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Featured ASD or OCD?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Spotty01, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Spotty01

    Spotty01 Well-Known Member

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    Every day, at around 2pm, there are three medications I have to take: one to keep my anxiety under control, one for acid reflux, and one that I'd rather not state the purpose of. I take them in the opposite order of how I listed them; I never take any of them together (I used to, but I don't now) and it's rarely in any other order than that.

    On a related note, I frequently have to have a pile of folded towels or clothes sorted specifically from biggest to smallest, groceries in a cart at the grocery store have to be aligned just so, and I once spent thirty minutes washing a single dish because I could not, for the life of me, get rid of the miniscule scratches and abrasions on it that wouldn't have come off if you dropped a bomb on it.

    At night, when we lock the screen and front doors, I'll frequently recheck it several times before actually going to bed because whether or not it had been locked repeatedly slips my mind. Even when it comes to writing, whether it be stories or a forum post like this one, I internally freak out if a single paragraph looks "too long" to me or the right side isn't aligned or in a shortest-to-longest pattern.

    If the aforementioned things are not exactly the way I want it to be, or how I feel it's supposed to be, then it drives me crazy. If it's something I can't do anything about that's arranged "wrong", then I'll often sit/stand there staring at it, screaming internally. Now, the number of times I've read up on autism, I often find that children on the Spectrum often want things to be "just so", like this, but I feel like a) that's something I would've since grown out of and b) it seems, IMO at least, that it's more severe than it would be for the average person with ASD. For a long time, I've wondered if I might have undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD as you may recognize it.

    So, what's your opinion? Could this possibly be signs of some form of OCD or is just another typical part of my HFA? Does anyone else have to deal with this problem every once in a while?

    That is all.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Great question. One I periodically review myself. While not being formally diagnosed with ASD, I was formally diagnosed with OCD many years ago. I can totally relate to what you experience and on so many levels. Yet I still manage to score mildly on the Yale-Brown OCD scale. Go figure. According to my doctor, most of my OCD behaviors came about in my 20s after a series of traumatic events.

    Personally more or less I see such things as a manifestation of OCD- not autism. But easily recognize the comorbidity of OCD relative to ASD as well. Of course not everyone on the spectrum experiences OCD in whole or in part as we do.

    I see ASD as something which makes life a challenge in terms of relating to other human beings. But my OCD, that's much more problematic on a single premise. Because it affects me when I am completely alone. It never really leaves me. The only thing in which I feel I have control is that I'm able to contain it to myself and my personal environment, and not that of others. Oh, granted that how others live may drive me nuts at times...but I'm able to keep it to myself. I've also been able to hide much of my OCD from even those closest to me, who just usually surmise me as "one picky SOB".

    Ultimately I consider my OCD to be "a tax" on my life I don't like paying. But it's part of who and what I am, for better or worse. I live with it, but it doesn't mean I like it. It's quite irrational...at times making me irrational. :eek:

    Nothing stranger to me than being able to intellectually acknowledge behaviors that can be pointless and stupid, and yet be compelled to repeat them. Perhaps much like the dynamics of an addiction I suppose.

    Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale
     
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  3. Streetwise

    Streetwise Active Member

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    YeP its o.c.d
    need more info for a.s.d
     
  4. Spotty01

    Spotty01 Well-Known Member

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    If anyone's curious, I only scored a 17 out of 40 on the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (thanks for the link, Judge).

    It said that that's mild symptoms of OCD, but I'd need to see a psychiatrist to know anything for sure.
     
  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    While I consider my own issues of OCD relatively mild, I have seen many others which can be utterly debilitating. In this respect it may give me a little insight into more moderate scores on the Yale-Brown Scale.

    As with much of any other test, I wouldn't necessarily weigh it one way or another in determining one's OCD, let alone ASD. Though such tests do provide "benchmarks" of sorts, giving us more perspective.

    I can only say quite succinctly though, that in how you have described yourself very much reflects my own OCD in a general sense.
     
  6. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    To be honest this is something you need to ask a doctor if you want a proper answer, not people on the internet.

    If you're having to check that the doors are locked all the time then that tells me that you have anxiety over negative intrusive thoughts. That would be the obsessive part of OCD.
     
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  7. Spotty01

    Spotty01 Well-Known Member

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    I know, but, in my opinion, it's not debilitating enough to warrant that. It tends to be an annoyance for me more than anything else.

    I'm not asking people on the Internet for a diagnosis or something, I'm just asking people's opinions on the matter.
     
