Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

I'm confused!! Treated for Schizophrenia and now diagnosed with Asperger's

Posted In: Mental conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: Mellorose
  • September 28, 2006
  • 11:56 AM

I am in need of more information.
My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7. He was put into special education even though his IQ was 120. He had poor social skills, and had a hard time with simple tasks like dressing himself, and things to that nature. At age 17 he started talking to himself and became easily confused with simple tasks. The doctors determined that he was schizophrenic and for 4 years he was put on different medications with poor results. Now at age 21 while in a treatment center, professionals there say that he has Asperger's Syndrome. They want to remove him from any pyschiatric treatment because of this finding. But from everything that I have read about Asperger's, I cannot find schizophrenic like symptoms such as talking to yourself. I need information quick because today I have a meeting with these mental health professionals who intend on stopping medication and sending him out of the mental health system. My son cannot function on his own.
Thank you for reading this, and I would appreciate any opinions.

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13 Replies:

  • Hi,Well, I have heard of Asperger Syndrome being misdiagnosed as schizophrenia and also as schizoaffective disorder. If he has asperger syndrome, it makes sense that he is intelligent, but with poor social skills, etc. Incidentally, I'm 20 years old. I have Asperger Syndrome, my performance(motor skills) IQ is 118, and my verbal IQ is 129. Anyhow, I do have some traits that could easily be mistaken for schizophrenia, by someone who didn't know me. I talk to myself rather frequently, (actually to my imaginary friend Violet, and that started about age nine). I have a rather complex fantasy life that I sometimes perseverate on. Six distinct imaginary companions, as well as a home planet that I've invented with three distinct humanoid species, and intricate history as well as cultural and political workings. Also, I sometimes imagine being from this planet as a reason for my poor motor skills, and sensory hypersensitivity(the planet has an atmosphere of super-oxygenated liquid flourocarbons...long irrelevant story). Anyhow, traits like this are rarely mentioned specifically in the diagnosis of Aspergers, but that's because they fall under the category of social awkwardness. For me, they aren't deulsions, I like to think I'm just creative.What other traits does your son have? If he has Asperger Syndrome, he will probably have a tendancy to focus very intensly on only one or two subjects, and they'll probably be all he wants to talk about, and learnd about for the most part. He will probably avoid eye contact, might have unusual tick-like behaviors, is probably very intelligent. He probably wouldnt' like crowds very much, and may have sensory issues, especially a hypersensitivity to sound. Also, he may be more focused on logic rather than sentimentality, very literal, and attentive to detail, and likely speak with a flat affect, and have difficulties understanding non-verbal cues such as facial expression and body language. (He may exhibit behavior that would seem to indicate apathy toward other people's emotional state. It may or may not be simply do to the fact that he doesn't understand their non-verbal language. If he's anything like me, then he will have a very difficult time understanding anything that is not directly and explicitly stated.)Anyhow, if that sounds anything like your son, Asperger Syndrome may well be an accurate diagnosis.(Note, I'm not a doctor, just speaking from personal experience with myriad doctors, teachers, literature, etc that have been involved with my life.)Anyhow, I've been misdiagnosed with various things in my life, mostly anxiety disorders, as well as ADHD at one point. I was treated with excessive medication, usually with illeffects. Medication is not usually indicated for Asperger Syndrome as it is a pervasive neurological condition, not psychiatric. (yes, i'm very sorry, the inability to be concise is something I have to work on). In any case, Best wishes to you and your son. ~zath
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 30, 2006
    • 07:29 AM
    • 0
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  • Dear Zath, Thank you so much for responding to my letter. If my son Erich was capable of getting in touch with himself enough to seek out a site, and discuss his thoughts with someone who understands him, I would be thrilled. However, I have not even addressed this. I think that I will ask him to try it. He thinks that he is ok, and that people make issues out of nothing. He talks out loud quite often. When you ask him what he talks about he would usually be thinking of some theory. He does not share his thoughts to much anymore, I think because he has never found anyone who thinks as he does. One of the worst parts of all of this, is his education being stifled by being put in special education since age 10. Where we lived in special education classes they did not teach differently, it was taught at a lower grade level. People knew he was different, doctors and educator's, but no one knew to what extent. You see, his father and I had divorced when he was 5 years old. He was with me up until the 5th grade. In order for me to keep him out of special education, I had to go after school everyday and organize him. Things like, "did