Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

A support group for those with OCPD and their loved ones.
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 Post subject: Interview request
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:04 pm
Posts: 1
Dear members of this group,

I am a science reporter who has been working with the administrator about seeing whether anyone here would be willing to speak to me about their OCPD. It is for a book I am doing for Simon & Schuster on compulsive behaviors (all kinds, from textbook OCD to anything else), so I am particularly interested in things like the need to follow 'crazy' rules, perfectionism, rituals--any behavior driven by anxiety which you feel compelled to execute. You can be anonymous or not, as you choose. Extra points if you live near NYC and can meet in person, but phone is also fine.

This is to be a serious science book for a general audience. In addition to interviewing scientists and therapists, I am speaking to people who are living with these disorders. The best way to get the world to understand that one can't 'just stop' (as many in the grip of a compulsion are told) is to hear from people themselves about what it's like.

You can check out my work at www.sharonlbegley.com, or I am easily Google-able. Many thanks,

Sharon Begley


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:09 am
Posts: 1083
Dear Sharon,
One of the most perplexing things about OCPD is many individuals who are challenged by this disorder have no self awareness that there is anything amiss with them. So finding actual OCPDer to talk about his/her disorder will probably provide you with the few individuals who have it to a slight degree and have self awareness. Those who have the full blown disorder will most likely be unreachable.I would like to suggest that you read the resources on the main page for this forum and read the anecdotal info shared by the nons who come here for validation for what it is like to live in the OCPD world and not have the disorder.
Best of luck..there is certainly a need for more scientific material about this disorder.

gs


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:53 am
Posts: 64
If you need input from non's, I'd be happy to help out. The more light that is shed on this disorder, the better.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
Let me just add, I am familiar with Ms. Begley and her work, and have been INTENDING to read Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain with reference to this forum for a very long time.

She has been one of my favorite authors for a long time; her articles have also carried much information and clarity without making the reader feel like she is dumbing things down.

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:38 pm
Posts: 1978
sharonreporter wrote:
so I am particularly interested in things like the need to follow 'crazy' rules,
to be clear, unlike with OCD (as far as I understand it,) OCPDrs don't see ourselves following crazy rules but rather responding appropriately to the situation at hand. That thread was named (aptly so, I'd add 8-) ) by non's having to live with this.

Even when I can later see that I was stuck in a rut or in the anxiety when I was doing some compulsive thing, the issue is, as gardensanity so accurately pointed out, the invisibility of the behavior, that it feels right (personality disorders, like all personality, are egosyntonic.) And even if I repeatedly see, in hindsight, that it was a compulsive response, that doesn't change it from feeling right the next time. It took me over a year of knowing what egosyntonic meant to get that knowing it doesn't make the behavior stop being egosyntonic.

The compulsive behavior feels right each time, much as I'd assume being startled at a loud noise or covering your face to protect yourself if something flies your way suddenly, etc., feel like appropriate responses to you.

_________________
'
People do not change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.  ― Freda Lewis-Hall


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 9:56 pm
Posts: 2623
sharonreporter wrote:
The best way to get the world to understand that one can't 'just stop' (as many in the grip of a compulsion are told) is to hear from people themselves about what it's like.


I wanted to note that this tends to be the point where many works about compulsive disorders stop. But for the people close to the person with the disorder, that's old, old news.

If you tell a person living with an alcoholic, "You know, it's not just that he likes the taste of alcohol. He's addicted, and driven to drink," they're not likely to jump up and thank you for the news. They know that. But knowing that doesn't help solve the problem.

If you tell a child who's living with rats and a leaky roof and no heat and a refrigerator full of moldy food, "You know, it's not just that your mother is lazy. She's a compulsive hoarder. She has trouble with getting rid of stuff and with sharing control of the home," they are, again, not likely to say, "Oh, OK. I don't mind sleeping with the rats, then."

The fact that people can't "just stop" is the beginning, not the end, of the discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:01 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:25 am
Posts: 4874
To forum people:
Please ignore this post, you have heard it before.

To Sharon:
While I am very happy that you want to research this issue, I think it will be difficult to gather "data".

Each year my husband has an appointment with his neuro-psychiatrist. At some point, I suggested we go together to find out what is discussed and determine how this doctor is helping him. We have been doing this for perhaps 7-8 years. We sit across from the doctor and I say nothing until I am asked. It always goes the same, the doctor asks how he is doing. DH says I am doing fine, I defer to my wife because she usually has a different view.

