Autism or Social Anxiety? | WAAW17 | invisible i

hey everyone its Katey and welcome back to my channel and welcome back to world Autism Awareness Week if you didn't know I am uploading a video a day this week so if you want to go and check out the previous video so I've already uploaded this week and want to stay tuned for the ones coming up then there will be a playlist linked up by here and down below so you can go and check those out but today I wanted to film a video which I've actually been planning and wanting to film for a really long time but I have put it off because I thought World Autism Awareness Week would be a good time to chat about it so I'm really pleased that I'm finally able to chat about this with you guys so this is a topic that has come up quite a lot in my comment section and also in my everyday life and that is the difference between autistic social behavior and social anxiety how do we tell the difference between the two and when I tell people that I have Asperger's syndrome and that it affects me socially and I explain the ways that it affects me I've had reactions of people being like oh you just have social anxiety you can get that cured and fixed and it's not anything autistic you're fine and I really wanted to come on here and talk about the differences between the two so social behavior and social difficulties is probably the most prevalent and well-known symptom of autism out there it's probably the one thing that lots of people tend to think of first when they think of autism but if you haven't seen my video about being an autistic female which I will link up here and down below you won't know that if you are a female on the autistic spectrum normally these social behaviors are a lot more subtle and the difficulties that we experience are very different to the difficulties that males experience but you go and check that video out if you want a bit more information on that people often tell me that I'm not autistic because I don't show physical signs of it and when people say that I do wash in the because I'm like what do you believe is a physical sign of autism but I think there is this misconception out there that you have to be really really socially awkward or socially anxious in order to be autistic and it's not really the case so that is a huge difference between social behaviors that are linked to autism and social behaviors that are linked to social anxiety but people tend to blur the two a little bit nowadays and when I tell people but these are things that I struggle with socially because of my autism they think that I just have social anxiety and that I'm not really autistic and then I think there are a lot of people out there who suffer quite badly with social anxiety and then start to believe that they were to stick because of it so the kind of works both ways but there is a massive difference and the key is in the name because social anxiety has anxiety in the name so you're going to expect a lot of anxiety and this is probably the main reason why people experience and get diagnosed with social anxiety it's because they're experiencing anxiety socially so that means having panic attacks in social situations avoiding social situations because of the anxiety behaving oddly or differently because of the anxiety in social situations social anxiety is run and is fuelled by anxiety and that is something really key to remember but my social autistic traits and I think for many people out there these traits and behaviors are not fueled by anxiety autism and autistic spectrum disorders is ultimately about how you process things how you process life how you process body language how you process language how you process other people it's a lot about taking things in and translating them in your brain into a language that makes sense to you it's sort of like if everything around you is in a different language and you have to put all of that through Google Translate and then finally understand what it means for to sick people and those on the spectrum they're walking around in a world where they don't speak the same language as everybody else in their brain they have to process that they have to filter everything through Google Translate and then that is how they can't cope and process the world so you can already see that this isn't really about anxiety for me and for a lot of people out there on the spectrum it's more about processing how you process that situation what it's like when you're in that situation and the difficulties in understanding at that situation so whereas at those with social anxiety avoid social situations because it makes them anxious people with autism or people on the spectrum tend to avoid social situations because of the toll it takes on the mentally it can be really tiring and challenging to filter everything through Google Translate every time you're in a situation that is social it's like exactly like speaking another language so it's exhausting to have to listen to something that you don't immediately understand filter it through your brain and try and translate it and then find a way of responding to something so if you've learnt a language before if you've been in college or high school and you've had that sort of learning a language kind of process and you had to hear someone speaking in that language and you've got to translate it in your head and then respond to it in the same language it can be really tiring and it can take a massive toll on you so that is the reason why a lot of people with autism tend to avoid social situations I saw a brilliant quote on Facebook the other day that was something like people with autism aren't unsociable they're just socially selective so I think that just sums it up I'm like amazingly it's like I don't hate being social and I'm not anxious about being social I just like to choose when I am social and pick the times right I'm social because I have to be mentally up for that I have to be ready I have to be strong physically and mentally to take on that challenge so like any situation in life I know that there are exceptions to this and of course it is always possible for someone to experience social anxiety see because of that autistic traits or have autism but also experience social anxiety because of the awkwardness and social behavior that comes from that they often link it does come together quite a lot of time but they should be treated still in very different ways I feel like the treatment for them are that are very very different social anxiety you can have CBT for you can start to work through you can do exposures whereas autism is something you have to learn to deal with and work on yourself because it's something that's always going to be there and because that's there are two very different avenues to go down when it comes to treatment but let me know your experiences with social anxiety or autism or both in the comments below and let me know if you experience things in the same way as I do or if you experience things completely different – I do I want to hear from you this is World Autism Awareness Week so we're spreading the awareness in any way shape or form so you want to chats to me in the comments below then feel free to do so don't forget that I'm filming a video every single day this week for Autism Awareness Week and if you want to join me in that journey then feel free to subscribe and make sure you click that little Bell notification down there somewhere so that you get notifications every time I upload a new video I hope we've had a really really good day and I will see you tomorrow bye guys you


