Christian OCPD

Overcoming OCPD was not an easy task. It is by far the most difficult thing that I have had to battle through. After being diagnosed with OCPD, I put everything in my life on hold to focus all my attention on overcoming this challenge from every angle. I was open to anything and everything – medicinal and non-medicinal, religious and non-religious. Up until today, however, I have not shared too much on what I have learned about OCPD as a believer and follower of the Christian faith. I would like to do that now.

OCPD is burden bearing gone wrong.

Christian OCPD

ORIGINAL DESIGN

You have what is called the “burden bearer” personality. Our good and generous God designed you in His own image and gave you a huge heart. Your heart was designed to not only feel what God feels, but also feel what others feel. God created you to be incredibly gifted in empathizing with Him and His children. Our God is full of joy. You were meant to bask in that joy with Him. God is so in love with you, so delighted in you, so proud of you. You were meant to intimately sense His unconditional love and acceptance. Our mighty God is victorious. Even when the world appears to be falling apart, He is full of hope and peace. You were meant to closely share in that hope and peace with Him. But God still grieves. His heart breaks when He sees His beloved children hurting. You were meant to feel God’s heart for them. Your compassionate intercessory prayers are so powerful because they come straight from God’s own heart. You were meant to lift up to Him the burdens that you feel and trust that He will take care of everything. Life was meant to be light for you because of your unshakable trust in God. You are so generous. Your generosity changes people’s lives. God admires your heart so much that He delights in giving you the opportunity to partner with Him in sharing His love to those in need. God gifted you with the ability to restore joy to His hurting children. Because you give so much of yourself to others, you really understand sacrifice. This better understanding of sacrifice was meant to bring you closer to Jesus, the one who sacrificed the most. You were meant to enjoy deep intimacy, intimacy that not many people can ever dream to experience. The condition of your beautiful heart enriches the lives of so many people around you and it changes the world. You were meant to see the way that you were created as a wonderful gift from God.

Read more about “Who You Are Without Fear.”

DAMAGE TO THE DESIGN

But there is also one who is against God and His great plans. We have all kinds of different names for him, including the devil, the enemy, and Satan. He knows how much of a threat you would be to his own plans to oppose God if you were to fully be who you were meant to be. So what does the enemy do? He strategically attacks your identity and tries to disarm you. When you are most vulnerable (for someone as emotionally sensitive as you, that is usually when you are overwhelmed by your difficult emotions), the enemy speaks lies to you about your identity, others, your circumstance, your future, the world, and God. He puts all these thoughts into your mind in a way that you think they are your own. The enemy convinces you through lies that difficult emotions are to be feared, that you will not be OK unless you control them or escape from them. One of the biggest lies he will say to you is, “You are not good enough!” He laughs as he watches you desperately striving to be good enough by being perfect in every way. Your fear of difficult emotions then makes you incapable of sharing in the difficult emotions of others. In this way, the enemy disables your gift of empathy. You still, however, retain a good sense of the needs of others. But because of your own distrust in God and His ability to bring healing (again… forged by the lies of the enemy), you take it upon yourself to fill the needs of others rather than lifting up those burdens to God. Consequently, you become drained and overburdened with the heaviness of the load you must carry. The enemy also attempts to eliminate your generosity by convincing you that others will only take advantage of you if you give too much of yourself to them. The enemy loves to see you feel guilty about being yourself. He loves to see you being very calculating about only giving to others as much as they give to you. The enemy also cripples your God-given ability to restore joy in others by removing your own joy and replacing it with depression and anger. He does this by flooding your mind with negativity. The enemy builds resentment against humankind inside of you so that you become increasingly isolated, pushing you further and further away from the person of intimacy that you were meant to be. Though you were meant to be amazing in relationships, the enemy convinces you that you are relationally inept. He attacks your relationships so much and loves to break up your family and marriage. The enemy wants you to see yourself as diseased, disordered, and cursed. He hopes you give up and end your own life.

