Maria is a marketing writer and published author. She writes about topics she is passionate about like mental health, travel and food.
Relationships Issues for People with ASD and OCPD.
How do you go about forming relationships with these conditions? Do the sufferers of ASD and OCPD have the same difficulties?
Note: Aspergers Syndrome has now been renamed - High Functioning Autism.
There are some similarities between these two conditions. Aspergers Syndrome is on the Autism Spectrum and is also known as High Functioning Autism. Both are conditions that impair the sufferer’s ability to connect socially with their peers in a normal way. Sufferers do want to make friends but they seem to go about it unusually, their ineptness comes across as arrogance, or they seem very shy. They convince themselves they prefer to be alone rather than suffer the anxiety of trying to make friends. Many do prefer to be alone most of the time and they tend to be seen as ‘geeks’ by their peers.
The severity of the person's condition can determine how adept they are at making friends, the Autism Spectrum is wide and varied. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) covers a wide range of symptoms an individual may possess.
Preferring their own company and engaging in their specialised subject is certainly where many young children with these conditions spend a lot of their time, however, as puberty hits the need for friendships becomes more apparent. The difficulties with social norms and understanding social cues become the major issues for sufferers when they seek a relationship, be it a friendship or a more loving one.
It takes patience and understanding to love someone who can only love you back to a certain point, or in a different way to what is considered ‘the norm’. Sufferers are not deliberately being mean, cold or unthinking, they are simply limited by their condition as to what to feel or understand. This is where anxieties form and the difficulties can cause panic attacks, fear of crowded areas, sensory dysfunction and overload, as well as a general fear of public outings.
Many of us have autism-type traits within us. How many people fear public speaking or going to a party on their own? You may be one who enjoys being organised or maybe you like a certain object/subject, the difference is people with neurotypical brains (normal brain function) will not be obsessed by this trait, it is not the only focus of their lives.
To differentiate between people who are considered ‘normal’ a therapist who is analysing someone will look at the amount of time spent on their obsessional traits to determine which syndrome best describes the patient, amongst many other tests. These conditions are not easy to diagnose especially as many may co-exist – ADD, ADHD, PDD.
People with ASD or OCPD may have difficulty forming relationships
Seeing the World Differently
Once we understand what a person who is on the spectrum capabilities are then we are able to understand just how difficult it can be for these people to be ‘normal’. Marion, my friend who is married to George (see Aspergers and OCPD. How These Conditions Affect Long Term Relationships), was once told something by a therapist that really helped her to understand how George’s mind works.
“It is much easier for you to fit into George’s world than he try to fit into yours”
This statement helped Marion to understand just how ‘stuck’ George is in his way of thinking and once she took this on board it changed her expectations of their relationship. Her frustrations of trying to make George understand and listen to her needs became less of an issue in their relationship. It made for a better time all round as Marion knew not to expect certain emotions from George because this part of his brain just hadn’t developed due to OCPD.
Words are understood literally by both ASD and OCPD sufferers so saying something like, “You are making a mountain out of a molehill” during an argument may render a response such as “Are you crazy, I don’t know how to make a mountain” raising the anxiety levels even more within the sufferer due to such an open and innocuous statement.
Also, expecting compliments or spontaneous hugs is futile. In her biography, “Pretending to be Normal*”, Liane Holliday Willey explains that to help her make changes in her behaviour due to AS she makes lists to remind her how to act. Other people make lists to remember to buy milk and bread but Liane’s lists contain reminders such as – “hold Tom’s hands for five minutes every day; squint eyes when in an overwhelming crowd, say ‘Excuse me’ instead of ‘I have to get out of here now!’, ‘count to five before replying’, hug Tom three times today”.
*Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
It is only when we understand these limitations that a relationship with an ASD or OCPD sufferer can survive.
There are many examples of how traits of ASD and OCPD can be misconstrued. Some parents will explain that their child is shy and reluctant to speak when in fact their language skills are well beyond their age, they just don’t wish to speak at that moment. Similarly an ASD person may be able to read from a young age quite fluently however have no sense of the meaning of the words.