  1. I was so convinced that I just have social anxiety, but then you were explaining the differences and the analogies with Google translate and stuff and I realised how much I relate to it. I avoid social situations because its draining to have to process what is going on, and what I'm meant to do. I go out and feel completely isolated because everyone else seems to know how to function in social situations, they don't freeze in big groups of people, they know how to talk about just about everything, but I just can't wrap my head around it. Honestly, misunderstanding social situations gives me anxiety, I don't understand the situations so the thought of messing it up quite nerve wreaking. I have gotten used to ordering from food places though, so I've got that under my belt. I say the same thing everytime, it's almost like I've got a script in my head so I know what to say and how to say it, and then add a smile because I've learnt that people like it when you smile whilst talking to them, depending on the situation. So I don't know if I should go talk to a professional about getting a possible assessment for autism or not. I've been thinking about it for months and months, but I don't want to make the wrong desicion and look like an idiot. Anyone have any advice? It'd be much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. Thank you so much for this video!!! I have never had my social traits explained so well, this is making me really happy 💛

  3. I'm a 13 year old girl and I think I might have Asperger's. When I was born (after two operations to remove some twisted intesinte) the doctors thought I had a hearing impediment due to the fact that I didn't respond in hearing tests. Growing up, I have always been socially awkward and hate crowds or parties or loud bright situations. I have photosensitivity, and I suffer from excruciating migraines as a result of overstimulation from light and sound sometimes.

    I'm extremely intelligent, but I tend to miss social cues such as when I should laugh after a joke and when I should stop making the same joke. I take things literally and recently a PE teacher accused me of having "listening problems". When I was six I would scream and cry for hours because my socks weren't "comfy" and ended up with blisters when I refused to wear them. I'm really good at retaining information and I contribute alot in class but if I had to do so in a one on one manner I would find it really nerve racking. I get little phases of interests, such as wolves and story writing and rotas. If I'm late to something my whole day goes downhill. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal but being late for me is just awful. I like art and English and maths and basically everything except for music. 

    My attention span depends on what I'm doing: if I'm in a maths lesson for instance, I lose attention in the last 15 minutes and realise I've missed something when I look up from my doodling or whatever I'm doing.  Continuing with doodling, I always doodle. On my hand, on my arm, anywhere. When I'm nervous I pinch my bottom lip into a weird shape or put my thumbs behind my knuckles (I have hypermobility). I can hear alot and smell alot and honestly I like animals more than people.

     I find it hard to keep friends for over a year and end up just ignoring them when they start to annoy me. I try to be nice when I'm in someone's way and say sorry but I ALWAYS sound sarcastic and it really bothers me. I think alot and I'm really good at hiding my emotions (and not so good at showing them) and I absolutely hate handshakes or hugs or confrontation. I dislike eye contact even with friends.

