Would you consider this an autistic obsession or OCD?

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What does this obsession sound like?
It’s just autism 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It’s OCD 33%  33%  [ 1 ]
It’s a mix of both 67%  67%  [ 2 ]
Mostly autism with a tiny bit of OCD 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 3

BugsBunnyFan
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05 Nov 2023, 11:20 pm

Let’s imagine there’s this little boy named Timmy. His special interest is earthquakes. He gets great autistic joy out of reading about earthquakes and learning facts about them. At the same time he is worried about earthquakes possibly happening. It’s kind of always in the back of his mind. His interest mostly seems like a regular special interest.

One day he sees a news report about how there is a high risk of earthquakes. He panics. After that he starts researching twelve hours a day on whether there will be an earthquake. He keeps trying to get reassurance there won’t be an earthquake. He also constantly asks people what to do if there’s an earthquake and tries to convince his parents to move to somewhere that has a lower risk of earthquakes. He still somewhat gets autistic joy out of learning about earthquakes, but at the same time it causes him a great deal of anxiety.

To take the edge off his obsession with earthquakes he dives deep into other obsessions like studying Japanese and playing video games. He still somewhat obsesses about earthquakes, but he keeps himself away from his earthquake obsession by working hard at Japanese. People in the past have mentioned Timmy has OCD tendencies, but it’s always been brushed off as just part of the autism.



jamie0.0
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05 Nov 2023, 11:37 pm

I've been through this exact scenario when I was younger but with bushfires

While initially, it sounds like his interest in earthquakes may have been a hyperfixation, or special interest. Judging from the intensity

The troubling thoughts that little Timmy has now about earth quakes particularly his need to be validated and an abnormal fear of something people usually don't pay much mind to is very much like the obsessive thoughts found in OCD, like how a germaphobe seems to always be thinking of germs and how to protect himself from germs.

However, most commonly found with OCD, Is rituals. The germaphobe I mentioned before may habitually wash their hands untill they start breaking out into an exema rash. I'm not sure whether Timmy has any rituals apart from research, but with discussions I've had with my therapist, rituals are an important part of the diagnostic process when it comes to OCD.



BugsBunnyFan
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06 Nov 2023, 12:20 am

jamie0.0 wrote:
I've been through this exact scenario when I was younger but with bushfires

While initially, it sounds like his interest in earthquakes may have been a hyperfixation, or special interest. Judging from the intensity

The troubling thoughts that little Timmy has now about earth quakes particularly his need to be validated and an abnormal fear of something people usually don't pay much mind to is very much like the obsessive thoughts found in OCD, like how a germaphobe seems to always be thinking of germs and how to protect himself from germs.

However, most commonly found with OCD, Is rituals. The germaphobe I mentioned before may habitually wash their hands untill they start breaking out into an exema rash. I'm not sure whether Timmy has any rituals apart from research, but with discussions I've had with my therapist, rituals are an important part of the diagnostic process when it comes to OCD.


The rituals are a fuzzier area. I think his main compulsions are research, thinking about earthquakes nonstop and trying to get reassurance online. He also sometimes checks if the building he’s in is sufficiently earthquake safe. He knows that’s going overboard, so he tries to hide it. He’s also had other obsessions like HOCD.

Even though he’s been into girls his whole life, when he turned around fourteen or fifteen he started panicking about possibly being gay. Even though he had nothing against being gay. He didn’t want to be forced to end up with a guy. He started checking if he had sufficient attraction to girls and checking if he had any attraction to guys whatsoever. Eventually he found out about OCD and HOCD. He started wondering if his obsession with earthquakes was more than just an autistic obsession.



naturalplastic
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06 Nov 2023, 1:59 am

I met a guy who superficially resembled that.

A fellow student of radio/TV who helped run the campus radio station. He openly told us that there was mishap when he was born...I forget the story. But he was a bit off. Today I would judge him as a likely aspie/autistic, but that was before they expanded the autism spectrum to include folks like him and I (or before I or even most therapist knew about that).So that wasnt in my lexicon at the time.

But he had a quirky obsession with tornadoes. Like we would be assigned to produce faux radio commercials and he would produce ads for "tornado warning devices...it beeps when it detects that the air pressure has dropped so you can go into yoru basement...only 19.99". I think that he was more of a wannabe tornado chaser...than a person who lived in terror OF tornadoes.



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06 Nov 2023, 7:38 pm

I'd say regular anxiety.


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CockneyRebel
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08 Nov 2023, 12:52 am

I was the same way about snowstorms when I was a kid. I loved snow storms.


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08 Nov 2023, 10:36 pm

This sounds like a special interest that feeds into anxiety.

It is interesting autistic special interests are usually positive. They're obsessed with trains, not train accidents. Theme parks, not people being hurt on theme park rides.

Maybe autistics with negative special interests usually end up ranting about conspiracy theories?