When trying to form a relationship these types of traits are a hindrance. Imagine trying to engage in a conversation with someone when your language skills are excellent but delivered with a robotic, monotone voice and you prefer to only discuss certain subjects, usually the one you have a great interest in but bores most other people.
Having excellent knowledge of a subject can be a good thing as long as you don’t mention every little detail about the subject as soon as you meet someone new without allowing the other person to speak. The anxiety levels of an ASD or OCPD sufferers when meeting someone new are usually very high hence the tendency to talk incessantly.
Early intervention, cognitive therapy and many other helpful resources are available to sufferers especially if they are diagnosed correctly at an early age; have understanding family and friends, as well as they themselves accepting they are different. Having ASD or OCPD is not necessarily a bad thing, there are many very capable people who have these conditions and living very fruitful lives, whether they are in a relationship or not.
It is up to people with ‘normal wired brains’ to understand and assist sufferers to trust others so they can become our friends or partners. Love is meant to conquer all and there are worse things you can do than give someone self confidence when they struggle every day just to fit in.
Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) has OCPD and Aspergers.
- Sheldon Lee Cooper - The Big Bang Theory Wiki
Sheldon Lee Cooper is a theoretical physicist from Caltech who rooms with Leonard in apartment 4A of their rundown apartment building in a comedy show "The Big Bang Theory". He is a fictional person with exaggerated personality traits.
So, are Aspergers and OCPD the same condition?
Aspergers and OCPD are two different disorders with some symptoms that do overlap. Anyone who suffers will be as much an individual, if not more, than the rest of us. Take Sheldon Cooper from the show "The Big Bang Theory", although a fictional character he seems to have both conditions. (See link for more information).
Just because one Aspie or OCPD sufferer has social problems doesn't mean they all do, there are many varying degrees of social interaction within the groups. For anyone concerned about a loved one who is displaying these types of traits there is help available and from the rest of us some tolerance, understanding and support will certainly help to make sufferers' lives easier and more comfortable.
People with Aspergers tend to be high achievers with very fulfilling lives who may not think too much about having relationships. Other humans simply may not interest them and for some Aspies and OCPD sufferers this is what they want. We should all embrace each others differences and appreciate people for who they are, not what condition they may or may not have.
Where to get help
- Autism Awareness
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. People with ASD have problems with social and communication skills. Many people with ASD also have u
- Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation | Research, Education and Advocacy
- OASIS @ MAAP - The Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Center
- Obsessivecompulsive personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- ASD Services | Autism Spectrum
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) is the leading provider of autism-specific services in Australia, building partnerships with people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, their families and the community to provide information, services and learning
Two very good books about Autism and relationships, especially when it comes to girls who have ASD.
Disclaimer: Medical practitioners and psychiatrists are the best people to speak to regarding conditions relating to Autism. The details in this article come from my own observations of people I know well who have these conditions, and of course, lots of research. As I am only an interested observer, please consult a trained professional when it comes to your health or relationships.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Maria Giunta
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 23, 2015:
Hi ceecee and thanks for taking the time to read my article and commenting. I have written about the OCD/OCPD confusion as well here on Hubpages. OCPD is a personality disorder, people are born with this condition, it is part of their brain chemistry in my opinion. This is why they want perfection, it is in their brain, something no one else can see other than the ones who live with them. Living with a person who has OCPD can be very difficult.
I do agree to a point that the environment and upbringing of a person with OCPD may be a factor in how they think but parenting is difficult so I don't think parents should be blamed totally. Live with someone who has OCPD and then be the judge.
Ceecee on September 12, 2015:
Hi there, sorry if this has already been mentioned in the comments, but a lot of people here seem to be confusing OCPD with OCD. They are NOT the same disorder, but sadly have very similar names which confuses everyone! People often use the terms interchangeably - which is inaccurate and unhelpful. Most OCPD sufferers will struggle to see themselves in the diagnostic descriptions used for OCD.
