Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

What is OCPD?

OCPD is short for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  Despite the similarity in names, this is totally different from OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder  (although there can be co-morbidity, that is, one person can have symptoms of more than one mental illness.)

It's known by other names as well:  Anankastic Personality Disorder, Perfectionist Personality Disorder, "being anal-retentive," or Control Freak.  Control is basically the name of the game; because OCPD'rs are anxious (make that, terrified) inside, they seek to control themselves and their environments, to the extent of being thrown into a tizzy if something unexpected occurs - even a good something.

For now, here's your Cliff Notes version.

People who are OCPD may be inwardly-directed: super self-critical, procrastinators, can't make decisions because they are afraid of making a wrong one, or outwardly directed: super-critical of others, seemingly very angry, obsessed with making others follow their Rules to ensure that disaster is averted.  Or have some characteristics of both.

Some people who have OCPD have eating disorders, or try to control the eating of their loved ones.  Some people who have OCPD hoard (though not every person with OCPD hoards, and not every person who hoards has OCPD.)

People with PD's (Personality Disorders) in general have black-or-white thinking, and are usually convinced (and convincing) that they are Right and everyone else is Wrong, about anything and everything.  Over a period of time, we who love them can come to doubt our own world viewpoint, even our own sanity.

Most people who love someone with OCPD (myself included) have not had our amateur diagnosis confirmed.  Our loved one almost always refuses to go into counseling or for diagnosis, because there's absolutely nothing wrong with him/her!  If there's a problem in the relationship, it is all our fault!  It is also, sadly, not unusual for a person who is diagnosed with OCPD to completely deny the diagnosis later on.  So, if you believe or suspect your loved one has OCPD, don't think you can just tell him/her and you'll have this great Light Bulb Moment where they'll "get it" and you can go forward from there.  Often, telling them just makes it worse.

This blog, is not meant to bash those with OCPD.  People who are horrible to deal with when their minds are stuck in "OCPD-ville mode" are often lovely, kind, thoughtful, generous and wonderful people when lucid.  That's why we stay in the relationships, or find them so difficult to leave, or commit to working with our partners who are working on their own issues.

What we find, however, is whether we stay or go, we still have to sort out our own sh-t.  We've formed our own unhealthy, co-dependent behaviors over time, often pre-dating our relationship with an OCPD partner.  In order to become emotionally healthy ourselves, we need to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, our unhealthy patterns in dealing with others, and change them.  We cannot change others, we can only change ourselves.  That's what this blog is about.

Personality Disorder: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Disclaimer: This blog is about my personal journey, and sharing the things I have learned along the way that have been helpful to me. No advice or information presented here is intended to substitute for professional advice or consultation. Seeing a professional counselor, preferring one specializing in personality disorders, is recommended. Even if the Perfectionist Personality refuses to participate (because, after all, there's nothing wrong with him/her!), those who live with such a person can find tremendous relief and clarity from individual counseling.