Psychiatry & Psychology--General/social problems


QUESTION: I am  self diagnosed with asperger, I only have two friends at school,I feel other students reject me when I talk with them ,even when it's so hard to talk,I can't talk out loud no matter how hard I try, and my voice tone is so formal that I don't like , my question is ,can I be an extrovert, and how?

ANSWER: Hi Sarah

Your writing (and your English is excellent) does not sound to me like it's from somebody with Asperger's. Do you think it's just that you're a bit inexperienced socially, which makes you shy?

It will be hard for you to accept the following sentence, because being liked, popular, and accepted is so important when you're at school. But the truth is that you will not be in school forever, and when you're out, all these friendships (or lack of them) won't matter in the least. You won't even remember their names.

My advice is to focus on what you're really at school for. Study, concentrate, learn. Don't bother so much with fellow students, except your real friends.

Are you sure you want to be an extrovert? Self-confidence will probably come with time and success, and in the meantime, quiet, thoughtful, considerate people tend to be much more liked and respected.

I hope those few comments help a bit, and I wish you well. (With all the terrible news coming from your country, it's a relief to see that there are locations of normalcy.)  


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: dr.Alan ,I am 100% sure I have asperger because I have all the signs ,maybe I didn't write enough detail,my problem is that I live in the moment , I can't wait ,and after school is university and I can't stay like this, it hurts , I don't want to waste my life and all the joy just waiting ,I'm doing so good at school I got the average of 98.2 and IQ of 112( another sign of asperger) I really  wanna be social , I'm about to lose one of my two best friends and it's not about me being mean or something I'm very nice with them but they just need other friends since the are not like me,please guide me through the necessary changes

I'm afraid it's difficult to comment further. Living impatiently in the moment is quite typical and normal at your age. Your IQ and grades suggest (at least to me, but I am not an expert in this, especially with girls) the opposite of what you think. You are experiencing social distress (also rather normal) and my attempt to guide you on this did not help. Finally, I don't know what mental-health resources, whether at or outside of school, are available to you.

So really all I can do is to try to point you to where you might get the help you seek, which seems to be in the area of finding coping strategies. It also might be worthwhile (for your peace of mind and your self-image) to get a professional diagnosis from an autism specialist.

An appropriate professional would be a psychiatrist, or perhaps better a clinical psychologist. To find one, you could try the internet, or ask your family doctor, or someone at your school especially if there's a guidance or counseling office. And I hope you will disclose your concerns to your parents, and that they will be understanding.

I'm sorry for your distress and am quite willing to discuss this further, but you can understand why I regretfully don't see myself as much able to further guide you from here.


Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach


Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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