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zeroh13

Zeroh, Chapter 1: A Fresh Start

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1 hour ago, Siferiax said:

But introverted people can be shy!
 

 

I never said they can't. I just don't know any...

 

If you want to nitpick/over-analyze, it's probably a lot more common for shy people to become introverts. Why seek out the company of others if that causes you anxiety?

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I think I'm actually not terribly introverted. I'm quite individualistic, so I like having some alone time (or really time to work on things without getting interrupted, or if I want to do something but no one else is interested I'll just go ahead and do it on my own). But I actually get more energy from being around people. 

 

I have very bad social anxiety, which I have been diagnosed with. And dealing with that drains energy.

 

A lot of people call shyness a personality trait. And social anxiety isn't a personality trait. But the definitions are so similar, it sounds like the only difference is the intensity.  But it seems like there should be more to it.

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2 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

If you want to nitpick/over-analyze, it's probably a lot more common for shy people to become introverts

I think if they were connected, it would be the other way around. Introversion is largely genetic. I think shyness is more about life experiences. There might be a genetic tendency to become shy, but whether the person actually becomes shy is up to what happens as they grow up.

 

One example: An introverted kid is picked on for being introverted. Then they start to become wary of others, and may start being afraid of people because they expect to be picked on/bullied.

 

Quote

Why seek out the company of others if that causes you anxiety?

Because when you get past the anxiety, you might enjoy the company of those you are comfortable with.

 

Another example: A kid who enjoys playing with others gets picked on because they're "weird" or awkward or just different in some way. Now this kid starts to become wary of people, because they start to expect everyone to be mean to them. They might be stuck playing by themselves, but they'd actually like to be playing with friends.

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Two things I forgot earlier. One of the reasons I don't like being called shy is people saying "you're just shy," when trying to explain my social anxiety (even before I knew what it was). And the other thing is that when I say I'm done peopling, I think for me it's more about my brain being fried from dealing with lots of BS, idiocy, and incompetence (on top of being overwhelmed from all the noise and nonstop running around). Which makes me pretty antisocial.

 

 

Update: today sucked. I heard back from my psychiatrist about the ASD testing, and she said that the psychologist who did my ADHD testing said that he was able to look at the first testing and concluded I didn't fit the criteria for ASD (apparently I don't have any social deficits or problems understanding social rules), but that I did present as shy and anxious and uncomfortable in social settings. And it's been recommended that I join the social anxiety support group. I will be getting a second opinion, eventually, from a specialist who will do the appropriate testing. And I'll try that group if it actually meets at a time when I don't normally work. But I'm very skeptical that I'll benefit from it. I tried a similar type of group back in college, and in the end I didn't really gain much either semester I was in it.

 

And then I was 20 minutes late to work because the last bus I had to catch was incredibly behind schedule (I would have been almost 30 minutes early if it had been on time).

 

And then at work I broke my new ring that I was so happy at finding and absolutely had to buy. It's now in like six pieces... 

 

And then when I got off work it started pouring down rain as soon as I left the building. It's back to just bring incredibly foggy now, but the back of my pants are soaked.

 

I also didn't get much done today because of that email.

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-hug- I'm sorry you had such a rough day!!
As for the testing, definitely get a second opinion and proper testing. It sounds like the guy knows about ADHD and tries to get off easy by reusing those tests, but for something else. Which seems inappropriate to me.

ASD is about more than just having problems with social things. Sure it's a big part of it, but there are other components as well.
For example organizing / planning can be difficult. Not always making a planning, but then following it.
Change is difficult and scary. Things should happen as previously planned/discussed.
Etc. These are just some from the top of my head that I deal with.
My social anxiety is full on linked to my insecurity for getting things "correct" in social interactions.

So yeah... Something to consider.
The problem is that mostly ASD is seen as a problem in kids (much like ADHD I suppose). And that often adults with ASD have learned so many strategies of dealing with the limitations it may not be as noticable.
(Everyone I tell I have ASD is majorly surprised)
I don't know what your assigned at birth gender is, but I do know ASD is different in men vs women.
And most knowledge and research has been done on the male variety.
Women with ASD have much less social problems than men as they are often taught from birth that they need to be social.

Feel better! Many hugs from me!

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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12 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

Two things I forgot earlier. One of the reasons I don't like being called shy is people saying "you're just shy," when trying to explain my social anxiety (even before I knew what it was). And the other thing is that when I say I'm done peopling, I think for me it's more about my brain being fried from dealing with lots of BS, idiocy, and incompetence (on top of being overwhelmed from all the noise and nonstop running around). Which makes me pretty antisocial.