For example, typical OCD thoughts and behaviours can include ritualistic cleaning or hand washing, counting, obsessing on particular thoughts, locking and re-locking doors, checking all sorts of things, buttoning and re-buttoning, etc. These behaviours are not necessarily related to obsessive compulsive personality (OCPD), although of course, a person may suffer from BOTH OCD and OCPD!
OCPDers want to achieve perfection. They construct rigid rules which they believe will help them achieve perfection in the most efficient way possible and seek to impose those rules on everyone around them. They do not view what they do as wrong or imposing. Quite the contrary, they think everyone else is in the wrong! They are also quite highly functional and are not held back by their perfectionism. It is only in their relationships (family, friends, lovers), that they often encounter problems.
In contrast, people with OCD are tormented by their intrusive thoughts and rituals. They don't want to feel the anxieties that accompany their obsessions and compulsions, and yearn to be "normal". In other words, they KNOW that their OCD is an illness that is destroying their lives and making them highly dysfunctional. It's like an outside force they can't control. And they hate it. They are far more likely to seek treatment (compared with OCPDers, who totally lack insight) because of how unbearable life can become.
Here's a link with more info for those of you who are interested: https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OCPD-...
SandCastles on September 12, 2013:
Thanks for your comments MPG Narratives,
I do believe in making the best with what you've got. It can be hard for people with Asperger's because people often read you the wrong way and they think they know best, "No, you really were angry, I know". I had a woman tell me that I intimidated her during a role play because of how I stared at her (and I was taken aback). I hate role plays and if I looked upset it was because I don't like them (especially in a work environment with a Tony Soprano female boss). The woman said, "You stared at me like you wanted to rip my head off!" She kept following me around insisting that I gave her a dirty look. In these strange situations, the average person probably doesn't know know to react. I told her that I was sorry she felt that way and told her to drop it, assuring her that I didn't want to rip off her head.
I believe in focusing on your strengths and not giving up because failure isn't falling down, it's staying down. Some people have said horrible things about me (people who didn't know me at all but were sure they knew me) and one has to rise above. Just because someone says something doesn't make it true and decent people won't be eager to believe gossip and lies. I was impressed when people stood up for me. When you are a little odd, many people make up stuff about you and you are right, asperger people can come across as a little odd and eccentric.
Tony Attwood writes books on Asperger's Syndrome and they are very informative. Females are a bit different in many cases from males who have Asperger's syndrome. Tony write specifically about females with Asperger's syndrome. They tend to be more emotional for example but in a female world, very odd because Asperger females don't know the rules of engagement and they do not see hierarchies so they will challenge the alpha female and then will wonder why the other females are acting like the asperger female does not exist. I never liked clicks (other people don't like them either). I don't like how one female has to be the ruler and the others have to kowtow to her. I won't do it. I will respect someone who has earned my respect and then I can be like a dog in that I am very loyal and devoted and will defend that person and will never turn my back on them. I am very impressed with people who don't just go along with the crowd. When people have discernment and question and aren't just eager to believe what they are told, I see that person as very strong. Situations like group think occur because people are too afraid to challenge the status quo and bad decisions are made.
I'm not impressed with people who just challenge non-threatening people while they suck up to others though.
But back to the topic, Asperger people come in all shapes and sizes and some Asperger people are abusive. I've met them. Asperger men can be horrible to women (not all) but some disconnect and refuse to bond. The person can really like the Asperger person and find them interesting and quirky but they find that they are always pushed away because the Asperger person has chosen not to value the other person and in those cases, it is best to leave the situation.
The sewing teacher was rotten. I learned something from that experience; just telling someone what you want is not enough. I told her what I needed and she did not listen. It is best to find someone who is patient (watching their body language, how they speak, how do they demonstrate patience) rather than just telling someone that you need them to be patient. I learned that telling somebody what you want is not enough.
It was a good exchange,
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 11, 2013:
A person doesn't choose anything when they're born, you get what you're given and you do the best with what you have been given. I'm an advocate for teaching others about Autism and Asperger's so I'm angry your sewing teacher said such a thing! Tolerance and patience is a virtue not many people have, your teacher should have had more patience with you, especially after you told her. Again, thanks for commenting and I do hope our exchange has helped others to understand and be more tolerant.
