Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), according to the textbooks definition is a disorder that one is diagnosed with constant thoughts, images and impulses, which are the obsessions, and repeated behaviors, the compulsions, that are followed by the obsessions. Many people think they may have this type of disorder because they need to make sure that their work desk or room needs to be cleaned at all times. Or they have a problem with a pattern that’s not matched up correctly, or make sure everything is color coordinated. However, people that think like this and say they have OCD, do not necessarily have the disorder to be clinically diagnosed with it. The people, who actually have OCD, have constant unwanted obsessions that the person cannot control. There is a need to constantly have things a certain way to be able and function through their daily lives. When those who have obsession, they tend to do the compulsions to relive any type stress or anxiety. If they did not complete the compulsions for the obsessions, the person will think something negative is going to occur.
I found a blog about the differences between perfectionism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and I encourage people to read the short article because it gives you a straight forward answer as to why OCD is to be looked at more of a disorder than say someone always being “clean” or “neat.” Being OCD takes over a person’s life. When it comes to defining perfectionism, people tend to have high standards for themselves and other people. They have to make sure everything is going right, or it starts to bring on feelings of stress or anxiety. These people work hard at what they are already good at to be the best of the best, not wanting to be neglected or rejected by others. So as you can see perfectionism and OCD can be related in some sorts, however have different symptoms and characteristics of diagnosis. I never realized these two could be compared and contrast until coming across this blog.
Powell, R. A., Symbaluk, D. G., & Honey, P. L. (2009). Introduction to learning and behavior. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.