Caring for someone w/ obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)

Posted by rpg @rpg, Dec 10, 2019

I am overwhelmed. My husband has had one psychologist diagnose him with OCPD. His raging has been increasing in intensity and duration. After months of trying, he has finally agreed to give the psychiatry team at Mayo a try. 1.5 years ago he agreed and was accepted to schedule but changed his mind-not unusual. He trusts Mayo as that is where many family members have been treated for nonpsychological conditions with success. “They probably don’t hire quacks.”
I call to get an appointment and was informed he would need to be accepted again. After waiting 2.5 weeks, and surprisingly hubby asked often if we had heard back, we were informed today that Mayo will not see him and we should ask his gp for a referral to a local-which hubby refuses to do because they are “all quacks.”
I’m at a loss. Him being open to help was huge. I am tired of being verbally abused and having a bag packed to leave when he rages. I worked so hard to get him to agree to Mayo and now that seems unavailable.
Where do I turn?

What will always be a puzzle to me is how a supposedly hard working, industrious, church going young man that I married can suddenly turn into a stranger who lives in another world at times, and believes unreal stories that I can prove are bogus. He was the greatest believer in success and was a terrific, natural salesman. But success made him insecure, and then he became a bragger, a user, and a fake to make up for his shortcomings, and didn't want to learn the economics to successful management of our businesses. And then the lies, lies, lies. In the psychology world this is called a personality disorder, not a mental illness. I recognized the OCD early on, but he believed he had no problems at all. I will never understand his reality. Dorisena

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On a positive note, I have known people who thrive on the proper medication to control their OCD, so long as they yield to their spouse or partner who guides them when they overdo a compulsive episode. That is the true meaning of getting help. A person goes to the doctor to get treatment for a broken leg. It is wise for a person to go to the doctor for a misaligned thinking disorder. Both illnesses need assistance and support to overcome the problems and no one should think they are able or are required to go it alone. We need to teach this concept at a very young age. The ingrained thinking of an older person seldom changes, because he or she relies on what has worked in the past or what is the custom of the time. Dorisena

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@dorisena

On a positive note, I have known people who thrive on the proper medication to control their OCD, so long as they yield to their spouse or partner who guides them when they overdo a compulsive episode. That is the true meaning of getting help. A person goes to the doctor to get treatment for a broken leg. It is wise for a person to go to the doctor for a misaligned thinking disorder. Both illnesses need assistance and support to overcome the problems and no one should think they are able or are required to go it alone. We need to teach this concept at a very young age. The ingrained thinking of an older person seldom changes, because he or she relies on what has worked in the past or what is the custom of the time. Dorisena

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Thanks for all the insight. It helps to know I am not alone as a caregiver

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Does anyone have any experience with OCPD? Hoe do you deal with someone who has it so that almost every interaction doesn’t turn into an argument? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

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@jh31251

Does anyone have any experience with OCPD? Hoe do you deal with someone who has it so that almost every interaction doesn’t turn into an argument? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

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Hi @jh31251, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about dealing with someone who has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). I did this so that you can connect with other members like @rpg @gingerw @dorisena @sears @Erinmfs and others.

You can also read more in this discussion:
Elderly father with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/elderly-father-with-obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-ocpd/

Jon, may I ask, is this someone you see and interact with daily or regularly?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @jh31251, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about dealing with someone who has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). I did this so that you can connect with other members like @rpg @gingerw @dorisena @sears @Erinmfs and others.

You can also read more in this discussion:
Elderly father with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/elderly-father-with-obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-ocpd/

Jon, may I ask, is this someone you see and interact with daily or regularly?

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Yes, I just did a nice thing for this person and got ripped for it. Always seems to turn everything back on me and of course is never wrong about anything.

