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What It’s Like Living With Both OCD and Autism

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Editor’s note: If you struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. To find help visit International OCD Foundation’s website.

My obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) reared its head around 9. It started with every “bad” thought popping into my head that possibly could, and I couldn’t just switch it off. I’d run to my parents every time I thought of a bad word, for example. It was really distressing for little me! I’ve always been preoccupied with being a “good kid” and doing the right thing, so these thoughts were the complete opposite of that. This was over the summer; things started to settle down once the school year started and my mind was occupied.

When I was in middle and high school, my worries shifted to wondering if my friends were changing on me and going to leave me in the dust. Looking back, a lot of this has to do with my being autistic as well. I didn’t go through a typical adolescence. When my friends were suddenly interested in boys, their appearance and fitting in, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I couldn’t have cared less about this stuff (and still don’t), so I would constantly ask for their reassurance that they weren’t going to change and “move on.” I know I bugged the heck out of them!

Then came late high school and early college. The rituals started. It seemed like I couldn’t get comfortable, and that I always had to do things until they felt “just right.” It got to the point where it would take me two hours just to shower and get dressed. It was horrible. Thankfully, as time went on, things settled down again, as my OCD has always waned and waxed.

Now that I’m on medications, my OCD has pretty much dissipated. I started antidepressants when I was 25 due to anxiety and mood fluctuations, and it helped a ton!

I’m thankful I’ve made the progress I have. Life is so much better and enjoyable these days. There’s no worse feeling than not being in control, and no better feeling than that of feeling like yourself again.

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Pexels photo via Spencer Selover

Originally published: January 19, 2018
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