 

The bolded part, big time.  I'm not shy in the least but man oh man does excessive socialing - especially in situations that I don't like or are forced into with people that aren't my type - turn me antisocial real quick.  It really drains my batteries and I get pretty low-key anxious.

 

Sorry about your email. :(  I hope today can be better for you and that second opinion goes smoothly!

 

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12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

-hug- I'm sorry you had such a rough day!!
As for the testing, definitely get a second opinion and proper testing. It sounds like the guy knows about ADHD and tries to get off easy by reusing those tests, but for something else. Which seems inappropriate to me.

Oh yeah. I don't remember any part of the test being about social performance or emotional intelligence. Aside from whatever he could observe from my behavior. And he couldn't even tell I was fidgeting the whole time when we did the testing (I called him out on that back when he gave me the ADHD results), though to be fair I'm normally really good at hiding my fidgeting.

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

ASD is about more than just having problems with social things. Sure it's a big part of it, but there are other components as well.

Yeah. But from the email it looks like he only mentioned the social stuff and that I didn't have any developmental delays. I don't know if he's just extremely lazy and didn't look at all the criteria, or something else.  I'm getting the impression that no one takes me seriously about this. (This isn't the first time I've ran into difficulties trying to get answers.)

 

I've looked through all the diagnostic criteria many times, and there's only like one thing that I'm not sure applies to me. And I've read stuff from people on the spectrum and can relate to a lot of what they say. But then there's always the "buts", and they don't listen to me. (Basically, I'll always have doubts unless an outside person, who knows what they're talking about, gives me some kind of answer.)

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

For example organizing / planning can be difficult. Not always making a planning, but then following it.

The organizing and planning is one of the things that made me think I could have ADHD. 

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

Change is difficult and scary. Things should happen as previously planned/discussed.

I'm reasonably okay with changes, as long as I know what's going on. I hate it when someone changes the plan and doesn't even tell me. Or make plans that I'll somehow be a part of without talking to me about it first. 

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

Etc. These are just some from the top of my head that I deal with.

There's the sensory issues some people have. And having some kind of "obsession" or limited interests, or repetitive behaviors (this is the one I'm not sure how much of it applies to me, but I also don't completely understand this criteria). 

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

My social anxiety is full on linked to my insecurity for getting things "correct" in social interactions.

One of the things my social anxiety latches on to is "I'm going to do something wrong/etc, and make myself look like an idiot and then they're gonna make fun of me or not give me a chance." (Which happened to me a lot as a child, from both other children and adults.)

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

The problem is that mostly ASD is seen as a problem in kids (much like ADHD I suppose). And that often adults with ASD have learned so many strategies of dealing with the limitations it may not be as noticable.
(Everyone I tell I have ASD is majorly surprised)

My first thought when I read the email was "um, yeah, you didn't notice anything because I learned to hide it a long time ago for the same reason I have all this social anxiety." Plus I've spent time as an adult trying to improve my social skills.

 

And this difficulty in diagnosing adults because they learn how to cope or hide it is discussed in pretty much everything that discusses ASD in adults.

 

12 hours ago, Siferiax said:

I don't know what your assigned at birth gender is, but I do know ASD is different in men vs women.
And most knowledge and research has been done on the male variety.
Women with ASD have much less social problems than men as they are often taught from birth that they need to be social.

I read some really good articles on this several years ago, but I've never been able to find them again. >_<

 

My parents never forced any gender expectations on me, so my upbringing was a bit different from most people my age. And they're both introverted and had no problem with me reading books all day. (I remember there was one parent-teacher conference where my teacher said she was concerned because I didn't really interact with any of the other children, I'd just be on my own reading instead. My parents were basically like, that's a problem how?)

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I'm introverted but not shy. I have no problem speaking in a group setting. I don't hesitate speaking in front of people or giving presentations (probably a good thing considering it's literally a job requirement), and I can interact with people just fine and defend myself when the situation arises. I can enjoy myself without worrying about what people think of me.

I just prefer to be alone or in really small groups. It drains me to interact with large groups of people, especially for extended periods of time. Best way to get that energy back is by being alone or spending some time with Schatz or a friend or two. I don't like parties that much and when I do host I try to keep them small.

That's how I see the difference anyway.

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On 1/12/2018 at 1:31 PM, zeroh13 said:

 Except I really don't see myself as shy. And I don't like being called shy because I'm not shy. But maybe I'm just not understanding what shy is and really am shy?