    I zone out alot and usually I'm aware of it and I just can't physically focus like my eyes can focus on anything.

  4. I think I have both. I think my anxiety came from problems experienced in childhood (and still today) stemming from me not "getting" socialization, missing cues, etc. Now, I'm really hard on myself for screwing up (and sometimes not realize until someone points out what went down), or really afraid I'm going to offend someone. But, primarily, I'm in the group of it just being exhausting and I don't know what to say or not say much of time time (and so I'm worrying about trying to get that part right, which is even more exhausting). (I don't get panic attacks.)

  5. Suspected ASD not yet diagnosed, social anxiety confirmed (not sure if misdiagnosed or co-morbid).
    Social situations that cause me anxiety are environment and situation dependent. Showing up alone to a place I have never been to before, a particularly chatty service employee, running into someone I know in public, someone dropping by unexpectedly. I don't avoid seeing my friends, but I do prefer to hang out at someone's house rather than go out, I prefer to go to a new place with someone else, I tend to look up menus and decide my order before I eat out anywhere, I prefer email and SMS to phone and in-person conversations. I don't experience social anxiety in familiar environments with familiar people unless I say or do something inappropriate and become embarrassed, and I am pretty good at laughing it off or diffusing the situation but the inappropriate thing continues to haunt me indefinitely.

  6. Me and most of my friends are convinced I have social anxiety (I'm not diagnosed) but one of my friends is convinced I'm autistic (her only reason is I have 'similar traits to Sheldon Cooper')

  7. For me, the anxiety is around translating what people are saying, but having to make sure or trying to make sure that they don't realise I have to translate. I have the fear that they are going to find me out as being autistic, or that I am acting weird without knowing it. I have to carefully monitor myself so that I do not stick out and if I slip up, even in my own mind, it is like being crushed in a box.

  8. I am currenrly figuring out with a therapist what it is that makes me anxious about, Well almost everything 😅

  9. Help hehe: Okay so, I've thought that I had social anxiety for a while now. Communication and everything social makes me feel drained, as does sounds and lights and even bright colors. My therapist thought I might have agoraphobia (fear of people/crowds) since I usually tend to go completely blank in my head and just stare into the void whenever I am a place with loads of things happening and a lot of people talking. However, I do enjoy being around people and I love sitting at cafes for instance, even with the chatter. I experience nervous tics that worsen when I'm fatigued/have had coffee etc. I always need a lot of time to think through everything I´m going to say, and I have a hard time talking, but I am very good at writing. My "anxiety" is never both in my head and in physical form, its either a racing mind or it´s shaking, which usually comes because I´m too tired. I've been like this since I was a child, which is the reason I started wondering if I might be an aspie? I've read so many articles to try to figure this out, but they always focus a lot on the physicals, like not being able to keep eye contact etc., and though I find it difficult, I can keep eye contact with certain people. Does anybody have any ideas of sites or places I can read more on this? Because it would explain a whole lot of my fatigue and how my head works. (This was long and I know it might not be seen, but if it is, please give me some pointers if you can)

  10. I’m not diagnosed I just figured out that I may have Aspergers, I’m an older female and until two years ago I could hide it really well. Not anymore. Social situations tire me out.

  11. Your Videos are very interesting! I'm 30 Years old now and I was diagnosed with Autism, when I was 9 Years old at the Clinic in Maulbronn Germany back in 1997 ! And I'm anxious too sometimes and I also sometimes have Absences (mini Epileptic Seizures) and I also used to get bullied in School, because some of Classmates thought that I'm weird, because of my Starring Problem and because I'm a little bit like a Nerd, when it comes to my Special Interests and I also used to get laughed at, because of my Problem of being too slow at some things And because of those Classmates that used to bother me, I used to almost always come Home crying after School! Which not only happened to me at Primary School, but also at the Special School that I had to go to! I had to go to the Special School because of my learning Problems!

