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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (cont.)

Diagnoses Associated With OCD

About 75% of OCD sufferers also have another mental-health condition. Obsessive compulsive personality disorder is a separate disorder from OCD. It is a pervasive pattern of perfectionism, control, and having things in order that results in sacrificing flexibility and efficiency. OCPD begins by early adulthood and is characterized by a combination of a number of the following symptoms:

  • a preoccupation with details, rules, order or schedules; perfectionism that interferes with getting things done; excessive commitment to work and productivity;
  • inflexibility about morals, ethics, or values;
  • an inability to discard worthless objects, even when they have no sentimental value;
  • difficulty delegating tasks to others unless done exactly to the OCPD sufferer's specifications;
  • a tendency to hoard money; rigidity, and stubbornness.

Although OCD and OCPD have some symptoms in common, they seem to be clearly separate disorders. Most people who suffer from OCD do not have OCPD and visa versa. However, when individuals with OCD do suffer from a personality disorder, OCPD or schizotypal personality disorders seem to be two of the most common. Schizotypal personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal problems that is characterized by marked uneasiness with, and inability to engage in, close relationships, as well as distorted ways of thinking and perceiving things and displaying behavioral eccentricities that begin by early adulthood.

Many individuals who have OCD tend to experience dissociation. Dissociation is an unexpected partial or complete interruption of an individual's conscious actions that the sufferer cannot easily explain or recall. It separates a person from their thoughts, recollections, emotions, actions, or sense of self. As dissociation is often associated with a history of being abused, individuals may be more likely to have that history as well.

As it is common for people with OCD to also suffer from social phobia, professionals who treat these disorders often use treatments that address both disorders. Although individuals who suffer from compulsive gambling may have some symptoms of OCD, it is not common for people with compulsive gambling to have full-blown OCD or obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Trichotillomania (TTM) is repeated pulling of one's hair from the head or anywhere on the body to reduce anxiety, resulting in decreased emotional tension combined with hair loss. It is thought to have many features in common with OCD. These two disorders often co-occur. While individuals with OCD often also have eating disorders, which condition occurs first seems to vary.

Obsessive compulsive symptoms can occur as part of autism spectrum disorders, often causing significant distress to those individuals. When full-blown OCD occurs in individuals with Asperger's disorder and other autism spectrum disorders, it seems to be more difficult to treat.

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