written by: Amanda Smith
• edited by: Paul Arnold
• updated: 12/2/2010
One of the most common symptoms of OCPD is the overwhelming feeling of anxiety associated with decision making. This article explains why people with OCPD have a hard time making decisions. You will also find out about some of the methods that can help someone with OCPD make better decisions.
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Why is OCPD decision making so challenging?
One of the symptoms most often associated with OCPD is difficulty making decisions. People who suffer from OCPD tend to look at choices as being black or white. When something is not very clear it becomes difficult to assign it to a certain category. This can bring on a great amount of anxiety because the person suffering from OCPD is looking for a concrete answer.
OCPD decision making can also be tough because the person often feels that any decision will have tremendous impact. Most of the time, those with OCPD view the world as "all or none." This can make it extremely difficult for them to decide whether or not to invest their time and energy into a project.
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How can someone who suffers from OCPD decision making become more decisive?
It is possible for a person suffering OCPD to learn to become more decisive.The key is recognizing every time a decision is made, no matter how small. People who suffer from OCPD tend to think that they are incapable of making any kind of decision. In reality, we all make decisions every day. It can be as simple as deciding whether or not to get out of the bed in the morning.
Increasing awareness of decision making is helpful because it shows that it is possible to choose. It is a great idea to keep a record of your daily decisions to share with your therapist.
The best way to deal with OCPD decision making is to schedule an appointment with a mental health provider who can help you address the issues with a personalized plan of action. It is always good to have an unbiased person to be yourself around and to not feel judged.
As you progress in recognizing the decisions that you are making, your therapist will provide positive praise and give you encouraging ideas as to how to make further progress. Your therapist may explore many creative ways to deal with your symptoms and this could include art therapy. You should also ask your therapist about OCPD support groups. This is a great way to share your thoughts and feelings with others who are working on the same goals.
Keep a detailed log of every decision that you make- little or big, This is going to improve your confidence in your ability to be decisive. Often times, people who suffer from OCPD have a false belief that they are completely incapable of making any decisions whatsoever. The little everyday choices we make are important because they are proof of our ability to make decisions.
Weighing out the pros and cons can be a helpful strategy if it is used correctly. Be careful to avoid the trap of re-evaluating the pros and cons repeatedly.
Be careful not to take decision making too seriously. While it is important to evaluate our decisions, we cannot always be sure of the outcome. Sometimes, individuals suffering from OCPD have an irrational belief that once a decision is final it cannot be overturned. They may also feel that making the wrong decision will cause them to be "doomed".
Someone once said that making the choice not to decide is a decision in itself. This is a great saying to remind yourself of when you feel like you are the most indecisive person around.