Is it not interesting how similar the “Damage to the Design” description is to the DSM’s assessment of OCPD? Can you now guess why I might not be the biggest fan of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?

SO WHAT NOW?
(NOTE: I understand that the commission to repent comes with a lot of hurt for many people as they are reminded of haughty “Christians” who impose their beliefs onto others. While I do mention repentance in this next portion of my writing, I do not use it out of a place of judgment. This “SO WHAT NOW?” is more for my readers who are seeking a Christian approach to overcoming OCPD.)

You definitely can restore your original identity! God is on your side and there is nothing too problematic or screwed up for Him to restore! Jesus did not die on the cross so that we would remain enslaved by sin, fear, worry, control, shame, distrust, pain, depression, anger, and disease. No, Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to win back humankind’s authority over sin for good! In Christ, you have the authority to break OCPD! Repent to God for having thus far agreed to the lies of the enemy and having participated in the sins of OCPD. Receive God’s forgiveness and trust that His forgiveness is good enough – do not get all OCPD and try to earn His forgiveness through some kind of hard work or performance. Partner with the Holy Spirit and ask God to help you to turn away from the ways of the enemy. Be joyful and have faith that God will heal your heart 100%!

Here are some ungodly beliefs that people with OCPD are likely to have because of their past hurts:

  1. My value is in what I do and how well I perform. I am valuable because I am “successful.” I need recognition from people to have worth. I have to plan every day of my life.
  2. I have to continually strategize – I can’t relax. Things will work out better when I am in control of the situation. Only I can take care of myself and protect myself the best.
  3. Others will just use and abuse me. In relationships, I will always be the one who sacrifices and loses the most. I will be the one who gets taken advantage of.
  4. I will always be angry and feel like I’m better than everyone else.
  5. I will always have something wrong with me. I will never be healed or free from all the hurts and bondages in my life.
  6. It is better to reject someone before they can reject me. That way I don’t have to waste my time with them and get hurt.

When these thoughts come into your mind, do not listen to them. Tell the enemy to shut the hell up. Do not act out on the above thoughts.

Instead, read out loud and try to act out on the following godly truths everyday for the next few months (there is power in your spoken word since you were created in God’s image – light came into existence after God SAID, “Let there be light.”):

  1. I have incredible value and worth because I am God’s beloved and precious son/daughter. That never changes, no matter what I do or don’t do or how well I do it. God is so proud of me and loves me for who I am. He has his mark of approval on me and that is enough for me.
  2. God loves to take care of me. He will never reject me or abandon me, and He is always protecting me. God is in control and I can always feel safe with Him.  I can trust Him fully with my life and surrender my control to Him because I know He has even better plans for me than I have for myself.
  3. God has designed me to be a blessing to others and to give of myself generously. When I am doing what God has designed me to do, I can experience true freedom and joy. God has placed people in my life that love me and want to bless me and help me be all that I was born to be. I am learning to trust them and depend on them so that I can walk out the fullness of my destiny.
  4. God has created me to be a joyful and gracious person who is patient and able to forgive easily. I am learning to see beyond people’s weaknesses and recognize the amazing ways that God has created them to be.
  5. God’s grace is unending and abundant and He will always accept me, no matter what. God is greater than all my mistakes and He has the power to redeem every mistake I have made and make it for His good. God has an amazing destiny for me and will use all the decisions I make to get me there. He will help me to make good decisions.
  6. God created me for deep intimate relationships. It is my heart’s desire to truly know someone and have them truly know me and love me. Conflict and disappointment are opportunities to go deeper in intimacy. God will give me the courage to pursue intimate relationships by helping me to trust Him and trust the people He’s given me.

MORE READING

I do not recommend books too often only because there are hardly any good books on OCPD. But this one is great! A MUST READ for Christians struggling with hypersensitivity.