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Well, if a person with OCPD doesn't want to get better, or is in denial, you have two choices: live with him and avoid him, or leave, depending on your financial position. My sister's husband has a family history, along with his children and grandchildren, some who are medicated, and others who do not attempt to get better. My late husband was undiagnosed, but his OCD was evident and he died at a young age 71. He lived in denial for fifty years of marriage. There were other serious problems as well. My brother-in-law went to the University hospital doctor and then gave up and literally drove his wife insane with his disorder. His daughters are alcoholics and very compulsive. At this point you can only be kind and don't blow up at his rages, and you can just leave the room, as I did.
Yes, I had a bag packed as well, but I always came home at night because I knew he "owned me." God has blessed me with a very peaceful life and I don't allow any person to use controlling behavior with me. I have dumped friends, ignored relatives, and left churches because I want to be free of the conditions of OCD. It often declines into dementia and you can look forward to continued misery. I have known two success stories, with medication and behavior therapy which needs to continue for years. Love will not win the war over this disease if it continues into adulthood from childhood without medication.
It probably was a decision of the Mayo Clinic that they could not help him at this point. However, I have read literature from Mayo that they believe Narcissism can be cured or controlled with therapy, and after many years of study and being in a support group, I decline to agree. We are talking co-morbidity here. Dorisena

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@dorisena

Well, if a person with OCPD doesn't want to get better, or is in denial, you have two choices: live with him and avoid him, or leave, depending on your financial position. My sister's husband has a family history, along with his children and grandchildren, some who are medicated, and others who do not attempt to get better. My late husband was undiagnosed, but his OCD was evident and he died at a young age 71. He lived in denial for fifty years of marriage. There were other serious problems as well. My brother-in-law went to the University hospital doctor and then gave up and literally drove his wife insane with his disorder. His daughters are alcoholics and very compulsive. At this point you can only be kind and don't blow up at his rages, and you can just leave the room, as I did.
Yes, I had a bag packed as well, but I always came home at night because I knew he "owned me." God has blessed me with a very peaceful life and I don't allow any person to use controlling behavior with me. I have dumped friends, ignored relatives, and left churches because I want to be free of the conditions of OCD. It often declines into dementia and you can look forward to continued misery. I have known two success stories, with medication and behavior therapy which needs to continue for years. Love will not win the war over this disease if it continues into adulthood from childhood without medication.
It probably was a decision of the Mayo Clinic that they could not help him at this point. However, I have read literature from Mayo that they believe Narcissism can be cured or controlled with therapy, and after many years of study and being in a support group, I decline to agree. We are talking co-morbidity here. Dorisena

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I am new to this site and was pleased to see a group that discusses OCPD. I am married to a man for 60 years who was only diagnosed with OCPD about 5 years ago. He is on an anti depressant and an anti anxiety med. He has also recently been diagnosed with MID. It has not been a happy life, due to his VERY difficult personality. He is very controlling and verbally abusive. I stayed with him (for the kids)… and then when I had a chance in 1985, I was too insecure about my own financial future and he had told me once that if I left him, he would kill me!!! My working life gave me some measure of freedom from him, but now being retired for 15 years, I am under his control every day. I do get out with friends, but usually am harassed about leaving him alone… Having gained self confidence from a therapist, I now do more for myself than ever, but it is a very difficult day to day life. Since his diagnosis of MID, he is even more controlling. His memory is declining quickly, but he continues to fight that he is right…. He's not.. He is a Narcissist, which is possibly a bi-product of OCPD. All three of our children suffered because of his behavior and 2 of the 3 live 2000 miles away.. I pray that I get to have a few years free of him before I die..

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@irisheyes1941

I am new to this site and was pleased to see a group that discusses OCPD. I am married to a man for 60 years who was only diagnosed with OCPD about 5 years ago. He is on an anti depressant and an anti anxiety med. He has also recently been diagnosed with MID. It has not been a happy life, due to his VERY difficult personality. He is very controlling and verbally abusive. I stayed with him (for the kids)… and then when I had a chance in 1985, I was too insecure about my own financial future and he had told me once that if I left him, he would kill me!!! My working life gave me some measure of freedom from him, but now being retired for 15 years, I am under his control every day. I do get out with friends, but usually am harassed about leaving him alone… Having gained self confidence from a therapist, I now do more for myself than ever, but it is a very difficult day to day life. Since his diagnosis of MID, he is even more controlling. His memory is declining quickly, but he continues to fight that he is right…. He's not.. He is a Narcissist, which is possibly a bi-product of OCPD. All three of our children suffered because of his behavior and 2 of the 3 live 2000 miles away.. I pray that I get to have a few years free of him before I die..

