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If there is another thread similar to this, please direct me to it.

Wondering if there were any authors our here who are willing to speak out and
say that they have one of these, or something similar? I have Aspergers and I find that I have some challenges in writing that neurotypical authors may not have. For instance, I have trouble in social situations, so I find it more difficult than I think it normally would be to write a scene in which my characters are at a dinner party. Someone with OCD may edit the hell out of a chapter in the first draft and not move along like they should.

Also, I find it difficult to be a part of the conversation in some threads. I admit sometimes I feel a collective eyeroll when I post. Maybe it's just me.

At any rate, I feel that it is time for a support thread. :)
 

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Hi. I have the obsessive part of OCD. It is thoughts, not actions. I learned coping techniques that work the majority of the time. I am also bi-polar, but not extreme. I don't do meds as I lose my creativity, which is not acceptable. I paint and I write. To not do either, well, I might as well be dead. BUT, as I said, I'm not extreme, and I had a good professional who worked with me to learn coping techniques. I have a couple close friends I can call and my husband. When I feel a "thing" coming on, I will tell him what I believe to be true (and isn't) and ask if he thinks I'm right or am I just f-ed up again for a spell? LOL He's always honest, and when he tells me I can laugh and just work through it. Not easy, but doing and more acceptable for me. And for those reading this: I am NOT saying people should get off meds. I know many have it worse then me and need them.

It's the damnedist thing. I will get a spell where I'm convinced someone hates me...but it's never anyone I know! Or least hardly know. For instance, it could be you next time, that's how bizarre it is. Someone who I've seen or heard one thing from them. So, yeah, he helps me see through it. It can be difficult.

I had one reviewer who said the extremes of emotions in one of my books made her wonder in the character was bi-polar. Um, no, but the author is.

:) Anyway, most creative people seem to have something mentally goin' on. I don't want to start an agruement about mental illness and creativity, it's been done to death here. All I can tell you is I know a LOT of artists and every one of them has or has had something in that arena.

Welcome to the world of the creatives. Is it a blessing or a curse?  :)
 

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While I've not been diagnosed, I have symptoms of a mental form of OCD (you may have heard of "Pure O OCD"). I have spoken to my doctor and in fact have my first consultation with a mental health professional this week. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it to make some headway!

My first book (which will be ready for publication any time this decade) touches upon it actually, I find it helps to be quite open (your experiences may vary!), so thanks for posting this topic :)

ETA: saw a book by David Adam calledThe Man Who Couldn't Stop the other day -- it's about his experiences with OCD, I bought it immediately. Rose Bretécher has a book about Pure O coming out soon as well, and the author Matt Haig is very open about his battle with depression, so that perhaps shows that some of the stigma about mental illness is fading.
 

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I've never been diagnosed formally with Aspergers only informally on the intertubes. So take this with a grain of salt.

My big problem is I can't read facial expressions worth (insert expletive), so I have trouble with body language. As I write I usually throw in the same facial expressions over and over again so I can write faster. Then I go back and use The Emotion Thesaurus to make them more varied.

Lots of neurotypicals can't write dinner party scenes, or dialog. I've been told my dialog is good--I'm actually very chatty one-on-one and like dinner parties. But I tend to insert my foot into my mouth because I love talking politics and religion and god help me if someone asks me about my feelings! "Chit-chat" makes me bonkers, bored, and extremely nervous because I can't tell if I'm boring the other person.

So I do tend to write characters at dinner party talking about things I would be interested in--and if some characters are chit chatting I might say, X and Y were chit chatting about the weather, but C couldn't help herself. "Don't you know Revelations is actually a protest document--not a prediction of the future!"
 

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"While I've not been diagnosed, I have symptoms of a mental form of OCD (you may have heard of "Pure O OCD"). I have spoken to my doctor and in fact have my first consultation with a mental health professional this week. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it to make some headway!"

That is what I have. The pure O. So, take heart. You will learn how to cope very well. I have. :) Hugs.
 

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C. Gockel said:
Lots of neurotypicals can't write dinner party scenes, or dialog.
I have trouble with dinner party scenes and I'm NT as far as I know, just a bit socially inept ;D, so I have to force my characters to go and talk to each other and convince myself they're enjoying it. ;D
 

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*raises hand*

Panic Disorder, OCD, and agoraphobia. Happily managed with medication/therapy.

I don't find it hinders my ability to write. I'm not socially adept in practice, but I've rehearsed enough conversations in my head that dialogue comes fluidly on paper. If anything, I allow my own mental illness to reflect in my characters. I think a little instability adds some healthy realism. We're all a bit mad, right?
 

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Caddy said:
"While I've not been diagnosed, I have symptoms of a mental form of OCD (you may have heard of "Pure O OCD"). I have spoken to my doctor and in fact have my first consultation with a mental health professional this week. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it to make some headway!"