SandCastles on September 10, 2013:
I know a person does not have to have Asperger's to be an introvert; I didn't say they did. Asperger's does not define you, it is part of you. It explains why a person might be clumsy and why they miss social cues (other people who don't have it can be clumsy and miss social cues too-I get it, so?). We do have choices but when someone has aspergers it isn't a choice; a person doesn't choose to have it. A person doesn't choose to be overwhelmed by too much stimuli and they do not choose to be socially awkward. That's why people need to be tolerant; you can't change the Asperger person. You shouldn't get mad every time they are bugged by too much light. If they like having a certain object always in the same place, just accept it. It gives them comfort. Having Asperger's isn't an excuse to be a jerk. Asperger people have to take responsibility for themselves and they can't expect everybody to cut them a break just because they have Aspergers. They have to choose to be around the right type of people. For example, not all teachers work well with Asperger students. I had a sewing teacher become very impatient with me and ask, "Don't you get it, the pins go that way?". My shaky hand-eye coordination skills bothered her and the fact that I wanted to do a task many times bothered her (this goes for other learners as well). I told her that I had Aspergers and tried to explain how I learn and she said that she did not believe in Asperger's (that it was all in my mind). T'hat's like telling a person who wears glasses that they could choose to see if they wanted to.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 10, 2013:
You don't have to have Asperger's to want to go to a less crowded movie or mall, I'm not a fan of big crowds or having to queue. Everyone has choices and it's the choices you make that will make you the person that you are. Asperger's does not define the person, you are who you are. I do agree with you, if a relationship isn't working then walk away. This goes for anyone not just Aspies. Thanks for commenting, I appreciate your input, SandCastles.
SandCastles on September 09, 2013:
Thanks for your response MPG Narratives. Asperger people do not always turn away from people because they prefer to be by themselves. While it is true that many Asperger people like some time alone, they value relationships that are important to them. It might seem like they turn away because they can become focused on special interests and they don't always like loads of affection all the time. Always hugging an Asperger person would bug the typical Aspie. Asperger people have to deal with life's problems like everybody else. Sometimes they keep to themselves for self-protection. I've noticed that everybody wants things their own way (not just Asperger people-who actually have a tendency to be passive and let others get their own way). Often in friendships, Asperger people often get trampled on and when they finally speak up, the other person thinks that there is a problem, "Why is the Asperger person being so difficult?" That's the problem with Asperger people; they don't know how to negotiate a compromise and end up being silenced. Then they just turn away. And when they gain skills and learn to be assertive, they speak up in a very direct way, 'this is what I need' and others have a problem with this directness (calling it pushy) because other people have an arsenal of ways to ask for what they want including manipulation. And sometimes a person should not compromise. You don't always have to be reasonable. Some things are a plain no; period.
Also, compromise goes both ways. Often people will use the fact that someone has Aspergers to always blame them for not being reasonable, "it's you turning away; you don't compromise". The other person could be the one who is wrong; the one who wants it all their own way. All humans are unreasonable, pushy, childish and spoiled to a certain degree.
I understand the photo depicts turning away but the fact the the picture is so odd looking almost symbolized the oddness of asperger people (and not in a good way). Not all asperger people turn away in relationships, especially close relationships. They aren't eager to join the crowd in other relationships; they are more introverted but that is who they are; you can't make an introvert an extrovert. You'll never make an Asperger person thrilled to be around a large group of people, especially for extended periods of time. Some people prefer solitude if they have the choice and are not rejuvenated around others. They'll want to go to the movies when it is less crowded. They'll prefer not to go to the malls on a busy Saturday.
