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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and CoDep
August 1, 2004
9:57 pm
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fauxcasio
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My family has a history of OCD...my mom is a hoarder and my brother is a perfectionist/apocalypse maniac. I don't have a bad case of OCD, maybe just OC in a normal functional way, no panic attacks.

I'm a 25 year old male, and seem to date the same situation over and over again.

I'm currently in a relationship with a girl who has a very bad case of OCD; she has to take many pills just to function. Her father was an alcoholic and her parents divorced when she was in high-school.

Can anyone relate to this? I think OCD really complicates things.

August 2, 2004
12:04 am
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annastar
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Please, defind OCD. Just your personal understanding and what does it means to you.

August 2, 2004
4:49 am
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fauxcasio
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OCD=obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. When a person exhibits irrational behavior to combat perceived threats or anxieties. Also, this person may create imaginary anxieties to relieve guilt or fear.

An example: Most athletes have superstitions. Wear your lucky socks and you will perform well.

To an obsessive-compulsive, wearing those socks is a life or death matter; if he or she does not wear those socks, that means the world will end. Obsessions come in many forms, most everyone has them, it's just that to the obsessive-compulsive person, they EXPLODE.

It's kinda complex to explain and I am no psychiatrist. I feel like people with OCD deserve the same dignity everyone else does. They shouldn't be the target of ridicule or be called names. I guess I rationalize it by thinking to myself "Would you date someone with a disability if you find something special?" I'm also aware that this line of thinking might lead to the incorrect reasoning of "You should ONLY date people with disabilities to help them ."

One of the main features of OCD is a sense of doubt. The sufferer has no ability to tell "for sure". So, the athlete with those socks has no way to tell for sure if it was the socks that were responsible for the athletic performance.

In other forms of OCD, a common occurance is the suspicion that something they have done has caused someone immense harm. The sufferer has to check repeatedly to make sure that everything is ok.

Where this connects with Codependency, I think at least, is the checking...it's really easy for me to say "No, the stove isn't on, I remember turning it off before I left the house."

For my girlfriend, she immediately thinks "Oh my goodness, I left the stove on, the house is burning right now, we have to call the fire department, I didn't check enough, it's all my fault, what did I do to deserve this, I'll be better next time, I swear!"

Which brings me to a state of enabling.

I'm sorry for the 80-pages of this posting, but that's the sensitivity of the issue I think.

August 2, 2004
5:53 am
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fauxcasio
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Thanks Twinks. It's easy to confuse the two. I forgot that when I myself obsess about someone else's problem, I give it a pet-name that isn't absolutely correct.

That paper was helpful but kind of confusing. It illustrates a dire need for more explanation, maybe a new name for those who suffer with OCD but not OCPD. This thread is a good start.

Maybe someone could clarify it a in posting.

I guess I have a difficult time telling the difference between giving genuine assurance and "taking care of" behavior.

When am I enabling and when am I just being a boyfriend?

August 2, 2004
6:23 am
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babysteps
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Fauxcasio,

I think you raise an interesting question; "When am I enabling and when am I just being a boyfriend?"

If you feel as though you are neglecting yourself, if in your gut you feel unsettled about your relationship, if you feel guilty about taking time for yourself or trying to meet your own needs, you may be trying to "save" or take care of your girlfriend at the expense of you own needs.

While I don't have firsthand experience with OCD, I can draw connections to my own experiences. I am very interested in a boy who has panic attacks in crowded areas and also displays codependent characteristics (like me, he is also in therapy right now). I know I care about him and respect him as a person, but I did feel the need initially to take care of him. Now, we are taking time to concentrate on us, and I am realizing that I do care about him as a person...anxiety, codependency, and everything that makes him him.

I think mutual support is important in any relationship. Yet, it should be MUTUAL...not you simply trying to rescue your girlfriend. Listen to and trust your gut; it usually tells you exactly what your head doesn't want you to hear.

Keep posting,
Baby Steps

August 2, 2004
2:35 pm
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kathygy
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Fauxcasio,

I have been diagnosed with OCD and I do take medication for it. OCD can vary in degrees. My medication helps me a great deal. I would want to be sure your gf is on the right medication at the right dose. If its not helping her to control her OCD then maybe she needs to see a different phychiatrist.

My OCD has never been an issue in any of my relationships with men. There is nothing wrong in reasuring your gf if you really love her. I wouldn't worry about being codependet here. you are just being loving. However, if it becomes draining for you then you need to take care of yourself. I think it really is up to you. How do you personally feel having to reasure your gf? There is no 'should' here.

August 2, 2004
2:45 pm
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kathygy
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Also, it really depends on whether you can have a healthy intimacy with your gf. Is she capable of that? I think the most important question is can you have a healthy relationship with your gf OCD or not?

August 4, 2004
5:33 am
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fauxcasio
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She's on multiple Rx's. I'm pretty familiar with them by now, but I'm not sure if it's ok to talk about them here.

So...you can probably guess these:

Extreme Withdrawal SSRI Anti-depressants,

Possibly diabetes-causing Anti-psychotics,

1960's general purpose
depressants.

Her doc is still messing with the amounts and frequencies. She's fairly stable most of the time as far as panic goes, but VERY strict with routines and rituals.

I think relationships are based on: -Trust and Understanding. -Acceptance.
-Intimacy.

But I can't express how I feel sometimes because I know she will have a panic attack.

If I don't reassure her that she's not fat or that she's not pregnant, she will have a thought explosion like:

"You think I'm fat, and you will never have sex with me again and I've ruined our relationship and I'm such a bad person you hate me it's because I ate something out of my routine."

If she does something that should provoke just normal anger, and I'm talking about average everyday stupid things that couples argue about, for instance, "why didn't you feed the cat?" I should be able to feel angry. I have a right to express my feelings.

But if I do, inevitably, she ends up crying in the corner or banging her head on the wall. So I have to say "Oh, it's fine you didn't feed the cat. He's ok. He'll eat now." Or else I just end up feeding the cat and not saying anything.

I think the core of the issue is acceptance. I don't mind if my girlfriend burps in front of me. That's ok. But after a while, I wonder if I'm not really in love with her anymore, I just stay with her because I don't want her to end up in the hospital again with a panic attack or worse. I just want her to be a stable person. But I guess I can't help her and if I did leave it would be her own responsibility to take care of herself.

I don't know. Thanks for listening!

August 4, 2004
5:55 am
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fauxcasio
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Ok, here's another good link to define the differences between OCD and OCPD...

http://community.healthgate.co...../2002/ocpd

August 4, 2004
9:43 am
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fairy99
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fauxcasio

That is so sad. I know that there a chemical problems that atribute to those conditions, and then there are those who just simply out of habit forming duties just can't seem to break the cycle.

How do you feel about his girl?

Unfortunatly we are all broken in our lives at some point and it would be great for someone to come along and just fix us but it doesn't happen like that, we have to wanna fix ourselves. I wish you much luck with this and I will keep you in my prayers.

HUGS!

fairy

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