EPISODE 6 TRANSCRIPT
03 | 31 | 17
One more video after this one and we will really be diving into uncharted territories. About half of what I’ve discussed thus far has been a decent chunk of my personal story and the other half has been covering most of the information that’s out there and available on OCPD. Starting next Wednesday we will be diving much deeper into the realities of the disorder and every type of impact it has, across every area of your life and the lives of those you touch.
This episode may end up being the shortest episode to date. That’s both good and bad. From an attention aspect, it’s nice to be able to keep things a bit shorter and concise for your viewing pleasure. However the topic today is prognosis and treatment and I wish there were a lot more options out there when it comes to seeking help.
If you believe you have OCPD or suspect someone you know has OCPD, getting diagnosed is a reasonable first step. So I’m going to suggest seeing some sort of professional right off the bat. In my second video I included a link to a test that might be a good place to self assess and I’m including another respectable test in the description of this video. The link is to the Cammer’s test. I found the test to be logical in its questioning. However, as of yet I’ve been unable to locate the original source for this test. People just seem to be using it without questioning its origin. So please be aware of that.
So before we talk about actual treatment options, let’s discuss the prognosis for OCPD. I want to talk about this first because it’s murky and not overly encouraging. I would imagine the prognosis is a catalyst for why many relationships for people with OCPD do not last. The good news first is that secularly, OCPD might not be the worst thing to ever happen to you. Depending on which subtype is prominent, you may benefit from your perfectionism. You have to overcome wanting to take on everyone else’s job or task, and you have to be able to meet deadlines despite wanting every little detail perfect before completing an assignment. But, there are many well known successful people that are suspected to have had OCPD. Achieving professional success and attaining wealth are both possible with this personality disorder. But if you’re one of the very few people with OCPD to even achieve higher levels of success, it would have come at a great personal cost. Relationships are high casualty with this disorder. Not just marriages, but friendships, work relationships and relationships with family members. Basically there’s a good chance that almost nobody is wiling to put up with your shit for the long term.
These are still affects though. The actual prognosis, the chance for recovery is what’s important. You may have destroyed relationships in the past, but will you always continue to destroy them in the future? The short answer: maybe. Now if you’re watching this video, you’re already ahead of the curve. That’s not saying anything of myself or my qualifications. But the fact that you are even looking up information on OCPD is a big step in and of itself. Most, and I do mean most, sufferers of this particular personality disorder will never be willing to admit they have it in the first place. That’s why I’m in my late thirties and I still don’t have a handle on it.
There are few, large-scale studies for people with OCPD and I’m not a fan of using anecdotal evidence, however we have to go on what we have. There are really only two reasons people eventually come to confront the fact they have OCPD. The first and seemingly most common is the threat of the loss of a relationship or job. Most often the loss of a meaningful relationship or a pattern of not being able to maintain relationships. The second is that the sufferer seeks out treatment for anxiety and/or depression. These are the two most common and likely side effects of having OCPD and if they become bad enough a person might seek out help for those reasons and while receiving treatment, be diagnosed with OCDP.
Now here is where the prognosis gets a bit ugly. The estimates of those who will concede to having OCPD are very low and out of that low number very few report being able to eliminate it completely from their lives. Not enough is known about which treatments are most effective yet, but there’s a more important reason that treatment does not have a high success rate. Let’s get into treatment options and we can explore the roadblock many people have in common.
Without a doubt the number one treatment option is going to be psychotherapy. There are two types of therapy that are recommended. Cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy or CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle. CBT breaks your problems down into smaller more manageable parts. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind and focuses on present issues and not issues from your past.
Psychodynamic therapy aim is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness. The idea is that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. Psychodynamic therapy is used to help people with OCPD identify feelings towards a situation and then stop and think about why they fear not having a sense of control. One of the goals is to help the patient recognize their humanity.
Both of these forms of psychotherapy sound great on paper, and with the right patient, can help tremendously. So what’s the problem? Why the low success rate? Well unfortunately that is hidden within the nature of this disorder. If you have OCPD then it’s very likely that you’re not going to trust anyone nearly as much as you trust yourself. A common scenario is that someone with OCPD is in therapy, things are going along fine and then one day the therapist will inadvertently behave in a manner which will go against the patients way of thinking. In that one instant, the potential is there for the patient to lose all trust in that therapist. Basically, if I’m seeing a therapist and I disagree with them on a point, in my head I’m now thinking they’re an idiot. I’m not going back, and it might be a long while or possibly and sadly never, until I find another therapist. The bottom line is that it’s not the therapy that’s the problem, but our trust or I guess distrust of the therapists ability to cure us.
