Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

OCPD - As Seen on TV!

Bree Van de KampImage via WikipediaUntil a few years ago, I never heard of the term OCPD. 

Sadly, just because people don't know about a mental disorder - or, perhaps, call it by a different name, doesn't mean there aren't a whole bunch of people out there affected by it.

Once I started paying attention, I realized it had been out there, in the general population and portrayed on television, in movies, and in books and plays, for years.

Felix Unger, a fictional clean freak in a play by Neil Simon (later a movie and TV series), was probably OCPD.

Bree Van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives - perfectionist, controlled and controlling... OCPD, even if not officially diagnosed so by the show's writers.
After her mother was killed in a hit and run, Bree cleaned her blood off the road outside the house. She said that once everything was spotless, she felt much better. 

Just read a couple "heartwarming" books by best-selling author Debbie Macomber featuring characters with symptoms of OCPD.  As is one of the most famous poster-children of all, Ebeneezer Scrooge, in a story by Charles Dickens that's been recreated in numerous stage plays and movies.

Scrooge chose the pursuit of money over love, family, friendship... but in one night of ghostly visitations, he realized his mistake and turned his life around 180 degrees.  Macomber's characters, too - once faced with True Love, seemingly cured!

That can happen in novels.  In plays.  In movies.  One big epiphany, the stingy/controlling/perfectionistic person sees the light, and everything is different, from that moment onward.

Real life don't work that way.

In real life, a lifetime's habits, brain patterns, and the distorted thinking that are part of OCPD have never been miraculously cured in one night.  Think of changing the path of even a small creek - it will take long, hard work, to divert the path of the creek into a new direction.

It can be done.  It has been done.  It is being done - and I salute the brave, strong, courageous men and women who've decided to battle their OCPD.  But just like a creek that's been diverted, there's always the strong inclination to revert to the older, more accustomed channel.  It takes constant work to keep the water flowing in the new pattern.

Not meaning to discourage anyone praying for a miracle cure.  Prayer can't hurt.  But while you're waiting for said miracle, the smart money is on rolling up the sleeves and doing the work.

Where have you seen OCPD, in fictional works?

Enhanced by Zemanta