Tag Archives: Perfectionism

The day I learned obsession with order is itself disorder.

Legends of JRPI suffer from a personality disorder called “OCPD“: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. It is not the same as OCD, though they share characteristics. I don’t have rituals like repeated hand-washing.

Instead, I’m obsessed with order and perfection everywhere. Not using your turn signal makes me furious — no exaggeration. I have strong preferences for particular glassware and utensils. Placement of pictures. Whether colleagues IM or email, and on which topics. Which direction I face at restaurant table…on and on and on.

Anything out of place is like nails on a chalkboard. Imagine that piercing screech coming from every bit clutter or misused grammar and you’ll have a good idea what it’s like in my mind. It’s hell.

Discovering I had OCPD was one of the greatest days of my life.  Read More →

Identifying the Madness: Jason and OCPD

While researching OCD for fiction, I stumbled upon OCPD: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. Suddenly I was reading most accurate personality profile ever presented to me. From Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary 18th ed 1968:

[OCPD] is characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

That’s broad, so let’s not leap to conclusions. I have hypochondriatic tendencies (though as we will shall see, that itself is a manifestation of OCPD). According Brainphysics.com, OCPD is when everything has to be “just right”:

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is the mental disorder of striving for too much success. Perfection is the ultimate goal of the OCPD person, and failure is seen as earth shattering. OCPD is the disorder that, on the outside, seems useful. A drive to succeed is very appealing, but OCPD pushes it past the line of success and into the realm of isolation, anxiety, and depression.

I’m a perfectionist, and utterly crushed by failure. I see failure everywhere: My ability to navigate a 4-way stop, order food at a restaurant or make small talk with coworkers. When I lose a video game, or my OS glitches, I’m not merely annoyed, I’m furious. I want to destroy things.

But let’s not take the perfectionism/anxiety relationship as proof of OCPD. Read More →