  12. Hmm idk if I’m experiencing autism or social anxiety sometimes I get super anxious when I know I have to talk to somebody, like I have to give myself some time to cool down to try and gather my thoughts together. And I also I have to be super patient when I speak sometimes like I can’t be to fast, I have to kinda get in the rhythm of it to kinda get me going and sometimes I kinda freeze and get nervous and want to hide when I feel super uncomfortable with a person(s) {strangers or family}

  13. Up until the last few days of 2nd grade I was thought to have really bad Sensory and Anxiety problems, but they found I had autism later.

  14. I grew up in the care system and suffer with Anxiety disorder now 36yrs old I only just found out I had autism as a child. I've had a look into Autism and believe the fact that I never knew I had it could of been part of the reason I have anxiety. I'm in the process of trying to get a dionysius of Autism again. I've been for the first assessment. I can not have the second part of the assignment as I have no family. And will be having my last bit of the assignment with the Autisum Doctor on Tuesday.

  15. This describes me well. The autism explanation. However, it wasn't until I was about 30-ish that it became more prevalent. I would never have ever thought I was on the autism spectrum my whole life. In fact, I often was able to notice when others were and help them. I know that autism cannot come on in adulthood. Does anyone have any insight as to why I seemed to be functioning highly and neurotypically my whole life and then experienced a change that I would describe as debilitating that falls under the description of ASD? Im confused.

  16. I have social anxiety but I've been questioning whether I have Autism as well lately. I shut down in social situations and when I'm spoken to I rack my brain trying to figure out what kind of response is acceptable. At night I analyze everything I said to anyone and try to figure out if I came off as rude. BUT when I'm sitting back and watching people socialize I feel like I am actually very intuitive to they way others are feeling and how well conversations are going. Just not when it's me trying to socialize.

  17. Just wondering,
    Is it possible to develop social anxiety as a result of the autism? I have had pretty bad social anxiety for much of my life and the fearful feeling is definitely there. But I also relate to the feeling of not really knowing what the hell is going on in social situations, why people say certain things and understanding their connotations and whatnot. So because I don't trust my ability to understand what's going on and act accordingly, I become incredibly fearful that I will do and say the wrong things.
    I haven't been diagnosed with ASD but I'm suspecting that I have it, so I'm wondering if social anxiety can be a result of the autism?
    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate anyone's input!

  18. I'm 40 and found out I'm on the spectrum a few weeks ago. I like that quote. I have both these days, I'm made enough social blunders over the years to develop social anxiety from getting things wrong in social situations.

  19. I'm sorry… I still don't understand the difference. My daughter is struggling with something (diagnosed dysautonomia) and even when I get home and knock on the door she'll throw whatever is in her hands down and hide until she can confirm who has entered the home….

  20. hi my name is Brennen and I have autism and a learning disability. I just wanted to explain my anxiety. I feel I get social anxiety but because I have autism I also feel I get anxiety from autism is that common or normal sorry to bother you I am just confused if you could answer my question that would be great and if not I understand.

  21. I feel you about socially selective, I am like this I have to have friends who like art or music to make me feel good

  22. I’ve diagnosed with social anxiety, ocd and schizophrenia. I think I have aspergers too. I look at peoples mouth instead of eyes when I’m talking and I stare at eyes sometimes. It’s hard to understand expressions when I look in the eyes. It’s easy to understand expressions when I’m looking at mouth. It’s easy to understand what they say by looking at mouth. I’ve got 42 marks in aq test. I copy my classmates and characters in movies without knowing I do so. I find it easy to concentrate on something. When I focus on something every other things get dark and I only see what I’m looking for. I can easily tell if one of my classmates has changed their earrings. It’s a very small change. But I can see it immediately. I get super angry sometimes. I’m not sure I stim or not. I feel sad after having a good time. I sometimes feel like I can’t breath when I smell diesel. And Its hard for me to hear metal sounds. I don’t understand death. I’ve never cried when my pets die. People think I’m selfish. I didn’t understand sarcasm but now I’ve learned it. I have special interests.DO you think I’ve got aspergers?And I don’t understand it feels like speaking a different can you explain it?

