Living with and dealing with autism makes my thought process difficult. Weeks into the lock down and my bad thoughts are back.
It’s been with me since I was a small child. I always thought I had OCD, I’ve written about it in my diary. Now with more research on it, my OCD is an atypical presentation of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a disorder that starts in childhood. Most nights those bad thoughts stopped me from sleeping, days were slightly easier, but I’d have to keep myself busy.
Although there were environmental issues growing up, autism and how I coped with my mental and emotional difficulties would take centre stage, and I would struggle with obsessive thoughts. Ordinary OCD fears may spark a compulsion based on obsessive thoughts, hence ‘OCD.’ Without autism, with Bad Thought OCD there may appear to be no compulsion, the child may just seem upset due to experiencing conflicting feelings.
In the absence of ritualised patterns and/or behaviour it may be difficult to recognise OCD. Bad thoughts for any child can make them feel anxious, scared, frightened even and that was certainly true for me. Because I was dealing with autism I was unable to control the bad thoughts, the intensity of obsessive thoughts and it’s still the same today.
Bad Thought OCD obsessive symptoms presented for me in the following ways:
- Bad thoughts of things happening to me;
- Bad thoughts of things happening to others, including family;
- Scared to lose family;
- Experiencing thoughts in the first person, so thinking about illness and directing it at someone was a daily challenge;
- Thinking that my bad thoughts would turn into reality.
Looking back on those times I can’t believe I was left to deal with it on my own. I reached out every day but was told to switch thoughts and think about something else, which I couldn’t do. Through their own research, they would have known I couldn’t do it too.
Most days, my thoughts were debilitating, and I was left emotionally paralysed. Although any form of OCD may be hidden or subtle, the other reason in children it’s not always recognised, is because a child’s obsessions are usually dismissed as being fluctuations in the child’s opinions, through bad dreams, anger and manipulation.
Confessing what I felt didn’t help because unbeknown to me I struggled with autism and didn’t know I had it, so my thoughts were continually there, unless I was kept busy, then my attentions would turn to something else, but my bad thoughts would always return when I wasn’t busy.
In those times, I would continually look for reassurance from mum, to make sure she was aware those thoughts weren’t me, and for me to seek comfort. I failed on all fronts. Bad thoughts OCD is something I still struggle with today. The Coronavirus and lock down is making it more difficult to contain.
I am not sure what to think now. I know I’m stuck with it for life. I’m also alone again with something else to come to terms with that I didn’t know about, 57 years in.