  8. xudo

    xudo something V.I.P Member

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    You may have some tendencies to carry out compulsions, but unless you have intrusive or unwanted thoughts, which you then carry out compulsions to stop from coming true or get out of your mind, it's not actually OCD. When I had CBT for OCD last year, they explained in detail how OCD works and how it sort of feeds itself. I have an intrusive thought, and then I am compelled to carry out one of my compulsions to stop that thought from happening. I fully realise that the whole process is completely ridiculous, and that the thought would never happen and even if it could happen, my doing something ridiculous like making sure all of my tea towels are perfectly straight and lined up will do nothing to stop it. But if I keep doing the compulsion, and the thought abate and nothing bad happens, then it reinforces the cycle in my mind and it all starts over again.
     
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  9. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    I personally am glad you asked that question to us all, as doctors can make errors in judgments as pertaining to diagnoses and as so many signs and symptoms can seem like one condition to a medical professional, but it could be another condition instead with similar signs and symptoms of that misdiagnosed condition, if not dual conditions.

    Or in another case, it could be one of the conditions you mentioned (ASD or OCD), but with just signs and symptoms of the other, not enough to warrant a secondary diagnosis or dual condition. And lastly, it could be a condition you or the previous doctor never considered, as again there are so many conditions that can be mistaken for another, and as signs and symptoms can overlap.

    I think you asking others for their opinions is to be respected, as in order to have correct diagnostics it is good to get information from a variety of sources. Certainly doctor opinion is very important, but you would be surprised how much persons can learn through forums that involve persons with all types of conditions. Our opinions does not mean further evaluation is not needed, but it is just another thing to consider.

    If you are just asking if the signs and symptoms you described look from the surface to be more to be ASD or OCD, I would without hesitation say it looks like the latter (see further below). When I was around eighteen, I was told I had OCD tendencies by one psychiatrist, but it did not reach the point of an official diagnosis he said. I researched that condition and agreed though I had some signs and symptoms of that. He and most of the other doctors concurred though I had a form of Social Anxiety Disorder, as the only diagnosis that I had. One or two others though said AvPD, as it was a severer form of SAD.

    But, first, with regard to the rituals what you described, that is almost exactly what I had. I would recheck doorknobs, stack towels, and for writings it had to be precise a certain way, with regards to detail, organization and structure. I got lots of stress if things were not done like that, or if my mind was telling me I did not do that, like turning off the lights or range, too. So, I had to keep checking those things, or for writings, keep changing things.

    With Aaron, our seven year old son with higher functioning Autism, it seems different. His rituals do not seem like that. He will get upset for instance if my wife tries to feed him, put him to bed, or prepare his meals him if he was used to me doing that, for several times in a row, or if I tried to take him to the library and read to him when he was accustomed to her doing that for awhile. Or if food is not prepared a certain way, or if we do not drive a precise route, this can upset him, to name a few.

    So, it would seem like a difference between OCD rituals and Autistic rituals. I may be wrong, but I am using common sense or good reasoning. it is as if the routines for Aaron's Autism are because of some habit or sensory issue that turns into a very rigid need, but for those with OCD it is as if the mind can at any time irrationally say I have to do that thing again, or do it this way as that is how it should be. To me, it looks like a distinct difference.

    The good news is I outgrew the majority of those compulsions somehow, without drugs. I do not know if by getting more serotonin through more sunlight and exercise played a part, in helping things, or if the improvement just occurred more naturally, or from training myself through self-help to shift my mind elsewhere and think more positively, but regardless, with exception to the writing thing, I have little to zero issues with compulsions. It never anyways was a huge issue in my life anyways, those compulsions, as there were just a few, and it was going on for a few minutes and not hours. Others may need medication though for OCD.

    Now, could it be that you do not have Autism, even if milder variety, based on what I said? Yes, absolutely. Again, doctors are sometimes prone to either underdiagnoses or misdiagnoses. In our family's cases, involving my wife and Dylan, it happened too often. I have no way of knowing though, if you were evaluated correctly, as I do not know if there was adequate testing or analysis done, and by what type of doctor, a specialist or general practitioner. I can only say I read your other thread posts and I do not see many indications of Autism by your statements.

    For instance, to start, I do not see any sensory sensitivities in you from your statements made in all your thread messages as of yet, though you could have some but not told us yet of such, and I do not see most of the other typical core symptoms of Autism from the little sample of messages. You mentioned in one thread you could be literal, and that could only be a very very small indicator of possibly ASD, but I could argue in that literal thread that message from you where you said did not move when that person told you to move, could be because of very low self-esteem or anxiety instead, in wanting to please them, and not move the wrong way, or to do what they told you, and not necessarily because you took things literally and needing more information from them first.