you turn in your homework?" where are all of your pencils?" you didn't write down your assignment, hurry up the teacher has to leave" So when he started 5th grade I sent him to California to live with his Father and Step Mother. People had always said that his main problem is that I babied him through life. I had read about Asperger's when Erich was about 17. It fit so well. But because of him starting to talk outloud doctors inisited that he was talking to someone, therefore classified as delusional. I had always wondered about that because Erich says that he does not hear voices, that he thinks of things and just talks. But now the words do sound like responces to someone. I have 2 theories which I ponder. One, can he have been outwittings the doctors by saying he does not hear voices. Or two, has he isolated himself for so many years that this is just something that had been developed from that. As to empathy, I had never seen him cry at a sad movie, or when he sees someone else's pain, but when he sees someone treated unfairly he will speak out. My son is capable of thinking outside the lines as you do. He has come up with different theroies of exsistance, planets, insects and different things of that nature. I, as his Mother knew that it was just thoughts of his and that he did not live his life that way. I could not understand why people took him so literally, like he was way out there. Thank you again Zath for writing. Very Sincerely,Roseann
    Mellorose 2 Replies
    • September 30, 2006
    • 01:35 PM
    • 0
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  • Hello Roseann,I'm very glad to be of help. I can relate to the special education situation. For a time while I was in middle school I was put in a special education class, where most of the students had mental retardation, and the teachers didn't make much effort to teach, and mostly just gave us busy work. There are many sites online by and for people with Asperger Syndrome, there may even be a local group in your area for people with Asperger Syndrome and their families, my mother and I are members of one. Also, you and your son can feel free to e-mail me sometime if either of you ever want to, at X241A7B@yahoo.com. ~zath
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 1, 2006
    • 06:56 PM
    • 0
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  • With all those disorders and stuff out there, it's really hard to know exactly what a person could have.However, there are a couple main differences:Schizophrenia is probably defined by delusions and hallucinations.Aspergers/Autism is defined by social imparment and sensory problems.ADHD is defined by concentration and/or hyperactivity.However, with ADHD it's common to have social imparment, especially if the person is impusive.I don't think a person with ADHD/Aspergers would have actual hallucinations. I would say talk to a psychiatrist or somebody who experience with PDDs (Pervasive developmental disorders).
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 18, 2006
    • 05:20 AM
    • 0
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  • I have heard sometimes about Asperger's misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, and Tony Attwood in his book Asperger's Syndrome, has written differences between that two disorders and how doctors can make mistakes, quite well.You might read it ;-)I think your son doesn't have schizophrenia, but it's again one of the doctor's mistakes :PI have Asperger's and one of my neighbours has schizophrenia. We are quite similar, but also very different.Schizophrenic and Asperger's behaviors may appear like they are exactly the same, but they really isn't because are caused by different causes.My neighbour is getting worse and worse since he is getting strong medications for schizophrenia, this drugs are just killing him with their strongness...I really am not advising you for him to take medications for schizophrenia, so unless he can try to live without it, I would advise you some medications like Zoloft, or some antidepressants which could help him reducing the anxiety, or maybe some mood-stabilizators (usually they are for Bipolar, but it doesn't really matter) can be usefull as well.Because some symptoms of Asperger's are quite similar with this of Bipolar, some medications for Bipolar, you know that there are no medications for Asperger's, can be usefull as well.Wish you good luck and you can always feel free to contact me at: anastasija.makivic@live.com or aspie91@live.comGood luck! ;-)
    Anasthasia 22 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi,Well, I have heard of Asperger Syndrome being misdiagnosed as schizophrenia and also as schizoaffective disorder. If he has asperger syndrome, it makes sense that he is intelligent, but with poor social skills, etc. Incidentally, I'm 20 years old. I have Asperger Syndrome, my performance(motor skills) IQ is 118, and my verbal IQ is 129. Anyhow, I do have some traits that could easily be mistaken for schizophrenia, by someone who didn't know me. I talk to myself rather frequently, (actually to my imaginary friend Violet, and that started about age nine). I have a rather complex fantasy life that I sometimes perseverate on. Six distinct imaginary companions, as well as a home planet that I've invented with three distinct humanoid species, and intricate history as well as cultural and political workings. Also, I sometimes imagine being from this planet as a reason for my poor motor skills, and sensory hypersensitivity(the planet has an atmosphere of super-oxygenated liquid flourocarbons...long