stimming caused by anxiety?



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matsuiny2004
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05 May 2008, 9:12 am

I had a conversation with my dad and he said that anxiety was causing me to stim (doing stuff like tapping, beatboxing, etc) I do not conciuosly do this and when I do it feels relaxing :? . What is my dad talking about and is it it possible for stimming to be caused by anxiety?



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05 May 2008, 9:15 am

It's not necessarily the only trigger for stims, but yes, anxiety and excitement can increase the need for stimming. In general, you'll find many of our autistic behaviors increase with anxiety or excitement.

For me at least, I also find stims relaxing, like the anxiety/excitement causes built-up energy and the stimming is a release for it.


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matsuiny2004
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05 May 2008, 9:18 am

Sophist wrote:
It's not necessarily the only trigger for stims, but yes, anxiety and excitement can increase the need for stimming. In general, you'll find many of our autistic behaviors increase with anxiety or excitement.

For me at least, I also find stims relaxing, like the anxiety/excitement causes built-up energy and the stimming is a release for it.


So him saying anxiety was causing my stimming would be inaccurate?



Microban
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05 May 2008, 9:34 am

Some people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder look like they're stimming.
I would assume many ASD "stims" are also calming for anxious people.
I seem to copy anxious people's actions because they seem normal, such as those that you previously listed.
I don't know you, so I can't say if you're an anxious person or not. But, you're on the spectrum, and an outsider could make the mistake of claiming that you are anxious because your stims resemble the actions of someone with a GAD. :wink:
Hand Flapping = Excitement
Anxiety = Wringing Fingers



Last edited by Microban on 05 May 2008, 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sophist
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05 May 2008, 9:48 am

matsuiny2004 wrote:
Sophist wrote:
It's not necessarily the only trigger for stims, but yes, anxiety and excitement can increase the need for stimming. In general, you'll find many of our autistic behaviors increase with anxiety or excitement.

For me at least, I also find stims relaxing, like the anxiety/excitement causes built-up energy and the stimming is a release for it.


So him saying anxiety was causing my stimming would be inaccurate?


I wouldn't necessarily say inaccurate, but it's probably more complicated than a simple A caused B. If anxiety triggers the need for stimming, then I guess in a roundabout way you could say it caused it.

Probably more accurate to say anxiety can increase the need for stimming to facilitate release.


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Willard
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05 May 2008, 10:12 am

Sophist wrote:
matsuiny2004 wrote:
Sophist wrote:
It's not necessarily the only trigger for stims, but yes, anxiety and excitement can increase the need for stimming. In general, you'll find many of our autistic behaviors increase with anxiety or excitement.

For me at least, I also find stims relaxing, like the anxiety/excitement causes built-up energy and the stimming is a release for it.


So him saying anxiety was causing my stimming would be inaccurate?


I wouldn't necessarily say inaccurate, but it's probably more complicated than a simple A caused B. If anxiety triggers the need for stimming, then I guess in a roundabout way you could say it caused it.

Probably more accurate to say anxiety can increase the need for stimming to facilitate release.



Willard
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05 May 2008, 10:16 am

Sophist wrote:
matsuiny2004 wrote:
Sophist wrote:
It's not necessarily the only trigger for stims, but yes, anxiety and excitement can increase the need for stimming. In general, you'll find many of our autistic behaviors increase with anxiety or excitement.

For me at least, I also find stims relaxing, like the anxiety/excitement causes built-up energy and the stimming is a release for it.


So him saying anxiety was causing my stimming would be inaccurate?


I wouldn't necessarily say inaccurate, but it's probably more complicated than a simple A caused B. If anxiety triggers the need for stimming, then I guess in a roundabout way you could say it caused it.

Probably more accurate to say anxiety can increase the need for stimming to facilitate release.


I stim pretty much constantly and I'd say it comes from living in a perpetual state of low-level anxiety. As my anxiety level increases, when under psychological or emotional pressure, stimming becomes more intense, but in the calmest of times, the anxiety is still a background.



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05 May 2008, 12:39 pm

My hands are constantly doing this skin-pinching thing that I do when I'm nervous. When I'm talking to people, my hands won't stop.


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Tormod
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05 May 2008, 1:22 pm

It does increase the need for stimming for me. If I'm really stressed or nervous I may rock and hum (quietly) and that helps me control. It seldom happens, because I'm usually a rather calm person, but it happened once a few weeks ago in school during a lesson that I felt really anxious and stressed, almost melt-downish, and I have no idea what triggered it. But that doesn’t happen very often.



theQuail
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05 May 2008, 3:48 pm

If I'm nervous or excited my leg will automatically start twitching (when I am sitting) or I will automatically start swaying (when I am standing), so I guess so... The stims are more obvious if I am especially nervous, like rocking when sitting down for example. I could wring my hands consciously to relax somewhat if I'm nervous, but that is always conscious.



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05 May 2008, 11:24 pm

Yes and no. Some of the repetative motions I make increase with anxiety - leg bouncing or hand wringing, for instance. However, I also bounce my knee when I'm very excited about something. I sometimes rock when I want comforting. Also, I find myself twiddling my thumbs or swaying back and forth when I'm happy or concentrating on something. The swaying thing drives me nuts when I catch myself doing it. Nothing says "not normal" like a grown woman standing there unconsciously swinging her shoulders back and forth. :oops:



pschristmas
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05 May 2008, 11:26 pm

theQuail wrote:
If I'm nervous or excited my leg will automatically start twitching (when I am sitting) or I will automatically start swaying (when I am standing), so I guess so... The stims are more obvious if I am especially nervous, like rocking when sitting down for example. I could wring my hands consciously to relax somewhat if I'm nervous, but that is always conscious.


OK, that's funny. I hadn't even read the other posts until I posted mine. I guess the swaying thing isn't that bizarre after all, huh?



delia43
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05 May 2008, 11:37 pm

I seem to reserve arm-flapping for when I'm super-anxious. When I'm "normal," my stims just involve small bits of figeting.



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06 May 2008, 7:44 am

I stim when agaitated or when anxious mainly. I suck my thumb and tap things. Other people find it very annoying.


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darkstone100
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06 May 2008, 7:47 am

matsuiny2004 wrote:
I had a conversation with my dad and he said that anxiety was causing me to stim (doing stuff like tapping, beatboxing, etc) I do not conciuosly do this and when I do it feels relaxing :? . What is my dad talking about and is it it possible for stimming to be caused by anxiety?


well look at it this way when your anxious you stim to relax yourself.


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