Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Support Group

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 Post subject: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:20 pm
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Hello Everyone,
I'm no longer in a relationship with an OCPD Person, but I wanted to ask others; do you feel like the heart of this disorder there lies a significant amount of insecurity and major fear? I have heard about the anger and rage but there's more to it than that. Although I got out of the relationship quickly, I'm still reeling from the dizziness of it all!

Please share your opinions and experiences with me; I'd like to know I'm not the only one who left an OCPD person but is still trying to make sense out of the madness & Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde personality.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:37 pm 
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Yes. Abject fear and raging insecurity. Matched well with sever control and rigor. Spiced with anger :)


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:05 am 
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Yes, there is a very deep fear of being 'mad', feeling that they do not have control over their own brain/thoughts. There is something wrong but they cannot find the cause, it looks like it somewhere out in the woods and only rarely do they realize it comes from within their own thought processes. They try to regain that control and gradually feel they are successful at that through applying rigorous discipline. Anything that threatens to upset the applecart is attacked fiercely or completely denied or both. Ranting has a soothing effect after a prescribed period and calms them down. JADEing does not work because the logical thought processes have been ran over a couple of thousand times and are deep ruts that cannot accept a different interpretation.

Something like that.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:31 am 
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A definite yes to Git and BG's descriptions with a dollop of righteous indignatio


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:02 pm 
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Hi Can't take anymore,

Can't take anymore wrote:
Hello Everyone,
I'm no longer in a relationship with an OCPD Person, but I wanted to ask others; do you feel like the heart of this disorder there lies a significant amount of insecurity and major fear? I have heard about the anger and rage but there's more to it than that.

Thanks.


I also appreciate what git and bg have written. Yes, there is fear and anger in OCPD. Psychoanalysis says OCPD is a defense against "aggressive urges" that need to be controlled. I also think of what Sharon Ekleberry wrote, that OCPDers are "outwardly compliant, inwardly defiant", and outside they are "dependent" while inside they are "psychopathic". On the outside they go through the motions, but on the inside they've never really socialized. They think, do, and understand things in their own way. They hardly accept anything from the outside world. They have a fear that if they "let themselves go", stop controlling themselves, then they're going to go out and rape and loot and pillage and murder half the people in the county. Their inner rigidity, if it's challenged or stops working for them, then rather than bending it tends to shatter into anger.

I ran into this quote about OCPD on the internet the other day --

Quote:
We might hypothesize that the neurological regions of the limbic system associated with the expression of fear and anger may be unusually dense or well branched among these patients; these conflicting dispositions might underlie the hesitancy, doubting, and indecisive behaviors seen in these patients (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 530).


I had to smile when I read this, not because it's necessarily false, but that it's more of an explanation along the lines of "maybe he was dropped on his head as a child", or, as in the early days of medicine, attributing disease to bad humors, or demons.

To say OCPD is driven by or based on fear and anger seems to me to ignore or minimize the higher functions such as conscience and ego (conscious mind) which dominate the OCPDer's mental life. Are we really going to say the OCPDer's generally high intelligence, reliance on his ego to understand and solve problems, and his harsh conscience, are driven by the lower limbic functions? To me that's an example of the "tail wagging the dog". It ignores the "P" in OCPD. Sure, fear and anxiety may well drive disorders such as OCD and panic attacks and some of the other psychiatric disorders. But in OCPD I think we need to give the contribution of the higher cortical functions their due.

Sincerely, Paul


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:21 pm 
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OCPDmanager wrote:
To say OCPD is driven by or based on fear and anger seems to me to ignore or minimize the higher functions such as conscience and ego (conscious mind) which dominate the OCPDer's mental life. Are we really going to say the OCPDer's generally high intelligence, reliance on his ego to understand and solve problems, and his harsh conscience, are driven by the lower limbic functions? To me that's an example of the "tail wagging the dog". It ignores the "P" in OCPD. Sure, fear and anxiety may well drive disorders such as OCD and panic attacks and some of the other psychiatric disorders. But in OCPD I think we need to give the contribution of the higher cortical functions their due.

I just don't feel this way. Maybe the limbic system is driving the cognitive behavior that's going on in the first place. I'm just not sure I can trust my perception of things to really grasp what's going on. Sure it's a big part of the picture, but it's like trying to see the whole elephant from inside the elephant rather than even as one blind man feeling part of it. The only way to get at a distorted context is to get outside that context itself; we can't do it by using the context itself.

