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 Post subject: OCPD
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:06 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I was diagnosed with this last year and while I went through a lot of phases, I seem to be at a positive place with it. It was definitely a stunner to be told you are being diagnosed with a personality disorder (on top of depression and ADHD), but after that initial sting, it made sense and actually came as a relief. I'm still going through different phases with the new awareness, but I'm finding it's better that I know this about myself. Also...I've gotten to a place where I see the good in this personality as well. There are a lot of things about my personality that are awesome and that make me a good person and friend and employee, but there are also some parts that suck and really affect my life and those are the parts where I need help. The bad parts aren't going to go away. You can't remove parts of your personality. However, you can try and cope with them.

I think it's the "disorder" part of the whole thing that makes it hard to talk about. I sometimes wish I could share this with people, but I worry they will think I'm "crazy" or worse...not take me seriously and just see it as an excuse for my perfectionism. It's a fine line between making excuses for yourself and just trying to share with people so they understand your situation a little more.

Anyone have experience with this diagnosis? Stories to share? It's taken me over a year to share this beyond just my therapist and close friends. I'm considering mentioning it to a friend at work, but I fear the stigma and the misunderstanding. I already feel like depression is so misunderstood as it is. When I say that I deal with depression, people ask what the reason is for my depression. Many folks assume there's a situation or trigger. It's hard to say "oh, nothing really. My life is awesome and I know this, but I'm just sad about it because my brain is forked up."


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
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pickledtreats wrote:
I think it's the "disorder" part of the whole thing that makes it hard to talk about. I sometimes wish I could share this with people, but I worry they will think I'm "crazy" or worse...not take me seriously and just see it as an excuse for my perfectionism. It's a fine line between making excuses for yourself and just trying to share with people so they understand your situation a little more.

Anyone have experience with this diagnosis? Stories to share?


I hope I read it right, but I hate labelling stuff with the "disorder" label too.
When I read the wikipedia entry for ocpd than I think I once could have been labelled that way too.

I certainly don't think you're crazy. I probably wouldn't mention this at work with that label but would say something like "some things are hard for me cause I'm a really real perfectionist"

I'm not sure if it's useful that I type out my whole story, but wouldn't mind to discuss this over a cup of coffee with you some day.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:30 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:06 pm
Posts: 1887
Location: Windmill Central
Veg_Eric wrote:
pickledtreats wrote:
I think it's the "disorder" part of the whole thing that makes it hard to talk about. I sometimes wish I could share this with people, but I worry they will think I'm "crazy" or worse...not take me seriously and just see it as an excuse for my perfectionism. It's a fine line between making excuses for yourself and just trying to share with people so they understand your situation a little more.

Anyone have experience with this diagnosis? Stories to share?


I hope I read it right, but I hate labelling stuff with the "disorder" label too.
When I read the wikipedia entry for ocpd than I think I once could have been labelled that way too.

I certainly don't think you're crazy. I probably wouldn't mention this at work with that label but would say something like "some things are hard for me cause I'm a really real perfectionist"

I'm not sure if it's useful that I type out my whole story, but wouldn't mind to discuss this over a cup of coffee with you some day.


Thanks, Veg_Eric! Yes, the "disorder" part of the term makes it strange. Also, when you say personality disorder people really think of extreme stereotypes. In a way, for myself, I find the diagnosis helpful so I can point to things and say to myself "don't beat yourself up about that...it's part of your thing...just try to figure out how to leverage the good in it, etc."

The challenge with saying you're a perfectionist is that people just see it as something you need to get over or worse, something they resent like "who does she think she is?" It's one of those words that is a part of our general lexicon and people sometimes don't realize how extreme it is for me...and I'm still figuring out how to explain that in a way other than saying "I have a personality disorder."

Coffee sounds awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:13 am 
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Hugs to you, pickledtreats. I'm glad you're in a positive place about the diagnosis and feel comfortable enough to share this with us. I think that talking about it openly and honestly helps to chip away at those persistent stigmas bit by bit.

