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Difficulty With Holding Eye Contact

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so I've had a problem with holding eye contact for as long as I can remember.  In order to really focus on what somewhat is saying, I have a habit, which has been pointed out multiple times to me, that I look down to the left.  

 

I know in society that not holding eye contact deems a person shifty and untrustworthy, but in my case, it's a problem when I stare at you the whole conversation because that means I'm not fully taking in everything that you're saying because I am more focused on actively reminding myself to hold eye contact with the person I'm having the conversation with.  

 

In October, when I initially tried gluten-free a few weeks, I noticed I was able to hold eye contact better and was not as anxious, but then I went back on gluten for testing, and reverted backwards  I'm still newly gluten-free after completing testing in March, but when I was talking about eye contact with my Mom this weekend, she said she noticed that I was doing a lot better with it, and I am.  

 

I've been told that you can tell what I'm thinking based on looking at my face, which is not always a good thing  :P

 

I have my awkward moments, who doesn't, and eye contact has always been hard for me, but seems to be getting better gluten-free.

 

anybody have similar experiences?  

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I have noticed this.  I feel to weary to maintain eye contact, especially it is hard to just stand around and talk, or do work and go back and forth with the eyes.  I have always been more comfortable working as I talked or writing.  I think this has improved at times it is even easy.  But I don't think I am through with it completely.

 

Anyone have trouble getting a job?  I only got the ones that they hired everyone.  The exception is my current position wife, mother, and home educator.

 

Diana

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I have read some on Asperger's Syndrome, and some signs I match-up with, but not all.  The eye contact resonates. I have trouble relating to people's emotions and empathy all the time, so I find people prefer it when I don't say, "I know how you feel," and instead I say, "I'm not really sure what to say right now, but I will definitely listen."  I am sensitive to sounds and am particularly jumpy.  I like repetition.  I did take depression meds for a few months, and was offered something for anxiety, but have noticed since going gluten free it has gotten much better.  not to sound full of myself, but I have always excelled academically.   I had a great interview for my current job, and I was told that I was very personable in my interview, but I was speaking about my speciality...music.  Yes, I did actively remind myself to hold eye contact as long as possible with the interviewers :)   Thankfully it seems to be socially acceptable for musicians to march to the beat of their own drum.  sorry I couldn't help myself  :P    

 

However, some signs I do not match up with.  I am completely aware of my personal space as well as others, and I get pretty agitated if someone enters my space without my permission  :)

 

if you were to meet me in person, you probably would think I am just quiet, until you get me talking about music or nutrition, then watch out  :D  if I am uncomfortable in a social situation, I tend to say I'm tired, which until recently was usually true, but now I've found it's a polite way to not look so awkward if I'm having trouble engaging in the conversation haha

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so I've had a problem with holding eye contact for as long as I can remember.  In order to really focus on what somewhat is saying, I have a habit, which has been pointed out multiple times to me, that I look down to the left.  

 

I know in society that not holding eye contact deems a person shifty and untrustworthy, but in my case, it's a problem when I stare at you the whole conversation because that means I'm not fully taking in everything that you're saying because I am more focused on actively reminding myself to hold eye contact with the person I'm having the conversation with.  

 

In October, when I initially tried gluten-free a few weeks, I noticed I was able to hold eye contact better and was not as anxious, but then I went back on gluten for testing, and reverted backwards  I'm still newly gluten-free after completing testing in March, but when I was talking about eye contact with my Mom this weekend, she said she noticed that I was doing a lot better with it, and I am.  

 

I've been told that you can tell what I'm thinking based on looking at my face, which is not always a good thing  :P

 

I have my awkward moments, who doesn't, but eye contact has always been hard for me, but seems to be getting better gluten-free.

 

anybody have similar experiences?  

 

I have definitely had the same experience. Unfortunately though, I wasted a test and submitted samples for the blood antigen test after being 90% gluten free for almost two months. By 90% I mean I had been actively avoiding it except for a couple of episodes of weekend Pizza or 1-2 meals where gluten was served, and I took a small amount.

 

Each time I ate gluten I would feel something like a sugar rush, then some light headed feeling and then foggy and spacey.

 

Perhaps I need to do the challenge and then get tested again.

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It never occurred to me that there is anything wrong with someone who just doesn't hold eye contact. I never have, I just hate looking at people's eyes. Creeps the hell out of me. A lot of the traits of Asperger's could apply to me if I felt like sitting down with a shrink. I am perfectly well adjusted and until celiac robbed my life from me was holding down a full time job and had many friends. I think it is ridiculous to categorize every personality nuance into the disorder du jour. If it is causing day to day problems in your life, get help. Otherwise, getting unnecessarily labeled by some overzealous shrink with the newest handbook out just seems like a really REALLY bad idea. (imo of course, because lets face it... they'll just want to either medicate you broke and senselessly stupid, or see you once a week so you can pay for their new boat.)

