i’ve been reading about personality disorders and I feel like a lot of the symptoms fit autism as well. both have a rigid and “unhealthy” patterns of thinking, functioning and behaving, troubles perceiving and relating to situations and people, the early age of onset, both are pernament
Think of it like a computer. A computer’s personality is its software, the way it works and the way it responds to things. But sometimes the computer has a hardware problem, like a broken part or a problem with its wiring. That’s like autism. It’s a problem with the way the brain is wired and how it processes information, not a problem with the person’s personality or their unique way of being.
So, while personality disorders can affect a person’s behavior and relationships with others, autism is not a personality disorder because it affects the way a person thinks, learns, and processes information.
EDIT- as mentioned by some commenters below, it’s better compared to perhaps being a different OS. I’ll leave the original up to bring attention to the difference.
Personality Disorders are not neurological, meaning that there is nothing biologically different between a person with, say, NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), and a “regular” person. Their disorder is a series of learned personality traits through evironmental conditioning. Autism is a neurological disorder, which means that their (our) brains are biologically different from “regular” people.
I will address your last line. Autism is a difference in the brain that lasts from birth, thus it’s permanent. Personality disorders are generally not diagnosed until age 18 because your personality is still forming in childhood. Many PDs can go away with treatment, some simply as time passes.
ELI5: for treatment, with autism you learn how to live with your different brain. Personality disorder treatment works on changing the brain.
Edit: wording and spelling
(It’s already been a day, please spare me of endless replies.)
I would say it’s because there’s not really anything harmful about autistic people’s brains, they’re just structured in a way that society isn’t built for. I wouldn’t say autistic people automatically have thoughts or behaviors that are unhealthy or disruptive to their lives as a whole, things mostly become a problem in an environmental that isn’t suitable.
Edit: I understand that autism can be disruptive and harmful in certain instances but it isn’t inherently that way. Some behaviors characterized as such are valid reactions to unsuitable conditions in their lives as opposed to simply being effects of the disorder. My point is that I don’t think being autistic should be viewed as a bad thing, it’s just the reality of their brain.