• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Feeling autistic/verbal vs written communiction/needing others present for 'cues' on how to act...



Well-known member
Aug 8, 2013
Feeling autistic/verbal vs written communiction/needing others present for 'cues' on how to act...

Ok... so, I periodically come across something that makes me wonder if I have autism/aspergers. I'm pretty sure I don't, unless there's some obscure type whereby you can interact great in person/pick up on social cues, enjoy gossip/chitchat etc. but somehow still not 'get' other people, and struggle to understand/interact when not physically present. But perhaps that is just BPDish! (I do not meet the criteria for BPD but it's a spectrum, though don't let the profesionals hear me say that..! I am so anti-BPD as a label/concept the way it currently is.)

Anyway, I've done a few of the online tests, including one very long one with all sorts of odd questions. I scored as very unlikely to be on the autism spectrum, but... there were so many questions that obscurely rang true. For example, one asked "do people tell you that you have an unusual gait?" Now, it's only happened a couple of times, and as a child, but yes - people were concerned I was walking with a limp (I had no idea, no pain etc.) Presumably I didn't score high enough on frequency of these things, but there were just so many it makes me wonder...

Another test involved looking at photos of people's eyes and selecting from a list the emotion they were portraying - I scored very highly on this (as expected for BPD ish!) - ony got a couple wrong. I was intrigued to notice one I got wrong was a guy supposedly looking "hostile". I had selected "frightened". Now this rather makes me think the person who invented the test is more autistic than myself, for surely anyone acting hostile is frightened? That is where hostility stems from, no?

Then again, if I was actually presented with a situation in real life, the facial expression would be just one of many things that would indicate whether someone was frightened, hostile or whatever (though after the event I'm sure I'd still stick by the principle that hostility does come from fear). One thing I find really hard is when someone's body language or actions don't match what they're saying. I often feel like I'm being coerced/manipulated in these situations, eg. someone telling me they care and sounding kind whilst clearly not caring in their actions, or sounding kind and hugging me whilst their words silkily try to blame everything on me and lack compassion. I feel in a way I can't really explain that somehow all the "between the lines" unspoken stuff is what's messed me up, but if something isn't overt you can't even begin to pinpoint quite what's wrong.

Even people just being hypocritical in life generally freaks me out; it's like "Woooahhh, how am I supposed to make sense of all you crazy "sane" people, when none of it adds up?" Yet I'm somehow expected to know and understand these weird hidden rules and discrepancies. I sometimes want to shout "Cut!" as if life's a movie and just ask "Er - what just happened? Why is this character doing this, it doesn't seem plausible?" The more I live and learn, the more I am astounded at the commonplace delusions, cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy of people in general. And then I start to wonder if this is what preceeds what they call "psychosis", where everyone who is agreed on a shared delusion call those who see the truth "mad".

I've also noticed I seem to find written communication much harder to get right than verbal communication. By "get right", I mean I am much less likely to say something that will annoy the other person if face-to-face or on the phone, I'm also far better at putting an act on/acting how I'm socially expected to if in person. I have a friend I suspect is on the autism spectrum - they explained to me they'd had to learn facial expressions etc. and sometimes I feel very lost around ths person; I think it is because they are not constantly providing cues as to how I should act (although this person is entirely logical and consistent in what they say, and their actions, so in other ways I find them much easier to relate to/understand/get along with). Which means the rest of the time I must be super-sensitive to what is "expected of me", which I am beginning to recognise and feel the frustration ths causes inside.

However, when there is something very important to me and I am able to stick to my guns and be honest with myself an the other person, it generally doesn't go down too well. As part of that: I always feel terrible in the mornings, and it began to dawn on me this year that this isn't the "crazy" part I need to get rid of; it's the "real" part that is supressed and I need to listen to! This revelation did not go down too well with my boyfriend at the time (and still friend) who otherwise was/is supportive and loving. It's like the absolute central thing of what I am dealing with is the part that people don't/won't understand or accept, despite being kind or wanting me to "get better" in general. Tying in with this is the way people often dont believe the terrible experiences I've had within the mental health system - and these are experiences that compound the original issues and added a whole new load of immense frustration and psychological trauma that I ned to work through... but without it being believed and accepted by someone I cannot be close to them. And there is a feeling of terrible aloneness because of this. The more I understand, the further I feel from everybody else.

Anyway, I suppose I think the idea that BPD is on the autism spectrum quite plausible. But I think it's on the other side of "normal" to autism. So the scale actually represents "ability to recognise social cues" or something along those lines, with BPDish and HSP's the most able.

Apart from that, I'm not quite sure what my point is with this post, I feel like all the ingredients is is here but it's not quite coherent somehow! A bit like me...

Thoughts/experiences/insights/etc. welcome...
Last edited:


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
Funnily enough, I actually feel like I can articulate myself much better in writing than I can in person.. though if i'm around someone i'm close to then talking isn't as much of an issue.
I think though that my social anxiety plays an issue in that.
Then again, I suppose that essentially i'm similar in that I feel hyper-aware when i'm with people and want to act in a way that's "correct". But that seems to almost paralyse me, I clam up and am totally unable to communicate at all.

I have also had my 'gait' commented on. Sometimes it's been that my arms are too far forward, other times that I limp.. another person said I almost waddle but then again he was probably just being a bastard because I am overweight.

I agree that the deeper you look into things, the more absurd the "normal" world and socially accepted way of behaving seems to be.

Hypocritical people do confuse me too and i've very little tolerance for false pleasantries. This is also true of how I conduct myself - I find it difficult at times to hide my true feelings and I absolutely cannot pretend to get on with someone who has deeply hurt me.

I very much relate to what you're saying about how the "between the lines" things have messed you up. I often feel that way. But I can't quite understand where the responsibility lies for clarification. Do I just be blunt and ask someone what's really going on? Or am I just imagining things through over-thinking?

I'm ever so shitty in the mornings but because I live alone, I don't have a clear way of noticing if that's who I truly am or not.

I just want to say also that it's completely understandable that you need your experiences of poor treatment within the mental health system understood and validated.
I have read a thread from you about that and have had bad experiences of my own.. I think that the way in which staff deal with some people is incredibly problematic and it does indeed leave you with more issues than you started off with.
I wish more was done, staff had more awareness and were more worthy of the trust that gets put into them as someone who is supposed to 'care'.

Anyway, I feel this post is a bit jumbled too. I hope you've made some sense of it and understand that you're not alone. :hug1: