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Psychiatrist reckons I have OCD! Anyone here have it?

(11 Posts)
fuzzpig Sat 24-Nov-12 14:37:47

I saw a psychiatrist yesterday, I had been referred because I suspect I have Aspergers.

During an hour long session, he first concluded that all my issues are caused by my crap past (abuse etc). I then persuaded him to actually listen to my symptoms rather than just reading notes from up to ten years ago (I'm 25), and made it very clear that a lot of these issues precede the abuse.

He thinks I have OCD, and not Aspergers. He has referred me to a psychologist for further assessment. He says it could plausibly have started very very young, and then made worse due to stress of abuse.

I really don't know much about OCD, but from what I do know it does make some sense (although it doesn't explain the myriad of social communication issues I have). But it really wasn't what I was expecting to be told, and I don't do well with unexpected things, so I cried when I left.

Can anyone talk to me about it?

fluffydressinggown Sat 24-Nov-12 17:33:04

I have ocd. Lots of rules, some rituals, lots of feeling trapped by my thoughts and actions. Does that ring a bell?

I was quite surprised when I got that diagnosis because I thought ocd was about hand washing and germs but it really isn't. It is sn anxiety disorder and you do/think some unusal things to try to manage the anxiety.

I think a psychologist referral sounds great. How do you feel about that?

fuzzpig Sat 24-Nov-12 19:56:36

I am very anxious, and 'trapped by thoughts' is exactly how I feel a lot of the time.

Rituals - I have some. But they are all in my head. I don't do the touching, light switches, washing type things (I know they are just stereotypes). My rituals are in my head. I repeat things constantly, like planning conversations.

I am scared of some types of germs - hospitals and public toilets freak me out and I'm not good with raw meat, but none of those things have more than a minor effect on my life. I am emetophobic but it is getting better.

I check on the DCs every time I wake in the night, and I do get panicky about things like locking the door and turning the oven off, but again, it is not enough in itself to have ever sought help. I have always had paruresis which I didn't even realise had a name until recently!

Shit, I'd never really thought about all this things together before. I always thought I had a lot of self insight - eg I've never been in denial about the depression I've had for much of my life. But him saying OCD was a big big shock as I have honestly never considered this before - traits of it, yes, but I would never have thought it would be enough for anyone to consider a diagnosis.

I am pleased I have a referral because I really need to see a psychologist no matter what my actual diagnosis ends up as! I am still pretty certain I have Aspergers but I am going to try and see her with an open mind, rather than saying "I think I have ...". I have so many issues I need to talk through. I'm hoping the psychologist will be a better listener than the psychiatrist I saw yesterday.

I had CBT for several years in my teens, but it barely scraped the surface - it was mostly talking about the abuse as that was the biggest thing at the time. He was a child psychologist so I had to leave when I was 19 and basically stopped thinking about it all because I never trusted anyone like I trusted him.

TheLightPassenger Sun 25-Nov-12 21:11:32

there can be a bit of a crossover between OCD and AS - you could have both, or one with traits of the other. Btw my official DX is OCD, not AS, but I was a clearcut case - started off with handwashing/checking from an early age, with a dose of intrusive thoughts on top at times. What you describe doesn't sound as clearcut tbh - as the germ phobia seems to tie in with the emetophobia iyswim. I hope the psychologist helps unpick all this.

This is quite a helpful article, though a bit dense, I am too tired to thoroughly take it in, though there is a good para in the middle that highlights that repetitive behaviour due to AS gives some pleasure, whilst repetitive behaviour due to OCD makes someone feel better only in that it's alleviating anxiety

fuzzpig Mon 26-Nov-12 09:14:03

Oh that's interesting. I will give it a read when I'm less tired! I think, on first thought, some repetitions I enjoy and they relax me - eg I recite lists of things like the 50 states of the USA to help me sleep. I enjoy the repetitive logic involved in certain types of puzzle. Other things, like repeating conversations, and checking things, drive me crazy because I can't control them.

fuzzpig Mon 26-Nov-12 16:05:21

That was a really good article, thanks TLP. Took me a while to read!

In a way I'm more confused now... but it was very useful seeing the difference between obsessions causing stress and obsessions causing comfort.

I am worried that the psychologist will see "OCD" written down and only focus on that, but what I really want out of the appointment is to talk through everything. Whether or not I have OCD I sadly know that isn't responsible for everything (although it does say in that article that OCD can cause isolation, my issues are definitely more typical of Aspergers type difficulties). I have big issues with concentrating, spatial awareness and auditory processing which don't really seem to be related to either AS or OCD - but then I did brilliantly at school despite that - sounds boastful sorry blush - not meaning to be, but I guess it explains why nothing was picked up at school, I was just quiet and studious.

TheLightPassenger Mon 26-Nov-12 17:34:22

reciting stuff to go to sleep is I think pretty normal, not a sign of ASD/OCD really, as stereotypically people are meant to count sheep!

I was the same to a degree re:spatial awareness, if not auditory processing or concentration. I was good at languages, literature and the sort of science you could memorise rather than understand conceptually! I feel the same re:OCD, that it doesn't explain my crushing social awkwardness, difficulty on telephone, not getting when people are joking etc.

Re:repeat conversations - can I ask is it that you know what you said, but are worried it might have been wrong/offensive, or whether you have to reassure yourself about the actual content of what you said? Just asking this as I have issues when writing cards etc to post to people, that I have to check I haven't written anything awful, even though I know I haven't.

fuzzpig Mon 26-Nov-12 18:25:20

It's both really, with conversations. I plan conversations in advance too (I know that's normal really, but rather than going through it a couple of times, I do it for hours). When I'm going over past ones I feel like I'm trying to get my facts straight and checking I got across what I wanted to, and yes there is an element of 'could they have thought I was rude" etc. I also keep repeating things other people have said to try and work out if they were joking, or subtly insulting me. That bit is SO hard because i don't understand people sad That's why I sometimes repeat the things like US states, because the conversation repeating upsets me, but the lists calm me down.

Can I ask - since you have a dx of OCD but don't feel it explains everything - have you asked for any ASD assessment? (You may well have told me on another thread, I recognise your name, sorry my memory is a bit crap)

TheLightPassenger Mon 26-Nov-12 19:15:31

no, I didn't seek ASD assessment, as around the time it occurred to me, I felt I was already under the beady eye of a judgmental HV, so thought the last thing I needed was another label to add to the MH collection, and I wasn't intending to look for support from adult services or from the workplace. I tried dropping a few hints during my DS's assessment about my trouble with eye contact etc, but nothing was made of it.

TheLightPassenger Mon 26-Nov-12 19:18:20

btw I was DX'd with OCD in my late teens (the compulsive handwashing was the giveaway!), I only read about AS a few months after that BUT I thought what I had couldn't be serious enough, it was only after seeing discussions on here many years later that I started to wonder...

The clin psych I saw privately for my OCD thought I either had mild AS or at the very least bagfuls of traits, but couldn't/wouldn't diagnose.

fuzzpig Mon 26-Nov-12 20:24:11

I actually am looking for support - I have recently been dxd with CFS/ME. Social Care said they can't do anything but our family outreach worker is trying to get a common assessment framework for our youngest, not sure if she will get anywhere but actual acknowledgment that I have more than depression might help, sad as that is. Thankfully my problems don't really affect me at work (unlike the CFS obviously, which may mean I have to give up or cut down my hours) - they know I was referred for AS though.

I think basically I want some 'labels' just so I can start getting treatment - I tried so hard to just get on with life as a normal adult/wife/mum that I ignored all the problems that had been so huge as a teen. But they've not gone away, and they never will unless I confront them.

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