    So, let's say for the sake of opposing argument the routines were OCD signs and symptoms, and not ASD, what then are the other core ASD symptoms that were revealed in all your thread messages? I have not heard of cognitive issues, any noticeable motor issues and speech issues, and the social and emotional, and behavioral issues could be explained by something else. I could be wrong, and I do not have doctor credentials, but if I were you I would evaluate for Social Anxiety Disorder or AvPD, Avoidant Personality Disorder, too.

    Why? Because you seem to have many of those traits, if not more than Autism. Like, from those other thread messages from you, you suggest or state being over sensitive; meaning possibly a hypersensitive to criticism or rejection I am assuming because of shyness traits and feeling alone and not socially appropriate, and as you seem to lack much social self-esteem, and have trust issues from things you said and from being overly apologetic in messages, too.

    In your other thread postings, you have said you can be watching persons, and I saw in one message you said you were aware of others' facial expressions and said you can get upset at little things, and you say you can rock back and forth, but that rocking could be severe anxiety related, as I paced like when I thought I said or did something wrong, back when I was in my teen and early twenties. I was way too self-conscious, shy, and hypersensitive to negative evaluation too, and with a desire to please.

    Also, although those with AvPD generally feel intensely alone because of often little or no close friendships, most do not want to be alone. You seemed mixed with your feelings there in those other thread messages, but I sense you want one or more in your life but have somewhat resigned yourself to it not happening because of very low self esteem and those sensitivities. Those with that condition, want to have friendships or relationships, but are fearful to give their all assuming things would not work out as usual. These persons often need to feel they would not be rejected, before trusting one to open up to any big degree, so they often give less effort.

    You may very well have Autism, if there is much more information I am not privy to, and if you had very competent doctor testing and analysis, but it sounds like you have OCD traits, and not necessarily severe enough to warrant that label, but you may want to check into Social Anxiety Disorder, or the more severe version Avoidant Personality Disorder. I had both SAD diagnosis and OCD traits, and AvPD diagnosis and OCD traits, and so what you said reminded me almost exactly of myself during the teens and twenties. Thankfully, I improved much since then, in both regards.

    I just know from what I read in all those message threads I saw many SAD or AvPD traits, and not high functioning Autism traits, and in your thread here I saw OCD traits, like I had, too. You might want to look deeper there, and get evaluation there. The fact you questioned whether it was Autism or Ocd, for the rituals, does not make it sound like you you are 100% sure you had Autism. Otherwise, I would not have looked deeper.
     
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  10. Thursday

    Thursday Dabbling in Life

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    Thank you for starting this topic...I haven't gone for OCD testing so no official diagnosis, but I do suspect I have at least a mild form of it.

    Basically, I feel like everything inside the house is safe and everything outside isn't, so I want to keep my space as safe as it can be. I'm okay doing whatever, even lying down on dirt if I have to, so long as I'll have to opportunity to wash before going home. When I'm not too tired to handle it, I can bear being touched by my family when outside (and about to go in), but when I'm already distressed about something else, I just snap.

    My latest breakdown came after one such incident. My mom stepped inside our house without using our house slippers and I freaked out.

    Plus, I do some of the things you do, such as checking doorknobs repeatedly to ensure they're locked, or the refrigerator even. Food labels and towel prints have to be facing the same way...and I have to go through the whole house before leaving to ensure nothing is plugged in.

    The worst is asking Mr. Thursday to wipe or wash everything that came from the grocery. I don't like asking him to do that, but I can't feel "safe" if I don't. Thing is, I wasn't like this before. It started when my depression hit, coupled with getting skin issues I got from classmates lying down on my bed and couch. It's hard to deal with, but its become...comfortable.

    Perhaps it's also a control issue? If we experience it after trauma or if it hits us whenever we have to face uncertainty like leaving the house, etc., then it may be that our brains are trying to eliminate the possibility of unfavorable outcomes despite what's reasonable to expect.
     
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  11. Dadwith2Autisticsons

    Dadwith2Autisticsons Well-Known Member

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    Although I knew the trauma from our environment helped contribute to my severe social anxiety and avoidance of people, I always wondered too if it had caused those obsessions and compulsions.

    I mean, if I felt I could be yelled at or a fight in the home could happen any moment when I was young, and when my brain was forming, that meant maybe I personally needed to be more perfect, to prevent that further trauma. So, yes, I considered that, absolutely.

