Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is the emotional anxiety experienced by extreme “left-brained” highly sensitive people.
“Giftedness is a dual diagnosis with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder since intellectualization may be assumed to underlie many of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for this disorder.” (Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children)
- highly sensitive nervous system (most likely inherited genetically at birth)
- left brain dominance
- dominant emotional overexcitability
- anxiety (the more sensitive a person is, the more he or she is likely to become overwhelmed by the world around him or her)
OCD VS OCPD
The main difference between OCD and OCPD is that OCD is characterized by the fear of one’s own imagination while OCPD is characterized by the fear of one’s own emotions. Read my theory in more detail on “OCD vs OCPD: Restoring Our Imagination and Heart.”
DSM IV CRITERIA
|1. is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost.||“Left brain” dominance combined with tunnel vision.
|2. shows 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)||Passion for excellence (excellence takes time no matter who you are) combined with fear of the consequences of imperfection.
|3. is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity)||Fear of the consequences of the inefficient use of time. read more…|
|4. is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification)||“Left brain” dominance combined with emotional sensitivity.|
|5. is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value||Fear of the consequences of the wrongful disposal of things that have value. read more…|
|6. is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things||High standards combined with fear of the consequences of the inefficient use of time and money. read more…|
|7. adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes||Fear of the consequences of the inefficient use of money. read more…|
|8. shows rigidity and stubbornness||Fear of the consequences of being flexible. read more…|
THE GIFT UNWRAPPED: Who You Are Without Fear
You are a champion of excellence. Your standards are so high because you know what excellence looks like. When you see excellence being celebrated, your heart leaps with excitement!
The way that you live your life is a testament of your passion for excellence. You cannot bear the thought of compromising your high standards for life by settling for “comfortable” or “good enough” as most other people do. That kills you inside. You would rather die trying to have the most enriching, fulfilling life.
The way that you work is a testament of your passion for excellence as well. You work so diligently because excellence takes a lot time and effort. As a result of your consistent hard work, you have ingrained in yourself a superhuman work ethic. When you find that one thing you love to do more than anything else in the world, nothing can stop you. What others might consider a chore, you consider a joy. While others count the hours that they work, you lose track of time. When excellence is delivered by the work of your hands, it inspires the world. It opens people’s eyes and makes them say, “Wow! So this is what excellence looks like!” Oftentimes, financial success follows excellence. But money can never supersede your uncompromisable love for excellence.
The way that you love your romantic partner is another testament of your passion for excellence. When you find that one person you love more than anyone else, you really give your life to them. While others let the passion in their romantic relationships fade too easily, you work hard at making yours exhilarating. You fight everyday for your partner’s heart. You are like the knight in shining armor whose love for his princess is so powerful that you would slay dragons everyday for her.
You pursue excellence in your other close relationships as well. Rather than spreading your attention thin over multiple surface-level relationships, you zero in all your energy to a few friends to experience deep, meaningful friendships.
You have a gifted mind that aids you in your pursuit of excellence. You are highly intelligent, especially in logical reasoning and problem solving. You are a talented strategist. Your mind has a knack for understanding things that have an orderly structure to them. If a complex machine from outer space was designed in a logical manner and given to the people of Earth to try to figure out its use, you would be the first one to master it.
But the most amazing thing about you is your big heart! You experience heights of joy and depths of sorrow that remain a mystery to most people. Your greater emotional range gives you the ability to empathize with others so well that your relationships reach such a deep level of intimacy. Your heart not only senses the pain in others, but it also knows how to deliver the right comfort and healing. When this awareness is combined with your abundant care and generosity, people’s lives change. Your heart is so big that it has the capacity to care for humankind on a larger scale. While most others might easily dismiss the needs of the world in order to focus on their own needs, you lay your life down for the benefit of the world. Your heart breaks when you see injustice happen as a result of the absence or lack of moral order. You passionately fight for what is right and make the world a better place.
YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE!
The above description is the true identity of people with OCPD. This identity, however, gets lost and distorted by trauma, fear, and lies. Fortunately, these things can all be worked out and the true identity of people with OCPD can be restored.
If you are a person with OCPD, read the above character description to yourself frequently and believe in it. If you care for someone with OCPD, help him or her find his or her identity by affirming the above truths in his or her life.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT OCPD?
You are not stuck with OCPD for the rest of your life. You can restore your true identity. This restoration will come as long as you work hard on facing yours fears and removing the lies in your head.
As a highly sensitive person with emotional overexcitability dominance, your fears are mostly centered around your emotions. It is likely that you have also developed all kinds of control mechanisms to help you cope with all your overwhelming emotions. You must learn to live without these mechanisms of control as they are preventing you from facing your fears. You must get in touch with your emotions and find out for yourself that you are going to be OK.
This will not be easy. In fact, this will cause a lot of anxiety at first. Your mind will scream, “Are you crazy?! You are being extremely reckless and foolish!” Ignore it. Your mind will judge and criticize you in the areas that you are most insecure about. It will scream, “You are ugly!” “You are worthless!” “You are stupid!” “You are a loser!” You must ignore all of these as well. If you agree with them and meditate on these lies, you will only end up even more insecure and broken at the end. You must believe that you are going to be just fine and that you are a beautiful masterpiece. Ask your loved ones to support you in this process of restoration by sharing words of affirmation to you. After some time, those screaming voices in your head will quiet down and eventually stop altogether. By that time, you have conquered your fear.
As a highly intelligent person with a gift for figuring things out, you are very well equipped for self-therapy. It may be difficult, however, for you to identify all your mechanisms of control on your own because you have lived the majority of your life thinking that those things were normal. For that reason, it can be a good idea for you to get additional help in checking your “blind spots” with a professional. The kind of professional you should be looking for is one who will encourage you to get in touch with your emotions and help you learn how to eventually do that on your own outside of the patient-therapist setting. If you struggle with addictions that hurt yourself and others, you should definitely seek help.