And then I list exactly what is going on and what his needs are. His need for medication and dosage is determined by what I share with the doctor. Otherwise, my husband would say everything was fine and come home with no medication.

_________________
Married 10+ years
Diagnosed 18 years ago
Fairly good marriage


“ When people show you who they are, believe them, the first time."
― Maya Angelou


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 7:38 pm
Posts: 329
Location: PNW
It would be a wonderful book if you can find enough OCPD-ers who are aware of their PD and willing to talk to you about it. So many OCPD-ers are not aware of their condition, it's the people around them who are aware and try to manage the situation to the best of their ability. It is very difficult when the nons are supposed to conform to the world of the OCPD-er, which is their reality, but no one else's.

When dealing with my OCPD mom it is a case of "The needs of the OCPD-er out weigh the needs of the family." There is no compromise…it is exhausting being made to subvert your entire being/personality in order to appease her dysfunction. I no longer do it….as I am now No contact with my OCPD mom and EF….it was the ONLY option available to us as her lack of awareness is an impenetrable wall of self denial. There is no getting through to her…no communication….there is only her view, her world and her way of doing things….

_________________
--Escee

Key:
EF--enabling father
ES--enabling sister
FOO--Family of origin
Flying Monkey-- A person who is sent out by the OCPD-er to guilt, harass and hoover you by proxy for the OCPD-er's benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:07 am
Posts: 979
Escee wrote:
It would be a wonderful book if you can find enough OCPD-ers who are aware of their PD and willing to talk to you about it. So many OCPD-ers are not aware of their condition, it's the people around them who are aware and try to manage the situation to the best of their ability.

In a way, I feel that 'aware ocpd'er' is a contradiction in terms. The essence of the problem is the 'unawareness', the inability of the 'inner circle' to penetrate the wall, and even worse, the inability of the ocpd'er him/herself to understand what is going wrong in their life. They know something is wrong and different, and yet there is no way out, trapped in their own mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:47 pm
Posts: 120
So, to be honest with you, this request gave me mixed feelings. One, I am excited at the idea of being interviewed for a book and helping to spread awareness of OCPD. However, the thought of actually talking on the phone to a stranger is enough to make me want to back out. I know it's silly, but I hate talking on the phone. You may get a little more participation if you are ok with submitting an interview via email, and allowing us OCPDers to write out the answers. You may get a better response as I personally can't think very well when I'm "on the spot." You may want to consider that.

_________________
Please forgive me if anything doesn't make sense. I'm currently suffering from pregnancy brain and having difficulty forming good sentences.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:37 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 713
Hi Sharon et al,

I don't know if Sharon's gotten any PMs from any OCPDers yet, but I'm going to bump this post to the top of the message list for a couple of weeks so she might get some more bites. It helps to know the names of the OCPD members are green (except for me), with the "SO"s (significant others) the default color. Most of the involvement in the forum is by the SOs, maybe 90-95% of the posts. OCPDers rarely seek help for OCPD, and when they join here, they rarely stay for very long or participate much. Most of the situations discussed here are not based on a formal diagnosis of OCPD; most are self-diagnosed, or diagnosed by an SO. Maybe 20-30% are based on a formal diagnosis.

OCPDers, I encourage you to consider PMing or emailing Sharon to broach the possibility of some kind of interview about your OCPD. It can be therapeutic to talk about it, or just to learn how someone else sees it. I'd be careful about choosing to reveal personal identifying information, such as your real name.

There is I believe so much misunderstanding and ignorance of what OCPD is, and maybe I shouldn't, but I'm going to try to clear up some of that up now. Some of what I'm saying here are my opinions, although opinions I've held for many years now, based on years of thought, research, and experience.

OCPD is not some form of OCD. It's not OCD-lite. It's not on the O-C spectrum. It's not the personality version of OCD. Despite the name, those with OCPD generally don't suffer from obsessions and compulsions. I find its similarity to the acronym OCD not only unhelpful and misleading, but downright damaging to those with OCPD and their loved ones looking for help not only because of the resulting diagnostic confusion but also because the acronym OCPD is itself a misnomer.