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity

The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity: Your Practical Guide to Responding to Burdens You Feel from God’s Heart” by Carol A. Brown

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29 thoughts on “Christian OCPD

  1. yolanda says:

    This article has blessed me so much, thank you for allowing God to use you as a mighty man of God in his kingdom. Glory to God, hallelujah!

  2. M says:

    Love it!!!!!!!

  3. Dan, where is God to the tsnunami and other natural disaster victims? Where is God to the millions of kids that die every day due to hunger and disease? Where was God to the millions that died in concentration camps and other genocides? The list goes on and on…

    • Daniel Kim says:

      Good question, Mauro. Where is God in all our suffering? I have suffered quite a lot in my life. If I had it my way in the past, God would have prevented the traumatizing events in my life, He would have completely erased my memory of those experiences, He would have waved around some magical wand to instantaneously fix everything. I’m guessing just as I thought in this manner in the past, you too think that, if there is a God, He would just instantaneously put an end to all suffering. But that does not happen, does it? No. To my frustration, the suffering still took place. But then something different happened after… God brought healing into my heart, He brought people into my life to love me and show me that they care, He taught me what kind of pain other people around the world are experiencing, and He filled my heart with compassion for them. I would not have this blog if I had not gone through the suffering that I went through. Now people send me e-mails about how my blog has prevented them from committing suicide.

      I believe God is around. It’s just difficult to see His bigger picture when you’re right smack in the middle of suffering :p

      • Just to clarify, I did not write that because I am upset or feel neglected by God. In fact he’s (or she’s) been pretty awesome with me, he even gave me the gift of OCPD just like you ;-) Of course there was pain in the past but I feel grateful of how things turned out so far.
        But this is not about us, we are both lucky, we live in first world countries with low crime rates, access to quality health professionals and have many luxuries in our life, such as writing these comments using our expensive MacBooks. From our point of view there is God and he is amazing!
        The question is, why is God good to us and doesn’t care about other people? What have we done to deserve all these good things while innocent people die of famine, war and disease each day? Why is he punishing kids with cancer and AIDS? To give them a lesson?
        Religious people when something good happens say “God is great” and when something bad occurs they either say that God acts in mysterious ways, or if it is an act of evil made by men, they say that God gave us free will to decide whether to do good.
        But well, this discussion has no point, believing in God is something personal and most people will maintain their beliefs no matter what evidence proving or denying his existence is presented to them. I usually don’t discuss God with believers but since you are a fellow OCPDer I wanted to give it a shot and try converting you to atheism, or at least pantheism!

        Oh, and I am happy to know that you are helping people with your blog, you are doing a great job writing all these articles with such an excellent psychological insight.

      • Daniel Kim says:

        To say that God cares for one part of the world but not another part based on luxuries, we assume that care can only be evidenced by the abundance of luxuries. If this assumption were true, shouldn’t kids of filthy rich parents who have access to anything and everything be the ones who feel the most cared for by their parents? We know that that is not the case. So then why should it make any sense to apply that same reasoning to God?

        The God that I have gotten to know is so in love with His children. He is infinitely forgiving. His heart breaks when He sees His beloved children hurting and dying. Where do you get the idea that the existence of suffering equates to punishment by God? Where in this particular blog post and my personal story of how my “original design” got damaged do you see God punishing me?

        Yes, a lot of religious people say “God is great” only when something good happens. It has taken me a while too to realize that God is great no matter what happens, good or bad.

        I love exchanging ideas and discussing God, life, meaning, and purpose with all kinds of people. But when you do that just with those who have the exact same beliefs as you do, it’s not really exchanging ideas, is it? I’m glad that our OCPD brought us together to have this discussion. Thanks!

      • Kathryn Arnold says:

        So true. And thank you for this article. I, too, know that He is using the troubles…the MANY troubles…of my life to make me better able to step outside my self-interest and to love as He loves.

