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Do I have ASD or OCD?

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From a young woman in Chile: I have been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder and depression since I was 12. I am 21 now and started to investigate about ASD and OCD, suddenly a lot of stuff about these disorders make sense to me. I constantly have obsessive thoughts and get so frustrated when I do not get answers, it literally keeps me from sleeping.

I haven’t gone to my therapist because of covid-19 and I feel so lost. I have taken many online tests (that I know are not a diagnosis) and most of them tell me to seek professional counseling. If I am this obsessed with knowing If I have ASD or OCD, isn’t there already an answer? Or is just my anxiety talking? Help please.

Do I have ASD or OCD?

Answered by on -

A.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine an accurate diagnosis without a proper assessment. There is an overlap of symptoms in many disorders. For example: Someone on the autism spectrum is likely to have some characteristics of OCD.  Many people with OCD also have other symptoms of anxiety and the reverse.

I’m concerned that you aren’t getting good sleep. Lack of quality sleep can increase anxiety. Anxiety can interfere with sleep. It can become a downward loop.

One of the first things you can do for yourself is learn some ways to calm yourself and clear your mind so you can rest. I suggest you learn some kind of mindfulness practice. There are a number of good self-help workbooks as well as web sites that can help you with that.

I’m glad you understand that online tests aren’t meant to be diagnostic. They are only intended to highlight the possibility that you could benefit from getting a formal assessment. COVID-19 is making getting such an assessment more challenging, I know. But do some research to find out whether any clinician near you is doing online assessments and treatment.

A place to start is with the person who gave you your initial diagnoses when you were 12. Since that person knows your early history, it may be that she or he will have some insight about what is going on now. Since you are now in your 20s, it’s also possible that you have changed in important ways — both because of getting through the hormonal storm of puberty and because you have had many experiences since then that inform your thinking about yourself.

Regardless of diagnosis, life requires that you manage life tasks. Put your research about disorders on hold until you can get some expert input. You will get the answers you seek when you can talk to a professional. Focus instead on doing your daily tasks to the best of your ability.

Be kind to yourself. You won’t be perfect at it. No one is. All you can do is the best you can do. In the current pandemic, you are certainly not alone if you are having trouble being as efficient or productive as you would like to be.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

Do I have ASD or OCD?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Do I have ASD or OCD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/05/19/do-i-have-asd-or-ocd/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 19 May 2020 (Originally: 19 May 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 19 May 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.