Anxiety Disorders - Does OCD, or OCPD fit me?

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16 Dec 2006, 3:13 pm

I happened to stumble upon information on OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder), and I did some research on it (mostly at wikipedia as a lot of the websites merely talked about the extremes). Do either of these sound like me?

Some things I've noticed is I fit a lot of things, including a generalization on the anxiety disorders page about fear and anxiety being the same for people with many forms. I didn't even know there was anything different about the feelings for 'normal' people up other than the cause of it up until now :P
If I'm scared, I become very anxious, which often leads me to irratibility and fatigue. IE, if I become too anxious, I usually end up needing to take a nap, which I always thought was odd.

Some things about OCD page and me:

  • "The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems."
    I end up worrying about lots of little things a lot.
  • "The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action."
    If I hear a noise I don't like (fingernails on chalkboard type thing, or I squeak my shoe on smooth ground), I tend to stamp my foot down or make a type of muffled noise to get rid of the thought.
  • "The person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind."
    I guess this is just normal - I know there's not a UFO beaming thoughts into my head.
  • "The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive."
    The acts make sense to me - in the example I said above, the muffled noise gets into my memory where I was thinking about the bad noise, and replaces it (usually).
  • "In addition to these criteria, at some point during the course of the disorder, the sufferer must realize that his/her obsessions or compulsions are unreasonable or excessive. Moreover, the obsessions or compulsions must be time consuming (taking up more than one hour per day), cause distress, or cause impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (Quick Reference from DSM-IV-TR, 2000). OCD often causes feelings similar to that of depression."
    My "obsessions" if you could call it that (more like abnormal disturbances) aren't time consuming. Usually the compulsions would last less than 10 seconds and then I'm fine.
  • In Common Symptoms section: "Repeated hand-washing."
    I often wash my hands a lot if they seem a bit dirty or don't feel right, in situations most other people are fine.
  • "Specific counting systems — e.g. counting in groups of four, arranging objects in groups of three, grouping objects in odd/even numbered groups, etc."
    Sometimes I'm paranoid about counting systems, but any compulsions are usually very short-lived and I probably won't act on them unless I purposely think about it too hard.
  • "Perfectly aligning objects at complete, absolute right angles, etc. This symptom is shared with OCPD and can be confused with this condition unless it is realized that in OCPD it is not stress-related."
    Much like above - the compulsions to line up things are often short-lived and I only act on them if I'm currently in a position to do it effortlessly without going too far out of my way or I think about it too hard.
  • "Having to "cancel out" bad thoughts with good thoughts. Examples of bad thoughts are..."
  • "A need for both sides of the body to feel even. A person with OCD might walk down a sidewalk and step on a crack with the ball of their left foot, then feel the need to step on another crack with the ball of their right foot. Also, if one hand gets wet, the sufferer may feel very uncomfortable if the other is not."
    When I saw this, it explained a lot. Both of those examples fit me perfectly, and lots of other similar things do.
Looking at that list, it almost seems to me that I have some short of OCD with short-lived compulsions (rather than the hour-long compulsions some of the examples alluded to).

Some things about OCPD page and me:
  • "Instead, people with OCPD tend to stress perfectionism above all else, and feel anxious when they perceive that things are not 'right.'"
    I don't stress perfectionism above all else, but its pretty high up there :P and about the anxious when things aren't right - that's definitely me.
  • "Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, bodily functions, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost"
    I fit that, up until the last part - I usually catch myself, realize any nonsensical things, and force myself to continue (often making me a bit stressed).
  • "Showing perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met)"
    See above.
  • "Excessive devotion to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)"
    I often exhibit this, but whether its caused by Aspies' tendency to hyperfocus or some form of OCPD, not sure.
  • "Being overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)"
    That's often me - but I'm often likely to catch myself and use some reason.
  • "Inability to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value"
  • "Reluctance to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things"
    Well the people I would delegate tasks to don't do it right, so... :roll:
  • "Adopting a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes"
    I guess that'd explain why I usually end up saving so much money - but I do spend some of it sometimes...