    I do not think all doctors would agree, as many others could say it is a genetic chemical imbalance thing. I do not think my twin ever had those compulsions I had, and he is not the ritual type. He coped differently to the severe stress, as did our other two siblings. He turned more aloof, and less perfectionistic. My sister turned narcissistic.

    What I do know is the doctor who evaluated me immediately knew they were OCD signs and symptoms, but when I told him there were only about four to five such things I did, and less than two minutes each for most, he did not feel it warranted a formal OCD diagnosis label. I guess he was waiting until things got worse, but they only got better with time.
     
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  12. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I have those rituals as well. Very difficult for me to chirp my car burglar alarm just once when engaging it. Can't go to be without checking the door even when I locked it only moments ago. Usually no less than four times an evening. Yes, food and just about any other product labels facing the same way.

    Pretty much everything in my apartment has its place, and must be parallel or perpendicular to other objects. With one exception- a chair which sits in the corner, at a precise 90 degree angle. And when I leave the house I must always have at least four pennies in my pocket. While I'm not a germaphobe, I do obsessively keep my home clean. Forever dusting even when I dusted just hours before. I have one kitchen cabinet door that no longer completely closes. A little plastic thingie inside the hinge snapped. Drives me perpetually crazy that the door remains partially open. Upsetting the balance of my existence. Nuts, I know.

    And mentally, repeatedly going over all of it in my mind. Often imagining severe consequences that don't exist. Lots of unwanted and unhelpful thoughts always going on. Amazing all the years I was able to hide this from others. Then again, maybe this is why they all eventually dumped me without a real explanation.
     
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  13. Tyrantus1212

    Tyrantus1212 An odd fellow. Yet a fellow.

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    This sounds like OCD. My psychologist said I have OCD and I am similar in some of these aspects; for me things just HAVE to always go right, by plan, with NO changes or deviations. I totally freak out if something ends up going amiss. I always check the car, the locked doors, etc. several times because I'm afraid of burglars; I just keep having this realization that I don't 100% remember if it's been locked, and I just go back to check it again, and again. I also don't adapt well to change at all, whatsoever - unless it's a good change. My psychologist told me that OCD is prominent in Asperger's.

    Some specific examples from my life. First day of a vacation or holiday period like Christmas break - that day HAS to go right, hast to go 100% - there cannot be anything that frustrates or stresses me out on these first days. If that ends up happening then I just have to start the vacation period over again. If it happened during school or college, then I would just study for the rest of the day, giving myself an illusion that I'm still not done with the semester and just start over tomorrow. I work now, so what I would do - I would just go to my computer and do work-related research and not have it be official work, and the next day - just start over and try again. If I start over and try again I'd just be in total desperation for this not to repeat. Subtracting even one day from the vacation is already too much, but I have no choice. I would not have been able to happily live through the rest of the vacation knowing that it had a rough start. Thankfully I never had to resort to this type of Plan B before, and I sincerely hope that I never will. Each time the first day arrives I keep nagging my parents to never do anything that would even slightly risk ruining that day - do not check your email in case there are bad news in there, do not scan the computer in case a virus is revealed, do not argue about anything, do not talk about anything unpleasant, do not reveal any unpleasant news to me until tomorrow...so on, so on - and absolutely no car accidents (I still get into the car but I just get nervous during the entire road in case a fender-bender of some sorts occurs and ruins this day, not to mention bring in lasting consequences into the whole supposed vacation).

    I've also been obsessed with Fridays, and especially Thursdays preceding long weekends, during high school - the rule was absolutely NO homework and NOTHING school-related on such days after 3 o'clock. No questions asked, case closed, the ship has sailed. I didn't even want to allow myself to have one stray thought about schoolwork on the evenings of those days. I once had to take the SAT on a Saturday that was part of a 4-day weekend, and I did NOT study on the preceding Thursday - only on Friday. And the same goes for the usual Fridays, absolutely nothing school related in the evening. Eventually I made some Fridays the exception and used them to prepare for Saturday SAT's only because it was right before those. And eventually, in college...I completely grew out of that phase and just did my work on Friday evenings (but I gotta say, the college work was just nonstop, I couldn't risk taking any days off).