Also, the spinning cognitive stuff seems so, if not driven by at least rooted in, emotions - fear, anger, anxiety. Sure you could say it creates those emotions in the first place and I couldn't argue that as I just don't know.

OCPD just doesn't seem to be about my conscious mind at all, but other stuff driving the bus that I'm just now learning to get at and learn to be conscious of. The big deal with OCPD is being unaware of it - which surely can't really be described as conscious, in any meaningful way at least.

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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:27 pm 
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I had a very short term relationship with a suspected OCPDer and I still am here so you are not alone...It has been a year and I still think about it a lot but thankfully from a detached view now...it took a long time to become unemotional about it and mostly because you feel so badly for the OCPDer but you know that it all boils down to them or you. Very sad.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Im going to throw something into this pot that requires a certain amount of imagination. What if something so frightening or traumatic happened to achilds developing psyche that the mind had to block it out entirely from the memory base. A splitting off of this part of the psyche containing the memory takes place and a separate personality is then created to continue a relatively normal trauma free existence. We then have one body, one mind but 2 personalities. The personality containing the trauma is triggered into existence whenever anything remotely resembling the memory/s occurs. The person/ality created to manage and function normally and successfully would be a great pains to avoid triggers without actually knowing why as they are not aware of the trauma as it exists in their other personality. All they know is that when these triggers occur they feel out of control and emotionally and physicslly unstable (anxiety). The only way to recover from this feeling of insecurity would be to identify the trauma in the alternate personality and encouraging a merging into one. This might account for the Jeckel and Hyde phenomena of OCPD? Just a possible theory as the mind, body and psyche are far more complex then we think. Its difficult to get your head around if you have a fully formed psyche based on a sound and loving early childhood but atrocities occur in what appear to be a normal household to sensitive and intelligent children who respond in different ways.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Posts: 988
Hi SOF,

I do not believe there is a lot of evidence for this traumatic event. OCPD for one seems to run in families. Also, the outcome is remarkably similar all over the world; that does not seem too likely in case of the traumatic event as cause. A 'prototype' for ocpd in literature is a Kenyan woman. I fear ocpd is at base depressingly simple: some biochemical compound providing some 'natural calm' to most of us is 'underdosed', and intelligent children find that thoroughly thought out rules calm these frightening thoughts. Not all that different from our normal learning procedure, we all learn through detecting cause-effect rules and use them to avoid unpleasant experiences. But turned up far higher; just because it soothes the brain. And then we come along, the SO they love and that cause 'sooothing' all by just being there. And then,, afterwards, we need to continue providing that soothing, by following the same rules of course that provide soothing to them. Things going wrong are very upsetting, and their SO seems to be at the root of most things going wrong (anyway, it is far less disturbing if you are to blame, otherwise tehy need to go through some gruelling self-examination again).

I fear ocpd is just about calming a brain that always sends out alarms...


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:30 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.
belgianguy wrote:
I do not believe there is a lot of evidence for this traumatic event. OCPD for one seems to run in families. Also, the outcome is remarkably similar all over the world; that does not seem too likely in case of the traumatic event as cause. <snip>
I fear ocpd is just about calming a brain that always sends out alarms...

Agreed. Of course, there is no reason why someone genetically predisposed to have OCPD could not ALSO have had a traumatic childhood event. And bad/harsh/ineffective parenting might make OCPD coping mechanisms/habits worse, rather than mitigating them.

But my ex, and many other SO's, and plenty of greenies on this board, do NOT relate a traumatic childhood event. Some even relate a calm, loving, nurturing family. And yet, ocpd still exists.

But it is possible that a traumatic effect that happens to a child can impact his/her grandchildren. (This article has been shared before, but it's still a goodie.)

http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/13 ... biUs5zahEE

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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:22 pm 
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Hi Francie,

Francie wrote:
I just don't feel this way.


:|

I think I do appreciate what you're saying, to a point. For me it relates to an insight I've had over the years that comes and goes, which is, what the OCPDer (myself included) often doesn't understand is it isn't the CONTENT of his thoughts that matters. That is, sometimes, understand your thoughts don't matter. What matters is how you VIEW your thoughts, regardless of their contents. How you view them, such as, are they objectively true, are they an opinion, preference, or desire. And how do you TAKE your thoughts. Do you take them as something to consider, ponder, and analyze, or are they "finished" in themselves? And all this, about how you view, or take, your thoughts, has nothing to do with their content.

I know one theme you repeat in your posts is your mind is guilty of distorted thinking. Cognitive distortions. (*bzzzzzzzt* ! :) ) So you have a pretty good understanding, that I don't think I have, that your mind can't be relied on. That your mind is itself a problem.