Are these types of things normal with Aspies? Does it sound like I may have some sort of milder form of one/both of these?
(I know that the official DSM-4 thing says that'd have to be a significant problem to be officially diagnosed, but I'm not looking to get an official diagnosis and therapies + w/e - just looking for a name for these odd behaviours I've been noticing. Anyway the DSM-4 says for Aspereger's "Significant impairment in important areas of functioning;" but many of us aren't impaired severely in ways other than socially).


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16 Dec 2006, 3:28 pm

wikipedia is not really a good place to look up this type of information as it's published by people and has to be checked i did not bother to read it but if you don't fit into the dsm-4 you highly likely don't have it. As

F. is Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Development Disorder or Schizophrenia.

since i know jack about them disorders only an expert can tell...

And the other 3 tests of As are based around this one as been the more new one...

Also drugs and other things can take into effect symtoms that can make one think they have a disorder...

I diagnosed my self as only have shyness and social anxiety so no matter how much u research online - you will end up 50% - 50% get it wrong... use this site for advice and to look up stuff


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16 Dec 2006, 7:48 pm

I dont think you fit the criteria for the first one but I think the second one has a lot of AS over-lap and is about "loss of control".I share a lot of these traits but I really thought it was part of AS.

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16 Dec 2006, 10:39 pm

It IS possible to have both OCD and Asperger's (I'm one example), but as others have said, there's a lot of overlap between Asperger's and having obsessive-compulsive symptoms. If you're having disgusting thoughts and/or seeing disgusting images that cause you great anxiety, then this is probably OCD. Simply liking things to be "neat" or "perfect" is obsessive-compulsive, but doesn't necessarily imply OCD. Since OCD is an anxiety disorder, paralyzing anxiety characterizes it.

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16 Dec 2006, 10:58 pm

If I were to have a personality disorder, then I would be more likely to have some sort of Cluster C personality disorder. Cluster C includes all the anxiety or fear-based personality disorders: Dependent personality disorder, Avoidant personality disorder, and Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

My mom has OCPD. She was diagnosed when she went to a session with me one time and it was very difficult to grow up with a mother like that. I would never be taught much of anything by her because I would never be able to do it "right" and she mentioned a fear of initiating a closer relationship with me for fear or going about it the wrong way. Every little action I made was scrutinised as much or more than she scrutinised her own actions. She could not accept my interests; it was "wrong" that I played in the sandbox with the toy trucks instead of playing tea party with the other girls inside. It was "wrong" to put the cereal box back in the cupboard the way I did. If anything needed to be done, mom would take care of it for me. Because her way was the right way, and I couldn't possibly be expected to do things correctly. She would constantly bemoan about how my father and I were so alike, and that we lacked common sense or the ability to do things correctly. My father would never be able to purchase the correct items from the store, no matter how good her list was. No, she always had to do the shopping herself. She took everything upon herself in order to make sure everything went smoothly. She would never buy herself anything, but she could spend too much on clothes for her kids. "Look how lucky you are to wear these nice clothes; all your friends wear clothes from SAANs." I didn't really care, so long as my clothes weren't too itchy or tight. She doesn't fit OCPD exactly, as she hardly horded objects, and she was often not miserly with money when it came to her children.

I sought to escape my mother, and I soon discovered that if I stayed in my room then her absence permitted me to do things my own way without any scrutiny. Sadly, I've taken this type of approach in life numerous times henceforth. When I was younger, I didn't mind being alone, but I wonder if I feel pain now due to childhood neglect. I enjoyed rocking back and forth and imagining fantasy-type ideas (typical little-girl fantasies involving unicorns, strange and exotic places, etc.). I don't often engage in "stimming" nowadays, but I may find myself engaging in stereotyped movements when I'm feeling something extreme: either extreme euphoria/happiness to the point of giddiness or sorrow.