 

Part of this is that people are making a judgement when they say this. And who the hell are they to tell you what you are?? (even if they mean it kindly, which I think most of them likely do)

 

On 1/12/2018 at 6:14 PM, zeroh13 said:

I think I'm actually not terribly introverted. I'm quite individualistic, so I like having some alone time (or really time to work on things without getting interrupted, or if I want to do something but no one else is interested I'll just go ahead and do it on my own). But I actually get more energy from being around people.

 

Just a suggestion. If someone refers to you as shy and you don't like it, you might say something like this. This is a pretty fantastic self-description.

 

On 1/12/2018 at 10:32 PM, zeroh13 said:

Two things I forgot earlier. One of the reasons I don't like being called shy is people saying "you're just shy," when trying to explain my social anxiety (even before I knew what it was). And the other thing is that when I say I'm done peopling, I think for me it's more about my brain being fried from dealing with lots of BS, idiocy, and incompetence (on top of being overwhelmed from all the noise and nonstop running around). Which makes me pretty antisocial

 

I wouldn't like that either. They are minimizing your anxiety and again passing a sort of judgement. You don't have to apologize for wanting some time to yourself. You are an interesting person and you have many interests that you are happy to pursue on your own. That's a cool thing and you can take ownership of it.

 

18 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

My parents never forced any gender expectations on me, so my upbringing was a bit different from most people my age. And they're both introverted and had no problem with me reading books all day. (I remember there was one parent-teacher conference where my teacher said she was concerned because I didn't really interact with any of the other children, I'd just be on my own reading instead. My parents were basically like, that's a problem how?)

 

Every word of this is awesome!

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*hugs* Okay, so you have had a rollercoaster going on too.

I think shy is different than social Anxiety. I just always was told I was shy, but the more I get older, the more I think it may be the anxiety. Add to that that books are totally a way to mask Autism is a real thing. I know my Eldest loves to read more than deal with people because the books don't get mad if he says the wrong thing.

*hugs*

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On 1/12/2018 at 10:32 PM, zeroh13 said:

 "you're just shy," 

Hugs for your rough day, and good grief, do I hate this phrase! People who don't have their world limited by being "just shy" don't really understand what's going on. I'm not even sure the docs really do. I hope you'll be able to find someone with helpful answers.

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3 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:


I think shy is different than social Anxiety. I just always was told I was shy, but the more I get older, the more I think it may be the anxiety.

 

I stand by my earlier post: Shy is a form of anxiety.

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On 1/16/2018 at 12:21 PM, scalyfreak said:

I stand by my earlier post: Shy is a form of anxiety.

It does sound like it. Something like this:

 

|----------------------------+--------------------------------|

Shy                                        Social Anxiety

 

And from poking around online it sounds like a lot of people don't really understand it. Though a lot of people like to pretend they do (not here, but in the general internet population).

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I think right now, I'm just fed up with people not taking me seriously. Or I'm just realizing it, and deep down I've been fed up with it for awhile. And I think it might be one of the factors that's making my eating difficult to manage (in that it may be one why for me feeling indifferent about it and unmotivated to fix it). 

 

And it's one of the reasons the ASD testing is important to me. The other big reason being that having these difficulties without a known cause makes me feel "broken". Logically, I know I'm not. But that doesn't stop me from having this feeling. I guess there's this gap between knowing, and actually believing it. And everything else I felt this way about, I now have an explanation for it, I understand it. And once I got to that point, I felt a lot better. So, find reason = feel better.

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I think it's perfectly sensible to be frustrated. It sounded to me like the doctor was brushing you off, not even doing the ASD test before coming to conclusions. What are your options for getting a second opinion?

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I'm with @scalyfreak, shy is a form of anxiety. Furthermore, shy doesn't necessarily mean "social anxiety lite." As with everything, there's something of a spectrum. 

 

For example, there are perfectly natural and normal ways to be shy: imagine a young child, maybe just gaining confidence with language, hiding behind Mom when meeting extended family for the first time. This is a kid who feels a little insecure in the situation, but they are still protected by their parent and have a safe space to hide out. As the party gets into full swing, the kid meets other children their age, starts to play, and eventually becomes confident enough to walk up to strange family members and boldly ask them questions. I witness this at literally every family gathering I go to. 

 

There are also more anxious ways to be shy. As @zeroh13 mentioned, this end of the spectrum can often be influenced by negative social interactions (could be from bullying, or from not being able to parse body language/facial expressions, or severe introversion making socializing really draining, or a traumatic experience, or all sorts of things), often but not always from a young age, which reinforce the concept that interacting socially is dangerous and teach the person to avoid it. I usually call the results of this "painfully shy" because the person often desperately wants to interact but doesn't feel confident or safe doing so. Compared to the child above, who is just timid at first when exploring the boundaries of their world, you'll see this kind of shyness is more destructive and dangerous to the life of the person living with it. That's why it's more of an "anxiety disorder." It's getting in the way of you living your life. 

