December 9, 2013

The singer Susan Boyle, 52, always a little strange, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s.

"Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself," she says. "I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me."

"I would say I have relationship difficulties, communicative difficulties, which lead to a lot of frustration. If people were a bit more patient, that would help... Asperger’s doesn’t define me. It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself. People will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do."...

Boyle hasn’t had a boyfriend since her 20s, but hasn’t given up on one day meeting someone. "There’s plenty of time,” she said. Asked what kind of person she’d like to meet, she said:  "I’d look for someone young. Someone creative. Someone who would make me laugh. Someone I’d get along well with, who’d take my music further, perhaps. Someone gentle. Someone accepting."
CORRECTION: Oh! It's Asperger's, not Alzheimer's. And here I thought she was dying. Asperger's... I thought that was abolished.

29 comments:

Deirdre Mundy said...

Ann-- Your headline is off-- Asperger's, not Alzheimers.

Kylos said...

Asperger's, not Alzheimer's.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Okay, Ann, is that a world-class mindfuck, or did you just confuse Asperger's and Alzheimer's by accident?

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for all the corrections.

Here I thought she was dying!

Ann Althouse said...

Aspergers… it's not even considered real anymore, is it? I guess it's different over in the U.K.

I'm surprised to see that diagnosis.

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry to alarm people.

Deirdre Mundy said...

It's not real in the DSM-5.... Maybe she slipped in under the wire?

Edward Lunny said...

Thought the prof had made a mistake articles suggesting a link between Aspergers and later alzhiemers. Perhaps the prof had a freudian slip ?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I don't know whether they use the DSM in the UK, but it's in the newest DSM (a publication of the American Psychiatric Association) that "Asperger's" was incorporated into "autism spectrum disorder." To, needless to say, the consternation of a lot of people formerly diagnosed with Asperger's, IOW as quirky but brilliant, as opposed to the "autistic," who are people who suck their thumbs and refuse to wear clothes and the like. Don't you dare try to put me in the same diagnostic category as those people!

EMD said...

My brother has Aspbergers, or whatever the hell they call the autism spectrum disorder or whatever.

A great read about Aspberger's from Augesten Burroughs' brother.

DKWalser said...

I don't think Asperger's isn't considered "real". Instead, they've lumped the condition in with autism. Our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's shortly after she turned 18 (she's now 30). At the time, we were told that Asperger's was a form of autism.

Ann Althouse said...

@EMD I've read that book. It's excellent.

If the condition isn't real, however, the poor man is back to being the asshole people thought he was before he got the diagnosis and could say, no, this is a real condition.

Very strange!

Great story though. Love that book and Augusten Burroughs's books. Verbal skill in that family, whether they are bullshitting or not.

Bob said...

"The law professor Ann Althouse, 62, always a little strange, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's."

Bob said...

Funny that how, when she was impoverished and on UK National Health Service, she was told she was brain damaged or retarded. Now that she's a multi-millionaire she's been upgraded to Asperger's.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bob,

I'm reminded of the old Red Skelton joke "Poor people are crazy. Rich people are eccentric."

C Stanley said...

If the condition isn't real, however, the poor man is back to being the asshole people thought he was before he got the diagnosis and could say, no, this is a real condition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy-sQZH0RAI&sns=em

m stone said...

Not nearly enough information in the articles, but any other Asperger's conditions related to IQ are absent from the reporting. Nothing to suggest that she has a particular gift like mathematics or spatial recognition or memory that complements her social awkwardness (not really communication).

For a public performer, Asperger's diagnosis seems suspect. It is becoming a catch-all even though it is now considered a form of autism.

heyboom said...

A little off topic, but a friend of mine lost a classmate to Alzheimer's recently...she was only 49 years old.

gadfly said...

Here's what the Wisconsin Medical Society says about savants, musical genius and Aspergers.

From an entertainment standpoint - perhaps you should watch "Cartman's Ass Burgers."

Carol said...

Nothing to suggest that she has a particular gift like mathematics or spatial recognition

What about her singing? It's a little too vanilla for me but she does have a great instrument.

Jay Patrick said...

After years of living with the apathy of untreated schizoid personality *disorder*, I woke up one day to find my illness suddenly gone. In its stead, an innocuous (and, dare I say, a mildly charming and aloof) schizoid personality "type" resided. This miracle of modern science was brought to me by the number 5

betamax3000 said...

Upstart Commenter Welcomes the Flames.

I have come to believe I'm a leftover from a bygone Althousian era, a party guest who stayed too long after the particular party was over.

There is a more rigorous tone in this new era, and Althouse's writing has been especially -- Very -- incisive (citations not needed): it is why we come here.

I have also increased my meds, so there is that.

To All: Lemon Tree and the Obvious That Exudes.



betamax3000 said...

By he Way: I Cured Cancer. Turned Out to Be Really Simple, St. John's Wort + _____. I Wrote it Down on a Cocktail Napkin and Gave it to the Homeless Guy No One Makes Eye Contact with. He Lives Under the Underpass with a Three-Legged Dog. Nineteen Degrees. It Is Up to Him Now.

M Scheetz said...

She suffered perinatal asphyxia, therefore her symptoms were blamed on brain damage, however her symptoms fit Asperger's perfectly, I read her book.
Extreme anxiety, she won't move from the home she was born in, some difficulty communicating with people she doesn't know very well, bullied all of her life, no real friends, etc.
She was diagnosed over a year ago before the term "Asperger's" was done away with, however doctors still use that term and probably will for a long time.

EDH said...

"Back off Susan Boyle!"

Elise Ronan said...

Just as a note: the autism community (particularly those with aspergers) has generally rejected the new DSM-5. Aspergers is real even if those with their flawed science who rewrote the DSM don't think so. For those truly interested the controversy is still raging and in fact many in the medical field have openly rejected the DSM-5 for any number of reasons.

As far as aspergers is concerned: sadly the public perception of aspergers or autism is of limited people with limited interests. This is quite untrue. Autism is basically a different "operating system." They can have any number of interests, desires, wants just like the neurotyical in society. They can also perform in public and there are many actors and public speakers who have autism. As with all "disabilities" there are levels of functioning.

If anyone is interested you can read my autism blog at http://asd2mom.blogspot.com
it outlines the controversy around the DSM-5 as well gives an overall idea of what is autism and aspergers.

Strelnikov said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCyWoI-5xHI

Joe said...

How odd, I always assumed that was a given.

Asperger's is quite real and it isn't the "quirky" behavior so fashionable these days by nerds. They, like me, have aspects of Asperger's, but not the full blown thing. My youngest son has it. I recently read an article which put to words impressions I'd long had--a key to Asperger's--or at these some sufferers--isn't that those with it can't empathize it's that they empathize too much, they can't moderate or undertstand it and it becomes overwhelming. It's made worse that they don't know how to moderate their own emotions and thus may hurt people, which makes them confused and very stressed out.

Ann Althouse said...

BTW, my statement — "If the condition isn't real, however, the poor man is back to being the asshole people thought he was before he got the diagnosis and could say, no, this is a real condition" — is based on reading the man's book and isn't intended to express anything about other people who've gotten the diagnosis. He struck people as an asshole and it caused him a lot of trouble in life. Getting the diagnosis was part of what helped him find his way.

It's possible that false diagnoses can help people with their mental and behavioral problems in life.

Perhaps "being an asshole" syndrome could be recognized as something "medical," and it might help the assholes interface with others better.

If you were told that a particular person had this "asshole syndrome" diagnosis (imagine a nicer label, of course) and that it was a medical problem, think how much differently you'd treat him!

I can imagine constructing a psychological experiment around this notion.