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  1. #1

    Default Stimming and other things

    Stimming

    I have caught myself doing this from time to time. Specifically, rocking, lining-up objects, and forcefully keeping all my steps the same length. I've done these things since as long as I can remember. I've caught myself doing these things much more often over the past two weeks.

    Considering the Quirks thread, I am thinking this actually very common behaviour.

    I was suspected to have Asperger's a little while back, but I think a lot of people may exhibit the same behaviour, and have "circumscribed interests" as well.

    Anyway, do people know people who fit these characteristics but do not have a PDD of any kind?

    I'm asking because I never got off of the mailing list for the local Asperger's meetup, and I got an invite the next meet-up.

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  2. #2
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I tense the little muscles to the left and right of my elbows methodically ever since they've been developed enough for me to isolate/flex. I don't even notice I'm doing it most of the time unless someone points it out to me, and then I have to make sure that it is the same amount with each arm. Not sure if that is exactly what you are talking about or not, but there it is.

    I'm also concious of the way I walk, starting since like 5th grade, and by all accounts I have a very unusual style. Long stride (I'm only 5'8"), slow, feet stay on the ground an unusually long period of time...I knew a girl that identified people by the sound of their walking, and I always drove her nuts.
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    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Because of the intense and sudden nerve pain/inflammation caused by lupus, I used to do it to interrupt pain signals from my agitated brain. Sometimes it was the difference between blacking out from pain and getting through a flare until the pain killer kicked in enough to slow down the freight train.

    I asked a doctor friend about it and she said it turns a switch on and off that keeps "resetting" your brain.

    You don't have to be Aspergers or have autism to do this, but I've read about how it helps tremendously to calm them. Again, the rocking is an interruption of a "bad" stimulus, i.e. it forces the brain to do something else other than focus on the source of agitation.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I tense the little muscles to the left and right of my elbows methodically ever since they've been developed enough for me to isolate/flex. I don't even notice I'm doing it most of the time unless someone points it out to me, and then I have to make sure that it is the same amount with each arm. Not sure if that is exactly what you are talking about or not, but there it is.

    I'm also conscious of the way I walk, starting since like 5th grade, and by all accounts I have a very unusual style. Long stride (I'm only 5'8"), slow, feet stay on the ground an unusually long period of time...I knew a girl that identified people by the sound of their walking, and I always drove her nuts.
    The whole thing is rather ambiguous. I think it fits the category.

    I have a coworker who has the same type of walk. When we hired him, his "oddness" almost lost him the position among other interviewers. But he did well on all my interview questions, and was the only one who passed the Wason cart Test (and without hesitation too). I didn't believe "oddness" should be a hiring criteria. The other interviewers were finally swayed.

    This experience once again illustrated to me that misfits need a little extra help. Granted he still has people misjudge him due to his "oddness," but his expedience in solving software and logic problems is still abundantly clear. I believe he was also an INTJ.

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    Because of the intense and sudden nerve pain/inflammation caused by lupus, I used to do it to interrupt pain signals from my agitated brain. Sometimes it was the difference between blacking out from pain and getting through a flare until the pain killer kicked in enough to slow down the freight train.
    If those were the chices, I would rock on purpose.

    I don't know much about it, but I know lupus is serious and possibly deadly. Did you have a transplant of any kind? are you pretty much over it?

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    I asked a doctor friend about it and she said it turns a switch on and off that keeps "resetting" your brain.
    Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    You don't have to be Aspergers or have autism to do this, but I've read about how it helps tremendously to calm them. Again, the rocking is an interruption of a "bad" stimulus, i.e. it forces the brain to do something else other than focus on the source of agitation.
    That's what I thought also.

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  5. #5
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    I asked a doctor friend about it and she said it turns a switch on and off that keeps "resetting" your brain.

    You don't have to be Aspergers or have autism to do this, but I've read about how it helps tremendously to calm them. Again, the rocking is an interruption of a "bad" stimulus, i.e. it forces the brain to do something else other than focus on the source of agitation.
    Hmmm interesting... are the movements in stimming done semi-unconsciously? I have habits where I would deliberately put myself through little movements to reduce stress.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I've never done this to any great degree, but I have occasionally found myself twirling my hair or biting my nails. Also, on a remote control we have, there's a sliding door that reveals more buttons near the bottom. I have a tendency to catch myself pulling it out and pushing it back repetitively. I don't seem to do it that often, but it seems more common under stress.

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    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    I don't know much about it, but I know lupus is serious and possibly deadly. Did you have a transplant of any kind? are you pretty much over it?
    Lupus is basically where your immune system attacks you. This can damage your internal organs, cause severe (and sudden) eruptions of pain, cause you drop dangerous amounts of weight, and become hyper-sensitive to sound, smell, chemicals, foods, infections, etc. I have to stay out of the sun because the natural immune-response mechanism in everyone's skin that gets triggered by ultraviolet radiation can cascade on me. I look normal, which can be very deceptive.

    Small pain can take over my entire body, like fire jumping from building to building, until everything is in Red Alert. Yes, it's tried to (and almost did) kill me and my sister at points. I'll never be able to turn my back on it and it's not going to go away (I carry a rare gene that broadcasts that much). I feel like I have a loaded gun pointed at me under the table at all times.

    And now I'm done derailing your thread.

    On the subject of stimming - because I'm unable to take most medications (my immune system can attack those too) I have to find other ways around pain management. I found that the rocking was something my body did on it's own when I was buckling under catastrophic pain, and it really did help. When the fit passed, I was curious as to why the rocking would have had a physical effect (I suppose I worried that I was going into "lunatic" territory) and I saw it was actually a legitimate primal and very physical response to distress. Rocking babies works much the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Hmmm interesting... are the movements in stimming done semi-unconsciously? I have habits where I would deliberately put myself through little movements to reduce stress.
    Stimming is mostly unconscious, I believe. I've read a lot about autism and it seems to be one of the few ways that they can dampen the barrage of stimulus coming at them. It can be reduced, both the stimulus and the stimming, but more often than not, autistics are trained to stim in a less obvious way that isn't so distressing for others to watch and worry over.

    For instance, most normal people drum their fingers or swing a leg, tap a foot, bounce a hand. That's also stimming.
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  8. #8
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what qualifies as stimming exactly, but I do have a bunch of repetitive and semi-conscious movements I do all the time. Among others:

    * biting the inside corners of my lips
    * biting my fingernails and the skin around them
    * wiggling my feet (I can make the bed or the sofa move without even noticing it )

    The worst one of all, though, is this wiggling of my ears/eyebrows/area in-between. The more stressed I am, the harder and more often I wiggle. And the more I wiggle, the more I *have* to wiggle. Which can lend me in uncomfortable places when people start looking at me weirdly because of all this furious ear/eyebrow wiggling

  9. #9
    Senior Member JustDave's Avatar
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    How about tongue chewing? When i'm really uptight i chew on my tongue. Very weird, i know ...

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