Eating Disorders and OCPD

People with anorexia nervosa (restricting type) will more often have OCPD than other personality disorders. A person with anorexia values rules, which are necessary to maintain harsh food restriction. This person has no problem with suffering for the sake of perfectionism. It is common to see a person with anorexia have no need for care from others because she believes she does everything well. She therefore restricts her "intake" of people just as she restricts intake of food. Meanwhile, she will be eager to help others deal with their issues, because she can easily see "defects" in others' behaviors.

Eating disorders are often linked to personality disorders. With OCPD, the rules and focus on perfection can lead to restriction of certain foods, over exercise, or negative body image. Feeling like a failure at every little flaw on the body, or every "bad" food choice is exaggerated and can lead to obsession. Anorexic behavior is a manifestation on the controlling mindset that is apparent in every aspect of ODPD life.

A interesting writing by Dr. Albert Rothenberg, who made some connections between OCPD and anorexia looks at the modern push toward female thinness as a place to focus obsessive thoughts and behaviors. He believes that social and educational factors, along with a predisposition to obsessive compulsive illness influence the development of anorexia, and social and educational factors also contribute the development of OCD. He further states that recently, obsessive compulsive neurosis has emerged among adolescent girls in a form involving food and disorders of eating. In Western culture, anorexia nervosa and bulimia have become a predominant form of obsessive compulsive illness. According to Rothenberg, anorexia is a modern manifestation of OCD, because thinness in women has become a major and pervasive criterion for attractiveness and beauty.

It's important to note that not all OCPD sufferers have eating issues, and vice versa. I just know that seeing the links between food rules and body perfection, and how I try to control the rest of my life had been very illuminating.

1 comment:

  1. How do you recover from Anorexia when you also have OCPD?