I agree that turning away isn't the ideal way to interact with others but others aren't always fun to interact with, especially when a person doesn't have the people skills to survive the politics and games. In some cases, turning away is a survival strategy. I guarantee, with safe people, an Asperger person isn't eager to turn away. And often they don't turn away forever. They turn away to lick their wounds. And sometimes it is good to turn away; you can't fight a peeing constant with a skunk. Sometimes the only answer is to walk away and find healthier situations.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 07, 2013:
Hi SandCastles and thanks for reading my hub and commenting. I chose the photo because people with Aspergers do prefer to be by themselves, they 'turn away' from people. As you say, "They are like a big clumsy dog that runs up to a cat and licks its face to get hissed at". Life is full of struggles and people get hurt every day, physically and emotionally. It is a part of life to deal with these problems and because Aspies don't like lying it is hard for them to deal with such issues. It is in relationships that people with Apsergers and OCPD truly struggle because in relationships there needs to be compromise, you can't act like a spoilt brat and always have things one way. Everyone is different and there is no such thing as "normal", I appreciate that, but we all live in a world where we have to deal with other people whether we like it or not. The photo depicts that 'turning away' is not the answer to maintaining healthy relationships with others.
SandCastles on September 06, 2013:
I came across your hub and I wonder why you chose the back of a bald head to represent an Asperger person. Normal is relative. What it comes down to is people learning who they are and accepting themselves and learning to accept others. Asperger people have many wonderful traits, are very compassionate and are able to love. They are not very political; that's the main drawback. They don't know how to be phony. A lot of Asperger people aren't interested in other people because people have been cruel to them. Asperger people tend to be clumsy (especially when they are younger). An asperger person is like a dog in a cat world (I like cats and dogs by the way). People say Asperger people are like cats (no way); by and large, they are not sleek and sophisticated and graceful. They are like a big clumsy dog that runs up to a cat and licks its face to get hissed at and then the Asperger person learns to stick to themselves when they get scratched enough.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 27, 2013:
Some mental illnesses can be difficult to diagnose and OCPD is one of them. More is known about Aspergers Syndrome than OCPD but the research I have done shows there are similarities. The issue of friendship seems to be a common problem as their obsessions seem to take priority. As with all of us, people with mental illness are individuals and not all traits will show in each person. Being different isn't necessarily a bad thing. Thank you for taking the time to comment, much appreciated lambservant.
Lori Colbo from United States on June 26, 2013:
Interesting hub. I have never heard of OCPD. My son has Apergers an fits many textbook symptoms but some that you mentioned don't apply. For instance he was affections to some degree as a child and still is but usually it is initiated by others. He grew up with sensory sensitivity, obsessions, social inteptness, couldn't focus on friends who visited because of obsession with an object or activity. He was articulate but only related to adults. People said he was weird. Hygiene is still a problem (he's 21). He has overcome a lot and has many friends, but continues to have some social issues. He is not a perfectionist unless it has to do with an obsession, which he doesn't seem to have many now. He struggles still and he has also be diagnosed with bipolar which I am not sure is accurate.
Learned a lot here.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on January 09, 2012:
Hi Carol and thanks for your comment. OCD as a coping mechanism seems to be common in people with AS and in this way I guess it's positive as it helps with coping as you say. It is when OCD behaviour affects relationships that it can cause negative issues.
OCPD is different again as those with this disorder generally don't realise they have a problem. OCPD does have similar traits to Aspergers Syndrome so I think people with AS may also have OCPD and vice versa. This is strictly only my observation, a mental health medical expert would be the one to confirm this.
Carol-Aspie Sibling on January 09, 2012:
Great Article on an interesting topic. My younger brother was diagnosed with AS over 25 years ago. For him, the OCD behavior is actually a coping mechanism, allowing him to 'maintain order' in his world - this would seem to be the exact opposite of the typical 'stress-related' diagnosis of OCD.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on February 26, 2011:
Hi Rebecca, nice to hear from you. They certainly are special people Aspies and OCPDers, just a little different that's all. Heeding the advice to love them and not too except the same back certainly makes life a lot easier if you are in a relationship with someone who has either condition.
Rebecca E. from Canada on February 25, 2011:
so very true, so very well written, and the best advice I got was similar, just love them, and they will love you back in their own way
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on February 12, 2011:
Thank you answersinwriting for a lovely comment, I appreciate you taking the time to write such a positive one. Also, welcome to hubpages, see you around the site.