Now, the issue of, where do things start with us -- in the conscious mind, or, deeper, in the unconscious mind, or even, lower, like in the fear and anger of the limbic system. When you talk about the spinning cognitive stuff -- which I'd call repetitive patterns, of obsessive thinking, getting stuck in a rut ... that certainly doesn't seem like a mind that's in control of itself.

Yet, understand how valuable the conscious mind is. It's what separates man from animals, man as both life and life aware of itself. Where would you be without your mind? It reminds me of what Karl Malden used to say about the American Express card -- "don't leave home without it". Is there anything to compare to the conscious mind of Man? Conquering the elements, building cities, technology ... this isn't the work of the lower instincts. And if OCPD were driven by the more primitive parts of the brain, then why aren't there any drugs (or any drugs for any personality disorder, for that matter) that would help him get or feel better?

As a thought experiment, let's suppose the pathology in OCPD is rooted deeper than in the conscious mind. Then, what's the proper role of the conscious mind to get the person onto the road to a more healthy personality? If in OCPD it's not in control, is there a way to pass more control to it?

I wonder if there's an issue of semantics too. In OCPD the ego, the conscious mind, does so much of the work of living. Everything has to be thought out. So if it's not in control, then, still, it does seem to do an awful lot of the work.

I have my own answer to the question posed above. :) In OCPD I think the conscious mind is occupied with such things as planning ahead, finding the truth of a situation, finding and working to create the "one best way" to do things. The problem is, often this isn't practical, because circumstances change too quickly for such rigid patterns of "right action" to work. Things change, and then the pattern fails, and the OCPDer has to go back to square one to again find the "best" pattern.

So to me the key to a better use of the conscious mind in OCPD is that the same agency that plans ahead and makes patterns can instead be used as a kind of witness or watcher, in what's now commonly called "mindfulness". It can plan ahead in detail, or be mindful, but it can't do both. It has a choice.

It's funny, though we seem to use our conscious mind a lot, we seem to do it mindlessly. If that makes any sense! We plan out patterns that we then follow mindlessly, like a robot. It's almost like we WANT to be mindless, to find the right pattern, and then follow it mindlessly. It's just not workable. Life doesn't work like that, unless you're a computer programmer, or spending life in prison, or some other rather unchangeable thing. But, even computers change, programming languages change, computer systems are replaced by other, newer systems. And in prison, I suppose the guards and other inmates around you might change. You might be transferred to another prison. Your routine might change. Who knows. As long as we're alive, patterns that we plan out in advance are likely going to fail, sooner or later.

So I kind of understand what you're saying. I still object to not having a powerful role for the conscious mind in self-treatment of OCPD. If you just say, "I can't rely on my mind", then, what's next?

Sincerely, Paul


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:43 pm 
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. There were just so MANY symptoms he had of OCPD; he couldn't stand "CHANGE", he had to always be in control of EVERYTHING! He would have moments of pure jabbing at me over one thing after another to the point he would almost hyperventillate. And then he would have moments of what appeared to be normalcy but they were fleeting. I took the test for him here to see what I know he wold have scored and it was 87%.

I broke up with him many times in the beginning but he would always want me back and find a way to convince me I needed to give him time to change. I excused his behavior and chalked it up to him living alone all his life; I finally figure out why he had been living alone because no one would be able to live with him. That's when I discovered OCPD and BINGO! I knew I had to leave for myself, there was nothing I could do to help him, he didn't want to admit he had a problem and even if he did, he would never be able to change it. He loved trying to guilt trip me though! He had some excellents skills at diversion tactics and redirecting blame or responsibility or changing the subject or suddently needing to go to a meeting. I feel sorry for him; he'll grow old alone and there won't be anyone there for him.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:01 am 
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Hi ...

I've just discovered this disorder ... OCPD.

My BF has this, I think. He hasn't been diagnosed (I haven't even talked to him about it yet), but, this all sure does sound familiar.

To start with, D can be the most caring, gentle, intelligent, sensitive person I've ever know. I love him in every way possible. Not only that, but I'm indebted to him ...

I've had my own problems with having an anxiety disorder (agoraphobia, which was severe and longstanding). I met D online and we talked almost every day for almost three years before meeting. He only lived about 80 miles away, but I was housebound with agoraphobia at the time. Also, I was (and continue to be) about 20 lbs over my ideal weight and hesitated meeting him for all that time. I'd been married to a gay man for years, which hadn't helped my self esteem at all (OMG, is this my life story ... really???).