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I suffered with eye contact and being painfully shy into my early 30s, it was so deliberating and definitely held me back in life. Even now at age 43 I have my moments but learnt to look at people between the eyes instead lol. For me tho, I also had graves disease which made me more anxious.

I saw it in my son from a very early age (he has dyspraxia however my friend thinks he has aspergers too). So I used to play the 'staring out' game with him and he's so much better now :)

Hopefull, you'll improve in time.

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Adalaide, I completely agree about some doctors medicating you broke or giving meds that suck the life out of you just to pay for their vacations  :P  The eye contact problem has always been there, and I've always had some anxiety, but I make it through.  I think only once I've had a full blown panic attack.  I was going to a colleague's wedding where I didn't know anyone, and ended up calling my Mom crying from the parking lot because I was so scared to go into the reception not knowing anyone.  That happened to be the week after going to my PCP and beginning Wellbutrin :wacko:   I wrote a one page letter detailing what was happening in my life to my PCP because I knew if I tried to explain anything I would burst out in tears, and how was he supposed to help if he couldn't understand me through my sobs :rolleyes:   Since I've never been a very big crier, that helped clue me in that something wasn't right.  After feeling very anxious and depressed for awhile, I knew I needed help, and that is one time meds were a non-negotiable for me.  I took Wellbutrin for a few months, and it helped level me out.

 

Twice going to the GI doctor, and discussing my symptoms, he's offered anti-anxiety meds and acid reflux meds, but the gluten-free diet is helping to make those things better  :)  Although he is a mainstream doctor, he seems pretty rational in regards to medication.  We had discussed how he used to go to the gym, and be pretty sore afterwards, and would try to ride out the pain.  Eventually, he said that if he takes an Advil every so often, it helps him bounce back faster.  We talked about how sometimes medication is the only answer, but diet and exercise are HUGE players.  He listens instead of pulling out the pad, and writing me off...literally  :P

 

Being a teacher, having those labels for your child, gets them special services that are usually extremely beneficial, but beyond schooling, having a written diagnosis is not nearly as important.  As an adult, I know what my strengths and weaknesses are, and could I go to the doctor and get a diagnosis of Asperger's, most likely.  Do I want to go through with the time and money to get that...no, not really, but sometimes it helps give me comfort that there is a reason for things that I do   :)

 

The only reason I pursued the GI route and celiac/gluten intolerance is because food is something that cannot be avoided, and if I go into a hospital for something, I want that documentation that says you have to feed me gluten free foods.  In addition, I lost a lot of weight through healthy diet and exercise, so my family thought I was being overly picky with things.  I kept saying I feel bloated, and everyone would say, "You look great!"  I knew something wasn't right when I wasn't using the bathroom regularly, and high strength laxatives and lots of fiber/water did nothing for me.  Remove gluten=bathroom habits normalizing without the use of harsh chemicals ripping through my digestive tract   :)  

 

I've said it before, and I'll continue saying it, using the bathroom each day has a profound effect on my sense of well-being  :P

 

 

It never occurred to me that there is anything wrong with someone who just doesn't hold eye contact. I never have, I just hate looking at people's eyes. Creeps the hell out of me. A lot of the traits of Asperger's could apply to me if I felt like sitting down with a shrink. I am perfectly well adjusted and until celiac robbed my life from me was holding down a full time job and had many friends. I think it is ridiculous to categorize every personality nuance into the disorder du jour. If it is causing day to day problems in your life, get help. Otherwise, getting unnecessarily labeled by some overzealous shrink with the newest handbook out just seems like a really REALLY bad idea. (imo of course, because lets face it... they'll just want to either medicate you broke and senselessly stupid, or see you once a week so you can pay for their new boat.)

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It never occurred to me that there is anything wrong with someone who just doesn't hold eye contact. I never have, I just hate looking at people's eyes. Creeps the hell out of me. A lot of the traits of Asperger's could apply to me if I felt like sitting down with a shrink. I am perfectly well adjusted and until celiac robbed my life from me was holding down a full time job and had many friends. I think it is ridiculous to categorize every personality nuance into the disorder du jour. If it is causing day to day problems in your life, get help. Otherwise, getting unnecessarily labeled by some overzealous shrink with the newest handbook out just seems like a really REALLY bad idea. (imo of course, because lets face it... they'll just want to either medicate you broke and senselessly stupid, or see you once a week so you can pay for their new boat.)

See, I am looking at it the other way.....IF you can correlate (I know, correlation is not causation, but a place to start) diet with mental health wouldn't this be a fine way to kick their arse?

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My oldest son, who tested serologically negatiove for celiac, had great improvements in this area. We suspect he has mild aspergers but did not pursue a diagnosis as it wouldn't change anything in his life.

 

Improvements became even greater when he removed dairy from his life as well.

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