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Aparte: Anxiety & OCPD

Hi guys. I’ve been dealing with anxiety, which has paralyzed me completely for two weeks.

I read #MelRobbins email on her recent breakdowns, and it gave me confidence to write about my own. Hopefully, I can trigger something in you too.

Having anxiety & OCPD

I’ve always had anxiety; to various extents throughout my life.

When I was a newborn, I was already showing signs of anxiety: crying a lot for no apparent reason, sleeping very little, eating very little and until the age of 5, having recurring nightmares.

Anxiety can be inherited down from your elders as well as be the consequence to a traumatic event, even before being born — which I believe applies to me (something along the lines of “my great grandmother sentenced to die for treason before being graced by the pope”).

I also very soon developed OCPD. I believe it to be partly inherited (from my grandmother) and a reaction to an authoritarian parenting style. I compensated with OCPD for a lack of control.

“Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a general pattern of excessive concern with orderliness, perfectionism, attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one’s environment.”

When I was a child, one of my preferred activities was tidying up my room, moving all the furniture around, cleaning and rethinking the place and purpose of everything. My parents loved that I was so tidy — unlike my brothers and sister. They used my room as an example for my siblings to follow. This positively reinforced my behavior and I thought it was one of my great assets!

Although it did push my siblings and myself apart. I didn’t like them to come in my room and touch my things. It made me significantly uncomfortable, anxious and irritated.

Does (or did) this happen to you? Or to someone you know? Let’s strike up a conversation about this! Not enough people know about it.

Next BBP will be about my OCPD learning journey. I’m 28 now, and I will share on what I’ve learnt through boarding school, college, working a demanding job and moving in with someone.

Source: Pinto, Anthon y; Eisen, Jane L.; Mancebo, Maria C.; Rasmussen, Steven A. (2008). “Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder” (PDF). In Abramowitz, Jonathan S.; McKay, Dean; Taylor, Steven. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Subtypes and Spectrum Conditions. Elsevier. pp. 246–263. ISBN 978–0–08–044701–8.

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