    Another one - I HAVE to separate my work life from my personal one in certain aspects, and never have them cross paths in those aspects. One of my friends works at a restaurant close to my job, and that's how I met her in the first place - but I'd totally freak out if she were to strike up a conversation with a customer who would happen to be an employee of the main client company for my business (not MY business, the business I work for; I would never run a business and let it take over my life) who's headquartered in the same building as the business I work for - and I just keep desperately hoping that there aren't any regulars in that restaurant from this client company. I even asked the friend if, as far as she knows, there are any regulars at that restaurant from the building I work at - and as far as she knew, no. That made me slightly relieved because this answer made it seem like she was NOT striking up any personal relationships with people from the client company - but not 100% relieved though, and I did not reveal the real reason behind that question, she'd think I was crazy. This is Schrodinger's Cat now, but I'm still afraid of potentially hearing anyone from the client company ever talk about this restaurant. I know it's really strange but I can't control it (lol at the company I work for though, I'm the only one who goes to that restaurant). Another example. I used to explore Sydney, Australia on Google Earth until I found out via Facebook by accident that one of my boss's relatives lives there. What did I do? I stopped exploring Sydney and switched to Adelaide. I still need to explore Australia, but cities without any workplace associations. However, I don't shy away from texting coworkers for some reason.

    I also ask people to never, ever talk to me while I'm in the bathroom. Mine is located inside my bedroom, so I ask my mom and dad to not even enter my bedroom at the time, kind of like Sheldon from Big Bang forbids people from entering his room in general.

    Like why do I have these obsessions? Where are they coming from? Anyone here ever experienced similar ones??
     
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  14. Thursday

    Thursday Dabbling in Life

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    That gives me hope. Though I'm not expecting to be able to return to a clean slate, I am making small changes to make it more manageable. Bargaining for it in my mind, would probably be the most appropriate way to explain it. Coping is one thing I am, and we're all familiar with anyway. :)


    Oh gosh, I would also find it very hard to sit still with a gap like that. For me, I try to schedule a solution so my mind quiets a little. We had a drip in the kitchen once because of the sink pipe, I immediately put in a schedule for the plumber to check it. The downside is, it drives me nuts when people (as they often do) cannot fulfill their commitments. I usually give them a few chances (strike one, strike two...strike three), then take it from there. It's still stressful, but is the lesser evil for me. :rolleyes:

    Oh, I had people dump me for similar reasons. When I let them come in the house and was "hospitable" (parents taught me I need to offer coffee/tea, give snacks) I was so popular. Then, when I got sick, I had enough so I stopped letting them invite themselves over. I figured, if they really wanted to hang out with me, we can meet at a restaurant or do activities outside the home instead of needing to play good little host to everyone. I didn't tell them this way, of course. I tried to be polite about it and explained that we don't have a maid to help us clean and prepare so we preferred to meet on neutral ground.

    Some, like my childhood friends, attempted to "coax me out of my shell". So awkward. I just made a joke about me being too lazy and they left it alone.

    Only a few people remain in my life now, but I'd like to believe they're exerting as much effort to let me be weird as I am by letting them be "normal".
     
  15. Thursday

    Thursday Dabbling in Life

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    There was a time when I also felt so desperate for things to go right. I was so uptight then, having to watch everything that went on in our apartment to ensure nothing goes against what I preferred. When they didn't, I saw spots and my fingers numbed as I try to keep ahold of my outer self.

    What helped me lessen it to an extent was space. Eventually, we saved enough to move into a home. Things happened and now whenever I can, I retreat to my space...of course, I still have my tendencies, but I have since been able to trust Mr. Thursday to take over some things I may fuss over, no checking needed.

    I imagine them like layers to be peeled. Like, maybe depression, OCD and being on the spectrum all pull us down like dead weight. Tackling one may help with the others too.

    Do you have an activity that lets you zone out in a pleasant way? I listen to a LOT of music and doodle while I do that. Those two activities let me get past the endless barrage of thoughts.
     
  16. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat V.I.P Member

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    spotty, your description in your first post makes me think OCD,not autism,but perhaps you were unknowingly biasing your thoughts towards OCD due to it being on your mind and left out any ASD symptoms?

    if it was ASD,you would feel just right if things are in your order,and you would be anxious and thinking why is this not right,until it is made right.you wouldnt be thinking; something catestrophic will emerge if you do not follow through.
    if it was OCD,you would feel brutal fear,fight or flight and the belief that bad things could happen if you do not follow your orders/routines,you might realise its irrational but not know how else to live your life-in autism you are emerged in a world of obsession and routine and generally dont associate it with being irrational.

    however,things blur quite alot in ASD as OCD commonly comes along hand in hand with ASD-i think the age of onset is a lot older than ASD as it is often a reaction to living in a unstable uncontrolled world, i am personally informally diagnosed with OCD ontop of..what was 'severe classic autism' until a couple of years ago,now moderate.