Since I was 11, I have gone to a counselor because of my OCD. I had a lot of the "standard" stuff: hand washing, obsessive about cleanliness, and over-anxiety. When I was 14, I switched counselors to one who was probably not as good (My Mom's decision, not mine). Eventually, I got to the point where we thought that I was "good enough", and didn't need counseling. It has been a couple years since then, and now, I don't have as many of the same obsessions as I did back then, or the same type of anxiety.
Instead, what I DO have are tendencies for perfection, control, and cleanliness. I am obsessed with intellect, and want to reach my maximum potential. Of course, this has led to anxiety, unhappiness, feeling let down, and all of that lovely stuff that accompanies reality. The past school year was not good... I got perfect grades, but so much of my time was spent on a few particular classes that I hardly did much else. Though I like learning now, I used to hate it and now feel as if my academic career has been forever tainted because of all the time lost in my past doing pointless things, and because my parents never encouraged intellect. I often think about how lucky (what IS luck?) some of my friends/relatives (who are seemingly so much more intelligent) are, because they grew up in an atmosphere so conducive to learning.
Doing a reasonable amount of research on-line to figure out what has happened to me, I have come to the conclusion that I must have developed OCPD. When I read the descriptions of the symptoms, I was deeply disturbed to realize that they fit me nearly perfectly. Even more disturbing to me was learning that people with OCPD don't have the realization that their thoughts are irrational. Looking back, I couldn't seem to find many instances in the past year of what I would call "irrational OCD", or instances where I could say "It's not me, it's my OCD". But thinking more carefully, I realized that some of the OCD tendencies from a while ago have morphed into tendencies now, just without the feeling that they are wrong. (For example: being obsessively annoyed with dog hair. I feel that it is obvious that no one would like dog hair, and have a large amount of anger/frustration because of our dog that sleeps in the garage)
Unfortunately, I am irritated by every member of my family so much that if I could afford to move to a place by myself, I would do it gladly in an instant. They used to be somewhat helpful when it came to my obviously quirky obsessions, but they seem to have almost forgotten that I even have a problem! My father has OCPD (he is not willing to admit this, but it is obvious to the rest of us), and I have grown up disliking him greatly for his grumpiness/anger and inability to get anything done. My mother used to try to understand how I was feeling, which I appreciated, but for the past while she has barely tried to talk to me at all about how I feel. Perhaps this is because of my growing irritation with everything, sadly including her. She has set an appointment to visit the first counselor though, which I hope will be of some use. As for siblings, (no girls, both older than me) they are a wearisome burden, especially because they do not care about cleanliness, and have their own psychological problems to deal with (often unhappy).
I never have had many friends, partly because I was home-schooled most of my life, and partly because now that I go to High School, I haven't been able to find anyone that I would like talking to very much. I would love someone to talk to that would simply understand (wouldn't we all?), but so far nobody. I cannot talk to my family. At present, it feels like I can't escape, that my mind will be my prison forever, that my life has been destroyed forever by my parents (OCPD is the result of coldness/lack of family warmth, according to several articles.), and that I have no one to truly understand how I feel...
Anyone gone through this kind of thing? How does one fight part of one's own personality?
I am 17 now. Having OCPD destroys ones mind, happiness, and productivity. (I know from experience- it also makes others hate you) I do NOT want to follow my father's path, but I seem to be following it regardless of my wishes.
Any ideas are welcome
Sorry for the long and rambling post...
Last edited by Sisyphus I; 06-14-2012 at 05:50 PM.
First of all, don't give up on yourself so easily. You make your own choices in life and how it turns out is up to you. Your life is not decided by your parent's life. You are smart enough to realize what is wrong. You have looked it up. You can get help for it. Did your dad ever get help? Does he even realize what is wrong with himself?
Also, don't give up on finding a friend that you can talk to. They are out there. Your life doesn't have to follow any set guidelines or rules. Start out talking about common topics. Then bring up having OCPD. Explain what it is to them. You don't have to go into detail. See how the person reacts. You can always stop sharing there.
I am 36 years old. I still don't have anyone I can call a friend. I know people but, can I talk to them about anything? No. I'm not giving up on trying though. I know somebody out there is having the same problems I am. Please don't think you will turn out like me either. My choices have led to where I am now and I can honestly say that I still feel there is a light. It doesn't help that I didn't even know about OCD until about five years ago. I just thought all my problems were quirks.