  4. lawrence yang says:

    daniel, bless you for being such a positive role model!! your “disorders” help you to be an amazing artist too! you’re right about the big picture and God’s Will…sometimes, it’s very hard to see!

    • lawrence yang says:

      I just became aware that my comment states nothing more than the obvious, but with your natural empathy, I’m sure you got the main gist of simple positive vibes. :)

  5. sseldog says:

    For those of us that do not believe in God, we have therapy to help us combat those negative thoughts which in turn reduces our suffering. I also think that advances in brain research has shown and will continue to reveal the extent to which structural and chemical characteristics of the brain are responsible for much of our personality. Respectfully, I do think that there is much hope for those of us that don’t believe in God.

    • Daniel Kim says:

      I agree, there definitely is much hope for all people with OCPD, regardless of whether or not they believe in God. I think I made that pretty clear by writing exactly about that hope in a non-religious, strictly psychological and neurological way for an entire year before writing this piece. The main message of “the Gift of OCPD” is simple: there is so much hope for people with OCPD! :D

  6. Priscilla says:

    Your article touches me so much, I haven’t really been myself recently and felt cdown but now you made me realize that I’m a loved person and that nothing can’t get through my relationship with God and people that I love and who love me if I just believe and remember my dear God everyday He allows me to live . Thank you so much , you’re truly inspiring !!
    God bless , xx

  7. On some real levels, coming from a fellow believer who has taken more than his share of lumps, thank you so much for being outspoken about your faith. It’s refreshing and a blessing. You’re inspiring both as a musician and more importantly as a person.

  8. Marie says:

    Dan, what do you say to christian spouses of those who are afflicted with OCPD? Especially when the OCPD’r will not take responsibility for his OCPD or acknowledge God in any way other than to use His name in profanity? I understand mercy and grace but as a spouse I know I cannot do this for him or change him and his OCPD tendencies are tearing me apart. I trust God, I know God can do miracles and I know He doesn’t tolerate sin and rebellion forever either. Any mercy and grace offered on my part just seems to give him more fuel to accept his behavior and force me to be the one to adjust to his way of living. Just curious what your thoughts are. This has been going on more than a decade

    • Daniel Kim says:

      Love your spouse as God would love him. God would tell him how amazing of a person he is just the way he is, regardless of how well he performs. God would tell him all the time how he loves him so much. God would speak truth and life to him. God would tell him that he will be alright, no matter all the risks. God would be there to comfort him. God would be generous to him with His love, even if He’s getting the short end of the stick. God would listen to all of his “crazy” rants and be fascinated with every single word that leaves his mouth. God would never abandon him. If you’re at the point where you feel completely drained out of love to continue on doing this, you probably have been loving your spouse out of your own strength. So ask God to give you that strength and partner up with God. God sooo wants to give your husband this kind of love so God will definitely help you out big-time as long as you are willing.

      1 Peter 3:1-2

      Also, as his life partner, God has called you to help your husband become the amazing man that God originally designed him to be and lead him closer and closer to God. But are you doing this when you simply adjust to your husband’s way of living? His way of living that puts himself in control instead of God? In a loving way, encourage, motivate, and challenge your loved one to become that best version of himself. I don’t know why so many people still do this when it’s so ineffective, but telling grown adults what they are doing wrong does not really inspire change in their behaviour.

      And don’t forget to be honest in your communication. If your husband does something that hurts you, let him know in a sensitive manner how you are hurting. Let him know what he can do to make you feel like he cares about you.

      Hope this helps :)

      • Kathryn Arnold says:

        I listened not long ago to an evangelist tell the story of “speaking life” to her drug-addicted husband… When he came home in the morning hours after a night of debauchery she would say, “Man of God, what would you like for breakfast?” despite the fact that her friends all were outraged at her apparent tolerance of his behavior. She constantly told him who he was in God’s eyes. It took years, but today those who know him shake their heads at the idea that this truly Godly man was ever anything but, much less that he was once a drunk and abusive husband. Your advice is sound and beautiful. I hope it comes thoroughly to mind when I find myself dealing with someone who doesn’t know his true identity.