irrelevant story). Anyhow, traits like this are rarely mentioned specifically in the diagnosis of Aspergers, but that's because they fall under the category of social awkwardness. For me, they aren't deulsions, I like to think I'm just creative.What other traits does your son have? If he has Asperger Syndrome, he will probably have a tendancy to focus very intensly on only one or two subjects, and they'll probably be all he wants to talk about, and learnd about for the most part. He will probably avoid eye contact, might have unusual tick-like behaviors, is probably very intelligent. He probably wouldnt' like crowds very much, and may have sensory issues, especially a hypersensitivity to sound. Also, he may be more focused on logic rather than sentimentality, very literal, and attentive to detail, and likely speak with a flat affect, and have difficulties understanding non-verbal cues such as facial expression and body language. (He may exhibit behavior that would seem to indicate apathy toward other people's emotional state. It may or may not be simply do to the fact that he doesn't understand their non-verbal language. If he's anything like me, then he will have a very difficult time understanding anything that is not directly and explicitly stated.)Anyhow, if that sounds anything like your son, Asperger Syndrome may well be an accurate diagnosis.(Note, I'm not a doctor, just speaking from personal experience with myriad doctors, teachers, literature, etc that have been involved with my life.)Anyhow, I've been misdiagnosed with various things in my life, mostly anxiety disorders, as well as ADHD at one point. I was treated with excessive medication, usually with illeffects. Medication is not usually indicated for Asperger Syndrome as it is a pervasive neurological condition, not psychiatric. (yes, i'm very sorry, the inability to be concise is something I have to work on). In any case, Best wishes to you and your son. ~zathyou are totally insane imo.and get help!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 1, 2009
    • 09:11 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • That last person who had an unregistered username was a ___hole and they don't know what they are talking about. Although I am also unregistered, I am not that creep. I really appreciate the thought and caring that is put into these responses. It is really strange to me that people like that are called "normal" and people with aspergers and even schizophrenia are called "not normal". I have been around several schizophrenics who I feel are lovely people. However, it has been my experience that many, many "normal" people appear to be sick and twisted in their souls. My son has always been different, but I didn't realize there was a developmental problem for a long, long time becasue he has always been such a beautiful and intelligent human being, just with his extra sensitivities which caused lots of problems in his social interractions, especially with authority figures. He is very focused on fairness and always helps others in need, no matter how little he has. He rejects authority when he senses corruption. This has caused him many problems. He does have some alternate views about reality than the general population, but nothing that convinces me he's delusional. I started trying to figure out what was going on when he was in his twenties and it became clear that he could not handle a job, or even getting a job, and I saw him fall far behind others in life. He was homeless from 15, when he left my home, except for the time when I or his former girlfriend paid his rent. I wondered about bi-polar because he does cycle through emotions somewhat. But when I found aspergers, the more I read the more I became convinced that this was what he has. Last year he was picked up by the police and put in the psyche ward. They diagnosed him with schizophrenia and kept him there for months, medicated. But they said he did not respond to the medication at all. He finally got out and seemed like his own wonderful self. He stayed with me for 5 months, and left to spend time camping in nature. He said he'd come back in seven weeks and it's been a month so far. I haven't heard from him and pray he doesn't get waylaid in his trip, like picked up by the police or anything. He is very disturbed by the diagnosis he received, but is also insulted at the suggestion that he might have aspergers. I wish he could come to see that if he has either of these, it doesn't mean he is any less of a person. I pray he can come to accept himself as he is and know that being a so-called normal person is not always the best thing. Whatever is up with him, he is really a wonderful and exceptional person. I pray he can come to know that and check out other people with like tendencies, so he can find friends who can understand him and who can help him understand himself. I wouldn't trade him for anyone. He is really awesome. I just ache for his pain and pray that he can come to be at peace with himself and with the way others see him, and be able to look at it all objectively and figure it out. I love reading aspie posts. Thank you so much for sharing. I can be reached at T@TheresaRomero.com.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2009
    • 10:23 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Most of the time people with Aspergers get diagnosed for some other disability and are medicated wrongly. This can cause adverse effects on their mental as well as physical health. It is necessary that they are diagnosed properly so that they can get their proper treatment.
