This article, entitled “Differentiating Between Asperger’s and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,” goes into detail regarding a subject I myself obsessed over once. A few years ago, before I suspected having OCD, I found the Wikipedia article about Asperger’s syndrome and felt I identified with it a lot. Like people with AS, people with OCD find themselves engaging in repetitive activities and have obsessive thoughts and interests. However, AS is more similar to Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder in that people with AS have obsessive thoughts/rituals that are not anxiety-driven, and not considered an annoyance or interference, but rather a preferred way of living.
Apparently, males outnumber females in AS (and probably autism in general), but not OCD. Tourette’s and tic disorders are more frequently seen in men; it’s been hypothesized by some that the genetic predisposition for OCD and TS is a very similar mechanism, and simply manifests differently in men versus women; so in men we tend to see tics more often, in women we tend to see OCD.
From the article: “In summary, individuals with AD or OCD may evidence similar symptoms, including, shifting, incompleteness, anxiety, compulsions, and adherence to rituals. In general, individuals with AD are more socially impaired and demonstrate difficulty forming reciprocal relationships. In AD, individuals may have obsessive thoughts surrounding a restricted area of interest, but these thoughts do not likely cause a marked level of anxiety or distress as they do in OCD. Lastly, compulsive behavior in OCD is completed with the intent to minimize anxiety. In AD, individuals derive pleasure from engaging in these activities.”