      • Daniel Kim says:

        …”Man of God, what would you like for breakfast?”… that’s beautiful!

  9. LuLu says:

    ugh….I have OCPD, and apparently I have not found the gift in it. I have been this way for many years with no explanation other than “this is how I am, and I see nothing wrong with it.” It wasn’t until I got married about 5 years ago when I actually had to have a relationship with someone who wanted something back when I finally started questioning some of my “things” I read a book called Too Perfect, and almost every chapter I could say, “this is me.” It was sickening and frustrating. My husband has OCD, and his OCD gets in the way of my OCPD!! He has no patience or understanding for me, and nor I for him. We met a church and both understand God’s love. The pastor told him, he was just going to have to let some things go, and find ways to just let me be, but quite often it just turns into an explosion. I think he forgets (which wouldn’t surprise me), but if I remind him, all I can think of is that he may think it is me just making excuses (again). Feeling like I am falling apart even though I am trying really hard to separate myself from a lot of the belongings I have (even though I am not being ruthless enough in this purge process.)

  10. consuela says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I came in from work today crying like a baby to my husband because I am just so frustrated in my work and social relationships. I just went back to work after a year off and I really forgot how much people can suck (LOL). I have a sickening need for structure and I am realizing that I am a black and white person living in a gray world. The enemy has definitely been on my shoulder today. I turned to the net and found a lot of information on OCPD that seemed to apply perfectly to me, but nothing put it quite the way that your blog did. I hate labels and the last thing that I want to admit is that I may have a “disorder”, but I really feel as though something is wrong. I kept telling my hubby all day that “I can’t be this bad of a person.” I always see things sort of like a missing puzzle piece. I can’t help but to search until I find it and fix it. The impulse is so overwhelming but I don’t see myself as a perfectionist. I see it as helping. Its even harder being a military spouse. The minute people begin to understand how I am, it’s time to move and start all over again. I really feel it taking a toll on me and the weight is becoming extremely heavy. I needed your post because at least you tried to spin it in a direction that says “nothing is wrong with you!” I needed that today as I begin my journey to determine whether something is actually wrong with me or not. Honestly I can truly say that I would be happy to find out that something is wrong because it means that it can be fixed and I am not just a controlling jerk that can’t play well with others.Thanks again.

  11. I am experiencing a problem with my OCPD husband and need some advice from an OCPDer. My husband was diagnosed with OCPD a few years ago by a psychiatrist. One of the problems is he cannot start/complete a task. It seems he feels it has to be perfect and cannot start/finish a task. So, his home office is full of clutter, the garage is full of clutter……. a true mess. However, his work space out of the house is immaculate. This is because his counterparts are there. He has to have it perfect. Here is the most recent problem. I explained to him that I was going to start cleaning out the garage and organizing. His comment was, DON’T touch my stuff. I explained that a lot of the boxes could be consolidated and organized better. Also, there is a lot that can be thrown out. I went to the point to open boxes and start to organize the things for him. Even the junk he could throw out. Last night was trash night so I asked him to look at the junk pile and get rid of some of it. He would not do it so I took four of the boxes and put them out with the trash. Well, all hell broke loose. He went out and brought them back in and told me if I ever touch his stuff again……he hesitated, that’s it.
    I just want the clutter to go away. It is summer time and a good time to organize the garage. It is also embarrassing to me that our neighbors see this.
    How can I handle this so he conforms?