Oh, and I'd gotten dependent on anti-anxiety meds, to top it all off and had to go through a long and brutal withdrawal.

D was always there for me. Always. Not only did I talk to him almost every day, he would send me postcards and gifts and trinkets from wherever he was traveling with his job. He took his computer with him traveling and would Skype with me from different places, even airports, so I could see different places. There was always something to look forward to and he made me want to become part of the world again. I don't know that I would have started my own recovery if it weren't for him.

He's so gentle In the summer, he catches moths first thing in the morning and lets them out so they won't die inside. He worried about the painted turtle a little girl caught at a local lake. Of course, she should have put it back in the lake for the sake of the turtle. He seemed to really empathize with the plight of the turtle. His cat is taken care of royally ... the right food, he's always trying to figure out what's best for the cat.

I'm still not driving long distances because I'm still recovering from the agoraphobia, so he comes to see me every weekend. He works two jobs (full time sonography during the week, then a part time Saturday job) and after his Saturday job ends, he drives out to see me and stays until Sunday evening. He buys me presents, leaves gas money when he thinks I might run short (he hides it when I refuse). We went to a botanical garden once and I said how much I liked the hydrangeas ... two days later he sent me a pic of the two most beautiful lace cap hydrangeas in the back of his convertible. He brought them out the next weekend and planted them for me. I was stunned. It was such a tender gesture that I just cried when I saw the pic he sent. It still makes my chest hurt to think about it.

I love this man more than anyone I've ever known and he's truly wonderful in SO many ways. He's been generous with his time, his efforts, his energy, his concern ... everything. He's scrupulously honest, a hard worker, and tries his level best to meet whatever obligations he feels are his.

I'd always known he could be uptight and be irritable sometimes. Not a temper, but he would just get frustrated and not be totally overt with it, but just .. prickly sometimes. Usually it's some minor thing. Like we could be driving somewhere and he always expects me to know where we're going and know the directions ... but I've taken a wrong turn every once in a while. This really irritates him. And when I say irritate, I mean he can be smiling and happy and then when I say, "Oh, I think I told you a wrong turn back there, we need to turn around," he will grip the steering wheel and jerk the car around if he's the one driving.

Because he's so wonderful, it's always shocking when there seems to be genuine anger after something so trivial.

I've never been physically perfect enough, either. He hadn't had a lot of success or experience in the romance department and had had sex like maybe 100 times in his life (he was close to 50 at that point).

So ... gawd, this is a long story ... and I feel like there are so many good things about him. I'll try to condense.

I came looking for reasons why our sex life isn't working as well as it should be. He's very affectionate and is cuddly and touchy, but not very sexual. Because of my past experience with the gay husband, I did pay attention to this and he's definitely not gay. He has a very specific feminine ideal ... Naomi Watts comes to mind lol. But also Valerie Bertinelli, who is pretty much like I am as far as weight and shape (VB 2 years after Jenny Craig!).

Anyway, everything fits. I mean, everything.

I love this man and I sincerely think he loves me. Would he do everything he does if he didn't? But in addition to being this wonderful person (and did I mention he's unusually handsome, too? ... he has the most beautiful brown eyes which can be the calmest most sincere I've ever seen ... and he goes to the gym all the time and his body is stunning) ...

... he also has almost every symptom listed for OCPD. The rigid thinking, his emotions are stilted, he talks in a monotone or robotic voice sometimes, he can't stand change, he's very sensitive to smell (he buys me Lever soap all the time and I think it's because he doesn't like how I smell ... I'm very clean, btw), he obsesses over his laundry and if it smells fresh enough ... I've teased him before and called him "finicky" and "squeamish" and blamed it on him being a Virgo lol. He's a loner and has never socialized much.

His mother was raped and murdered many years ago. He was only 21 and in the Air Force. It was devastating for him.

As well, his father left his mother when D was only a couple years old. D's father died recently in another state, after never making contact with him. D had tried to contact him, but his father refused. He was in his 80s and the obit said he'd died with "no known survivors."

Not only that, but when D was little, his mother moved in with D's maternal grandmother and her husband. The step grandfather didn't like kids, so D could never sit at the kitchen table. He ate dinner by himself on his bunk bed. Even today, he eats in his car at work and never seems to sit down and relax while eating. I'm always so happy when he's here and I can make dinner and we sit at the table together.

D's joked before often that he feels like an alien. I think (no, I KNOW) he's very lonely. He has one friend from high school and two ex GFs from years ago that are his friends today. And me. Just last weekend, he said, "What would my life be like without you?"

