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Sometimes when I get obsessed with something and research like crazy, it feels like I'm waking up from a dream and stepping out onto a new planet when I get done. Or maybe I'm a bit different from all I've learned. Who knows. It's the same feeling I have after sitting in a movie theater for 2 hours and coming out into the bright sunlight afterwards.

I see there are two approaches to the whole Aspie* thing. 1) You're mentally ill because your brain works differently. 2) You just think differently because your brain is different, and there's nothing wrong with you. Of course, the latter is best. It doesn't make sense to categorize it as mental illness unless it seriously hampers one's ability to interact with the world. In that sense, it's like homosexuality. If homosexuality is caused by a difference in brain structure (I don't remember if this idea has been discarded or what), then what's the difference with Aspergers? Same goes for Aphantasia. I suppose this is where the term neurodiversity comes in. I'm not crazy. I'm not going to think I'm Jesus reincarnate or think I can fly off of a rooftop (you know what I mean). I'm not going to think everyone is out to kill me. That is mental illness.

*I kind of like this term best atm. It sounds more like a type of person rather than an illness.

All this is forcing me to remember how I used to be, how I have adapted my behavior to get by easier with other people. All of my life I've had this need to learn and do things the right way, but I think along the way it's shoved down a lot of my personality, especially the things that have drawn people to me in the past. I'm sure there's some kind of balance.

Like I mentioned before, this makes me feel the need to reassess MBTI. I'm a bit confused. Charity had one post tagged for aspergers, a question post. She talks about it's still the same thing of focusing on thought process and not behavior. (And then you have other people who say you can't apply MBTI at all to those out of the norm.) I guess the confusion comes from seeing how many things I do correlate to NT types. Perhaps that's the behavior part. But I know as a teen--before I got really far along with adjusting myself to others--I routinely typed as xNFP. I even took the official MBTI test when I was about 15-16 and got ENFP. I think if I act like I feel on the inside, that is very accurate. But on the outside...I come off as NT. I'm not good at showing empathy. I can feel it all day long, but how to show it is a mystery to me. (The most recent example of this was the shellshocked woman who came into the vet after seeing her kitten run over by a car. That was painful.) I express myself in a logical, emotionless manner MOST of the time. I do what makes sense. The whimsy part usually comes out in poetry or other artistic efforts. Or in pointing out things that interest me. I like to point out pretty colors, flowers, interesting items in stores (my mom always thought I was trying to get her to buy things, and it pissed her off to no end. LOL I just thought it was interesting!). I think one of you described me as childlike yet pensive once, and that's pretty accurate.

I could see Aspergers actually being very Fi. Having a peculiar way of seeing the world and approaching life and not really being able to do it from the usual way.

Thinking back to the Spencer Reid comparison, I think he's actually typed as INTP heavily leaning to INFP since the actor himself is INFP.
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