That is what I have. The pure O. So, take heart. You will learn how to cope very well. I have. :) Hugs.
Thanks Caddy, I hope you're right! And I'm glad you have a handle on things. I know what you mean about needing your writing and art; I've been struggling with RSI for the past few months and need to type one-handed -- if the ability to write is nullified, then yeah, like you, I might as well be dead!

Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

And once again, thanks to Stephanie for opening up a dialogue!
 

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I've been suffering on/off for years with agoraphobia and social anxiety. I panic in crowds and I find it very difficult to go outside at all on my own, normally the only time I venture out anywhere is with my husband at the weekend for groceries. I also have migraine associated vertigo and that has made my anxiety worse, what happens if I have an attack when I'm out somewhere on my own? During an attack I cannot move very well, I have to crawl on my hands and knees, I can't even stand. I'm on medication, which is helping now, but my previous medication was the wrong one: my GP had diagnosed me as having benign positional vertigo, which is to do with problems in the inner ear. The migraine vertigo has got nothing whatsoever to do with the ears at all and it took years to finally get to the right specialist, almost five years it took. But at least I am seeing him regularly now, another appointment next week in fact. And yes, hubby has to come with me :)

I write when I can. I am never going to be prolific because of the migraine associated vertigo, there is no cure and I can't do anything else once I'm in the middle of an attack except try and stay still until it passes. Being at the computer screen too long isn't good either. I wish someone would invent an inexpensive word processor with an e-ink screen.
 

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C. Gockel said:
I've never been diagnosed formally with Aspergers only informally on the intertubes. So take this with a grain of salt.

My big problem is I can't read facial expressions worth (insert expletive), so I have trouble with body language. As I write I usually throw in the same facial expressions over and over again so I can write faster. Then I go back and use The Emotion Thesaurus to make them more varied.

Lots of neurotypicals can't write dinner party scenes, or dialog. I've been told my dialog is good--I'm actually very chatty one-on-one and like dinner parties. But I tend to insert my foot into my mouth because I love talking politics and religion and god help me if someone asks me about my feelings! "Chit-chat" makes me bonkers, bored, and extremely nervous because I can't tell if I'm boring the other person.

So I do tend to write characters at dinner party talking about things I would be interested in--and if some characters are chit chatting I might say, X and Y were chit chatting about the weather, but C couldn't help herself. "Don't you know Revelations is actually a protest document--not a prediction of the future!"
I hear you on that. I often find the small-talk mundane, I often have the speech 'high-talk' or moving the plot along. Another issue is if you write dialogue 'as it is spoke' people may not understand it, especially if it's English dialect.
 

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I have bipolar disorder and ADD (I suspect struggling to cope with undiagnosed ADD for so many years let to the bipolar, but this has never been confirmed). I find bipolar can be crippling to writing when on a low, but amazing when in a manic episode. I suffer from hyperfocus as part of my ADD so, while I find it difficult to pay attention to things I'm not interested in, I get completely obsessed by things that I am. Fortunately, my obsession is writing. I was off work for 10 months the year before last, due to severe bipolar and stress. I had therapy as part of my treatment and that, together with the right dose and types of meds, has it under control for the moment. :) Writing helps a lot. I'd stopped writing for a few years, after my partner and I split up. As soon as I started to write again, I started to feel a lot better. I think it gives me a purpose in life and, when I don't apply myself, I sink into a real low. I also tend to panic when in crowds, or when going to a busy mall, etc. My therapy focused on that too, but I'm not sure how effective it was, because I still avoid them like the plague!
 

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Asperger's syndrome! I'm a textbook example of the idiot savant. I have trouble communicating verbally, even in my native language. I just don't know what to say or how to react, and the topics that interest me provoke confused frowns from most people.

BUT: I made a classmate cry with a single page of something random I wrote when I was 18. She couldn't even describe how it made her feel, she was totally overwhelmed. I started writing at age 8, and exchanged pages upon pages of kiddie story material with my best friend at school when I was 12.

A couple of weeks ago I had something important to tell my dad, and I just didn't know how. I left him a two page letter on his office desk.

I've never taken language courses or spent any amount of time in an English speaking country. Some of my readers find it hard to believe it isn't my first language.

Strangely enough, I don't struggle with body language, emotions or social interactions in my writing. My limited English vocabulary is what kills me - I literally have to google phrase search something for every other sentence I write, and it frustrates me to no end.

 

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C. Rysalis said:
Asperger's syndrome! I'm a textbook example of the idiot savant. I have trouble communicating verbally, even in my native language. I just don't know what to say or how to react, and the topics that interest me provoke confused frowns from most people.

BUT: I made a classmate cry with a single page of something random I wrote when I was 18. She couldn't even describe how it made her feel, she was totally overwhelmed. I started writing at age 8, and exchanged pages upon pages of kiddie story material with my best friend at school when I was 12.

A couple of weeks ago I had something important to tell my dad, and I just didn't know how. I left him a two page letter on his office desk.

