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Is OCD Linked To Intelligence & Does It Lower My IQ?

OCD is the acronym for the obsessive compulsive disorder. The problem features a pattern consisting of unreasonable fears and thoughts, which result in doing various repetitive behaviors. These compulsions and obsessions interfere with the patients’ daily activities and thereby, cause a huge level of distress. In most of the cases, you may try to stop or ignore your obsessions, but doing so will only increase your levels of anxiety and distress.

Ultimately, you start feeling driven to perform different types of compulsive activities to relieve or ease your stress levels. Even though you put efforts to overcome or ignore your urges or bothersome thoughts, they come back repeatedly. This results in ritualistic behavior i.e. the vicious cycle of OCD.

The obsessive-compulsive disorder often centers across specific themes, like for instance fear related to causing contamination or suffering from the contamination because of germs. To ease your fear, you may wash the hands compulsively until and unless they become chap or sore.

Is OCD Linked To Intelligence & Does It Lower My IQ?

Is OCD Linked To Intelligence & Does It Lower My IQ?

Most of the patients and their family members want to know whether there is any link between OCD and intelligence. For this, we have to discuss the outcomes obtained from different research studies conducted to analyze intelligence and OCD relations. A few of the studies revealed the presence of a correlation between high IQ and OCD. Also, a few additional studies have shown the prevalence of excessive worries among people with both low and high IQs.

However, if a person has higher intelligence, his/her intelligence level may also increase the extent of suffering. Most of the OCD sufferers stay well aware of irrationality related to their thoughts, which is a prime factor that contributes towards their distress. In other words, high intelligence will increase the suffering level. On the other side, higher intelligence may increase the chance of a person to have detailed insight into his/her treatment outcomes and illness in a better way.

Other than the aforementioned research studies, a few other types of research have said that OCD i.e. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder actually comes from sick perfectionism. In most cases, perfectionism takes place in two different types i.e. the sick one and the healthy one. However, the sick one is observed rarely, while the healthy one is relatively more common. The perfectionism takes place in borderline genius or gifted (between general and genius people) and perfectionism is an important aspect related to OCD. Because of this, there is a close relationship between intelligence and OCD, especially because of perfectionism.

OCD often makes a patient highly aware of various things, which should take place across them and especially when things do not take place in the right way in front of their eyes. In some of the cases, elevated attention towards detail may push a patient to create various superior things than any other individual with almost the same intellect level but without the problem of OCD. The reason for this is that OCD is an excellent motivator to make things right based on careful planning, detailed research work, and several other factors.(2)

Obsessive-compulsive type of disorder often consists of two terms i.e. compulsions and obsessions. However, in some cases, patients may have an only compulsion or obsession symptoms. Also, patients fail to realize their compulsions and obsessions are unreasonable or excessive. However, whether it is obsessive, compulsive or both, it takes a huge amount of time as well as interferes with daily life.

Obsessions in the case of OCD are persistent, repeated and unwanted thoughts, images or urges, which are of intrusive ones and may cause anxiety or distress. You may even try to overcome or overlook them via compulsive ritual or behavior.(1)


To conclude, we should say that OCD has a close relationship with intelligence. However, the actions taken by the patient and his/her behavior depends on whether they experience healthy or sick perfectionism.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 13, 2020

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