Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Am I? OCD? Autistic? Do I Have The Courage To Find Out For Sure?

mind, brain, autism, OCD
I have been questioned before about the symptoms that I have, both publicly and privately whenever I have discussed my frustrations about my difficulties in relating to people, and when I talk about how my mind works, such as when I did in Tuesday's post, This Is How I Feel Sometimes.

Many people have said that it sounds more like high functioning autism/Aspberger's syndrome than OCD. The short answer to that question I don't really know.

I have researched both disorders quite extensively, read the blogs of people living with both, and I've even spent time reading through the forums at the popular autism support site Wrong Planet, many of the stories of people, and their frustrations to some extent, sound like I could have wrote those post. The irony of the site's name isn't lost on me either, I've felt sometimes like I was born onto the wrong planet.

You see, I haven't been to a psychiatrist before, and I haven't been formally tested. I know I really shouldn't be saying anything about what I have until I finally do, but there's many reasons why I haven't gone ahead and been formally diagnosed.

I really don't know what it would accomplish. What am I looking for? 

In some ways, I've already come to terms with who I am, and I really don't know what I would be hoping this would accomplish. In many ways, if the tests come out as I expect, saying that I am either OCD or high functioning autistic, it's not as though I didn't know that already. Would I really gain anything by finding out for sure?

Am I still having some lingering doubts/guilt from my past?

As I talked about in my two part guest series on My Secret Atheist Blog, I grew up in a household that was, (how should I put this politely?) unenlightened about mental illness and psychiatry. I was told after a nervous breakdown that the resulting depression and anxiety attacks were nothing more than simply "guilt" and that if I got back into what their idea of what was a "right relationship with god" then everything would change.

Of course now, I know that's nothing but pure ignorance, mental illnesses are caused primarily by biological factors, but even though one may consciously know this, it can sink deep into the mind, I wonder if this is part of my apprehension.

Am I just merely making excuses? Do I need to just let it all go, and do it anyway?

These are the questions I keep pondering over....

thinker statue


  1. This is a really interesting post. I've often wondered what the effect of taking on a label has. On one hand, if you find out you have a particular condition, say OCD, perhaps that can help you treat it, whether through therapy or drugs. So in that way getting a diagnosis is good. On the other hand, I often wonder if knowing you are OCD would make you act that way a little bit more. You might be more likely to allow yourself to act OCD and justify it to yourself by saying, well I have OCD, of course I'm doing this. So if that is true, maybe getting a diagnosis is bad.

    I've often thought about these types of things when it comes to other things such as politics too. If you consider yourself unaffiliated you will potentially approach each issue on it's own merit. On the other hand, if you identify as democrat or republican, is the fact that you think of yourself under that label going to bias your ideas before you really think about it yourself? I don't care if I'm in lock-step with my party, but I'm sure there is some effect there.

    Sorry for that bit of a tangent I went on there :)

    1. No problem, I enjoy comments, thanks for stopping by, I have heard of your blog before, read some of your posts. I noticed you were a part of the Boy Scouts Christmas tree boycott campaign.

      Yes, I have wondered how the effects would be of having a diagnosis, but the other way around.

      As a Google + follower of mine (who has Aspebreger's himself), said it may lead to people dismissing me and my ideas, (if I tell them).

    2. I hope you stick around, Hausdorf. :)

    3. thanks :) I like what I see so far. You are right, that people could also dismiss you for your labels as well. It's a shame people are so short-sighted

    4. Yeah, there is much misunderstanding out there about mental illness, it's worse in fundamentalist circles, but not much better in the rest of the world.

      As a fundamentalist, I heard everything from statements that depression was just a sign of guilt/not having a good relationship with god, to worry/anxiety being a "sin" because it showed a lack of trust in god (actually heard a pastor say that repeatedly from the pulpit).

      Would you mind doing a guest post sometime? I could use the help, I've been running short of things to talk about sometimes...

    5. Sure, I can do a guest post, probably not for a while though, trying to get as many posts done before I go on a little holiday vacation so there's as small a gap as possible on my blog

    6. OK, thanks for considering it.

      When you are ready, let me know at

  2. Well, if they dismiss you, it would be another case of ignorance. I was just thinking about you this week, and my only experience with highly functional autism is a boy I look after on school holidays,and have done it for more than 6 yrs. He's now 16. Another similar case is my daughter's father who doesn't have any of those but since he was a child, everyone thought he did. I did compare you with them. You do have similarities, just by knowing you for a short time through your writing. Like how exceptionally smart you are, and how you mainly think logically.Also the OCD you describe.

    On the other hand, I think it can also be the way you lived until recently. Habits are formed very quickly...

    If you went to psychiatrist, is like anyone else, you need to like the person and feel comfortable. There are many professionals who may not be able to help. Trust yourself and take time to choose, if you decide to do it.

    Last thought I want to mention is once you find the right Psychiatrist, he/she will definitely help you "manage" whatever it is, and no doubt it will be beneficial. I wouldn't tell the public much until you understand it and can manage it yourself. You don't need ignorant, stupid judgment. You had enough of that bullshit.

    No hurry, love, no hurry.<3

    1. Yes, I have had too much of ignorant people in my lifetime....

  3. There is plenty of life ahead, and the way you think, I don't think you were ever stupid at all, just respectful of people that surrounded you. You are one of the smartest guys I know, that's why life is not easy. You will be just fine <3 Being ignorant of something is not being stupid (you've got to add many other ingredients to make an idiot mix).

    1. No, I meant I've been surrounded too often by ignorant people, it's rather frustrating ;)

  4. I know you meant that. I said what I said, just in case you put yourself down. I remember you saying once that you felt like an idiot for staying in that religion for so long. I hope you grew out of that idea. :D

  5. OCD is not terribly difficult to treat, depending on what form it takes and how severe it is. There are effective cognitive-behavioral treatments and even some medications that help some people. From that perspective, one advantage of having an accurate diagnosis might be treatment. Treating high functioning autism spectrum, schizoid personality disorder, or other similar conditions is likely to be more difficult and time consuming. But you are the only one in a position to know if pursuing a diagnosis would be worthwhile.

    1. So true, vjack.

      I'm honored to have you stop by my blog, I've been reading your blog for several months now.


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