I am able to have a compassionate perspective in the subject of Aspergers and OCPD because I know people living with both conditions and how the impact on their relationships.
Answersinwriting on February 12, 2011:
Very well-written article. I have worked many times with teenagers with Aspergers and have also come across relationships where Aspergers is a factor. You brought up really good points on how to relate and how to communicate. I also really liked the compassionate perspective of your hub. Thank you.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 02, 2010:
Welcome Pamela, so nice to 'meet' you. Stress is a large factor in anxiety based conditions such as OCD, OCPD and Aspergers however there are so many other factors as you have read.
Pamela Dapples from Arizona. on September 02, 2010:
I enjoyed this article. I had never thought of the two being similar at all. I know someone with multiple obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but everything else about her is pretty normal and I'd always thought OCD is stress-related, so I have a whole lot more reading to do -- by the looks of these interesting comments from people to you. Mahalo.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on August 15, 2010:
Thanks for the comment bayarea... there have been studies that state OCPD and Aspergers are genetic disorders but as results are not conclusive I decided not to speculate on that point. There are many cases of these conditions being present in children without any other family members having them, so, sometimes genetics are involved but not always.
bayareagreatthing from Bay Area California on August 15, 2010:
I appreciate the insight and explanation here. I think I know a few people who may have both. Is this a genetic disorder? I didn't see that anywhere, but maybe I overlooked it. Thanks mpg for a great hub.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on July 19, 2010:
Thank you Jehnavi, I checked out your link and you are spot on. Leisure time seems to be of no importance to some people who suffer OCPD and hoarding can become a real issue.
Katie McMurray from Ohio on July 08, 2010:
I was drawn to this as I hear a lot on this subject and it gets confusing and jumbled up. Thanks for the clear and detailed information. Now I feel more knowledgeable about Apergers and OCPD and knowledge is power for everyone! Peace :)
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on July 01, 2010:
Thank you for the praise AE. I understand how hard it is to overcome something that is so ingrained in your psyche, my friend Marion (her husband George has OCPD) does exactly what your husband does and she finds humour helps at times as well. Writing and gardening are wonderful hobbies to help distract you.
Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on July 01, 2010:
I had an obsession with spots on the faucets and streaks on the mirrors, I would go for hours until you could see yourself then I would become upset because there was a fingerprint. I truly do have an issue with an untidy house it creates anxiety and then I become overhelmed. My husband will ususally intervene and have me re-focus on other things, such as writing, gardening, etc. It is a long road but acknowleding my problem was the beginning of a brand new me! I admire you for writing on subjects that involve mental issues. :)
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 30, 2010:
BAD - nice acronym... you will find many people who are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all wherever you go. People with Aspergers are usually high achievers however the Asperger issues sometimes get in the way. Thanks for commenting.
AE - nice to hear from you again and telling us your story. As with all of us, people with OCPD suffer different traits at different levels. Having a loving relationship really does help and I applaud your husband for loving you as you are. BTW there is nothing wrong with a clean home, this is an admirable trait but I have seen it become a problem with OCPD sufferers when it is never clean enough.
Julianna from SomeWhere Out There on June 30, 2010:
The similarities are on target with this hub, I suffer from OCPD, but it doesn't take me a long time to accomplish my tasks. I was in denial however for a long time and my husband truly made me realize that there was a problem. Our home has to be absolutely perfect, and the rules in our home was so stringent for such a long time. With the love of my husband, counseling and the realization of myself, I still strive for perfection but at a tolerant level. Thank you for explaining OCD and Asperger's your information is accurate. Thumbs Up! :)
billyaustindillon on June 30, 2010:
I have interesting and informative hub. I actually met the lead singer of an Australian band called The Vines a few years back and he seemed a little 'off' - I put it down to the massive amount of weed he smoked but after a few more fights with his band mates he went and got help and turned out he had Aspergers. I met him before the diagnosis and band fallout.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 28, 2010:
Hi jenp, there is a big difference between OCPD and OCD. OCD is a disorder than can develop over time and the sufferer knows they have a problem. OCPD - Obsessive Compulsive PERSONALITY Disorder is a problem of the person's personality traits and many who suffer believe there is nothing wrong with them, they just think everyone else has a problem. People with OCPD can have OCD and
there is a lot of confusion between the two.