OCD and OCPD are actually two very different disorders. If you have ever seen a movie starring Jack Nicholson, "As Good as it Gets", he portrays a character that is some bizarre mix between OCPD and OCD. I think OCPD needs to be renamed to further clarify the difference. I suppose I do exhibit some symptoms of OCPD and OCD, but I think I'm more avoidant than anything. My feelings usually revolve around fear and/or anxiety, and I am constantly worried about the opinion of others to the point where I will not engage in activities or seek friendships due to this fear (the fear of possibly being scrutinised). I believe I do want friendship, but I feel I lack the ability to create or maintain such a relationship due to a perceived ineptitude. Actually, I was once diagnosed with OCD, but it was said that I had the "O" of OCD (obsessions), but not the "C" (compulsions). But I've been diagnosed with many different mental illnesses to the point where it's quite absurd.

Have you ever taken a personality disorder test online? I don't take these tests too seriously mind you, but they can be fun tests to take. I usually score high for Schizoid personality disorder (which is often mixed up with Asperger's) and the Cluster C personality disorders. But it's actually very easy to look up these personality disorders and see yourself in them when it may or may not be the case. This is why doctors often will not criticize their patient when they come to them with a suspect personality disorder or other mental illness. Because the patient will read the (often vague) list of characteristics from diagnostic criteria (ie: DSM) for the personality disorder/mental illness, and easily be able to see themselves in it; possibly modifying their behaviour to fit the mold in the process. It's important to understand that a personality disorder such as OCPD causes a major disruption in interpersonal relationships and the ability to accomplish tasks. With OCPD, it is a pervasive and constant thought or need to do things perfectly or "the right way". I don't think you necessarily have these disorders even though you seem to meet a few criteria. For example, I also wash my hands more often than most people, but it really isn't an issue. You note that your compulsions typically last only about 10-seconds. I don't think these behaviours or thoughts you engage in are impeding your life. Note the text on the wikipedia article below the list of compulsions: "In addition to these criteria... the obsessions or compulsions must be time consuming (taking up more than one hour per day), cause distress, or cause impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning." Also note that Aspergers has a lot of overlapping features with other personality disorders (schizoid, avoidant, ocpd), pervasive developmental disorders (ADD), and psychiatric disorders in general (OCD).

If you're worried about mental health, cognitive behavioural therapy is generally a good start. It could prove to be helpful with any unwanted intrusive thoughts which most everyone experiences from time to time. When I want to appear more confident or able, I think to myself "I will be confident." The specific behaviour I wish to modify is my poor eye-contact. I have no issue with engaging in eye-contact with other animals, but with human beings I can become fearful or nervous during eye-contact. If I think to myself, "I am confident" I will be more likely to engage in eye-contact, because that is what confident people can do with ease. If I think, "I will look people in the eye" I'm more likely to obsess about looking people in the eye, and perhaps not accomplish what I set out to do. How many times have any straight-men here thought, "I won't look at her tits" only to do exactly what you intended not to do? Bringing focus to the unwanted thought or action can cause you do think about it, making it more likely you will commit the very act you do not want to.


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16 Dec 2006, 11:15 pm

I think there is a certain amount of overlap between all three - OCD, AS, OCPD. Some people fit neatly into the criteria and others it can be much more difficult to tell. OCD is anxiety based - with fear or disgust being some feelings that accompany the obsession. The compulsion is what you do to lesson the anxiety. OCD also has to be a signficant effect on a person - many people do OCD type things so it is the intensity that determines whether or not it is in the "disorder" catagory. And AS/OCD is not that unusual of a combination.

OCPD has been described as a Felix Unger (Odd Couple) kind of personality - they often perceive no problems with their strictness and rigidity - and may insist that others do things the same way they do because it is the "right" way to do things. In extreme they can be very domineering and it is extremely difficult to change their way of reasoning. People can also be OCD and OCPD although that is not very common (like 10% of people with OCD).

Another issue to is how much insight a person has into their OCD as being "irrational". Some people have what is called "poor insight" - which means they do not think their behaviors are extreme or illogical - yet they are not OCPD. All of which of course complicates things and takes someone who is very good to determine the basis for the behavior.