Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders  
Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders



Postby Amber » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:22 pm

I guess you guys find all these posts asking whether people have OCPD or not quite tiresome because I probably don't even have it. It's just things in my life have all become a bit too much for me recently and I decided it was time I did something about it.

I know I'm beginning to get unbearable to live with and be around because of it and I started to think 'why?'. I know it's not normal to be so obsessed with how I perform in tests. But I hate the idea of failing and I hate anything less than perfection - if I get an A I'll feel it's not good enough and that I need an A*. Most people think a B is good but I feel like I've failed myself.

My friends joke around that I have OCD. (I can't stand it if they tap their pens in a certain way, click them, fidget, tap their legs on the floor. I hate it if they turn the corners of my books up, or there are creases in the spine. If they get crumbs on the table during lunch, I have to clean them up, I can't just leave them there. I even once offered to tidy my teacher's desk for her because it was irritating me.) I always thought it was just a joke. You know... That I'm just a bit of a perfectionist. But now I'm wondering if the stress I'm going through before exams, and it making me ill, is a bit too far. In my science exam one of my diagrams wasn't neat enough so I scribbled it out and drew it again.

I decided to read about OCD online but realised that although I had some of the traits, it didn't really match how I was. I read about OCPD, however, and it seemed exactly how I am. Then I wondered if I was just a hypochondriac - you know, one of those people that reads symptoms online and immediately think I'VE GOT THAT! even though they do not.

(1) is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost
Yes - to the extreme. My pencils on my desk have to be aligned in a certain way. I actually have been known to delete some of my homework from my computer because the file numbers were odd and some lists were longer than others. My mum used to tidy my room for me but she didn't do everything the 'right' way so I stopped letting her.

[quote](2) shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)[/quote]
Yes. I suffer with this a lot too. I'm so preoccupied with every little detail being perfect that I rarely meet deadlines and if I do it's only because I've spent hours a day working on it. My friends absolutely hate working with me on a group project - ironically we're doing one now. I've taken all the script home to work on it because I don't trust anybody else to do it the right way.

[quote](3) is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)[/quote]
Yes - I suppose I just answered that above. Recently I had a Science GCSE Exam. One day I spent 6 hours revising. Another day we were out all day and I cried because I hadn't gotten my revision time in.

[quote](4) is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)[/quote]
Yes. I'm very firm with my beliefs and I think everybody is entitled to my opinion. In fact, I hate it when people disagree with me. I always believe that I'm right and they're wrong and I hate it if people can't see that. I've been known to actually not talk to my mother for a few days because our views differed over a certain subject.

[quote](5) is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value[/quote]
Yes. I didn't think this description suited me at all (indenial? perhaps) until I realised that I have ceiling-floor wardrobes that span across the length of my room and they are absolutely full. I haven't even thrown away my childhood toys.

[quote](6) is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things[/quote]
Yes. People don't like working with me in group projects at school. Although I like the social side of working with people, ideally I'd prefer to work on my own. I hate it if people don't do things just right, my way, or if their presentation is sloppy. My own handwriting is perfectly neat and if it isn't, I'll do it all again. I'd much rather do things myself because I know they'll be done the right way.

[quote](7) adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes[/quote]

[quote](8) shows rigidity and stubbornness[/quote]
A lot. To the extent that it effects some of my friendships. I can never seem to come half way with people - it's my way or nothing, I think. Is this part of having OCPD or just being an annoying person? I don't know. Maybe I'm confusing the two :|. If people tell me to do something, I refuse to do it. I don't mind so much if I'm asked but I hate people expecting me to do something, or ordering me to do so.

