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OCD & OCPD are slightly different. OCD is obsessive compulsive disorder and OCPD stands for obsessive compulsive personality disorder.
OCD usually involves particular rituals, irrational beliefs, or intrusive thoughts. OCPD is more about a need for order, symmetry, and routine. Symptoms are frequently co-morbid.
OCD / OCPD is a control disorder rooted in anxiety, and may also indicate unexpressed anger.
Both hypnotherapy and psychotherapy can help with OCD & OCPD.
In popular understanding the term OCD, which stands for obsessive compulsive disorder, tends to apply to anyone who could be thought of as being a bit 'anal'. OCD is actually a little more specific than that. People often confuse the term OCD with the lesser-known term OCPD, or Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.
An individual with OCPD is often a stickler for order, symmetry, and rules. Sufferers may live at the extremes of either super-neat or super-messy, either hoarders who never throw anything away, or strict minimalists who have to have everything parallel, geometrically arranged, and labeled.
OCD however is best thought of as a 'doing/undoing' ritual. Typical OCD behaviours include ritualistic counting, repetitive checking, obsessive cleanliness, and intrusive thoughts. OCD and OCPD are frequently, though not always, co-morbid.
The lesser known but highly common form of OCD is intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts tend to involve imagining oneself committing impulsive acts of violence against loved ones or strangers which may including such things as thoughts of sexual violence such as rape or sexual abuse. A typical OCD train of thought goes something like this:
I hate these thought I have - I hope I don't have one - damn, I've had one, I can't stop them, I'm such a horrible vile person. I hate these thought I have - I hope I don't have one - damn, I've had one, I can't stop them, I'm such a horrible vile person...and so on...
The sufferer has the thought, is concerned or even terrified about the possibility of them suddenly losing control and acting out, and so they try to push the thoughts away. Sadly the harder they try not to think about the distressing thoughts the more frequently the thoughts arise - hence the doing/undoing nature of OCD.
There are actually many forms of OCD and at its root OCD is a control anxiety. The most commonly known OCD symptom is obsessive-compulsive hand washing however OCD can include fear of germs and contamination, fear of turning gay, fear of drugs, fear of AIDS and so on.
• Fear of germs
• Fear of being spiked with drugs
• Irrational fear of contracting AIDS or other diseases
• Fear of committing a random act of violence
• Fear of deliberately or accidentally harming yourself
• Fear of deliberately or accidentally harming others
• Fear of turning gay, becoming a peadophile, rapist, murder etc
• Need for order and symmetry
• Inability to throw things away
• Living a regimented lifestyle
• Excessive hand washing
• Excessive cleaning
• Counting rituals
• Checking things repeatedly
• Repeating a word or phrase silently
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a control disorder triggered by anxiety. In therapy we need to establish the root of the anxiety and resolve it. This can be tricky because you will likely feel out of control in therapy. It is therefore often best to start with some cognitive therapy to help you understand and control your thinking before embarking on any emotional work. Sometimes people feel that this stage is enough to help them manage their symptoms while others then feel ready to explore the potential root causes of their anxiety. Some theorists suggest a potential link between unexpressed anger and OCD type symptoms. While this may be true, it is really a question of exploring your personal experiences in therapy.
Why not join me for a free initial consultation here at the Edinburgh Psychotherapy & Hypnotherapy Clinic and talk to me about your symptoms and how they are affecting you. If I feel that I can help you I will be able to recommend a way forward for the treatment of your OCD or OCPD.
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