View Full Version : ocd or aspergers


acdc01
01-12-15, 01:38 AM
Do you guys think my dad has OCPD or Aspergers or both? He definitely has ADHD too plus at least one of these but I can't tell which. He won't see a psychiatrist or therapist.

Dad does following:

1. Eats at same restaurant every day for breakfast no matter if others beg him to do something different.
2. Must organize garage all the time. Though cause of his ADHD, he forgets where he puts things so its really disorganizing.
3. Must make bed, including other peoples even when they tell him not to.
4. Had very detailed knowledge of some historical facts when young.
5. He doesn't have any friends. He drives them all away. Doesn't pick up on social cues well and will keep talking about his own personal interests and insult others interests. Way too generous with money too, like buying friends.
6. Inattentive - can't listen well.
7. Could not motivate himself to apply for jobs so ended up starting his own business.

Boy, as I write this I'm thinking Aspergers and not obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. But can an Aspergers and ADHD combination account for items 2 and 3 above?

My main interest in this is figuring out how to help him be happier. He doesn't have any friends, mom left him, and he doesn't really seem to connect with me or my sisters. Also, I can only listen to him talking about the same two topics over and over again - we don't have anything in common and he just keeps going even when I'm sure I have a bored out of my skull look on my face.

But he desperately needs a connection with someone - I can see just by the way he gets really excited when someone outside the family pays him any attention at all. Thanks.

BellaVita
01-12-15, 01:42 AM
Sounds like it could be a possibility.

dvdnvwls
01-12-15, 02:02 AM
Continuing to talk about personal interests to a socially inappropriate degree, encyclopedic knowledge of an obscure subject, and not picking up on social cues, are things very commonly associated with autism and/or Asperger's.

Organizing and re-organizing can belong to obsessive/compulsive, but can also belong to the autism spectrum - think of the autistic child whose main way of playing with his toys might be to line them up according to categories. There's no guarantee that it has to be one or the other.

Having one or two friends who he really trusts and gets along with can be better and less stressful than trying to get him into groups - which might make him very uncomfortable indeed. However, if there's a group of people who share one of his main interests, he might actually love it despite the number of people. In any case: Playing to his strengths, continuing activities he already likes and is good at, and maintaining his comfort zone as much as possible, rather than trying to get him to step way out of his routine and do a lot of new things, is likely going to be the type of approach that helps the most. If you try to drag him into unfamiliar things too often or for too long, it will almost certainly backfire, because he probably relies heavily on his comfort zone as his main way of coping.

And it's extremely likely that his comfort zone looks uncomfortably tiny to you. He probably (in all seriousness) prefers each day to be 99 percent the same as the last one - at least that's how it might look to you.

Flia
01-12-15, 04:13 AM
There's a difference between "has to" and "feels good to".

OCD is when you have to do something compulsively, and it's connected to deep anxiety.

If he feels comfortable making beds, and only does it because he doesn't like beds that are undone, then it's Aspergers.

If he makes beds that are already neat, and doesn't feel good about it... then it might be OCD.

acdc01
01-12-15, 02:01 PM
Wow you guys really offer great advice here on this subforum.

I'm going to have to test that making the bed comment you made fila. I don't know the answer to that question yet cause he's never lived with anyone that actually makes the bed.

He probably (in all seriousness) prefers each day to be 99 percent the same as the last one - at least that's how it might look to you.

Yes, that's exactly what it looks like to me. I wish he were interested in some other subject besides his work (the other main topic we talk about is the cats but he wouldn't be interested in cat shows or anything like that. He talks about himself too in general but that can only be so interesting to others when he doesn't ask about the other people's lives too).

I don't think he can make friends who are only interested in talking about work cause it's not exactly a hobby. NTs are bound to get bored talking about work every second of every day.

Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way and he could be happy with just his family if our family interacted with him differently (though my ADHD makes it nearly unbearable for me to sit still and listen to him). I don't feel he connects to us but maybe he does and I'm just not seeing it.

Also, he does go out to lunch with our uncle twice a week. Uncle is really using my dad, making him pay for every lunch they go out together on but I don't complain about it cause he's as close to a friend as my dad has.

dvdnvwls
01-12-15, 05:23 PM
Autistic people's connection style usually looks weird; he may be really enjoying those times, or at least enjoying them well enough, even though it doesn't necessarily look that way. Also, if he doesn't want to connect more (which he might not), then trying to get him to do so is not likely to succeed.

If your dad is short on money and he's still paying for every lunch, something might need to get done, such as kindly saying something to your uncle. If your dad can easily afford the lunches and that's just the way they've always done it, then leave well enough alone. He may have irrational-seeming ideas about why things have always been this way, but unless it's a harmful situation then let him keep his ideas and routines just as they are. (And maybe your uncle finds your dad really tiring, and would find excuses to stop showing up if he wasn't consistently getting the free lunch out of it. :( )

If there are other guys at work who are "like he is" (i.e. potentially autism spectrum) then they might enjoy endless talk of work as well, but you'd think people working in the same place with similar habits and interests might have found each other by now if that was the case so maybe there just aren't any.

Also, some autistic people have an ambivalent or even negative view of the whole topic of having friends. If your dad doesn't even want friends, then trying to get him to have some isn't going to do anything except make him uncomfortable and stressed.

