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Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 22,313
Location: Pacific Northwest

21 Apr 2017, 1:52 pm

I sometimes lurk on the OCD forum on Reddit and sometimes I will find a post there by someone talking about how they spend all their time with something they enjoy. They will read facts about it, they want to know everything about it, they spend hours with it it keeps them from doing other things and it's affecting their life because that is all they want to do. That is not OCD, that sounds more like the autism side they are leaning on and they just have self awareness about their interest because they know how it's out of control and they want to do something about it to manage it. Why do some people make this mistake? Even my mom thinks this is OCD so she calls it that and says it's part of autism. Even some people there will say that's not OCD but a component of autism.

I used to think this was OCD too but only because I was told this by my mother so for years I thought OCD was the same as autism but it was only called OCD because they lack all the another autism symptoms and they only have the interests and the routines and rituals and nothing else so it has a label of its own. Then I find out that is not what OCD is, OCD is something that gives you anxiety and you don't get pleasure out of it or enjoyment and you don't get calm from doing it and you don't like your routines and they all give you anxiety when you do them. Now I wonder if I was misdiagnosed as having OCD and I wonder how that even happened by my psychiatrist unless there was a misunderstanding from my mother about me so he just went by what she said and gave me that diagnoses too. Yes I do have some tendencies but not enough for me to say I have it. I can only think of a few things I did as a child that would have been true OCD. I also thought day dreaming in class and always thinking about happy things you enjoy was OCD because that is what I had been told unless they had misunderstood me when I said "I get thoughts stuck in my head and can't stop." I didn't know it was supposed to give you anxiety and you are supposed to hate these thoughts and give you distress. Now I am finding out there had been a big misunderstanding about this for years since I was in high school. They were on a different page and I was on a different page and they had a different picture than I did. Also I loved having a clean house and people with OCD hate it but they can't stop while I enjoyed it.
I did not get anxiety from cleaning. It relaxed me because I couldn't stand clutter. That reminds me of the story my mom told me when I said I heard voices when I meant there were too many people talking in the room but when my mom told my new speech therapist this, she thought I was having hallucinations and was getting schizophrenia so she kept an eye out for signs. Man how using the wrong words can lead to misunderstandings and to a misdiagnoses.

I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

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Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 17,061
Location: temperate zone

21 Apr 2017, 2:07 pm

One more in the endless stream of misconceptions.

I guess its a natural confusion.

The way I explained it in another thread on WP years ago was:if by "obsessed with doorknobs" you mean that you wash the ones on the doors in your house incessantly every few hours day in, and day out, because you are worried about getting deadly germs from doorknobs then you are OCD.

But if by "obsessed with doorknobs" you mean that you... collect door knobs, have boxes full of doorknobs, and read up on door knobs, and buy large expensive coffee table books about doorknobs, and you bore folks to death at parties because you monologue about the history, the evolution, and the asthetics, and the mechanics of doorknobs, then you are not OCD, you are an aspie!