  23. I went to my PCP to get a referral for an asd evaluation. She said it's really hard to get diagnosed as an adult and that perhaps I have social anxiety. She also seemed not to believe me lol Then I got a panic attack cause it was hard to speak up about it and then get judged. She saw and then wrote me a referral to see a psychiatrist. But as the appointment neared I was so anxious about it that I called and cancelled. I regret that and now I have to build the courage to go back. It's been like 2 years since. 😥🙃

  24. Thank you! That was the most understandable, relatable explanation of the difference between autism and social anxiety I ever experienced! And you have the cutest nose!

  25. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. 💙❤

  26. I’ve always wondered if I was on the spectrum. I remember being really anxious as a kid at school and stuff to the point where I would completely shut down. I would go days at school without saying a single word. Social situations were so confusing to me, and I remember watching other kids all the time to see how they acted. Other kids would talk to me and it would take me forever to answer them because I would be like, “Okay, what is the appropriate response to this?” Nowadays I don’t really struggle with that, but it took me years of studying other people to get to this point. But every time I tell my family I think I’m on the spectrum they don’t take me seriously. 🤷‍♀️

  27. I have asd
    I see people with sad
    I see nothing in women
    I'm clumsy
    they're just awkward
    my mom says I have anxidy
    true but not to were it effects my meantal state
    paranoia I'm more paranoid then anxious really
    I macke small talk All the time
    and eyecontact
    autism has apslootley nothing to do with autism

  28. why do people even care what "disorder" they have? obviously you aren't mentally disabled. People hang out with assholes who judge them. Just be yourself and move to a place with less stuck up pricks.

  29. I've always struggled with social anxiety. This past spring I was recently diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. I've had to come to learn to come to terms with it and some people don't believe me because I come across as so "high functioning." I think my social anxiety stemmed from the awkwardness I feel around people. I'm often afraid I come across as rude or annoying without intending to be.

  30. Is it always the case that people on the spectrum cannot read/understand other Humans?
    I usually feel intuitively what is going on…emotionally. However, quite often this doesnt fit to what the other person is talking about…which annoys me and makes me between nervous and angry.
    My ex didnt believe me about this and suggested that I should just ask the other person(s) whatever I thought they are actually on about…which was quite straight but rude. But when I did so, people most of the time were shocked that I 'saw' whats actually going on… Like I caught them. However, I dont care about them being pretenders or whatever, what annoys me is that they dont act coherently.
    For me… It just annoys me (su much!!!) that people act so irrationally, unlogical…their behaviour and verbal communication doesnt fit together so often.
    Why cant they just stick to straight behaviour, communication?!

    Does this Sound familiar to anybody……? 🙁

  31. As someone who's struggled with social anxiety for years, I'm offended that you would compare it with autism. They're completely different things! One is a psychological disorder and another is a developmental disorder! Also taking pills and cognitive therapy will not stop someone from having autism.

  32. I used to have more social anxiety when I was younger, but that was mostly because I didn't know how to talk to people..all the communication issues and awkwardness led to anxiety. I've become good at masking and now I do like social events (with advance notice!!)

  33. For a non-autistic person maybe this would "click". Let's say you are a person who swears all the time. It's very hard for you to control because of your social circle. You go to a job interview and are able to control your swearing and get hired. You manage to hide this habit, even though it is natural to you and hard to hold back. Autistic people do this ALL THE TIME, with who they are. They are never loved for who they truly are and hide all the time. We are not going to hide anymore for your happiness because we have realized ours matters as well.

  34. Hi I have a diagnosis of anxiety disorder, PTSD and get panic attacks. I also have had mania and OCD throughout my life. I was also diagnosed with ADHD and had difficulties in a classroom setting but excelled in homeschool and even graduated university. I recently have been looking at the spectrum and self diagnosing. I experience similiar as you and feel so drained after so I avoid most of the time and only go in when I'm very ready and prepared.

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