ZocdocAnswersIs social awkwardness and anxiety related to Asperger's disorder?

Question

Is social awkwardness and anxiety related to Asperger's disorder?

I'm really nervous around people. I'm 26 and male. I think this is more than anxiety. I'm just so awkward in social situations. Do I have Asperbger's or something? What tests need to be done?

Answer

Asperger disorder is becoming increasingly recognized in children and adolescents as an autism spectrum disorder of unknown cause that can be the cause of inability to communicate effectively and appropriately in social situations. Asperger's is more than just awkwardness and anxiety, as it makes it extremely difficult for affected people to adapt to the situation around them, specifically with regards to the emotional context and needs of the conversation. The fact that you seek out social experiences makes it less likely that you have Asperger's, although there are other personality traits that can manifest in a similar manner and have similar effects on your ability to function in society as you would like. In general, people with the diagnosis of Asperger disorder will have had notable social difficulty beginning with the entrance into formal education, usually at about the age of 5 or sooner in this country. The average age of diagnosis is somewhat older than that, but it would be rare to be 26 without having some diagnosis. If you are concerned, you should discuss your anxiety and concerns with your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist, either of which will be able to identify your specific needs and help you to work through these challenges.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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