If you were ever to suffer from OCD you would understand how offensive it is to say – ‘I’m a bit OCD’ when you like to line up your clothes neatly in a draw or keep your house exceptionally clean.

OCD is much more than liking things being just so or being obsessively clean.

Within OCD there are obsessions (irrational thoughts, images or ideas that will not go away and cause extreme distress) and/or compulsions (irrational behaviours that need to be repeated over and over).

For people who claim they are a ‘bit OCD’ chance are they are actually OCPD.

What is OCPD? Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

OCPD by contrast to OCD is defined by strict adherence to orderliness, control, perfectionism, rigidity and inflexibility.

Now it is possible to be both OCD and OCPD and there is considerable overlap between the conditions. But there are differences.

The biggest difference is often in the level of distress caused. People with OCD do not want to perform compulsions. They do not want to get stuck and have their time and energy taken over, but they are compelled to do so. In contrast, people with OCPD often get pleasure from ordering things, doing things perfectly or following rules in just the way they ‘should.’

People with OCD cannot control their thoughts and struggle to not engage in compulsions. People with OCPD see an aim and a purpose to their actions and they want to do it.

OCD symptoms tend to fluctuate and get worse with stress and anxiety. But contrast OCPD behaviours are generally pretty persistent and unchanging.

Finally, people with OCD will often seek help, whereas people with OCPD are less likely to see anything problematic with the actions that they take. As I said, it usually makes them feel good to undertake their seemingly obsessive actions.

Irrespective of OCD or OCPD, if you have a problem that is affecting the quality or the function of your life, do seek help to understand what is happening and get strategies to assist you. Here at Prosper Health Collective we are trained to assess, diagnose and treat both conditions.

In the meantime, please remember to stop saying ‘you’re a bit OCD’ if in fact you are not suffering from OCD at all.

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