Is there a Difference between OCD and Perfectionism?
Are you meticulous about organizing your clothes by color in your closet? You might also keep a detailed calendar with blocks of time for eats, sleep, and commutes. Perhaps you've wondered if your routines aren't enough.
OCD, which is an acronym for obsessive compulsive disorder, is often used in jokes and conversations to refer to a light-hearted condition. Sometimes it's tempting to give these small perfectionist quirks a label. However, these are not signs that someone is OCD.
OCD isn’t something many people think is funny. This is an often-misunderstood mental condition that causes people to think and behave in ways that interfere with their daily lives. OCD often gets confused with OCD being perfectionist. OCD may be driven by perfectionists, but it isn't the same. Perfectionism is not something to be taken too far.
People with OCD desire to end their behavior but can't. According to psychologist Susan Albers Bowling, PsyD, it feels like they are out of control. Perfectionists on the contrary, don't often want to change their behavior, as they see it as an opportunity for some rewards, or a sense order.
However, if OCD is something you are experiencing and you believe it to be the case there are ways you can diagnose it.
What is Perfectionism?
It's essential to distinguish between OCD and perfectionionism in order to be able to recognize the differences. Perfectionism can also be a personality trait. They may have a set of routines or habits that they adhere to, such as a morning ritual or an organizational system for their work desk. They may not be doing this out of anxiety .
Dr. Albers Bowling states that perfectionists are more likely to engage in rituals than others because they feel more in control.
This means that someone who is a perfectionist sets high standards for others and themselves. This personality characteristic is often associated with goal-oriented and good organizational skills. People who are able to work hard and achieve great results may have healthy perfectionist tendencies.
However, high standards may also cause people to become extremely critical of others and themselves.
Health vs. Unhealthy Perfectionism
Dr. Albers Bowling points out that perfectionists can set unrealistically high standards, leading to constant disappointment and unfulfillment. In the end, perfection is unrealistic and impossible to achieve.
It is possible to display unhealthy perfectionism if you:
- You have high expectations and your relationships with others, whether they are romantic or professional.
- If you are constantly striving for perfection, it can cause mental exhaustion and even sleeplessness.
- You can trigger anxiety, depression and other mental issues by your perfectionism.
- Because of fear of failing, you may avoid some tasks entirely.
Perfectionism can be a negative influence on your life. It is important that you find positive ways to deal with it. Because of their unrealistic expectations, perfectionism can cause negative self-talk as well as low self-esteem.
"Perfectionists often require the same effort and perfection as they demand from their friends or family. This can lead to people becoming tired," Dr. Albers Bowling says. When your spouse or other friends do not function the same, this can place a significant burden on a relationship. They may feel criticized or judged and not enough.
OCD: What's it all about?
OCD, a type of mental illness that causes anxiety by having repeated thoughts or impulses that are not desired. The individual will perform a ritual or compulsive act to lessen their anxiety.
According to Dr. Albers, these behaviors could manifest in many ways. It can range from fear of germs to worrying about repetitive thoughts or worries, such as counting and checking things, counting repeatedly, or checking your behaviors.
She continues, "Basically, someone gets obsessed with one thing and feels compelled by it to finish it." It is common for them to be afraid that they will find out the consequences if the behavior or thought doesn't work. They feel a sense of imminent doom, or fear that terrible things will occur. But they are unwilling to take the risk and discover.
One example is someone who has obsessive thoughts about safety and safety of loved ones. They may find it necessary to open the front door at least a dozen times before they go out.
Other examples of OCD rituals are:
- Follow a specific path.
- You can repeat certain movements, such as blinking or getting up and moving down.
- Touching and picking up objects in a particular way.
- You can turn on or off something, and check that you have turned it off.
- You can tap your fingers, or say certain words in a particular order.
"It can become exhausting, and take up an important part of someone's time that could be used to do other productive tasks," Dr. Albers Bowling says. They feel like they are forced to, regardless of whether it makes sense. OCD patients often can see that their thoughts and behaviors are not rational. OCD patients have a constant loop in their brains that won't stop, no matter how hard you try.
Is Perfectionism A Form Of OCD?
How can you determine if your OCD is a result of perfectionism or obsessive compulsive disorder? You might also have OCD if you are obsessed with perfection. OCD can be experienced by many people. However, it requires a particular type of mental diagnosis. You can have one or both of these personalities and treat them differently. They can even exist separately.
Perfectionism vs. OCD
The key distinction between perfectionionism and OCD lies in how you perceive your behavior and rituals.
Although perfectionists may believe that a messy closet will look unorganized, OCD sufferers feel a completely different level of anxiety if their routines aren't followed. Dr. Albers Bowling said that OCD patients will continue to do the things they hate, even when they realize it is rational.
OCD patients want to change their behavior but are unable. This behavior feels beyond their control. Perfectionists on the contrary, are often unable to control their behaviour because they feel it will bring them some benefits or order.
OCD, perfectionism and both have some commonalities but they are not the same. They can both cause damage in very different ways. You may have OCD or perfectionism. Research has found that OCD may also be associated with perfectionist tendencies.
It can also be helpful to work on OCD treatment and address any signs of perfectionism in everyday life.
It is important to learn the various strategies and treatments for OCD or perfectionism if you are struggling.
OCD may be something you need additional help with.
Combination Therapy and Medications
Dr. Albers Bowling says, "The best type of treatment is usually a combination therapy and medication." Therapy helps to identify the triggers for OCD and to react differently to them. The medication manages anxiety so it is possible to make changes. The medication helps the brain to let go of negative thoughts and take a break when it says stop.
Radical acceptance is a concept that helps people to stop fighting against reality . It also helps them let go of the things they don't have control over. Even though behavioral therapy is often sufficient for those with mild symptoms of OCD, Dr. Albers Bowling points out that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitions (SSRIs), which are a commonly prescribed antidepressant type, can be used to address a wide range of mental health conditions, including OCD.
How to Cope With Perfectionism
Perfectionionism does not have to be diagnosed. However, it can cause problems in your everyday life. It can be hard to recognize when perfectionionism is causing problems.
Dr. Albers Bowling says that these individuals don't often seek out help until a family member suggests it.
Here are some suggestions if you have been made aware of the negative effects your perfectionist tendencies may be having on your life.
This challenge self-talk
To combat unhealthy perfectionism, it is important to stop negative self-talk. Notice what self-deprecating comments you make about yourself . Consider asking yourself: Would this be a problem for a friend? You won't be punished if you don't do everything perfectly.
Choose a pastime you don't like
You can also challenge your inner critic by finding an activity you aren't good at.Although it may be stressful initially, it can actually be beneficial to choose a hobby you enjoy more than you do.
Get involved in a support group
It's not uncommon. Many people struggle with unhealthy perfectionism. You may be able to learn from other people who have had similar experiences. You can also find some ways to solve your problems by having a group discussion and identifying your perfectionist tendencies.
Get help from a therapist
Talking with a counselor professional can be helpful, regardless of whether you have OCD and perfectionism. Psychotherapy can be very beneficial for someone with extreme perfectionist tendencies or unhealthy behaviors.
Dr. Albers Bowling assures us that there is good news. The sooner you get treatment, the better. Anxious thoughts can grow if left untreated. The therapy process is often transformative for individuals. Therapy helps to overcome these thoughts so that people can engage in the activities they want.