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Neurodivergent: think different.

(10 minute read.)

'Neuro... what? No I'd never heard of it either.'

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Characteristics include:

  • Concern about dirt and germs: dislike of shaking hands, touching door handles, using public telephones, shared/public toilets, etcetera.
  • Checking: repeatedly checking that a light or appliance is switched off, a door is locked, re-reading something to check you've taken in all the information.
  • Hoarding: may buy, collect and store items even when not needed. Difficulty getting rid of things—even stuff most people would consider as not being useful—even when space is limited, because of an emotional attachment to an item, or feeling it may come in useful later.
  • Symmetry and ordering: tidiness: aligning things: example—food cans facing the same way (label to front) on food storage shelves.
  • Perfectionism or excessive concern about doing things 'right'.
  • Over-active imagination.
  • Social awkwardness.
  • Feeling inferior, inept.
  • Enlarged sense of responsibility.
  • Over-thinking.

While recently re-familarising myself with OCD, I chanced upon the similarly sounding OCPD (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder)—which shares some of the OCD characteristics, and also has subtle differences.


Characteristics include:

  • Over-devotion to work, to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships. Often reluctant to carve-out time for anything else but their work. Some drive themselves close to a complete nervous collapse on numerous occasions. Spouses and children typically endure long stretches of neglect.
  • Preoccupation with details, rules, organisation, and lists. 'Be on time!'
  • Perfectionism that interferes with task completion.
  • Stubbornness. Lack of flexibility: 'Why do you do/not do it this way/like I do—it's clearly a better option, your way is stupid.'
  • Over-conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values.
  • Over-active imagination.
  • Control freak: 'it has to be done this way.' Reluctant to delegate.
  • Difficulty throwing things away, even when the objects have no value.
  • Excessive need to research and learn, to acquire knowledge and become better informed.
  • Procrastinate with things which need doing, prioritise things we like to do.
  • Sometimes unable to answer concisely… clarify various points which we think might not be understood, and then veer-off on tangents.
  • Get annoyed at others if they're not following the rules—speeding, litter, queueing, etcetera.
  • Constantly self-analyse: 'how can I have done it better', I should I have done it that way', etcetera.
  • Sometimes have difficulty accepting how we are—'others are much less fortunate…' we feel 'frauds' and stoically underplay the degree of genuine difficulty we face.

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