Obsessive compulsive personally disorder, more commonly referred to as OCPD is a personality disorder that involves an overwhelming need for order, control and perfection.
Dealing with obsessive compulsive personality disorder, whether it is in yourself or in a partner, is a constant uphill struggle. Limited treatment options aren’t helping the cause.
It is important to know that OCPD is often confused with OCD, and is at times considered to be one and the same. In order to know what you are dealing with, it is important to know the difference. OCPD sufferers are rigid, but their personality stays constant, unlike the fluctuations in OCD sufferers. Also, OCPD does not have the same urges and compulsions to stands out so vividly in those with OCD
Only some of the symptoms of OCPD include;
- Perfectionism to the extreme. The need to meet their own standards actually interferes with their productivity. They have an overwhelming preoccupation with order and cleanliness.
- They are inflexible about matters of morality and values. Things are only ever black and white.
- Most OCPD sufferers are hoarder. They are unable to throw anything away, even if it is worthless, worn out, and of no sentimental value.
- Even if they are excessively devoted to work, they have a very miserly spending style. Like all other possessions, money should be hoarded.
- They need to be in complete control of their personal and professional lives, as well as their environment. Something as much as a dirty teaspoon can send them flying off the rails.
OCPD sufferers are very diligent, often with a professional career, and they are generally very pleasant people. The problem comes in when you have to live yourself, or a partner suffering from the disease; when they are closed off and unbendable regarding personal matters and relationships.
While OCD sufferers will try and find a way to alleviate their symptoms, people with OCPD will not notice anything wrong with their behavior, and therefore not seek out help. The lack of coping mechanisms and effective “self-help” tools complicates the matter even further.
The good news is that all is not lost. Treatment is effective, and the intensity of the disease will decrease with age. Even if there isn’t an array of options available to you, you can keep the disease under control.
Acknowledge the Problem
This is the difficult part. If you yourself are suffering from OCPD, you are most likely unaware of it, and do not want to hear it. However, once someone calls you a horse more than twice, it is time to buy a saddle. Agree to an evaluation session, if only for the benefit of your spouse or partner.
Once a diagnosis has been positively made, acknowledging your problem and taking corrective steps takes great courage.
As mentioned, there are not many options available when dealing with a mental disorder. Forget the stigma attached to therapy. Treatment is highly effective when the process is discussed with you beforehand.
Psychotherapy focusses on short term symptom relief as well as teaching you coping mechanisms. It is in your nature to be resistant towards these changes, but the success of the treatment solely depends on your willingness to be helped.
Recovery requires a strong and stable sense of commitment, something which the sufferer already has in abundance.
- Try to keep your environment as stress free as physically possible. The same applies to the partners. OCPD is worsened by stress and anxiety. Eliminate the stress, and you reduce the symptoms. If your partner took the step of getting treatment, you need to make the sacrifice of trying to accommodate them at home by keeping everything in its place
- http://ocpd.freeforums.org/ is a great link to an OCPD support group
- The following books come highly recommended through Amazon in dealing with perfectionism and control issues.