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Not Otherwise Specified @ballastgrey
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Read a r/OCD thread about someone obsessing that they have ASD, taking every diagnostic test, not scoring as autistic, and still obsessing.

And I'm like, wow, that was not at all my trajectory.

The thought that ASD might be underlying all my strange obsessions, compulsions, and anxiety all these years is so incredibly freeing and liberating I don't even know where to begin unpacking.
And to be clear, having ASD doesn't mean I DON'T have OCD. It just gives my treatment options that much more room to be effective, because I understand why I have such difficulty with sensations (previously: "too fussy") or deviating from routines (previously: "inflexible").
When I realized my anxiety and difficulties at certain grocery stores were because I was being overwhelmed by bright lights and cold temperatures, my obsession with the "germs" everywhere started to dissipate a little. It was like my mind was trying to explain WHY I was afraid.
Anxiety finds a context in our brains. That's why even when stressors change or go away, the anxiety doesn't. It just latches on to a new reason.

My trick was finding out what the real cause of my anxiety was. Sensations and over-stimulation, it turns out! And, wow.
Do you know how liberating that is? I can't eliminate germs but I sure can be present with myself when the lights are too bright. I can change grocery stores, wear sunglasses inside, or be accepting that this is a need I have the right to honor. I can be patient with myself.
And best of all, I am learning to honor the sensations in my body. Instead of ignoring and repressing them (causing anxiety and worsening OCD) I can now access them and be present to them. That alone is such a huge shift in my life and my recovery.
Like, my whole life I have been fighting with my body and my brain's needs. I don't need to do that anymore now that I know what they are. My OCD was trying to tell me something was wrong, and it wasn't germs. It's that I'm not taking the time to listen to myself.
ASD has been a game-changer for me. With good reason, because OCD & ASD are highly comorbid conditions. For me they are very much connected. My ASD tics and behaviors in childhood morphed with my anxiety to create OCD. My brain was already rigid and pattern-focused to begin with.
The magical thinking and making connections between things that were not themselves connected was the next logical, if disordered, step. That's why, for me, considering ASD as an underlying factor of my OCD and anxiety was so important.
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