I'm having real problems - my phd has dragged on because of my obsessive / perfectionist tendancies, and i've just found out i have OCPD, which explains a lot. I write lots and lots - can't stop - because i feel need to include everything and stress out if i can't. i'm working an 80 hr week and still feel i may not finish 'cos i can't 'let go' of the work. Does anyone else have the same condition? i'm not sure how to manage this problem - the dr suggests i go on ocd drugs and i'm not sure how this will affect my work.
I don't have this myself, but years back I had a friend who was diagnosed with it whilst he was at art college. It manifested itself in that he was completely unable to actually finish a painting - he just kept working and working on any given piece, convinced he could bring it to a point of perfection. Eventually I remember he was referred to some sort of behavioural therapist who helped him change his behaviour by making deliberate mistakes, leaving things deliberately unfinished etc... but it did take him the best part of two years to make any headway.
I really sympathise. Is there any chance you could go back to your doctor and ask what else is available other than drugs? Or perhaps get a second opinion?
I've also heard that although relaxation techniques can't "cure" you, they can help. Meditation might be something to have a go at in your spare time.
Also, if you haven't done so already, I would make sure people who matter personally and professionally are aware of the OCPD, so that they can be supportive.
Whatever you do, try not to panic about your work as it will add to the problem. Your goal has to be about learning to maintain a relaxed perspective as much as possible.
But again, if you can get referred to one, talking to a psychotherapist about this is probably your best bet.
Hey, I don't have OCD but have known a few people having OCPD. There are several self-help techniques and online forums available to cope with OCD. Here are few of them,
I hope you can finish your PhD successfully. Best Wishes
Yes, I am in some ways very much like the condition that you describe. I am a perfectionist in the respect that I have to cover everything and do everything comprehensively all the time - the end result being that sometimes my work takes longer to complete than it should.
For me the central issue is overcomplicating things too much and overanalysing. Some people are caught in an intellectual trap becuase they overanalyse things instead of just putting pen to paper which would actually give them more insight than analysing things and trying to be comprehansive and perfectionist about everything.
I suggested martial arts becuase it can have a positive effect on the way your mind works and can focus you to simplify things.
I can't comment on things from a medical perspective, but feel if there are cures to such problems, you won't find them in a doctor's surgery on in a bottle, but instead you will find them withing yourself.
thanks for the response - I'm going to another gp to see if I can get CBT or something, as I don't really want to take meds for this problem
but, I've got a feeling this has to be referred through mental health services. However, the psychologist / psychiatrist (not sure which) I saw thinks (I guess 'cos of funding) mental health services shouldn't get involved with anxiety problems (seeing a 2nd psych Dr isn't an option).
I think the NHS is a great thing, but money is a necessity for many treatments (something students generally don't have).
Hey ho... back to dotting the i's and crossing the t's, over and over again!
Hi Nearly finished,
I completly sympathise with you. I have several mental health issues. I had an eating disorder and OCD for several years and although I am much better now, since I started my phd, my obsessions seem to be around my work rather than my food!
I am currently seeing a counsellor with the university counselling service. Does your uni have something similar.
I try to do CBT and it does really help. There are several good books, one of which I worked through with therapist called MInd over mood by Greenberger and Padesky.
That really helps.
Maybe it may be worth trying meds. I take them and although I would rather not, my husband thinks I need them and I trust him!
Hope you feel better soon.
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