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Yes. She couldn't stand me anymore.

She's messy and dirty, and I'm a neat freak. She's also always cold, and I can't sleep with the window closed. And we share the same room.

It got to the point where the first thing I would think about when I wake up is how much of her mess I should shove in the closet, move around, etc. without her noticing. The first thing I notice when I get home is the smell, and if there isn't any smell, I look for it. I notice all the little messes she makes (things other people wouldn't notice), like socks under the bed, etc.

She's also one of those people who claim they don't trust doctors and wouldn't take any medication even if they were dying. But I found a box of generic Xanax by accident a few months ago, and this has driven me into a frantic search of her belongings for other drugs/prescriptions she's been hiding. It was easy since she's very messy and doesn't try to hide/organize thigns. I found out she's been on Remeron, Xanax, a muscle relaxant, and magnesium in the past. [note: I don't mind people hiding things from me, but lying really pisses me off]. Looking through her things has become a complusion. Though I try to convince myself that it's none of my business, I can't help it.

It is true that she's dirty and messy (she showers once a week, hasn't changed her bed sheets in several months, and has been using the same toothbrush for more than a year and a half), but it didn't used to piss me off as much last year (maybe because I was depressed and out of my mind last year and didn't notice), and she had other rommates before who are still very good friends with her, and didn't seem to mind her mess and lies.

I was wondering if this is just my OCPD getting worse, or some mild OCD. I'm not looking for a diagnosis, but just wondering if the above is a feature of OCPD, or whether I am developing something new.

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Hey Stranger.

In my opinion, it doesn't sound like OCD. It does seem however, like part of your OCPD. I believe this because it sounds like more of a "chronic pattern of inflexible personality" rather than a "an unrealistic, irrational fear or anxiety of disabling intensity"; in referance to obsessiveness or compulsions. Or rather, it could be an obsession in result of your "perfectionism" and inflexability.

I agree that your roommates private life isn't any of your buisness. But I also believe that considering your personality style, you have a hard time not doing so (as do I). You have to notice when you go to far and what you are doing is too much.

Twitch

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Hi Stranger.  I can hopefully shed some light on your question.

Psychiatrists today use a globally recognised means of categorising groups of symptoms called DSM-IV (you probably have heard or read about it).  Its consistent so that 1 dr and another dr can read a file and have a common understanding of the conditon the patient is suffering from.

Under this classification, there are 5 axes which are measured when diagnosing a patient.

Axis 1 includes clinical syndromes, and is usually 1 or perhaps a couple of presenting conditions. A good example would be OCD, or major depressive disorder or panic disorder.

Axis 2, on the other hand, looks at developmental & personality disorders.  This category includes both personality traits and personality disorders, as well as a whole heap of other stuff (not relevant to what we are talking about now).

A good example of a differentiation between an axis 1 and an axis 2 disorder, is that an axis one disorder is considered to be a form of illness that can be treated in one way or another, and will probably be less symptomatic when treated.  An axis 2 disorder however, like a personality disorder, is characterised by personality features which arent cureable. The individual who has it is generally more comfortable with their personality than not, and a psychiatrist wouldnt tend to treat this is a sickness, rather consider it as an influence to any category I disorders.

A good example is in my case.  Symptomatically I have been diagnosed with an Obsessive Personality Trait, which is like a lesser form of OCPD.  I will always have this trait, and as a result any axis 1 conditions i suffer will tend to be influenced by my obsessional personality.  Hence any depressive disorders or anxiety disorders I possess tend to have a strong obsessive element.  On the other hand my trait offers me some unique skills and thought perspective that the average joe doesnt have.  Sometimes I feel like I took the red pill, so to speak.

As it turns out, I have been diagnosed with and am being treated for OCD.  I have developed this separately from my obsessive trait although the context is there. I have been treated for over a year now and my episodes are far less common and severe and I am feeling somewhat "better" although I continue to be haunted and have been advised that I have reached maximum improvement, which indicates permanent damage unfortunately.

In your case, just because you have OCPD doesnt necessarily mean that you will have obsessive episodes a la OCD.  Hopefully not anyway.  OCPD isnt a "lesser" conditon than OCD, rather it is a different type of condition. Some people with OCPD do suffer from OCD as well, but its often the case that the OCPD is diagnosed instead of the OCD; ie in lieu of. 

As for the behaviour you describe, it doesnt necessarily sound obsessive, and Im not hearing indications of an Obsessive episode coming out here.  Your flatmate seems to have unusually poor hygiene which anyone would be concerned about (I am!)

On the other hand, its not fair to look through someone else's belongings - especially if done in secret.  This is a 1 way train to relationship problems. 

It is possible that this behaviour you have developed is indeed a compulsion, though I believe your thought content needs to be examined by a trained professional in order to come up with a diagnosis.  eg does the behaviour relax you or satisfy some anxiety?  Normally this is the point of compulsions.  Compulsions become particularly problematic when the behaviour hurts yourself or worse someone else, but chances are the cause is a lot of pain inside you; this is typical in the obsessive compulsive relationship that some of us are unfortunate enough to suffer from.

;) I do however, strongly recommend, if you are feeling like things arent right at the moment, book in an appointment to see your psychiatrist and/or therapist.  These things are best handled by a trained professional, and they can often offer a different perspective. :)

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hi there stranger.

I didnt mean to assume you didnt know things, rather I thought it a useful opportunity to post some content on OCD & OCPD that might help someone else in the feature when using our search engine.

As for the OCPD diagnosis, I think it is generally about severity and number of symptoms.  The difference betweeen having a personality trait and a personality disorder is severity of symptoms.

I want you to have another think about how you feel when you do things like look through the flatmate's gear - ie is it anxiety relieving, exciting, disturbing etc because I think this may be the key issue here; not just what you do but how it makes you feel. 

For me, OCD tends to involve disturbing cognitions, which are visual and repetitive thoughts/voices about evil stuff I dont want to think about.  Ive found therapy to be helpful, and paxil and seroquel to be very helpful.  Sometimes I still fall down though. They say for most people with OCD the compulsive behaviour (whether cognitive or physical) tends to be in reponse to upsetting thoughts in an attempt to alieviate anxiety or pain.  Thats why I think if you look back across those times you felt you were compulsively looking through your friends stuff, there maybe some answers hididng there.

As for the red pill - that's from the matrix. 

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I want you to have another think about how you feel when you do things like look through the flatmate's gear - ie is it anxiety relieving, exciting, disturbing etc because I think this may be the key issue here; not just what you do but how it makes you feel.
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Yep that all makes sense.  Well the good news is this doesnt sound like an OCD episode, or a psychotic episode.

I think you would benefit in seeing a therapist or counsellor about this experience.  Are you a student?  You may have free access to these services if so.

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Thanks for making me think about these things.

I don't do well in therapy (I guess another feature of OCPD). Both psychologists at the counseling center in turn have been frustrated with me and have terminated therapy. Maybe I will email one of them and see what she says.

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