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What is the difference between Asperger's syndrome and OCD?

Dr. Michael J. Mufson, MD
Psychiatrist (Therapist)

Asperger's syndrome is sometimes confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Although the two conditions sometimes coexist, there is a fundamental difference. People with Asperger's syndrome typically develop an obsessive interest in a single area, but they take pleasure in this fascination and do not try to resist it. With OCD, on the other hand, people are distressed by incessant, distracting thoughts—and the elaborate rituals they feel they must perform to keep these intrusions at bay.

*Asperger syndrome, or Asperger's, is a term that is no longer used as a formal diagnosis. In current diagnostic criteria, the syndrome is included under the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.