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paolo
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19 Apr 2009, 2:24 pm

There is a strict relationship between autism and loneliness. All autistic people are loners. But is it not that all loners are autistic? Of course there are many people who seem to live in a crowd of “friends” but in fact are loners and autistic. Many comedians, impersonators, cabaret performers, poets, writers and artists. To fake a character, to talk about one’s own grief obliquely in fiction, to devote oneself to original creativity seems to me all symptoms of unsuccessful social life. Peter Sellers, Michelangelo, Alec Guinness, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville (and his Bartleby), Kafka of course, Kubrick and so many others…
One interpretation might be that our modern society is such a wasteland that for a sane person it’s impossible to conform. These are hypothesis.


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Last edited by paolo on 19 Apr 2009, 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

merrymadscientist
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19 Apr 2009, 2:34 pm

In the end everyone is lonely. Its not just an autistic thing. Everyone is alone and always will be. Maybe most people don't dwell on this, I don't know. I've thought about it a lot and have been lonely at times, but at the moment I accept and enjoy my aloneness and celebrate my lack of connection with other people as a positive thing rather than negative. Maybe a neurotypical can't do that, I don't know.



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19 Apr 2009, 5:38 pm

"In the end, everyone dies alone." - Some song lyrics that stick out for me.
Anyways, I think autistics are better at coping with being alone, and as such we have a smaller desire (& capability) to do what is necessary to NOT be alone. To relate things on a different but similar level. Most people will not steal food. Give a mother no other option and she will gladly steal food to feed her kids. She doesn't steal food because it is "in her nature" but merely because she deems that it is necessary. By the same token, NTs deem it necessary to NOT be alone, so they do whatever it takes. I think we are better able to cope with it (perhaps out of social experience), and that alone hinders our ability. You don't do what is "necessary" because you don't deem it to be as such.

If you told me I can go to bars and hookup with chicks, or I can stay home alone, I'd choose the home alone option because I dislike the bar option more than being alone. I've been alone, am ok with being alone, and I am semi-comfortable being alone (as compared to not being alone but surrounded by strangers in a bar).



peterd
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20 Apr 2009, 3:42 am

The loneliness of the aspie has a quality of its own, though.

Before diagnosis - trust me, I spent a few decades there - loneliness is just how life is.

Diagnosis casts doubt on a lifetime of "understanding", and undermines every shred of self-confidence. That's a slow process, like the tide cutting sand out from under a cliff.

And after that fades, there's loneliness and a vague sense of what's missing to cause it. That adds an extra bite.



makuranososhi
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20 Apr 2009, 3:50 am

I'm not sure I can sign off on that fully... social interaction is exhausting, confusing, irksome and irrational, and still there are times when I deeply need some form of interaction with other people. With my fiance, I'm not the isolated individual that I often revert to for periods of time. There are times when I prefer being alone above all else, cannot bear the company of others... but it is not an absolute, and I don't see it the way you do as loneliness being the same as being on the spectrum.


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20 Apr 2009, 7:31 am

My only complaint of this hypothesis is that it's hard enough to socialize on the spectrum...so yeah there is a definite loneliness. This internal feeling that wants to break out of the shell and communicate.

Yes loneliness happens to even those who are amongst friends but that is all in how one defines each friendship. There are those who are more reliable than others and there are those who are fair-weathered or company. I'd say it is better to have someone to rely on than to have no one at all. But yes, in the end we trully are alone.


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0_equals_true
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20 Apr 2009, 8:39 am

Quote:
There is a strict relationship between autism and loneliness

Really? Apart from the term loner, which is someone who is considered a social outcast, it is a presumption to assume that everyone who is alone is lonely. It is also a assumption to assume that lack of social skills means you are alone.

I don't think there is a hypostasis in there. An unsuccessful social life can bean many things, and many things aren't developmental.


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paolo
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22 Apr 2009, 7:35 am

I am not a fan of the scientific enterprise. The only result of understanding something about modularity (our actions and behaviors are dictated by specific organs - as Pinker would call them - or modules "wired" in our brains) is to consider if I should find ways to obey and accept nature, non to intervene in engineering brains. Though sometimes a drug may allay suffering, and knowledge may help, if anything, to debunk fantastic theories (Freudianism, Lacanism, Scientology and what not) who have damaged and impoverished suffering people, healing no one, at best, more that a placebo.

On Easter day I was reading a book on a bench in a beautiful square ofmy city when I witnessed an incredible feat of a cat who made a leap over a gate to introduce him/herself in a hole two and a half meters high, by way of a vertical climb and an exact calculation of where the hole was (he probably knew where the hole was by having routinely used it to gain access to the garden the other side. Did the cat study trig? Certainly not, but trig was wired in his brain.


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b9
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22 Apr 2009, 7:41 am

i am never lonely because i am always with myself.



hyder13
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05 May 2009, 10:58 pm

0_equals_true wrote:
Quote:
There is a strict relationship between autism and loneliness

Really? Apart from the term loner, which is someone who is considered a social outcast, it is a presumption to assume that everyone who is alone is lonely. It is also a assumption to assume that lack of social skills means you are alone.

I don't think there is a hypostasis in there. An unsuccessful social life can bean many things, and many things aren't developmental.


+1, just because someone has bad social skills doesn't make them a loner...



just_some_guy_dave
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02 Jun 2009, 6:21 am

b9 wrote:
i am never lonely because i am always with myself.


I just wish I were better company. :)



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02 Jun 2009, 10:08 am

b9 wrote:
i am never lonely because i am always with myself.


I can create an inner world that is much nicer than the outer world.



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02 Jun 2009, 10:40 am

Being lonely and being a loner aren't the same. Rather opposite, I think. A loner is fine being alone. Someone who is lonely is wanting a connection with others that they don't have.

People on the spectrum can be either. Even the same person can be each at different times. If one is both at the same time, it is because they want a connection, but don't believe they can have one, or don't know how to get that connection.



paolo
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02 Jun 2009, 11:00 am

Inner and outer world are made to interact. To be missing the capacity to interact with the living outer world is a source of suffering and deprivation. One can get inured to it and can find substitutes. And substitute worlds may be sometimes rich and preferable to a limping, shaky, wobbly interaction.

And what is the interaction with the outer world of a contractor, of a mercenary, of a salesman?



philosopher
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19 Jul 2009, 7:16 pm

Think loneliness is part of the human condition it is hidden by a desire to be part of the herd as we cant do that don't be fooled that seemingly popular people aren't lonely.Friendship should be weighed in quality not quantity



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