Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

by Dr Gwyneth Daniel

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is a very common and often hidden problem. It may even be linked with domestic violence where sufferers find they cannot get their own way.

Up to 3% (and possible as many as 10%) of the general population are thought to suffer from this possibly genetic disorder although they may not be aware they do despite feeling something is wrong in their lives. On the whole, though, they believe the problem lies with other people. This does not mean they are incapable of self-diagnosis, however rare this may be.

OCPD appears to run in families, which is why it is often friends, partners or work colleagues who first spot something is amiss.

Dr Daniel has written a short downloadable, completely free, Internet guide so as to raise the profile of OCPD, designed for those who suffer from it and those who know or work or live with a sufferer.

People who suffer from it are not aware, until it is pointed out to them, that they have it, whereas those who have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are well aware all is not well.

If you want to read more about OCPD, click on the links below or here. You are allowed free access to this copyrighted work, so long as all normal copyright laws are respected, in short the authorship of the text fully acknowledged, not plagiarised, nor the text quoted in slabs greater than 200 words without the author's permission through the publisher.

Those who have to live with an OCPD sufferer, called here by Dr Daniel a 'Tightrope Walker', might be relieved to see that they are not alone in their dilemma: What to do about and how to survive living with someone who might be lovable, fun, a bit of a maverick, yet is clearly not at ease in her or his world unless other people do what he or she wants. A nice enough person, but very hard indeed to cope with, thanks to their behaviour (see below and on the cover here).

Tightrope Walkers are often described as cold and remote and 'perfectionist'. Not necessarily. They can be sloppy about all kinds of things and quite fiery. The problem with the professional diagnostic criteria and some of the descriptions offered by these practitioners, thorough and good scientists though they surely are, is that these people may never have seen a Tightrope Walker on home ground at close quarters – in the house or car or at work.

The message boards on the Internet give a quite different picture in certain key areas to do with the way Tightrope Walkers present themselves to those closest to them, when they are not on their 'best behaviour'. When I first, as a professional myself, read the diagnostic checklist, I did not recognise the people I now know suffer from OCPD. Left out were anger and violence, attentiveness to loved ones, the regular lapses into depression, and the sheer wackiness of some of the crazy rules they invent. Left out too was the terrible strain on a family of keeping up with obsessive tidiness and giving enough attention to nitpicking detail around the house and garden or on money questions.

Tightrope Walkers can be fiery, passionate, tender and caring, great lovers even, but always with that sense of being out of reach emotionally. They don't open up easily, and they can become incandescently angry if they don't get their way.

The things to look out for, among many other characteristics, are these:

Insists her or his views are always RIGHT

Must be in control

Rigid and stubborn

Reluctant to let other people do things they 'do better'

Sometimes hard to get on with

Can't see other people's point of view

Nitpicking over detail

Money conscious to the point of extreme stinginess

To see the book cover, click here

To read Dr Daniel's free Internet-version book, click below: