Are you experiencing:
- Difficulty finishing tasks
- Preoccupation with making things perfect
- Inability to be flexible
- Excessive checking and rechecking for mistakes
- Difficulty maintaing relationships and showing affection
- Inability to throw things away
- Excessive devotion to work
- Preoccupation with lists, rules, order, or schedule to the point that the purpose of the activity is lost
- Difficulty delegating tasks
- Difficulty making decisions
- Anxiety over making the “wrong” choice
- Overconscientious about morals, ethics, and values
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is often confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While both display similar characteristics, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a more generalized need for control and rigidity. Persons with OCD feel overwhelming anxiety. Often anxiety over events, situations, or people that our outside of the individuals control will get translated into anxiety over something that is within their control (germs, for example). When anxiety is heightened, an action or compulsion is used to regain a sense of control and peace.
For individuals living with an obsessive-compulsive personality, there may or may not be a compulsion that alleviates anxiety. For example, an obsession with germs may cause a person with OCD to wash their hands 27 times a day. Whereas someone with OCPD may simply not wish to shake hands. OCDis usually more recognizable than OCPD.
Living with an obsessive-compulsive personality, individuals may not recognize their need for order and control are out of the ordinary. They may consider themselves superior to other people and give off a sense that they are better than those around them. Demanding perfections in themselves often extends to those in their life, needing everyone and everything to be perfect.
Such high standards create a number of difficulties for a people with OCPD. They may find that they actually accomplish very little due to the excessive amounts of planning, organizing, and scheduling. They may start projects but never finish them or finish them only to throw the entire project out because they did not feel it was good enough.
Decision making abilities become hampered by a preoccupation with making the “right” choice. Overwhelming anxiety or fear of being wrong can immobilize a person with OCPD. Judging the work of others harshly and rarely acknowledging it’s worth or value is also common.
Relationships can be extremely difficult for a person with OCPD and his or her partner. Difficulty communicating, showing empathy, offering emotional support, or offering forgiveness can be a struggle for someone with an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. The partner may feel rejected and unable to do anything right. They may have a hard time feeling connected or understood. Persons with OCPD often feel that those around them are unethical, immoral, and do not meet their standards. This causes strife among interpersonal relationships between them and their friends and family, limiting their social network and often causing them to isolate themselves.
While this outlook can prove overwhelming at times, it is important to remember there are ways to combat this line of thinking. Working with a therapist at Noyau Wellness in a supportive and nurturing environment, you can learn to manage behaviors and thoughts that interfere in your daily life.
Through a collaborative partnership with your therapist, you can enhance your relationships, relieve stress, and finally have the fulfilling future you deserve. Working through the pain of never feeling satisfied and learning to express emotions while developing trust for others, will give you a new found freedom and sense of success.
Family members of people with obsessive-compulsive personality may also decide to enter counseling to gain a deeper understanding of how someone with OCPD views the world and how they can help him or her manage symptoms. Caring for those who suffer from a personality disorder can have a heavy emotional toll. You may find yourself taking on much of the stress and anxiety your loved one has not been able to handle in a healthy manner. Therapists at Noyau Wellness can help you process past hurts and work towards a relationship in which you find care and connection.