Asperger and tension

Asperger is a disorder of which many suffer. What is less well-known, however, is that Asperger causes a lot of tension. This tension worsens the Asperger symptoms, leading to even more tension, which in turn causes an increase in autistic complaints.

Is Asperger an illness?

Asperger is not quite an illness in the strict sense of the word. An illness is something which tends to develop over time and can often be cured. This is not the so in the case of Asperger.

Is Asperger a limitation or handicap?

Asperger is a genetically transferable handicap or limitation, and hence not an illness. There are 9 or so genes which could possibly be at play in the development of Asperger or autism spectrum disorders. Not everybody has all of these genes. There are many gradations and combinations of these genes, meaning there also are many ways in which this disorder can potentially manifest.

Can Asperger be cured?

At this point in time, Asperger cannot be cured yet. People are constantly looking for new insights on how to treat Asperger, but the science behind it still requires further development. This means there is no ideal medication just yet, but I believe there will be large breakthroughs in the years ahead.

Can the hormone oxytocin cure Asperger?

Recently, Stanford University discovered that 1 of the 14 receptors for the communication hormone 'oxytocin' is defective in certain types of Asperger. Administering the hormone oxytocin in the form of a nasal spray would reduce certain symptoms of Asperger. As a doctor, I contacted the firm which marketed the hormonal nasal spray 'Syntocinon' to check if there are any clinical uses yet, and their main physician wrote to me that they are studying this, but that it is too early to draw any conclusions. We can yet be hopeful about breakthroughs in this direction. A colleague and friend of mine, Prof. Carolina Remedi, MD, from the University of Cordoba in Argentina, confirmed that there have been several positive developments in this regard, while it as of yet is still too early to offer any guidelines to parents or patients.

Can you treat the consequences of Asperger?

Yes, we can help people with Asperger to a very large extent. The most important guideline in treating Asperger is to diagnose it and to offer the person and family insight about this disorder.

Step-by-step plan for treating Asperger

  1. diagnose Asperger
  2. explain to the patient and family what the disorder 'Asperger' is
  3. explain to the patient that it is possible to learn to successfully handle this disorder and to function as good as normally with most forms of Asperger
  4. explain to the patient how tension worsens their symptoms and how preventing tension can help them improve immensely
  5. teach the patient through coaching to handle their difficulties in a good way
  6. follow a good self-help program to learn to reduce tension so that the tension meters show a score inside the green zone

How does the online self-help program work for Asperger?

I often receive feedback from colleagues who work with Asperger a lot, saying that they regularly prescribe the online self-help program '15 Minutes 4 Me' for patients with autism or the syndrome of Asperger because of two main reasons:

  1. because this online self-help program teaches them how to reduce their tension by themselves
  2. because this program gives them structure. It often is so that people with Asperger look for structures because the world seems very unstructured to them due to their disorder. The daily rhythm of practicing self-help for 15 minutes each day apparently gives them a lot of peace of mind and helps them to learn new habits. This regularity brings peace to the mind of a person with Asperger.

Test whether tension worsens your Asperger

Do you want to know if tension worsens your issues with Asperger? Then take the free self-test here.

Paul Koeck, MD