It is arguable that a lot of us have heard of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at some point in life. Perhaps you know of someone who has this condition, or perhaps you have been diagnosed with it yourself. And while it is beneficial that many of us are somewhat familiar with OCD, I question how many of us are familiar with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).
I’ve mentioned before that I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and I’ve also been diagnosed with OCPD. If you’re wondering what the difference is between OCD and OCPD, don’t worry. I wasn’t sure what distinguished one from the other at first, but the way it was explained to me is that OCPD often accompanies anxiety, and is essentially a milder version of OCD.
Because not many of us are aware of OCPD and how it differs from OCD, I thought I would explain how it impacts me personally in hopes of shining some light on the condition. For me, when my anxiety is high, the OCPD makes its presence known. My OCPD encourages me to doubt myself (the doubt stemming originally from anxiety) and pressures me into checking and re-checking things I know I have done correctly, for example, locking a door. I will temporarily obsess over something and feel compelled to continue checking it until the obsessiveness and compulsiveness have passed.
Anxiety is difficult enough to deal with, but having OCPD play into it as well makes the anxiety itself that much more powerful. It can be very challenging to pull myself out of OCPD behaviour, and I’ve found allowing some time to pass and walking away to distract myself is the most effective way to combat these tendencies.
If you or someone you know has OCPD, I encourage you to chat with them about their condition. It could make a world of a difference for them, and you.