    • Daniel Kim says:

      Your husband is so focused on something else that he neglects his responsibility to maintain a clean, organized home. The importance of that something else dwarfs the importance of cleaning so much that it doesn’t make any sense to him to invest a single minute into cleaning and organizing his home. Telling him to clean the clutter is as futile as telling someone to go make an airplane model out of ostrich meat… Completely unrelated to his needs/focus. But if he cares about you, your emotions should matter the world to him. Be honest about how it hurts you emotionally, how it causes you great distress when he doesn’t clean. Let him know that you would appreciate it so much and that you would really sense his love if he does this for you. Say to him “I know you really hate doing this and you could care less about it but, even though it may not make any rational sense to you, I would really appreciate it so much if you would do this for me.” If he does it, be VERY appreciative. Do not be quick to think, “this is what he should have been doing from the start.” If he does not sense your appreciation, he’ll think, “what’s the point?” If he can see that it makes you happy, even if it makes no rational sense to him, he’ll continue to do it because you being happy makes all the sense in the world to him. The worst way to respond to this is trying to argue that your way is right and his way is wrong. Because to him (and even me too), there’s just too many other things to prioritize to bother with cleaning and getting rid of clutter.

    • lululovesu says:

      It is amazing how this “disorder” causes the fights that it does. I just had a similar experience with the garbage, but I was on the other end that you are. I am the one with OCPD. I have the same start/finish problem. We are trying to clean a bunch of stuff out, but I want the control of what is going out so I know what left. My husband moved stuff from under a patio, and swept up the patio and threw the leaves in the garbage, and what ever else he felt was garbage. I happened to look in the garbage just to see what he did, and I found the half of a perfectly good roasting pan (he didn’t see the top), puzzles pieces, shoes, and I don’t remember what else. So I just started taking stuff out so I could take care of it – I didn’t get to finish because it was getting dark. When he got home, he wanted to know what was going on. I told him, I didn’t complain, I wasn’t mad, but he continued to push the button of “Why” and I told him a few times, I cannot explain it and just let me deal with it, well, next thing you know, there was a huge fight, and the cops were called. The next day, I go out and all the stuff I told him to leave alone and I would take care of was all in the garbage and the garbage man came. So he only added fuel to the fire. He said he misunderstood what I meant by I wasn’t finished and I would take care of it. Anyway, my point is there has to be some understanding (and compassion) on your part even if you don’t understand…I feel like control is a huge factor on my end.

  12. abigailvera says:

    Thank you. I found your blog as I was researching OCD for someone else. This young boy had been weighing in my heart so much and I felt like my experiences were somehow relevant to his although I had never done any typical “OCD” actions. Found your blog a completely recognized myself in the Ocpd description. I had never been diagnosed but had an “episode” in college where I got lumped into GAD diagnosis.depression/anxiety/feeling worthless/ afraid of god/hateful towards others. As it turns out a lot of my strategies to overcome we’re similar yo yours although you have articulated them so well here and I see that I still have so much room to grow in my trust in god. Again, thank you and god bless you.

  13. Wow, this is wonderful! Thank you for putting this link up on facebook! I really didn’t expect to find this when I was looking for you “mashed-videos”! Wonderful surprise, so proud and amazed of what God is doing through people, please don’t stop and keep up the good work about spreading the word and hope to this world! Thaaank you and God bless you!

  14. Kari says:

    Thank you. I am on the verge of throwing in the towel Daniel. I do love my OCPD husband, but I am so drained both emotionally and physically. When I try to grow closer to God I receive complaints that I’m not including him in my bible and devotional time, so I find that I push it aside when he can’t or won’t make time for it. Not to mention I need private time for this too. Our children have suffered greatly and in numerous ways! I am physically ill due to the stress of living with it and trying to shield the kids. I know I need to be stronger, yet don’t know how much more I have to offer. I pray for guidance, but am never certain whether I am hearing what I want to hear or what God wants me to hear. I have recently sought out the help of our pastor. I am so enlightened by your posts and thank you so much for the advice, information and encouragement they provide. Personality “Gifts” are not understood or widely recognized by the general public or professionals and to find someone like you with first hand experience/knowledge is so refreshing. I only wish my husband had a friend like you to talk to. :) Blessings…..

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