    Skyler H 4 Replies Flag this Response
  • I lost my son - do to Aspergers? Schizophrenia? - He was first diagnosed as Aspergers - which I think developed into Schizophrenia ( or maybe that was it all along?) He could no longer take it and shot himself - trying to figure out where I missed - something..He liked the idea of having Aspergers, but he went away to school - only for 2 months and called me up scared (I had to go get him - because demons were out there and he was scared ) - It seems if I only made him stay home he would have been ok (but this was a dream he fought for! - Playing guitar at MI (musicians institute in hollywood) (He did not do drugs) He didnt like the school because of kids doing drugs - but started researching the bible and the koran - and got really religious - and talking to me of the passages of the bible ... - that's where Aspergers comes in - too much research. Then schizophrenia and a fear of bad demons following him - and him thinking I can fight better on "the other side" ...("Im too smart and the're comming after me because I can argue really well (?) ) I called up every gun shop begging them not to sell a gun to my son (I got the first gun out of his car) I missed the next one he bought........ - And the gun shops keep selling guns.. there is no waiting period ........not a check anywhere .........
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I lost my son - do to Aspergers? Schizophrenia? - He was first diagnosed as Aspergers - which I think developed into Schizophrenia ( or maybe that was it all along?) He could no longer take it and shot himself - trying to figure out where I missed - something.. He liked the idea of having Aspergers, but he went away to school - only for 2 months and called me up scared (I had to go get him - because demons were out there and he was scared ) - It seems if I only made him stay home he would have been ok (but this was a dream he fought for! - Playing guitar at MI (musicians institute in hollywood) (He did not do drugs) He didnt like the school because of kids doing drugs - but started researching the bible and the koran - and got really religious - and talking to me of the passages of the bible ... - that's where Aspergers comes in - too much research. Then schizophrenia and a fear of bad demons following him - and him thinking I can fight better on "the other side" ...("Im too smart and the're comming after me because I can argue really well (?) ) I called up every gun shop begging them not to sell a gun to my son (I got the first gun out of his car) I missed the next one he bought........ - And the gun shops keep selling guns.. there is no waiting period ........not a check anywhere ......... Very sad story :( sorry to hear about your son. Fearing demons out to get one is Schizophrenia not Aspergers'. Asperger's thou can coexist with other disorders so he may of had both.
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies Flag this Response
  • Most of the time people with Aspergers get diagnosed for some other disability and are medicated wrongly. This can cause adverse effects on their mental as well as physical health. It is necessary that they are diagnosed properly so that they can get their proper treatment. That is very true. There isnt many about who specialist in Asperger's and hence ones who have Asperger's struggle to get the right diagnoses and in the meantime do end up with other diagnoses hence dumped onto them which are far less correct. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder... to which I wouldnt have been had it been known I had Asperger's at the time. My meltdowns werent due to BPD but rather Aspie meltdowns. My daughter who also has Asperger's.. went throu school years (only recently left) having one to one help but never received any diagnoses of her issues. I was just told she had behavioural problems (she also had reading issues). I now know since Ive been properly diagnosed with Asperger's, that its her issue too thou she's far worst then I. Sadly those of us who are wrongly diagnosed.. are often forced to take meds which dont help. I know an Asperger's person who was put throu shock treatments before they realised he had Asperger's. The ECT shock treatment has damaged his memory. My own Asperger's daughter due to not making friends... lived in her own little world at times of make out imaginary friends, well past the age when other kids stop doing this. She also talks loudly to herself as if she's talking to another person but its only convos with herself. I myself find I talk to myself at times.. it helps me to think and get my thoughts together. Aspie people may also experience strange alterations with their senses.. eg they may see numbers in colours or patterns or may see sounds in shapes and colours etc etc. (Ive forgotten now what its called but there is a special name for this phenomona). Some of them can get pain on touch. The different way they experience, can also make others think they are psychotic. They can experience things very different to most. Unfortunately these things can make people think we are schizophrenic or delusional. http://www.wrongplanet.net/forums.html is the biggest Autism/Asperger forum online for those who wish to learn more about these issues.