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I am quite open about my 14 years of widowhood and the fact that I inherited my husband's share of the estate, including property that he owned without my name on it. He wanted to give it to the children at his death, which was not legal, and would have left me with no real income. Also no savings, no retirement, and he refused to purchase health insurance on himself aside from Medicare. I can say that most of the problems in the end were caused by his declining mental health which most people did not notice. So they did not believe my side of any story, and do not to this day. It sounds like you are doing the right thing for yourself now, and I recommend studying research on Narcissism which explains why the behavior does not improve with therapy. You are correct to fear being killed because you are property, not a beloved wife. Narcissism can come from trauma early in life that is never resolved. Looking for a cause can relieve some of the stress and guilt you many suffer from becoming trapped in your marriage. I was lucky that my late husband didn't mind my independence, in fact he was then free to not spend much of his life with me. That worked best in the end, but I did go to the nursing home almost daily before he died alone, drugged, and unconscious. He wouldn't speak to me at all and never reconciled. My healing continues, and I am mentally healthy enough to reach out to others to support the realities of the disease. Dorisena

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@colleenyoung

Hi @jh31251, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about dealing with someone who has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). I did this so that you can connect with other members like @rpg @gingerw @dorisena @sears @Erinmfs and others.

You can also read more in this discussion:
Elderly father with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/elderly-father-with-obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-ocpd/

Jon, may I ask, is this someone you see and interact with daily or regularly?

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@jh31251, @colleenyoung, I may have an add-on for you for OCPD. I have spent quite a bit of time communicating with my 21-year-old granddaughter in the last few weeks. Her father had OCPD and she has OCD. About the time her OCD required residential treatment, her father chose suicide. She has now chosen to live with a multiphasic personality, bipolar young man…..someone who refuses to celebrate her 21st birthday and who is very controlling. He and his family do not believe in staying home to help end the COVID-19 . She is very fearful of dying and of seeing her family die.

So, we have been sending her pictures of how we set up the grocery sanitizing, and what we use to wash down the kitchen. She needed information about how to handle the mail, how to wipe down the car and especially how do stay out of Target and other stores.

We are making headway but it usually starts with tears and fears. Tomorrow morning she will join us on Facetime for our Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practice at her request. This is a first.

And today I sent her this webinar from Rogers Behavioral Institute where she was a patient for months. It just may have some pearls of wisdom for others.
https://rogersbh.org/resources/treating-ocd-during-covid-19-unique-challenges-and-opportunities
Be safe and protected from inner and outer harm.
Chris

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@jh31251

Yes, I just did a nice thing for this person and got ripped for it. Always seems to turn everything back on me and of course is never wrong about anything.

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@jh31251 Your response to @colleenyoung's post, seems to indicate that the person you have been interacting with, shows some of the classic signs of OCPD, per this site The Recovery Village, talking about the difference between OCD and OCPD
https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/ocpd/related/ocpd-vs-ocd/#gref
It is difficult to have positive relationships sometimes, especially when parties have some form of a personality dis-order or mental health condition. From my experience, my comment is to know that you are acting in a healthy manner. How the other may act, is on them. That doesn't mean it is right, that doesn't mean it is excusable, doesn't mean it hurts less.

Has this person been formally diagnosed with OCPD? If so, are they helping themselves survive on a daily basis with medication, or counseling? Being there for someone, and helping them realize that they risk losing friends/family/joy in life because of their behavior can be tough, but rewarding for you.

I hope this helps a little bit. How are you doing, today?
Ginger

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