Individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder lack awareness of their symptoms and how they affect the environment that surrounds them. OCPD is a mental health condition that causes an extensive preoccupation with perfectionism, organization, and control. Individuals with OCPD have a strong dichotomy of thinking, meaning that they see things as black or white and there’s not a lot of flexibility in their thinking. Things are either right or wrong, and they will seek perfection because they not only believe that their way is right but that’s what they seek to be… Perfect.
When a mental health professional treats someone with OCPD, they receive most of their information and clear insight from family members and loved ones, rather than the person with OCPD. Families are often left with the challenge of bringing awareness to the symptoms and addressing the impact that it has on everyone involved.
Four ways to navigate helping a loved one with OCPD:
When introducing a skill or activity to help someone with OCPD to manage their stress or reduce their anxiety, you want to make sure that you word it in a way that would be a skill that would benefit the overall wellness of the person. Expressing that this skill will help them “fix” their symptoms, may create pushback from the individual.
- Small Victories
Someone with OCPD has adopted an “It’s all or nothing mentality.” To change this way of thinking, make an intentional effort to celebrate the small victories and accomplishments.
- Gentle Reminders
They may be hesitant with suggestions that indicate they need to change or improve. Be consistent with reminders but handle them gently. Avoid expressions of anger and hostility.
- Change your Angle
Bringing awareness around symptoms associated with depression or anxiety instead of directly addressing OCPD symptoms will help the individual process the steps necessary to seek help.
Each disorder comes with different sets of challenges. However, talking about it and seeking further training can help you navigate an appropriate response to the situation.