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I am in need of more information. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7. He was put into special education even though his IQ was 120. He had poor social skills, and had a hard time with simple tasks like dressing himself, and things to that nature. At age 17 he started talking to himself and became easily confused with simple tasks. The doctors determined that he was schizophrenic and for 4 years he was put on different medications with poor results. Now at age 21 while in a treatment center, professionals there say that he has Asperger's Syndrome. They want to remove him from any pyschiatric treatment because of this finding. But from everything that I have read about Asperger's, I cannot find schizophrenic like symptoms such as talking to yourself. I need information quick because today I have a meeting with these mental health professionals who intend on stopping medication and sending him out of the mental health system. My son cannot function on his own. Thank you for reading this, and I would appreciate any opinions.Some Aspergers talk to themselves, have poor social skills, can't make eye contact, have a difficult time dressing and matching colors, and can get easily confused unless written directions are given. Schizophrenic medication will not work for Aspergers, it will only sedate the child. What will work is therapy, vitamins, and fish oil. Also it's a spectrum disorder, so some do better than others, maybe your son has autism more than Aspegers. Aspergers is more high functioning. However, schizophrenics do not bathe, they're not organized. Aspergers are like perfectionistic, they arrange everything, clean constantly, organize stuff, they bathe, to some degree, are clean. Aspies can't smoke or drink too much caffeine, schizophrenics only smoke cigarettes all day long, and drink coffee all day long. You should do an MRI, if its schizophrenia you will see serious anomalies, the brain will be degraded, and smaller. Aspergers brain are normal looking, no degeneration whatsoever.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am in need of more information. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7. He was put into special education even though his IQ was 120. He had poor social skills, and had a hard time with simple tasks like dressing himself, and things to that nature. At age 17 he started talking to himself and became easily confused with simple tasks. The doctors determined that he was schizophrenic and for 4 years he was put on different medications with poor results. Now at age 21 while in a treatment center, professionals there say that he has Asperger's Syndrome. They want to remove him from any pyschiatric treatment because of this finding. But from everything that I have read about Asperger's, I cannot find schizophrenic like symptoms such as talking to yourself. I need information quick because today I have a meeting with these mental health professionals who intend on stopping medication and sending him out of the mental health system. My son cannot function on his own. Thank you for reading this, and I would appreciate any opinions.Also, I should mention, ASpergers are mostly atheists, not super religous, if a person gets super religious, that is a sign of schizophrenia. I have yet to meet an Aspie that is super religious, it doesn't make sense, just not very logical.If your son is discussing a theory, then if his theory is logical, then yes, he could very well be Aspie, again, maybe he is above average in intelligence, and discussing highly theoretical things, that are not common to the laymen. A common example a very high functioning Aspie with his own theory was William James Sidis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James_Sidis), you should read Asperger syndrome: a gift or a curse? By Viktoria Lyons, Dr. Michael Fitzgerald. That explains the difference between Aspergers and schizophrenia.I for one live with a schizophrenic, whom I take care of, I have Aspergers. She's very different, very loving, yet slow in many ways, more like a kid. I have social difficulties, but am way above in intelligence to most people, yet I find normal people, rather weird, and mostly annoying, except for a few, that I enjoy being around with.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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