OH... I just saw a part of the OP that I had forgotten, where your dad gets excited to meet someone outside of family, apparently because he needs and wants friendly contact. So that last thing I wrote is probably wrong.

acdc01
01-13-15, 12:16 AM
Autistic people's connection style usually looks weird; he may be really enjoying those times, or at least enjoying them well enough, even though it doesn't necessarily look that way. Also, if he doesn't want to connect more (which he might not), then trying to get him to do so is not likely to succeed.

He looks like he's enjoying himself when he talks to us. He just always turns us down when we ask him to do something by saying he has to do yard work or something like that. So I'm guessing he's either stuck on his routines or he doesn't want to connect more.

Dad can afford to pay for uncle's meals so we don't say anything about it just in case our uncle will stop eating lunch with him if he doesn't pay.

Dad only works with his business partner and they despise each other so no friendship there.

Thanks a lot guys for your help.

dvdnvwls
01-13-15, 12:52 AM
It can be confusing, because autistic people can sometimes have very different opinions from the rest of us on what constitutes a good time, a good life, satisfying communication, relationships, etc, and very often get overwhelmed by too much socializing, too much noise or distraction, too many people (or ANY people). If he really is unhappy and he says so, that's obvious. However, if he's in a situation where you think he ought to be unhappy for some reason but he seems to actually like it, then give him the benefit of the doubt.

He might be "stuck on his routines" I guess, but it's also possible that to him "Let's go hang out together" sounds like about the same kind of fun as "Let's go get all our teeth pulled out". :lol:

Also, provided you ask him gently and in a way that he doesn't find intrusive or offensive, there's a good chance he might tell you the straight truth about whether he's happy or not. Autistic people don't generally make a habit of casual lying, and sometimes are not much good at it anyway. :) If you ask him and he ends up saying "It doesn't matter", or something else that seems vague or confusing, it would probably be best to take his words at face value.

Whoever composed the famous bumper sticker slogan "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog" might have been being facetious - or could easily have been an autistic person telling the plain truth. :)


Just a semi-random thought to add: It can be difficult and tiring for an autistic person to meet new people, and sometimes he may feel forced to paste on a smile and act enthusiastic in order to make his new guests feel better. It isn't necessarily the case that he's yearning to meet different people. But then again, he might really feel exactly that way. Just "food for thought" - you know him better than anyone on here does.

acdc01
01-13-15, 05:39 AM
. Autistic people don't generally make a habit of casual lying, and sometimes are not much good at it anyway. :)

My dad lies a lot. I'm pretty sure it's a defense mechanism for people yelling at him for his ADHD habits over the years. Like I didn't do that. even though he did. Not a great liar but still lies a lot.

Also, my mom does not like gambling or smoking and told my dad so before they were married. So he lied to her to get her to still date him. Couples didn't divorce back then where they lived so he started smoking right on their wedding night (infuriated my mom) after she had no choice anymore to leave him. He also broke the lie of not gambling and started gambling every week.

Does this mean he doesn't have aspergers for sure? Sorry, I know a psychiatrist would be the best route and I do forget to share things I don't think are relavant without understanding aspergers fully. But my dad won't go to one and even if he did, he'd tell the dr. even less than I'm telling you.

dvdnvwls
01-13-15, 05:46 AM
Defensive lying is something that a lot of people develop. I don't think it precludes Asperger's. I'm certainly no expert but even I should have seen that possibility coming.

Fortune
01-13-15, 07:08 AM
Defensive lying does not preclude ASD, although I know for a lot of autistic people lies are very unpleasant and difficult.

TheDreamer
01-13-15, 10:27 AM
Tough question, since they're all spectrum disorders. Narcissistic PD could also be thrown into the mix, if he thinks his own interests are more important than others.

Looking at my own father, I definitely see traits of both Aspergers and NPD. He has a very narrow interest that he shares with few others. He has one friend he sees semi-regularly and that person has the exact same interest. What you write about breakfast is the same for my father, just with lunch.

I have spent countless hours restlessly listening to details of this interest, so have my friends and other people who were in our house.

I don't think he could ever be diagnosed with any of that though, I don't think it's severe enough.

acdc01
01-14-15, 04:19 PM
Tough question, since they're all spectrum disorders. Narcissistic PD could also be thrown into the mix, if he thinks his own interests are more important than others.

Yeah, I used to suspect narcissistic PD too. But I noticed that he placed my engineering license in an area of his room where he's got photos of his mom and sisters. That area seems well taken care of. Like he actually does care even though he doesn't show it. He's got photos of me and my sisters too but it doesn't look like a well taken care of shrine like the area where his mom/sisters photos and my engineering license are. Don't know exactly what that says and sorry to say but am a little afraid to know.

Flia
01-14-15, 06:15 PM
Yeah, I used to suspect narcissistic PD too. But I noticed that he placed my engineering license in an area of his room where he's got photos of his mom and sisters. That area seems well taken care of. Like he actually does care even though he doesn't show it. He's got photos of me and my sisters too but it doesn't look like a well taken care of shrine like the area where his mom/sisters photos and my engineering license are. Don't know exactly what that says and sorry to say but am a little afraid to know.

Narcissism includes taking advantage of others for your own gain.

The seemingly narcissistic trait in autism is instead the inability to understand that others have different needs, opinions and feelings than oneself.

My dad had that, and we always thought of him as narcissistic, but when I looked into it I saw that it wasn't narcissism.

For instance: If he thought the TV-show I was watching was interesting, he started to talk about it with me (thus disturbing me).
If he couldn't see why I (a child) would watch it, he could stand in front of the TV and talk about his own interests (thus disturbing me).