seems that in those 5 days, I have a sport in looking people into their eyes in supermarkets, out on the streets and wherever I go. They smile at me, I smile at them. I'm one of the happy crowd. I am emphatic in those days! More than any average woman in my environment. Not that my whole personality changes in those days. It's more like I correspond more to the view I have of myself as a social person. A social person that normally puts the music on her ears while shopping to prevent all unexpected sounds and noise to distress her. Now, I agree it's a quick link to think this has to do with Oxytocin levels. But it has to do with hormones, right?! And Oxitocin has to do with hormones, I'm sure. Is there some expert out there, who could help me solve this puzzle? I would love to know!



Re: Your Brain's 'Love Chemicals' may also make you Autistic (Score: 1)
by OldManDax Friday, September 26 @ 10:39:16 EDT
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"Wait. Does this mean that having a lot of sex will decrease the amount of time you spend stimming and also cause you to spend less time focused on your special interests? I have no idea; I'm not a clinical neuropsychopharmacologist." From my research on it seems oxytocin in needed first before long-term bonding and orgasm can more readily occur. It also play a significant role in the motivation needed to seek out any pleasurable experiences, not just orgasms.


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