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How do you make a distinction between obsessions/compulsions caused by OCD and by aspergers/autism?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Mark Smith, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Mark Smith

    Mark Smith Active Member

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    Just wondering because I think I may have either both or just one.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's a very good question, Mark. :cool:

    I'm inclined to think it's one for which medical professionals have yet to comprehensively address. However I'd think that rigid, conditional thinking in line with forms of autism have to compound forms of OCD to some extent I suppose.

    From my own perspective I consider my OCD a greater issue than my autism for a simple reason. I experience most if not all aspects of my OCD alone, as opposed to manifestations of my autism which tend to come up only regarding social interactions with others. So in my case, you could surmise that the answer to your question lies here. That it's my OCD which follows me whenever and wherever I go.

    In as much as I have attempted to mask my autistic traits and behaviors, in the case of OCD I overtly try to hide it altogether while in the company of others. Not necessarily with success whether one or the other. Of course much like autistic traits and behaviors, how we experience OCD can vary a great deal as well. So I can only answer your question relative to my own experience and not necessarily anyone else.
     
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  3. Iamnotarabot

    Iamnotarabot Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am not completely sure , but, OCD is related to anxiety , and realy trigger urges to do something like washing your hand when ever you touch something or shake someone hands, or when you check everything 3 times etc, if you dont do it you always have the thought coming back at you.And the more you are anxious the more you feel the need to double check everything etc...

    Obession caused by autism itself, i would say there is 2 parts.
    The rigid behavior that some on the spectrum have is related to the need of routine and I think it can overlap with OCD, i mean, this is hard to seperate.
    And the other kind of obsession is clearly different and more related to specific interest i guess , something realy pick your interest and you have to dig the subject as far as you can and it looks like an obsession from the outside.

    And same , I think that a specific interest can be integrated to your routine sometimes ( like playing video game or doing something you like in general) and so this is realy hard to seperate.


    But, to me OCD realy sounds more related to the urge of doing a specific and simple action that keep getting back in your head if you dont and that increases your anxiety , and the action itself isnt realy enjoyable ( somehting like washing your head or closing your doors 3 times whohoo so fun)
     
  4. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    With ocd overwhelming ‘rituals’ are a form of control, a safety release valve or preventative measure, depending on ones ‘thing’
    Contamination, hoarding and so on.

    I believe an obsession is, for the most part chosen.
    Perhaps triggered by curiosity? Feel good factor? special interest? Need to generate income?
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Social anxiety is yet another comorbid that seems to be argued as being intrinsic to autism. Or is it really a separate condition, in the same sense as is OCD or depression ?

    I was formally diagnosed with social anxiety, OCD and clinical depression. Just not autism at the time. :confused:
     
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  6. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I have always thought of my autism as OCD without the C. I can get pretty obsessive about certain things. The difference is that I do not have to do these things.
     
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  7. Echo

    Echo AQ 41 etc etc...

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    This statement was thought provoking, Gracey. It just opened that gray area between ASD and OCD right up.

    If OCD rituals are a form of control, or safety release valve, how closely related to stimming are they, neurologically speaking? I do sense that the differences could be deeper than simply degree and frequency, but could the urges both stem from similar wiring and in response to anxiety triggers?

    For myself, I'm highly anxious (always have been) and, as a child, had a number of these rituals that have diminished over time, but the anxiety is still with me as well as the need to stim. I don't think I'd ever receive a clinical diagnosis of OCD, as my remaining odd rituals don't impact my life, but when I hear people discuss their OCD, I find it relatable.

    And has anyone ever come right out and said our social anxiety is firmly rooted in our brain wiring? I rather think it has far more to do with our uncomfortable experiences with people, and inability, at least as children, to make sense of why social situations were they way they were. Chaos triggers anxiety.
     
  8. Papillon

    Papillon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is a big issue for me...determining what is stimming and what is getting to the point of obsessive. Example: the other week I was playing with a snake puzzle making into a ball thingy and I couldn't put it down but was that OCD trying to be known and acknowledged again or was it stimming.

    To answer the question at the top OCD is a co-morbid condition of autism like anxiety and things are in fact I was a part of a study on OCD and how it links to ASD don't ask me how it went because I don't know.