To state it simply, having an overly harsh conscience is both necessary and sufficient for a diagnosis of OCPD. That is, if you have an overly harsh conscience, then you have OCPD. If you don't, then you don't. More specifically, the personality of the OCPDer, from an early age and at a fundamental level, is so constructed that the feeling of guilt is intolerable to him. The feeling of guilt to an OCPDer is like the sun to Dracula, milk to someone lactose-intolerant, or sprinting up the stairs to someone with a lung or heart condition. The feeling of guilt makes him sick. Therefor, he constructs his life to avoid feeling guilt as much as he possibly can. He does this by using techniques such as planning ahead, telling the truth, following the law, following rules, taking on obligations if he feels he must in order to do the job right, lacking spontaneity, flexibility, and initiative, avoiding the unknown or poorly-defined situations, and delaying decisions and/or placing decision-making and responsibility onto others.

Another way to understand it is that personality is like a house. Different houses are constructed differently to withstand different stressors. Some can withstand fire but not an earthquake; a flood but not a fire; an earthquake but not straight-line winds. The house of the personality of an OCPDer can't stand the feeling of guilt. It will make his house collapse, so he avoids it as much as he can. He has other strengths.

To read standard descriptions of OCPD there's little mention of what I've written above. There might be a note about conscience and a passing mention of guilt. The DSM-IV definition begins
Quote:
"[OCPD is characterized by a] pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency".


What a convoluted mess that is. Other writers consider OCPD as a collection of traits that aren't necessarily related, without a hallmark feature. Though last year, finally, the diagnostic expert Stephen Hertler wrote an article on OCPD where he writes:

Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Reviewing the Specificity and Sensitivity of DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria
Steven C. Hertler
Published 7 August 2013
"[I]t seems that conscientiousness is, not surprisingly, a potential hallmark symptom."

Here's a good, one page article on the differences between OCD and OCPD:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: They’re Not the Same
by Amy Scholten, MPH
http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=24697

sharonreporter wrote:
It is for a book I am doing for Simon & Schuster on compulsive behaviors (all kinds, from textbook OCD to anything else), so I am particularly interested in things like the need to follow 'crazy' rules, perfectionism, rituals--any behavior driven by anxiety which you feel compelled to execute.


I wonder if OCPDers do compulsive behaviors. I don't believe they suffer from compulsions. A go-to person for OCD and to a lesser extent OCPD, Naomi Fineberg in the UK gave an interview this year where she addresses this issue, around minute 7:

Expert Interviews: Naomi Fineberg on Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0za3oKruzZs

Quote:
Eric Hollander: Do people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, do they have obsessions, or compulsions?
Naomi Fineberg: Well, not strictly defined if you require the obsessions and compulsions as I said to have this ego-dystonic, this alien quality, but they have intrusive doubts, they have intrusive thoughts, they have repetitive checking, repeating behaviors, needing to get things absolutely correct. So if you broaden the concepts of compulsions and obsessions, they do have disabling repetitive thinking, and behavior patterns, that are disabling.


(I don't see repetitive checking in OCPD, beyond the point of checking that it's right. There may be repetitive thinking, but on a very high level. It's more of a philosophical rut than intrusive thoughts.)

Rituals -- not heard of OCPDers having rituals.

'crazy rules' -- OCPDers may like to do things a certain, set, way, but they feel it's best. I mean, you load the dishwasher too, and do laundry ... do you do it a different way each time, or the same? Consider the jet fighter pilot. On entering the cockpit, he goes through the same steps, in the exact same order, every time. If something odd happens in the sequence, then he starts over again. Is he disordered? He takes a known situation, then uses his mind to apply a set pattern of dozens of actions to the situation, to get to another known situation. Then he's confident in the state of his world as it relates to the state of his mind. It works for him, so what's the problem?

Perfectionism -- Is perfectionism compulsive behavior? Feeling one must, should, ought to do it right, to the highest standard ... is that the kind of compulsivity you're talking about? OCPDers are often perfectionists, that things have to be done "just so". That's to avoid the guilt of doing it wrong. When you're wired to avoid guilt, to avoid doing anything wrong, then feelings and emotions become unimportant. The focus is on the doing, or not doing. It's funny what happens then. In the absence of a feeling or emotion about something, there's no guiding light to know what's important and what isn't. Major issues and minor details are given the same level of importance. Then, the OCPDer will typically take three times longer to do something than someone else. He spends more time than he needs on the minor details, details that others would slough off, and consider "sweating the small stuff". If you ask him if it bothers him how much time he spends on inconsequential details, he'll tell you he doesn't know what's an inconsequential detail, and what's vital. He doesn't feel "compelled" to execute the details, he just doesn't know what's important.