Now I’ll go into my experiences and maybe some things that can be done to avoid that pitfall in another video. But for now, if you’re seeking therapy please be mindful of that happening. Be aware that one wrong move on the part of the therapist does not discount all the potential help they may be able to give you and have already given you. The general consensus is that only about 50% of patients stick with the therapy for the long haul. So my heart goes out to all those seeking treatment and I hope for everyone of you that you are able to stick with it.
OK, so number one is go get some therapy. Nothing else I’m going to mention comes close to the potential that therapy offers, and you’re not going to get access to the next form of treatment if you’re not seeing an M.D anyway. Next on the agenda we have medication. Now without a doubt there is no medical cure for OCPD and up until fairly recently the medications prescribed were used to treat the common byproducts of OCPD which are as mentioned anxiety and depression. For those, you can expect to be prescribed SSRIs. SSRIs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and they work by enhancing the function of nerve cells in the brain that regulate emotion. They are unfortunately not suggested for long term, but there is definitely a track record of success there. More recently however, there is some evidence to suggest that they may more directly help those with OCPD by helping the patient with their rigidity and compulsiveness. It would appear that more studies need to be done, but they could potentially help OCPD sufferers to think more clearly and make decisions better and faster.
Full disclosure, the rest of the video is going to focus on methods that have had varying levels of success based on my research. Now my plan is to be a sort of a guinea pig for you guys. Truthfully, I’m close to, if not at my all time rock bottom, and although I had made up my mind for some time that I was going to finally pull out all the stops and really try and beat this, I had put it off for the sake of this channel. As mentioned in my very first video, nothing I’ve found online has helped me because I wasn’t able to relate to anyone. There’s very little content to begin with, and the videos I found were mostly from people that either didn’t think the OCPD was that big of a deal, or had found a way to manage it for themselves. So in an attempt to reach as many people as possible and to have as positive affect as possible, I wanted to be full on with the OCPD. Congratulations to me. I’m definitely there.
I have a sort of timetable of how I want to approach these options. I’m really not planning on digging in until around week 9. But there is one method I’m hoping to get a jump on much sooner, if not potentially right away. That first method would be exercise. The reason being is that in order to get to all these other options, I need to want to do them. Exercise has proven time and again to alleviate depression. So I’m going to start there and I’m hoping you guys can help keep me accountable.
Following closely on the heals of exercise will be some significant changes to my diet and a check up by a physician. I don’t eat a lot of unhealthy foods, but I’m not getting a lot of nutrition out of my current diet. I might talk about what I eat, but I’m not going to suggest one diet over another. My goal will simply be to add more of everything I’m missing into my diet. However, I’m more than glad to take suggestions in the comments. I’ll also be throwing in some additional supplements and I’ll let you know what those are when the time comes.
The next couple of methods I’m less excited about. But I can’t report on them if I don’t try them. These would be relaxation training, including possibly yoga. Also I will be trying meditation, and I will start a journal. None of these particular methods are really my style. But others have benefited so I will give them a go. I would like to know in the comments though if anyone is interested in me journaling directly into the blog I have. By now I’ve thrown any sense of my own privacy out the window. So if anyone thinks they would benefit from reading it, I’ll make it public.
Now all of these methods are pretty much for treating the anxiety and depression. The only proven method for OCPD is therapy. However, I will also be using this channel, group therapy if I can find it, additional reading up on OCPD and communicating with other OCPD sufferers online as a way to self treat this disorder. I will let you know how each of those helps.
The very last option I want to mention is the only other treatment recommended by some for OCPD. Two years ago in another failed attempt at getting things under control I experimented with NAC. NAC, or N-acetylcysteine is a modified form of the amino acid cysteine. I’m only mentioning it as a warning. For me, and it may be radically different for others, almost immediately I had overwhelming suicidal thoughts. By the third day I was able to clear my head enough to realize where those were coming from and I threw away all of the NAC. I’m not telling you to stay away from it. But please don’t do what I did. If you’re going to try it please do it under the care and supervision of a professional.
Finally, I’m including a link to an article by The New Jersey Association of Cognitive Behavioral Therapists. This second half of this article is incredibly informative and goes into many of the specific methods that a therapist might use with you when treating you for OCPD. I think you will find it interesting.
OCPD Online Test:
Cammer’s Test For OCPD: