Submitted by Megan Sponcil

You may have heard that someone who constantly cleans, makes lists, or is described as a “perfectionist” has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, but is that the case? Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is complex and is rooted in a person’s fear or anxiety that something terrible will happen if they do not repeatedly engage in a specific behavior, known as a compulsion. For a person with OCD, these obsessive thoughts are debilitating and affect how they live their daily lives.

The International OCD Foundation (2021) lists some common repetitive behaviors that individuals with OCD take part in, such as:

  • Washing hands, bathing, showering, or cleaning excessively to prevent contamination or sickness.
  • Repeatedly checking that activities will not harm oneself or others, checking that a mistake has not been made in a task, or excessively checking one’s body.
  • Repeating activities include tapping, counting, rereading, or rewriting.
  • Avoiding situations that may trigger anxiety.

So, what is OCPD? A person with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder lives with rigid routines and rules that they feel cannot be broken. Those with OCPD may excessively devote themselves to their jobs, feel the need for their performance to be “perfect,” and struggle to give others tasks for fear that the task will be done incorrectly (Van Noppen, 2010). While OCD affects a person’s daily living, OCPD typically affects the individual’s relationships with others.

Can Anything Help My OCD or OCPD?

OCD and OCPD symptoms are manageable. For some, medication management can be a component of treatment for OCD and OCPD, but counseling is a critical component in managing symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help individuals cope with their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. If you are struggling with OCD or OCPD, you are not alone, and there are professionals that would like to help you.

The counselors here at Acadia Counseling want to work with you to manage your symptoms and help you live your best life. You can reach out and schedule your appointment with an empathetic and understanding counselor by clicking the “request appointment” icon above or complete the contact form below to start a conversation.


International OCD Foundation. (2021). What is OCD?

Van Noppen, B. (2010). OCPD Fact Sheet. International OCD Foundation.

Megan Sponcil is a second-year student at University of the Cumberlands and has a special interest in treating both OCD and OCPD and other anxiety disorders.