OCPD sufferers are highly intelligent, especially in their chosen subject, they are ritualistic, perfectionists and do not like change.
This link may give you more information if you need it:
jenp123 on June 28, 2010:
Very interesting hub. I have a relative that we think has asperger's. Question for you: is there a difference between OCPD and OCD, or are they the same thing?
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 27, 2010:
Woody Marx - Glad to hear someone else has similar ideas. Mental conditions are complex so if any of this helps others I am proud to have put it out there.
Embee - Again, high praise, thank you so much. Sometimes putting a 'label' helps, sometimes it narrows the field too much. It is hard to know what does work but tolerance and understanding do go a long way.
Thank you both for commenting.
embee77 on June 27, 2010:
Hi, MPG - You have such meaningful ideas and really thoughtful readers and commenters. I guess my take is to remember that all our labels for behavioral conditions are exactly that: manmade labels. We group behaviors and assign names to them according to what we know at the time. Mental conditions are not like physical illnesses. Those who diagnose them are attempting to understand the human mind and human spirit - both incredibly complex. I think our labels are convenient but inaccurate in many details when it comes to individual people. Having studied communication disorders and the different sciences supporting that field, I now see people as the sum of their different neurological strengths and weaknesses. Some combinations of "difference" are common enough to earn labels. Other personality types are clearly a mix of behaviors from one or more labeled conditions. My hub on Tolerance addresses personalities using this approach. Thanks for the opportunity to share with others who care about the same things I do. I love your writing and ideas.
Woody Marx from Ontario, Canada on June 26, 2010:
Fascinating. I have long believed there might be a real connection between the two conditions, but this is the first time I have seen someone intelligently present a case for it. Very thought-provoking Hub.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 25, 2010:
Nellieanna, thanks for commenting, always nice to hear from you. It would be a dull world without the 'geeks' and geniuses. You are also right when you say it is when the condition makes the sufferer's life problematic, such as being stuck on one issue and not making decisions quickly enough to move on.
Partners can become frustrated at times when they need things done and decisions made, this is when patience is a virtue.
Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on June 25, 2010:
Fascinating and as I read with great interest, I was thinking of various people I know or have known (including myself) who have displayed some of the traits. As you say - everyone has some of them, it's a matter of degree and proportion to the "normal" ones, as you say.
Perhaps much that is rightfully considered "genius" and creativity is somewhat akin to some of those traits. Perhaps it would be a dull world - and dull people in it - were it not so. It's when it becomes a problem for the one with too much of it and for those who love him/her, I suppose - that it's pathology rather than embellishment to life.
Thanks for this really well-done article!!
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 25, 2010:
Angela - yes the similarities are many. The more we know about these mental conditions the more we can do to help.
Dak - thanks for commenting.
Audrey - nice to hear from you as always. Yes I've read House Rules and the Bronte article. I tend to read as much as I can on the subject of Autism.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 24, 2010:
Hi ptosis, thanks for the comment but you are confusing me, what is INTP?
ptosis from Arizona on June 24, 2010:
Inability to connect socially in a normal way. Inept - they convince themselves they prefer to be alone - damn! - you mean I'm not just an INTP asshole?
Only 1-3% of total females have the personality type INTP that directly counters social scripting for women to be subjective, soft, and caring.
4-7% males are INTP
INTP'ers are the biggest assholes. Blunt and non-caring about social niceness.
But really - underneath my Vogon crustiness in sharp relief - I am a good person.
Audrey Kirchner from Washington on June 24, 2010:
Have you read the new Jodi Picoult book House Rules? It was so awesome and explained a lot about Asperger's - things even working in the medical profession I did not know. Dolores Monet also did an awesome hub this month on the Bronte sister who had Asperger's. There is still much to learn about what causes these 'ritualistic' behaviors and I'm applauding that you are bringing it to people's attention. The more we understand it, the better we all are!
dak on June 23, 2010:
Thank you for a very informative article
Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on June 23, 2010:
I never thought the diseases were the same, but I'm surprised to see how similar they really are!