My family also does not understand. Ask yourself this, how easy is it for someone to understand something that is completely foreign to them? Don't hold it against them. They just don't know what you are going through. It is good that they are willing to get you someone to talk to. If the person that you see doesn't work, find someone else. There are tons of people out there that specialize in OCD. You don't have to stick with your first pick.
A couple of things to think about that might help:
Have you ever thought of keeping a journal? Maybe keeping track of the time you spend studying will help you to realize when it becomes too much. Sure, getting good grades is great. It isn't everything in life though.
You may not be able to talk to you family but, they can still see when you start doing stuff like obsessing over the studying. Have one of them call you on it. You don't have to have a long discussion. Just ask them that if they see something like this happening, to please let you know.
Check out groups in the area. Are there any for people that suffer with OCD or OCPD? Call and ask a counselor. You can even try talking to your guidance counselor at school to see if they know.
Heck, put up a sticky note where you can see it regularly and remind yourself not to work more than a certain amount each day.
Try to think of stuff that will break the habits you have gotten yourself into. Maybe decide that since it is summer you are not going to study at all. Then don't. Maybe start playing a sport. Do something that causes your mind to concentrate on something else.
I am not an expert in OCD. I don't have OCPD. I can only say that these are thoughts I had when I read what you described. I hope one of them helps.
Finally, don't worry about the dog hair. Ask yourself whether there is a reason you don't like it. If there is, then you may have a basis for not liking it. I personally do not like animals in the house at all. I don't like litter boxes. I don't like pet hair getting into your food. I don't like flees. I can keep going. Do I think this is my OCD? No. This is the way I feel about animals in the house. I don't obsess over it. I don't even freak out when I go to someones house that does have animals. I can always clean up when I get home.
Just remember. Don't give up. There is help out there. There are message boards you can post on. There are people just like you that are willing to listen and help. I find writing out my problems and posting them on message boards to be very therapeutic.
The Following User Says Thank You to JL3 For This Useful Post: Sisyphus I (06-26-2012)
Firstly, thank you for your post. You are correct; posting my thoughts and feelings does seem to have a therapeutic effect. Thank goodness for the internet! That and having talked the the psychiatrist seem to have lessened the anxiety/trapped feeling. Looking back now at my previous post, I must have been in a pretty bad mood then; most days aren't that bad thankfully!
After talking to the psychiatrist and doing more research online, I have to withdraw some of what I posted earlier; I most likely do NOT have OCPD. I have some of the symptoms (because OCD and OCPD kind of overlap), but if it were true OCPD, I would not even realize that I had much of a problem (there are several other more complicated reasons that tell me I probably don't have true OCPD). I have to conclude that it was over-anxiety, and some hypochondriasis (which is apparently common in people with OCD). So, it is a big + that I don't have OCPD; OCD is much easier to treat!
Regarding my father: Yes, he has gotten help. To his credit, he has improved some. It's a forest through the trees kind of thing; he realizes that he has a little something wrong with him, but he won't/can't see the main problem. I suppose that is one of the many places that I will have to learn patience.
I like your idea of keeping jounal... not only would that help relieve some of the frustration, but years from now I can look back and laugh at myself.
Again, thank you for your support/ideas. Just knowing that there is a place like this forum to go to is extremely helpful!
I agree with you completely about how helpful it is to know there is a place like this. For me, just being able to read through others problems and post helps remind me that I am not completely losing my mind at times. I can set down and ask for help or get lost in helping others. It takes my mind off of what is currently bothering me and breaks my train of thought. After posting and reading for a while, I am usually good to go again.
I am also really glad that the person you are seeing is helping. Just keep up the good work and don't worry about panicing. We have all felt it or wouldn't be checking out these boards to start with. If this is where you need to come to work out your problems and worries then this place is helping.
@Sisyphus, I understand what you are going through exactly, I feel the same way. I've been diagnosed with anorexia and depression, as well as OCPD and I think it's come out as a result of both my anorexia and depression, as well as my personality. I've always been the type A personality and am obsessed with being perfect in every area of my life, which invariably leads to me feeling like a failure. How are you getting on?
@Sisyphus I, I have quite a similar situation to yours. I have OCD and I am pretty certain that I have OCPD and it's interesting that you say you now say you probably do not have OCPD. Can I ask what made you change your opinion on your self-diagnosis? When you say that if you did actually have OCPD, you wouldn't realise you had of a problem, what is that in reference to? As in, reference to OCD, obsessions, their personality, etc.
Any help would be much appreciated!