I don't know if these other things are relevent or not: I hate receiving compliments - I feel uncomfortable, have no idea how to deal with them and I feel I thrive more on criticism. I hate bad spelling - I sit there for hours correcting my friends work for them just so it doesn't irritate me. I can't seem to go out with anybody because even though it begins fine by the end I am obsessed with their faults and nothing else. I hate it when my family members come across less than perfect - if my mother cries, for example, it irritates me that she can't control her emotions. I feel like my family do things specifically to annoy me - making doors creak, persistently leaving things in a mess, etcetera. If I ask a question and people don't answer immediately, I get extremely annoyed - I hate delays. My friends find it funny that at my age I'm still afraid of the dark - but it's because I'm scared of the unknown, and whatever is in it, I can't control. My parents think I'm obsessed with going on the PC, but I'm not, it's just become part of my routine - I hate breaking things I do daily. It upsets me if I sleep through my alarm because it changes it. For a while I struggled with a bit of an ED, and I still am (but it's mild).

It's strange that in the rest of my life everything has to be perfect and orderly but my bedroom is a complete mess. There are things absolutely everywhere. It seems to be the complete opposite of how I am, and I have no idea why I leave it messy. I enjoy ordering everything else, love tidying other rooms, but not my own.

I'm only 15 so I know things aren't really 'diagnosed' as such at this age because I'm young. In fact, I don't even know why I'm really asking about this, because I know there is little people can do to help. I just felt like everything is getting beyond my control. It's excepted in my family that I'm obsessive but they don't really see a true problem with it, and I don't want to talk to them or my friends about how hard it is for me to live with myself. I just wanted to talk to people that may go through the same things as I do. Even if I don't have OCPD, I know I'm very obsessive, and it'd just be nice to talk to people who understand that instead of thinking I'm abnormal.
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Postby adaves » Tue Jan 23, 2007 1:11 pm

I'm not sure where you got the idea that 15 is too young to diagonose -

If you have a problem, and it gets in the way of you doing what you truly want to be doing, or if it impedes your success and joy in life, then you have a type of disorder in your life.

Good news is that it can be solved. Can you go see your primary physician? Can you talk to your school counselor?

Talking things out, plus a medication, are often very successful in curbing most of the symptoms you describe. There is not a reason you should have to go one more day of suffering if you can get help.

There is a lot of hope and help for you out there - treat yourself well and get the help that you need.
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Postby Kova » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:26 pm

hi there,

get help!!! don't wait until it gets worse!
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Postby britesmile » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:52 am

to be completely honest, i am now 19 and when i was 14/15 a lot of what you have said i did too.

It is like reading parts of my diary from years ago. and i thought i was the only one lol.

...very iscolated.

I was afraid of the dark too and still can be, however my partner who i met at 16 took most of that away, i like to be on my own but have a fear of being alone... alot makes sense to me and wont to others. I accept that. I am different ..but i am happy.

well... i am not a lot like i was, small factors are existant but no more.

So it is possible that this a phase like mine (possability) i had a lot of anxiety attacks and was very misunderstood by most people including my psychologist.

i still dont conform but i am not non conformist.
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Postby pattib7 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:49 am


I applaud you that you are trying to understand OCPD at your age. That means there is hope for you. But you need to seek help now. I was married for over 20 years to a person with OCPD but even when he was diagnosed and realized he had this illness he refused to obtain help.

His illness caused him to harm me in so many ways that I feel I will never heal. I wish he had demonstrated the willingless that you do to obtain help.

Because of your attitude you can have a happy life. Please seek help right away because your tendencies toward perfectionism will hurt you and those who love you.

I applaud your courage.

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Relyp to PattiB: can you tell me how to communicate better?

Postby Maddison » Fri May 09, 2008 10:44 am

Hi Patti, I saw your response to Amber's post. I have someone new in my worklife whom I believe to have OCPD. I'd like to communicate better with this person but I'm not sure how to go about it. She seems to get hostile very easily, seemingly without provocation. Having been in a relationship with someone who has OCPD, can you offer any words of advice for how best to communicate without making the person feel threatened?
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Postby J4ng » Wed Aug 06, 2008 12:55 pm

Amber, hope you've had some positive experience since your last post; would like to share my experience with you.