As you might guess, I have my own issues and don't always relate in the best or most ideal way. And I have my own fairly intense insecurities in addition to the anxiety disorder. But, except for physical perfection, I'm what D has always wanted. I'm kind, thoughtful, artistic and creative ... I'm a painter and writer ... and we're very much compatible in our life goals and what we want. We've both said we see ourselves together when we're old.

Anyway ... I'll repeat it again, I love this man with all my heart.

How can I approach the possibility that he has OCPD with him in a way that's sensitive and not accusing or not threatening?

And even more importantly, what's the prognosis for OCPD? I'm willing and happy to help him in whatever way that would be possible. Agoraphobia is thought to be pretty intractable, but with his love and support (and some dietary changes!) I've made an enormous amount of progress. I want to do the same thing in return for him.

What's the best thing to do to help someone with OCPD?

Thanks in advance for any insight :).

Sorry for the rambling length, too, I hope I made sense ... as Pascal said, "If I'd had more time I'd have written a shorter letter!"


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:11 am 
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hi Paul, you have a lot of interesting ideas and thoughts in here.

Quote:
When you talk about the spinning cognitive stuff -- which I'd call repetitive patterns, of obsessive thinking, getting stuck in a rut ... that certainly doesn't seem like a mind that's in control of itself.
it's not at all in control, that's for sure :D "the mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master"

Quote:
And if OCPD were driven by the more primitive parts of the brain, then why aren't there any drugs (or any drugs for any personality disorder, for that matter) that would help him get or feel better?
If that were indeed the case...then maybe it's because we don't know enough about the brain yet. Maybe because neuroscience is in its infancy. Maybe because pd's are the result of some interplay among various things that we haven't really gotten nearly familiar enough with.
There are plenty of illnesses, physical and mental, we don't have drugs to treat, or that don't respond to drugs, or that we don't know much about. SSRI's are considered to be more precise than earlier anti-depressants and I've heard them described as about as precise as taking a bath to clean under your fingernails. And many people don't respond to them, and that's a further unknown. It's not like much of this stuff has been really figured out or nailed down.

Quote:
As a thought experiment, let's suppose the pathology in OCPD is rooted deeper than in the conscious mind. Then, what's the proper role of the conscious mind to get the person onto the road to a more healthy personality?
Learning to be more aware, learning to make more conscious choices. Learning to identify our unconscious choices - for example reacting compulsively, being rigid, being unable to change in response to a changing premise/plan/world - and bring those into our conscious awareness. To expand our consciousness.

Quote:
I still object to not having a powerful role for the conscious mind in self-treatment of OCPD.
well I would object to that too. All I have (potential) control over is my conscious mind. I think that treatment of OCPD is about expanding our consciousness - through paying attention, learning to see more of the choices we make unconsciously and bring them into our conscious awareness, and learning to question our thoughts, rather than just believing them to be true.
At some point we'll know more about what's behind it and maybe have different ways to treat it. But discounting the possibility of a neurological connection just because we haven't found it yet seems short-sighted based on how little we seem to know about how our brains work - lack of information isn't equivalent to negative information, it's just an unknown.

Quote:
If you just say, "I can't rely on my mind", then, what's next?
Using real world results. Asking myself if I'm getting the results I want. Checking for evidence that my beliefs or thoughts are true.
Learning to get beyond the black and white - beyond, if it's not this, then it must be that. That's a false dichotomy. There's so much we don't know. We can rely on our minds for many things - but it takes work to really get at observing how we can rely on them and when we need to look outward, to other people, to physical evidence, results in the world.

I see our brains as hugely complex tools that we as humans in our current state are very new to. And human lives today are a result of how our particular state of evolution is able and unable to grasp how to use them. Nothing is certain or final or complete. We were just born here into this random place in time and evolution.

I think this xkcd works well here :) :

Image

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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: OCPD and insecurity - Has to be in control constantly
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:55 am 
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I have just solved a SUDOKU puzzle right now and got the - admittedly tiny - 'rush of satisfaction' that I managed it. A bit of calming down. In more exciting circumstances, the big EUREKA rush.

The brain can be as high functioning as needs be, the basic 'reward system' comes from lower levels. A 'good thought' is rewarding in and of itself, soothes, for us nons as well. What if you need more of that than the average person, would you then not have the need the think those good thoughts more than average. A tiny disruption from a good thought will diminish the 'reward', like a small spelling mistake will diminish the value of a quote, more so for people sensitive to spelling.


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