    For me I can tell which is which...most of the time...OCD there is anxiety caused by thoughts on a certain "bad thing" (they all follow a similar theme making it easier) then one mist complete the action to lessen the anxiety about the "bad thing" or prevent it from happening
    Whereas ASD there is anxiety about a certain thing or part of my day being wrong or not following the routine or rules then there is anxiety there is not anxiety about completing the routine until I don't do so OCD is anxiety action less anxiety and ASD is thing not completing thing then anxiety.

    Does that even make any sense at all who knows....
     
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  9. Echo

    Echo AQ 41 etc etc...

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    I'm not sure I follow, Pap. You're saying that maybe your ASD anxieties are more related to changes in your day to day, while OCD follows a predictable pattern?

    Because every day is different, you stim to deal with the stresses that crop up.
    But because you're somewhat OCD, you've created rituals that are self-reinforcing and can't break free of, such as "when I do this, I also have to do this?" and that creates it's own stress?
     
  10. Echo

    Echo AQ 41 etc etc...

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    I'll share one of the "OCD" behaviors I have.

    I'm obsessed with dates. I can't read a novel, a profile, or a wikipedia article (et al) without adding and subtracting ages and dates to make sure that everything lines up before I can really focus on the meat of what I'm reading. If I don't do that, first, I can't go ahead and enjoy my reading. So the ritual has a life of it's own, it's inviolable. It has to be done. And while I feel more relaxed after doing it, it creates some internal stress.

    Whereas, when I'm in a loud restaurant and overwhelmed, I may be tapping my finger on my leg under the table to deal with my impulse to leave. The stimming controls and releases some of the stress.

    But I STILL wonder how closely linked the two behaviors are in the brain.
     
  11. Papillon

    Papillon Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Darn I knew that would happen it's late and I can't sleep coz anxiety.

    Maybe it's the other way around...I know what triggers my anxiety from an ASD perspective but all of a sudden the world is super germy and I'm not gonna take my shoes off or someone is gonna steal my fingers (I must as OCD where that one came from because what in the world)

    My OCD exists to deal with my anxiety because in theory it makes it less so when I am in a stressful situation something weird will crop up like the germ and shoes thing mentioned above....that was fun on holiday....when you complete a compusion/follow the rule your anxiety momentarily goes away so it's like a reward for my behavior right if I do x I get a reward often it's I go to the super market I get chocolate but OCD turns it into I wash my hands I have less anxiety for 5mins until I gotta wash them again

    (Sorry is anyone needs to wash their hands now)

    That probably still makes no sense at all why am I not sleeping
     
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  12. Echo

    Echo AQ 41 etc etc...

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    Aww....I wish I could say something that could help you sleep! Please don't be anxious because I may not have followed what you said.... it's late and I'm tired here, too, and should also be sleeping.

    I wish I had a nice weighted blanket like you made for yourself!
     
  13. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I think that most people with ASD have obesssive compulsive personality disorder (OCDP), which is different from OCD, as it is an expression of personality traits, as opposed to OCD, which is an anxiety disorder. I think that I have OCDP, but not OCD. I think that OCDP is an integral part of ASD.
    Are OCD and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder the Same?
     
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  14. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Lost Soul V.I.P Member

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    I usually stim without any conscious thought or any awareness of stimming -- when I am aware of it, it is a fleeting awareness who-knows-how-long after I started. (Apparently I have a stim that I do almost constantly with my hands, and I apparently rock a lot.)

    I experince no "urge" to stim unless I abruptly attempt to keep still at a time when I've coincidentally been stimming, or have noticed Im stimming and deliberately stop for some reason at a time when I'm really stressed out (there are very few situations where I would feel the need to do this) ... but it's more like an urge to move, generally, rather than to move in any specific way. It is more like the urge to sleep when I am exhausted, or to breathe when I am holding my breath.

    I actually differentiate (for myself) between "stimming" and "fidgeting" by the fact that fidgeting is at least semi-conscious -- even if a fidget is habitual and starts up on autopilot, I can remember starting to fidget and am generally aware of it on some level. I may consciously choose to fidget, or choose a specific type of fidgeting.

    Also, my stimming, while it does play a role in self-regulation, is not related to any particular emotional/psychological state. I stim more when I'm anxious/upset/miserable, but also when I'm happy/excited/joyful. It's a release of energy, I think, and/or an input of specific sensory stimuli. Driven by hyperacttivity and sensory dysregulation, I think.
     
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