My husband of 8 years has just come to the realisation that he suffers from OCPD, and I am very optimistic that this will change our lives, now that we can understand that this is a diagnosable disorder. :) For a long time I have joked that he has OCD, not realising that there is something else that describes him far better. It's really such a shame that he has lived 50 years with a lot of self-created disappointments all due to being perfectionistic with himself and others, consistently setting such high standards that everyone is doomed to fail from the outset. :(

At the dawning of this realisation, he actually cried, partly with alarm but mainly with relief. It made an impact on me too as I now feel that I can be sympathetic with his foibles and rigidity, where in the past I have poo-poo'd a lot of things and was reluctant to "pander" to what I saw as his ridiculous rules.

It has definitely had a huge effect on our marriage, as the first year of bliss crumbled into a gradual manifestation of the huge differences between us. I am laid back, not bound by "the done thing", not too bothered by an untidy house, not overly disappointed if friends can't turn up when planned, never one to tell someone what to do, and happy to change plans or a journey without much notice. On his part, he has to have red wine with beef, white with chicken or fish; is obsessively tidy to the point that he is anxious when we are away on holiday that the kids at home will leave something out of place; his evening is ruined if a friend can't pop round after all because of some unexpected event; always says "you should have..." ; unable to enjoy the ride or the scenery because he is intent on arriving at the destination - so not a chance in hell of stopping off for a look at something interesting. If his work schedule is changed (even with reasonable notice) he is agitated and irritable, which impacts on me and my kids.

When his sons from his first marriage were smaller and used to come for the weekend, he would stand at the back door watching them play football, directing them the whole time "Mind the windows/shed/apple tree/fence/my lawn" even saying "don't kick it like that, kick it like this"... until eventually he could bear it no more and told them to stop playing. The boys were very close in age and were constantly fighting, and my husband would always feel the need to step in and discipline them, which upset him badly as he would only see them once or twice a month. I used to tell him they were just being typical brothers and their behaviour was attention-seeking, but he needed to feel they were under control. I have always felt that he could have had a much closer relationship with them if only he would loosen his boundaries.

I'm pretty sure this goes way back: he must have imagined his life would follow a similar route to that of his parents, who have been married for over 50 years now. After three years in the Navy, like his father, he got married and had two boys, but everything went pear-shaped when his wife was unfaithful and they eventually parted. I liken it to a railway track: he thought he knew where he was going but the rails went down with a landslide and he had to find a different route. When we met, we were both delirious to find we connected in a way neither of us had experienced before, but after a while, having moved into my family home with my three children and our established patterns of living, his criticisms of our different ways caused friction which made me behave like a protective mother bear. I was grateful for the positive changes that he brought, like supporting me in my efforts to make the children responsible for their own rooms, and organising our time more efficiently, and of course I was so happy to be in a loving relationship after being a single parent for 10 years.

However I become less and less willing to bend when he behaved like a control freak, and just could not see the 99 positive things around him because one thing was out of place. His insistence that we should agree on certain topics or views has led to the most enormous rows, because I consider myself intelligent enough to have my own opinion and cannot say black is white if I think it is slightly grey; and in fact does it really matter?

This has gradually put a wedge between us and his bouts of depression, which could not be explained, were beginning to make us wonder if our marriage was rocking badly. We do still have some very good times, especially when we are on holiday when we tend to bond together in an alien space. Maybe that's because, knowing that he is out of control of his environment, he needs to be more dependent on me and his usual set of rules can't be applied.

It's still early days yet, as we only put a name to this last weekend, and it remains to be seen whether he can continue to recognise that simple differences don't mean things are "wrong". I just hope he doesn't play on it as time goes by, justifying his behaviour by claiming he has a medical condition that cannot be cured. Hopefully, seeing that he has been in denial is the first step to dealing with this together, and we can go forward now and repair the cracks with the same enthusiasm we started out with.

Would love to hear from you Amber.
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