Is Everyone on the Autism Spectrum? — New York Magazine

26 Feb


“…every generation has its defining psychiatric malady, confidently diagnosed from afar by armchair non-psychiatrists. In the fifties, all those gray-suited organization men were married to “frigid” women. Until a few years ago, the country of self-obsessed boomers and reality-TV fame-seekers and vain politicians and bubble-riding Ponzi schemers made narcissistic personality disorder—diagnosis code 301.81 in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition—the craziness of the moment. And who among us has not proudly copped to our own “OCD” or “ADD,” deemed a mercurial sibling “seriously bipolar,” written off an erratic ex as “obviously borderline,” or nodded as a laid-off friend pronounced his former boss a “textbook sociopath”? Lately, a new kind of head case stalks the land—staring past us, blurting gaucheries, droning on about the technical minutiae of his boring hobby. And we are ready with our DSM codes: 299.00 (autistic disorder) and 299.80 (Asperger’s disorder).

Interestingly enough, after hearing a lady who was also a therapist – and a mom of a gentle and sweet young man, and adding the HBO Biopic on Dr. Grandin (as in Temple) to a recent conversation on the subject, one may benefit from simply admitting that even though it may start as a bit of hypochondria  (see? another easily undiagnosed one!) fact is that these traits may help us work on ourselves,  to the extent that we compassionately assume the possibility – and immediately start working on either coping or managing it.


(Even better when one has NOT been diagnosed, yet one is unable to explain oneself at some rare yet specific moments, perhaps?)

And if above epidemic were to be proven in the right, it would be wrong to allow for stigmatization to flourish – after all, they chose to illustrate with some great individuals  (mostly)… “Good Company” indeed!

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