I've never taken language courses or spent any amount of time in an English speaking country. Some of my readers find it hard to believe it isn't my first language.

Strangely enough, I don't struggle with body language, emotions or social interactions in my writing. My limited English vocabulary is what kills me - I literally have to google phrase search something for every other sentence I write, and it frustrates me to no end.
I would never have known from this post that you weren't a native English speaker.
 

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Stephanie Tsikrikas said:
If there is another thread similar to this, please direct me to it.

Wondering if there were any authors our here who are willing to speak out and
say that they have one of these, or something similar? I have Aspergers and I find that I have some challenges in writing that neurotypical authors may not have. For instance, I have trouble in social situations, so I find it more difficult than I think it normally would be to write a scene in which my characters are at a dinner party. Someone with OCD may edit the hell out of a chapter in the first draft and not move along like they should.

Also, I find it difficult to be a part of the conversation in some threads. I admit sometimes I feel a collective eyeroll when I post. Maybe it's just me.

At any rate, I feel that it is time for a support thread. :)
I'm an aspie (not officially diagnosed, I'm too old for them to have noticed it when I was in school). I do have some difficulties with writing, because I often want my characters to behave logically :) I have a strong voice, so I was originally worried no one would get/like my work, but I'm very happy with my sales and reviews (both could be better, I'll always say that, but I was very happy to discover I actually have an audience, small as it might be :))

Btw, I very much enjoyed your thread about your cover; I thought it was interesting and valuable. I don't think anyone is eye-rolling when you post. I'm certainly not.
 

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Anxiety, Depression, OCD, PTSD, and recently diagnosed with ADHD.

I'm a mess. ;)

Anxiety I've had since my childhood. Can't work in an office environment because people freak me out too much, so I work from home. I also grew up in a verbally and sometimes physically abusive household because of my sexual orientation.

I don't agree with my depression diagnosis because I never really feel depressed, but whatever. When I was in the psych ward they told all of us we were bi-polar. When I got out, I found out that they just diagnose everyone as bi-polar that goes in so they can start giving medications. This is part of the reason I think "bi-polar" is so misunderstood.

OCD I've also had since childhood. It's more of an obsessive/comfort thing. When I walk by a faucet I need to run my hands under the warm water for awhile. Since we're all being so open, I also have trouble picking out certain items to use. Examples: Getting soda at the store; I can't decide which of the same two bottles of Pepsi I want to grab. Eating dinner; I can't decide what spoon to pick.

PTSD - I have nightmares a few times a week because my partner had a heart attack and seizure while he was driving a car we were both in.

ADHD - I guess I finish people's sentences too much.

That's me, in a nice little mental nutshell.
 

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I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and was diagnosed just after High School. My novel Wormwood deals with many aspects of living with mental illness, both the positive and negative aspects.

I think a lot of writers deal with mental illness... We spend so much time in our own heads.

I wonder what comes first? Do we become writers to help cope with mental issues (a release) or are we good at telling stories because we have mental illness? Probably a little of both.


Micah
 

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Not giving away much, suffice to say that I have letters after my name, not all of which appear on letterheads.

Just keep on keeping on, my fellow dancers-to-a-different-beat.

Luv

Scott
 

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Scott Pixello said:
Not giving away much, suffice to say that I have letters after my name, not all of which appear on letterheads.

Just keep on keeping on, my fellow dancers-to-a-different-beat.

Luv

Scott
Bless you. This comment about letters after your name that don't appear on any letterheads really gave me a smile (of recognition). :)
 

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OCD--intrusive, distressing, often graphically violent thoughts and "images" and compulsive rituals to deal with the distress. Simple example: being in a car and "flashing" images of gory head on collisions, so counting off the space between cars headed in the opposite direction to relieve the tension. Also, I don't drive any more.

I tend to get a bit tetchy when people say stupid things like "I pack the dishwasher neatly, I'm so OCD!"

The OCD meant I was unable to fill out forms for years. I would convince myself every question had double meanings and I was going to get it wrong. I worked as a casual for six months without getting paid because I couldn't deal with my timeslips. This eventually extended to my academic writing, and then (fan)fiction, so my anxiety and depression got worse, and it snowballed.

I got an awful lot of help for free after my son's birth, and I am happier, more outgoing and more adventurous than I have ever been.

I really want to echo Carina here: the right medication will not kill your creativity. The right medication will help you deal with the things that are blocking it. One of the reasons writing is a joy for me again is the right dosage of citalopram. Mindfulness helped me to a certain extent, and I still practice it, but it did not substitute for something that helped me with the physical problems of Brain chemistry.
 

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I'm glad you're doing better Eleanor. Images of car crashes etc have prevented me from driving for about 4 years now. Does this manifest in your creative writing? I have an idea about incorporating this kind of OCD into one of my stories, but not sure if it's too on the nose.
 
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