 

I think at its most basic, "shy" just means "feeling uncomfortable or unsafe in social interactions." Whether it's pervasive and damaging, and an anxiety, or fleeting and manageable, as a part of growing up, depends on all kinds of factors. I'm not sure it's fair to say someone is "just" shy, either as if being shy is easy to overcome or as a convenient excuse to downplay anti-social behavior. Feeling safe is important and feeling unsafe shouldn't be minimized, no matter what degree of shyness you're exhibiting. When a kid hides behind their parent, other adults smile and give the kid some space. A shy adult may not have anyone to hide behind, but I don't see why we shouldn't make the same allowances. (Although I also think the adult is not just going to naturally grow out of it so if their shyness is negatively impacting their life they should work on that if they can.) 

 

Book recommendation on the subject of socializing while living with Asperger's, came to mind as I was editing this response: Look Me in the Eye. John got his diagnosis fairly late in life, and talks about some of the things he was able to focus on to make social interactions more smooth for himself once he figured it out. 

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17 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

I think right now, I'm just fed up with people not taking me seriously. Or I'm just realizing it, and deep down I've been fed up with it for awhile. And I think it might be one of the factors that's making my eating difficult to manage (in that it may be one why for me feeling indifferent about it and unmotivated to fix it). 

 

And it's one of the reasons the ASD testing is important to me. The other big reason being that having these difficulties without a known cause makes me feel "broken". Logically, I know I'm not. But that doesn't stop me from having this feeling. I guess there's this gap between knowing, and actually believing it. And everything else I felt this way about, I now have an explanation for it, I understand it. And once I got to that point, I felt a lot better. So, find reason = feel better.

 

*Hugs* No, I get it. Feeling like people are just "ok, fine here is what you want" without being invested in the actual answer is very unmotivating and frustrating. Hopefully the second opinion helps.

And something I learned long ago, Logic and emotions don't always mix. Good luck getting your reason. I just wish I could help in some way

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1 hour ago, Bean Sidhe said:

*Hugs* No, I get it. Feeling like people are just "ok, fine here is what you want" without being invested in the actual answer is very unmotivating and frustrating. Hopefully the second opinion helps.

It's also people thinking it's something not worth looking into. It's almost always "IDK, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But do you really need an answer?" And just giving the impression that trying to find a real answer is a waste of time (a real answer in this case being something backed by data). Which doesn't feel much different than someone saying it's not a real problem. (Thus feeling like I'm not being taken seriously.) And I don't know how to get people to understand just how important this is to me.

 

19 hours ago, Severine said:

I think it's perfectly sensible to be frustrated. It sounded to me like the doctor was brushing you off, not even doing the ASD test before coming to conclusions. What are your options for getting a second opinion?

There's one or two places near me that can do it, who also take my insurance. But it looks like you might need a referral. 

 

18 hours ago, Wobbegong said:

Book recommendation on the subject of socializing while living with Asperger's, came to mind as I was editing this response: Look Me in the Eye. John got his diagnosis fairly late in life, and talks about some of the things he was able to focus on to make social interactions more smooth for himself once he figured it out. 

The library has three of his books. I guess I should stop putting off getting a library card.

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If the process of dealing with doctors and insurance people for 8 years of my father-in-law's struggle with cancer taught me anything, it's that in the US medical system you are at high risk of getting inferior care unless you are very informed and advocate for yourself. Many times I had to push them to do things they said weren't needed (like test for an infection) that turned out to in fact be very needed (because indeed, there was a staph infection!) and generally double check all of what they were doing to make sure they weren't taking shortcuts or blowing off our concerns. If we had not caught that staph infection, he likely would have died six years early, because his immune system was massively compromised at the time. Those six years were worth a lot. They were worth arguing with doctors.

 

The sad reality is that for people with nontraditional gender presentations, or people with mental health concerns, this is even more of an issue.

 

Anyway, what I mean to say is, give yourself permission to advocate for yourself and ask persistently for what you need. It's not pushy to ask for a second opinion. Get a referral if you need one. If the doctor asks why you need a referral don't be afraid to say that you felt the previous doctor was not thorough and did not even do a test before coming to a conclusion, and that you felt he was belittling you and not taking you seriously. 

