Living the life of a neuroatypical


To begin, I’d like to give a brief explanation of some of the terms I’ll be using in the article.

Thanks to the websites from which I’m stealing the explanations, who are credited after each use of their work.

      • OCD: A serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges. (from OCD UK )
      • Pure O: A form of OCD where people mistakenly believe that it differs from traditional OCD, in that it features no outward compulsive manifestations; instead, the anxiety-inducing obsessions take place only in the mind. (from OCD UK )
      • OCPD: A type of “personality disorder” with these characteristics: • Rigid adherence to rules and regulations • An overwhelming need for order • Unwillingness to yield or give responsibilities to others • A sense of righteousness about the way things “should be done” (from OCD Foundation)
      • Asperger Syndrome (AS): Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, which is a lifelong disability that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. People with the condition have difficulties in three main areas. They are: • social communication • social interaction • social imagination. (from )

About Me

Now that the explanation is over, I can tell you why I felt those descriptions were needed. My name is Charlie, I’m 16 and currently studying for my GCSEs later this year. I am a relatively high achiever in school, and have few friends, but many friendly acquaintances instead. I spend most of my time on my PC, where I play video games. It may sound like I lead an ordinary, if lonely, life, but I don’t. Unlike most people my age, I have Asperger Syndrome, OCPD and OCD. Each of these could be defining traits for most people, but having all three seems to make it more difficult for people to recognise the traits of each, or at least it is the case for me, since all they all intertwine in odd, unexpected ways.

The one of the three that people most often notice, if they recognise any at all, is my AS. However, since this interferes greatly with my ability to communicate with other people, this is to be expected. However, the one that affects me the most is OCD. If you remember earlier, I included a description of a form of OCD known as “Pure O”, where the compulsions are mostly mentally based. This is because I have a Pure O obsession with the idea that I may lose control of something. That thing is my actions, via loss of bodily or mental control, which ties very closely into OCPD, which is all about control. The idea that I could possibly lose the tight personal control granted to me via my OCPD is abhorrent to me, and is though regularly enough (more than 6 or 7 hours out of any given day) to be an obsessive thought, making it OCD. The “compulsions” that I have to control this are mostly to do with thinking of potential plans of how I should react in the event that control is lost, which eventually just overwhelm my initial thought. Since this is entirely mental, people rarely notice that I’m having problems with it. I end up being unable to use my brain to its full potential, since I am worrying about things that are rarely to do with the task at hand. Even as I write this, the process of planning is currently happening within my mind.

However, I also have a more physical based OCD, where I must count various objects to ensure that I don’t forget everything I know about said objects. This may sound like incredibly faulty logic (which it is), but I am unable to control the fact that my brain uses it anyway. Unfortunately, this is something that is tied quite closely to my stress levels, which means I systematically underperform in times where I am being tested, since I end up worrying that if I don’t ensure that I do in-fact have all of my writing utensils with me, I’ll forget what I am meant to have with me in the first place. Oddly enough, though, this happens rarely outside of times where exams or tests are a concern, meaning I can generally deal with periods of high stress better than most.

You may be wondering why I bothered to mention Asperger Syndrome on an article related mostly to OCD. The answer, as usual, is not as simple as you’d hope it would be. While AS can do a variety of things for a variety of people, for me, it affects my daily life to a great degree. I am unable to communicate with people the same way that the average person is able to, since I show most of the stereotypical traits of AS (Inability to recognise facial emotions, body language, and vocal inflections etc. the way that a neurotypical person would, instead relying on constant analysis of what’s happening) as well as suffering with quite severe Sensory Defensiveness, which is where someone has “a tendency to react negatively or with alarm to sensory input which is generally considered harmless or non-irritating”. For example, I am unable to process loud, or high pitched noises as anything but over stimulating, which means I have the very strong tendency to avoid situations where that may be a problem. The reason I mention it is that while my brain tries to cope with these stimuli, I find that my OCD can almost take total precedence of my thoughts, to the point of where it becomes strenuous to think of anything that isn’t related to that particular problem, and as such, I feel the full, debilitating force of OCD.

Final Thoughts

Most of this takes place inside the Eldrich dimensions of my mind (look up H.P Lovecraft if you don’t understand), and as such is a mostly “invisible” problem that I have. What I’ve said above is only a general overview of what OCD, OCPD and AS do to me, but it should be enough for most to be able to understand how different life can be for people with these sorts of mental differences. All I have left to do is to thank you, the reader, for spending the time caring what I think. Maybe you’ll be able to notice traits in others that I have described here, if you pay attention to people, which could help you understand why they may be taking certain actions. I may, in the future, go into more specific details on my life, but I am unsure. Either way, I bid you farewell.


Photo Credit: FALH / Linh (Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

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