Is OCD neurodivergent?

My name is Eva, and I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD for short. My brain works a bit differently than most people’s, and I’d like to share my experience with you to give you an honest perspective on the challenges of living with OCD.

Having OCD is incredibly difficult. My life is constantly interrupted by recurring, intrusive thoughts and the compulsions that follow. These obsessions and compulsions can consume so much of my time and energy, making it hard for me to focus on other aspects of my life.

For example, I often struggle with the need to check and recheck things repeatedly, like making sure doors are locked or the stove is turned off. This can make it hard for me to leave the house or get to appointments on time, and it can cause a great deal of frustration for both me and my loved ones.

While I might have some strengths related to my OCD, such as being detail-oriented, these positives are often overshadowed by the constant anxiety, discomfort, and disruption that the disorder brings into my life. To cope with the challenges, I have sought therapy, medication, and support from friends and family. It’s been an ongoing battle to find a balance and learn to manage my symptoms.

It’s important to recognize that, while OCD can be considered part of neurodiversity, it is a mental illness that can significantly impair a person’s ability to lead a fulfilling life. Acknowledging the struggles and challenges faced by individuals with OCD is essential in promoting understanding, empathy, and support for those living with this condition.

Living with OCD is not easy, and the journey toward managing it is an ongoing process. By sharing my story, I hope to raise awareness about the realities of life with OCD and encourage others to seek help and support if they are struggling with this difficult condition.

Eva H.

OCD and Neurodivergence

OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is a mental illness where people have unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental illness classified as an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) that individuals feel compelled to perform to alleviate the anxiety caused by these obsessions.

Neurodivergence, on the other hand, refers to natural variations in the way human brains work and process information. It includes conditions like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Neurodivergent individuals may have unique ways of thinking, learning, and engaging with the world.

While OCD is primarily considered a mental illness due to the distress it can cause in an individual’s life, it can also be viewed as part of neurodiversity, as it is another way the brain functions differently from the “neurotypical” majority. The understanding and perception of mental illness and neurodivergence can overlap and evolve over time, as both are related to variations in brain functioning.

what are some implications of ocd being possibly neurodivergent?

If OCD is considered as part of neurodiversity, it would have several implications for people being diagnosed with the condition and society as a whole:

  1. Destigmatization: Viewing OCD as a form of neurodivergence could help reduce the stigma often associated with mental illnesses. This shift in perception may encourage individuals to seek help without fear of judgment and promote understanding and acceptance of people with OCD.
  2. Holistic approach to treatment: Recognizing OCD as a form of neurodiversity may lead to a more comprehensive approach to treatment, focusing not only on reducing symptoms but also on understanding and embracing the unique cognitive traits that come with the condition. This could involve a combination of medication, therapy, and support tailored to each individual’s needs and strengths.
  3. Education and accommodations: If OCD is acknowledged as a form of neurodivergence, educational institutions and workplaces may be more likely to provide accommodations and support for those with the condition. This could include extra time on exams, flexible work hours, or additional resources to help individuals manage their symptoms and thrive in various settings.
  4. Advocacy and support: The neurodiversity movement advocates for the rights and needs of neurodivergent individuals. If OCD is considered part of neurodiversity, it may benefit from increased advocacy efforts, leading to more resources, research, and support for those affected by the condition.
  5. Early intervention and support: With an increased understanding of OCD as part of neurodiversity, there may be a greater focus on early identification and intervention, helping individuals manage their condition more effectively from an earlier age.

However, it is essential to note that considering OCD as part of neurodiversity should not downplay the challenges and distress it can cause in an individual’s life. Treatment and support should still address the disabling aspects of OCD while promoting understanding and acceptance of the unique cognitive traits associated with the condition.


If OCD is considered part of neurodiversity, it could have several implications for individuals diagnosed with the condition and society as a whole. This perspective may help reduce stigma, encourage a more comprehensive approach to treatment, and promote accommodations in educational and work settings. Additionally, it could lead to increased advocacy efforts, early intervention, and support for those affected by OCD. However, it is crucial not to downplay the challenges and distress associated with OCD and continue to address the disabling aspects while fostering understanding and acceptance of the unique cognitive traits of the condition.