 

Obviously this is hard with social anxiety but there are things you can do to prep. Practice saying certain phrases and even write them down and bring them on a notecard if needed. "I disagree. I think this is necessary." "I don't think you're taking my symptoms seriously. They are severely impacting my life and I need thorough testing and diagnosis." "I see that you have doubts but I am positive that this is what I want. I formally request to be tested." etc. etc. Even if you have to read them off the notecard, that's fine.

 

The medical system should be able to give you some answers. You have a right to proper care!

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22 hours ago, zeroh13 said:

And it's one of the reasons the ASD testing is important to me. The other big reason being that having these difficulties without a known cause makes me feel "broken". Logically, I know I'm not. But that doesn't stop me from having this feeling. I guess there's this gap between knowing, and actually believing it. And everything else I felt this way about, I now have an explanation for it, I understand it. And once I got to that point, I felt a lot better. So, find reason = feel better.

 

Man, do I ever identify with that bolded part.  The rational part of my brain often that needs that "x is because y" foundation to make sense of things and just kind of... chill out.

 

41 minutes ago, Severine said:

If the process of dealing with doctors and insurance people for 8 years of my father-in-law's struggle with cancer taught me anything, it's that in the US medical system you are at high risk of getting inferior care unless you are very informed and advocate for yourself. Many times I had to push them to do things they said weren't needed (like test for an infection) that turned out to in fact be very needed (because indeed, there was a staph infection!) and generally double check all of what they were doing to make sure they weren't taking shortcuts or blowing off our concerns. If we had not caught that staph infection, he likely would have died six years early, because his immune system was massively compromised at the time. Those six years were worth a lot. They were worth arguing with doctors.

 

The sad reality is that for people with nontraditional gender presentations, or people with mental health concerns, this is even more of an issue.

 

Anyway, what I mean to say is, give yourself permission to advocate for yourself and ask persistently for what you need. It's not pushy to ask for a second opinion. Get a referral if you need one. If the doctor asks why you need a referral don't be afraid to say that you felt the previous doctor was not thorough and did not even do a test before coming to a conclusion, and that you felt he was belittling you and not taking you seriously. 

 

Obviously this is hard with social anxiety but there are things you can do to prep. Practice saying certain phrases and even write them down and bring them on a notecard if needed. "I disagree. I think this is necessary." "I don't think you're taking my symptoms seriously. They are severely impacting my life and I need thorough testing and diagnosis." "I see that you have doubts but I am positive that this is what I want. I formally request to be tested." etc. etc. Even if you have to read them off the notecard, that's fine.

 

The medical system should be able to give you some answers. You have a right to proper care!

 

This this this this this.  I work with insurance on the daily, and this, so much.

 

It's the hardest thing ever because often it's the people that need help the most are the ones that suffer, because they don't have the interpersonal tools to advocate for themselves on a consistent basis.  It's incredibly frustrating.  Our healthcare system is a terrible mess.

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8 hours ago, Severine said:

Anyway, what I mean to say is, give yourself permission to advocate for yourself and ask persistently for what you need. It's not pushy to ask for a second opinion. Get a referral if you need one. If the doctor asks why you need a referral don't be afraid to say that you felt the previous doctor was not thorough and did not even do a test before coming to a conclusion, and that you felt he was belittling you and not taking you seriously. 

If I need to get a referral, I'll ask my therapist to write one. And he knows how I feel about the first opinion. And I told him why I wanted the testing, at least the feeling "broken" part. And then we did this exercise that was like "does X mean you're broken". To show that I don't need a test to show myself that I'm not broken. (Didn't help.) And then he pulled out the DSM-V and we went through the criteria. And I explained the whole learning to hide it. And he was basically "I can see this, and this, but this one I don't see, but maybe you're right about hiding it." And then he went through Social Communication Disorder. And I had literally read both of those the day before our session, so that wasn't particularly helpful either. (The part that's up for debate is restricted/repetitive behavior and limited interests. It's also the part that i don't know if it fits me or not, because it's not specific enough for me to know what counts and what doesn't. And behavior is the biggest thing in the "learn to hide it" category. I know I did some odd things as a child, but I don't remember enough of my childhood to draw any conclusions.)

 

tl;dr I can ask my therapist, but he falls into the "you don't need testing to feel better" category.

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Today was a get (almost) nothing done day. Most of the morning was crying off and on (hormones not helping). And then I made really good pasta. And ate it. Then on my way to work, I had this moment where I was like, "wait, where am I going?" Work was uneventful. I ate dinner. Mostly out of habit. I was going to skip it, and I felt bad about eating it after eating, and then I felt bad about feeling bad about it. And I wish I could just fix all of this.

 

I did manage to drink enough water and tea. And I was good at not hitting the snooze button.

 

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