Behavior driven by anxiety which you feel compelled to execute -- OCPDers aren't driven by anxiety, but by a need to avoid doing something that will generate the feeling of guilt. The prospect of feeling guilt may make them anxious, but the guilt is the driving factor. Guilt and conscience are agencies at the very highest levels of the mind, compared to anxiety. They touch on morality and personal values. There's a popular internet article on OCPD by Phillipson:

The RIGHT Stuff
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder: A Defect of Philosophy, not Anxiety​
by Steven Phillipson, Ph.D.
http://www.ocdonline.com/#!the-right-stuff/c1hdb

I mention it because of the title -- OCPD is not an anxiety disorder, but a disorder of a philosophy that says making mistakes is catastrophic -- that the resulting guilt is unacceptable.

Quote:
The best way to get the world to understand that one can't 'just stop' (as many in the grip of a compulsion are told) is to hear from people themselves about what it's like.


Told to 'just stop' -- I don't know there's anything an OCPDer does that they want to stop. They do what they think is right. They don't think there's something wrong with it. For the few aware OCPDers, they may have a vague understanding that their attitude is wrong -- that good material outcomes shouldn't be prized over human kindness, for example. Several OCPDers express the belief, even after getting educated about OCPD, that there's nothing wrong with it. Among several other blogs on OCPD, one blogger considers OCPD a "gift".

If there is something an OCPDer might regret doing, it's being angry with his wife, or nitpicking her, or not appreciating her for who she is, instead imagining who she might be if she only shaped up. But again, those aren't what one would call compulsions or compulsive behaviors.

It's true OCPDers are at the far compulsive end of the "compulsive-impulsive" spectrum. The far impulsive end would be the psychopath. The compulsive personality (OCPD) is all conscience, all brakes on his personality, while the psychopath is no conscience, no brakes. But again, "compulsive personality" doesn't mean compulsions, or even compulsive behaviors. It means a personality that needs to do what they think is right and good, that they should do, ought to do. They carry around a feeling of obligation on their shoulders which is palpable.

If you want to listen to a good interview of an OCPDer, Anthony Pinto did one last year on a podcast, with his patient with OCPD, "John". I put up a transcript here:

viewtopic.php?p=50843#p50843

It's between the minutes 14:00 to 24:00. I particularly like this comment:

Quote:
"[I]t's funny because up until when I was doing treatment I would often find that any time I would be asked how I'm feeling or what my emotions were like I wouldn't know, I would just say "I'm not sure what I'm feeling", or I always had a hard time expressing them."


OCPDers don't know how they feel in the moment. They don't cultivate it, so they don't experience it. If you ask them how they feel, they have no idea. They might take in the words you say, process them, and then the next day be able to say something about how they felt at the time. I never understood how normal people interact emotionally with other people in real time.

So I wonder what will be your experience interviewing someone with OCPD. I don't believe they'll tell you they have any compulsions that they wish to stop. You might have trouble reaching the person inside. They're more likely to operate on the "data" level, listening to your words, and then matching them to patterns in their mind. Like a human version of Google.

Sincerely, Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:29 am
Posts: 90
I would be willing to speak to you, anonymously, of course. But now I am paranoid that you will be tracing my phone number or something. See, OCPD already showing it's sign.

_________________
"There are better rewards in stepping outside of your own comfort, than there are in never breaking down the walls that you've built."


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:17 pm
Posts: 1935
Location: SoCal - 5 yrs moved out/4 1/2 yrs broken up w/6 year live-in with OCPD b-f.
blessedorcursed wrote:
I would be willing to speak to you, anonymously, of course. But now I am paranoid that you will be tracing my phone number or something. See, OCPD already showing it's sign.


Let me encourage you to speak to her. Just got off the phone with her - she is lovely, extremely respectful, and has done enough research to make sense of what you might have to say.

_________________
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anaïs Nin
Follow the latest Scoop: http://www.scoop.it/t/iso-mental-health-wellness
OCPD SO info: http://perfectlyawfulusa.blogspot.com


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:39 pm
Posts: 256
Sharon,

I will let you interview me. Please pm me for logistics when it's convenient.

_________________
Middle-Aged Husband Father OCPD'r Able-to-Change
Cramer : 72
Too Perfect : Buku Yes's
Al Bernstein: 13


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 Post subject: Re: Interview request
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:14 pm
Posts: 350
Ms Begley,

LoveTOM recommended that I contact you. If you would PM me, I would be happy to talk...I am a Non.


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