by Charlie
(Los Angeles)

I was diagnosed with an APD that is associated with the speed of which different tone levels are carried on the synapses. Higher tones move at a faster rate than lower tones. I am a dancer and this makes it particularly difficult for me to find the pattern in the music when trying to learn choreography... it is as if there are several songs playing at once and I am trying to figure out which one I am supposed to dance to. It is extremely frustrating and many times in my life I have given up on dance (as well as other things affected by this disorder). On the plus side, I find that I may have learned to feel the music a little bit more than the average person, so once I finally do find the pattern, it is probably a more rewarding experience.

Socially, things are difficult as well. I need to spend more time alone than other people and I need more sleep at night. People don't understand this and I am often mistaken for being anti-social and lazy. In school, I was often mistaken for being a little "slow" by certain people- particularly peers. However, I went through the gifted program. I had to work harder than other students and study a lot more on my own.

This is a difficult problem and it's hard not to give up on yourself and your own life. Sometimes you want to go away and live alone.

One thing that doesn't seem to be mentioned in any of the lists, that I believe APD sufferers have- is a closer connection to animals. I've always displayed an ability to connect with animals, see personality traits in them in the same way that I see in humans, and communicate with them non-verbally, better than other people seem to be able to- even people who love animals.

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