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 23, 2010:
Kaie, thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate your expertise in this area, I am, as I mention, 'an interested observer' and speak only from my experience with people I know with these conditions (plus research). Comments such as yours give me purpose.
As a communicator I appreciate being able to tell my stories and raise awareness with the hope I am making some difference.
The Autism Spectrum is huge as you say, but awareness will help to break it down and create more understanding.
Thanks for a wonderful comment, Kaie and your support.
Kaie Arwen on June 23, 2010:
MPG Narratives- Autism's spectrum is so large that it is difficult for anyone to comprehend the enormity of the diagnosis; every case is different, and each sufferer is individually unique. Every autistic child I have ever worked with shows signs of OCD, and from experience I would have to say the two go hand in hand when Autism is labeled, though there are exceptions.
Your assessment of the differences in OCD and OCPD above are completely accurate.
Each of these conditions is difficult for people to understand, but understanding is something that we all strive for; ignorance breeds a variety of reactions; education breeds tolerance. In the educational setting of which I am a part (we do not service the severe and profound), the children in our classrooms are accepted and loved by their peers; it's the parents of those peers who often have problems with acceptance. As educators, we become aware of the triggers that "break" routine and create anxiety. The anxiety itself then has to be counteracted. For a five or a six year old to go home and say "Johnny crawled under the table and rocked and screamed for an hour," is alarming to their parents; it is a distraction within the classroom, but the children learn to ease the anxiety of their peers as well, and the scene is far different when the age is eight, then nine, then ten............
You've provided a great source of information here............... and I could go on forever, but I won't, and I will be forwarding this link to a few people I think could use the read............... your message is a needed one! Thanks for this, Kaie
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 22, 2010:
Ethel - yes we all have our quirks.
Stan - thank you, appreciate your help in getting this issue out to others.
Mary - glad I could be of some help.
drjb - both research and observing people I know.
bright - it does help when we know more about certain mental disorders.
Thank you all for commenting, your support for this cause is much appreciated.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 22, 2010:
Baileybear, thanks for commenting. OCD and OCPD are not the same condition. OCD sufferers know they have a problem, OCPD sufferers just think everyone else has a problem. Their perfectionism traits make them think everything they do is correct, even when it takes them forever to get something done.
Maria Giunta (author) from Sydney, Australia on June 22, 2010:
Sheila, wishing your daughter all the very best of luck in College. Thanks for a great comment.
Helen Lewis from Florida on June 22, 2010:
Excellent article,informative and helpful for the layperson. Thank you.
drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 22, 2010:
Marie - Thanks for your well-written hub which appears to be the result of in-depth and insightful research on the similarities of Aspergers and OCPD.
Mary Amrhein on June 22, 2010:
This is a very helpful article. I think I may have Asperger's. This would explain why I have always had trouble making friends and have had difficulty interpreting the non-verbal signals that those of the opposite sex make.
Stan Fletcher from Nashville, TN on June 22, 2010:
One of the most concise and well-written articles I've seen on the subject. I've forwarded this to several friends who could really use it.
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 22, 2010:
Interesting. You are right we all have some funny traits.
Baileybear on June 21, 2010:
Interesting hub. My son's psychologist said that OCD and Asperger's have some overlap. Probably all the syndromes do, as they are human-made constraints. My son has OCD behaviours connected to his Asperger's but not strongly enough so to have OCD. I would say a few members on each side of extended family have undiagnosed OCD
Sheila Wilson from Pennsylvania on June 21, 2010:
Very interesting hub. My daughter has Asperger's. I can definitely see how some of the traits could be labeled as OCPD like her ritualistic eating habits. Like many Aspies, she spoke very early (complete sentences at 12 months of age), yet she never seemed to want to speak to anyone but family. She's 17 now and getting ready to go off to college this summer. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that she assimilates well.