OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER
A person with obsessive compulsive personality disorder is anxious that issues seem out of control or ‘messy’. They are preoccupied with orderliness and ways to control their environment and may come across as a ‘control freak’. Other symptoms include:
Having an excessive interest in lists, timetables and rules.
Being so concerned with completing a task perfectly that they have problems completing it (perfectionist).
Being a workaholic.
Having very rigid views about issues such as morality, ethics and how a person should behave in daily life.
Hoarding items that seem to have no monetary or sentimental value.
Being unable to delegate tasks to other people.
Disliking spending money, as they think it is always better to save for the ‘rainy day’.
This personality disorder differs from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a related mental health condition, in several important ways.
People with OCD are aware their behaviour is abnormal and are anxious about it. Most people with obsessive compulsive personality disorder think their behaviour is perfectly acceptable and have no desire to change it.
Some people with OCD are compelled to carry out rituals, such as having to touch every second lamp post as they walk down the street. This is not usually the case with obsessive compulsive personality disorder.
People with OCD may feel compelled to make lists or organise items in their house but feel anxious about doing so. People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder find relief from anxiety when doing such tasks and may become irritated when prevented from doing so.
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) is a mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.
An obsession is an unwanted, unpleasant thought, or urges that repeatedly enters a person’s mind, causing them anxiety.
The word ‘obsession’ usually describes something enjoyable but in OCD the obsession is unpleasant and frightening.
Compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that someone feels they need to carry out to try to prevent an obsession coming true. For example someone who is obsessively scared they will catch a disease may feel the need to have a shower every time they use a toilet.
The symptoms of OCD can range from mild to severe. For example, some people with OCD may spend an hour or so a day engaged in obsessive compulsive thinking and behaviour. For others, the condition can completely take over their life. Most people with OCD fall into a set pattern of thoughts and behaviours. The pattern has four main steps.
OBSESSION: your mind is overwhelmed by a constant obsessive fear or concern, such as the fear your house will be burgled.
ANXIETY: this obsession provokes a feeling of intense anxiety and distress.
COMPULSION: you adopt a pattern of compulsive behaviour to reduce your anxiety and distress, such as checking all your windows and doors are locked at least three times before leaving the house.
TEMPORARY RELIEF; the compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety but the obsession and anxiety soon return causing the cycle to begin again.
Some common obsessions that affect people with OCD include:
Fear of deliberately harming yourself or others.
Fear of harming yourself or others by mistake or accident.
Fear of contamination by disease, infection or an unpleasant substance.
A need for sympathy or orderliness.
Fear of committing an act that would seriously offend your religious beliefs.
Asking for reassurance.
Needing to confess.
Repeating words silently.
Prolonged thoughts about the same subject.
‘neutralising’ thoughts (to counter the obsessive thoughts).