I've never been diagnosed with a "disorder" like this, but I have definitely wondered sometimes. Reading the wikipedia entry on OCPD, there are definitely quite a few characteristics described that I recognize both in myself and my partner. Some have always just been there at the sidelines, not causing problems, some I've found work-arounds for, some have hampered or are still hampering my functioning (working with a therapist on some of these), and some have (at times) paralyzed me (I've also worked with a therapist on these, at least when they were most acute). I'm definitely not trying to self-diagnose, or to say "I know exactly how you feel"! But I am trying to say, I definitely don't think you're crazy either, and may even be somewhere on the same continuum.

As for letting other people know, I think it's all up to you and your comfort level and how safe you feel in certain situations. I can imagine not wanting to disclose to some people because they wouldn't be open to trying to understand what OCPD is and will just fall back on stereotypes, but I can also imagine there are people who might be a lot more open to it, and are happy to try to understand what it means for you. I suspect it'll be a lot like sussing out when someone is really open to talking about/understanding veganism and when they're just going to be closed minded and combative. At a certain point you get a radar for it. And for those who you don't think will understand, I wonder if you can find some stock phrases/answers for dealing with it, like "I just work a lot better if... (insert need here)" or something like that.

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Ain't no guarantees in life, and nothing that comes out of my vagina can change that. - Erika Soyf*cker

I'd rather have a cupcake and a matte stomach. - Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:00 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I was diagnosed with OCPD alongside with my eating disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
After 2,5 years in intensive therapy (ED treatment and two different therapy groups, one consisting of only girls my age with personality disorders) I am doing A LOT better and my OCPD is basically gone. I never thought I'd reach a point where none of these are really problematic for me at all, but it goes to show that it is not impossible to get rid of unhealthy behaviors. I was really really messed up when I began my therapy, and my therapist told me the last time I saw him that my transformation from when I started was mind blowing. The only thing I can say is that if it is forking up your life, you can change that with the help of professionals. Although it might take more energy than you feel like you can spend on it, in my case it was well worth every single thing I had to do in order to get where I am today. No more eating disorder, no more depressions, no more OCD, no more weird, uncontrollable histrionic behaviors (which, really, were the worst to rid myself of, because they felt like such an important part of my personality).

I don't really know what to say, except I had a really hard time wrapping my head around my diagnosis at first too. But at some point I realized that they are really just a work tool for the professionals to help identify the problem and help you find a reasonable way to deal with it.
My therapist had a really great way to describe what a personality disorder is; imagine life is a puzzle. When you grow up, you need your parents and the people around you to help you connect the puzzle pieces that surround the rest of the pieces, so you have an easier time putting it all together. If you don't get the help you need (as in, your role models don't manage to show you how to do things in a constructive way, or if something traumatizing happens along the way) you will start putting together the pieces yourself as a child, and sometimes you get it messed up and it makes it a lot harder to put together the rest of the pieces. A personality disorder is when the pieces surrounding the puzzle are not put together, and you find a different way to do things than what is really constructive or healthy. He said that therapy helps put together the pieces needed for you to decide how you want to live your life. I felt like that is a very good description of how it all felt to me.
The therapy I was in was cognitive group therapy, so basically the therapists were just sitting there, while us 7 girls talked about everything in our lives, our problems, our unhealthy relationships with people, our hardships and failures, our fears and everything 2 times a week for a full year. We reasoned together and found alternative ways of handling things, forced ourselves to do things in our lives that we feared and that caused panic attacks and messed us up for weeks, we dumped boyfriends and cut contact to family, or contacted family long disconnected, we confronted people who didn't treat us well, we stopped having sex because we felt like that put us in control or started having sex even though it was angst ridden. We cried and we laughed and we all managed to get through the year as more confident adults who are capable of doing the things needed to not fork things up all of the time, or feel like we have to control things. It was extremely intense but every single girl from the group is doing A LOT better than any of us imagined when we started.


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 Post subject: Re: OCPD
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:26 pm 
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I'm really happy that your experience of therapy was positive, smoothie.

I have a couple of obsessive compulsive behaviors that I don't tell people about them as I'm concerned about labelling and stigma. My sister also suffers from them.


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