OCD and Narcissism

OCD and Narcissism

Narcissism is a serious condition that can have extremely harmful consequences for those who suffer from it, and those close to them.

Narcissists are constantly seeking to control and manipulate their surroundings and those closest to them.

It's no surprise then that those who suffer from narcissism often suffer from symptoms of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

When combined, OCD and narcissism may cause severe mental, emotional, and even physical issues.

Those who suffer from OCD and narcissism may also be abusive, both emotionally and physically.

OCD and narcissism, if left untreated, often destroy relationships with partners, family members, and friends.

If you or someone you know suffers from OCD and narcissism, seek professional counseling.

Let's look at some of the signs and symptoms of OCD and narcissism.

Available Narcissistic Personality Disorder Counselors

Liliana Ismail, LPCC

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David Geldert MSN, PMHNP-BC

I want you to feel heard and supported.

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Kelly Bergstedt, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC

The first step is the most difficult.

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OCD and Narcissism: Public Persona

Obsession with a public persona or reputation is one of the signs of OCD and narcissism.

Narcissists suffer from low self-esteem.

Even though they may seem outwardly confident, charismatic, and successful, a narcissist constantly struggles with feelings of inadequacy.

That's why a narcissist creates a public persona and works hard to convince everyone it's true.

The word persona comes from the Greek, meaning mask.

Think of putting on a mask. It's not you. The real you is hiding behind it.

A persona is not who you really are- it's the way you want to be, the way you want to be perceived by others.

To boost their low self-esteem, a person suffering from OCD and narcissism will fashion a public persona, like making a costume.

OCD and narcissism are the ultimate combinations of control and manipulation.

For those suffering from OCD and narcissism, every detail of their public persona must be exactly right.

Why? If narcissists with OCD can carefully and precisely present their chosen persona to others, then they can manipulate others into acting the way they want. 

OCD and Narcissism: Physical Appearance

Those suffering from OCD and narcissism are often obsessed with their physical appearance.

It's not surprising because when it comes to your public persona, physical appearance is what most people notice first.

Physical appearance may include body shape, hair, hygiene, make-up, clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.

Whatever physical appearance best supports their chosen persona, a person suffering from OCD and narcissism will be vigilant to maintain it.

For example, a narcissist with OCD may choose to appear wealthy and successful, so they wear trendy designer fashions and expensive jewelry.

Or, a narcissist with OCD may want to be perceived as a free spirit, so they have long hair, and wear sandals and ty-dyed clothing.

Whatever their chosen public persona, those suffering from OCD and narcissism will meticulously craft their appearance to support it.

Narcissists with OCD will rarely "mix it up" with regard to their physical appearance.

They care too much about what others think, and how their public persona supports their fantasy life. 

OCD and Narcissism: Strict Routines

Strict adherence to routines and irrational rituals is a sign of OCD and narcissism.

Remember, those with OCD and narcissism are desperately trying to create a world of their own making, where they are the star of the movie.

And like a movie set, their personal surroundings (home, office, car, etc.) must be coordinated and choreographed exactly.

Those with OCD and narcissism use strict routines and daily rituals to make themselves feel safe in their fantasy world.

These may manifest as strict routines to start and end each day, eating the same meals, driving the same route, and/or listening to the same music or TV show.

These may also manifest as elaborate, irrational rituals such as: heating food to exactly a certain temperature, standing or sitting in only certain places, only turning on certain lights, etc.

Extreme forms of organizing and reorganizing household or office items are a symptom of OCD and narcissism, even with other people's items.

Repetitive cleaning rituals, and using specific cleaning supplies, are also common symptoms of OCD and narcissism.

For those with OCD and narcissism, "It's not done right unless I've done it" is a common saying.

OCD and Narcissism: Inability to Communicate

Like silverware in a drawer or clothes in a closet, those with OCD and narcissism incessantly organize their thoughts, words, and opinions.

Being extremely opinionated, unwilling to tolerate disagreement, and/or getting frustrated when misunderstood are common symptoms of OCD and narcissism.

Everyone has opinions, but those with OCD and narcissism take being right to an extreme.

Remember, creating a scripted fantasy world where they are the star is the primary motivation for those with OCD and narcissism.

In their world, where they are at the center, the narcissist with OCD is always right.

They will often become suddenly angry or belligerent when disagreed with.

They will often sabotage or discard relationships with those who disagree with them.

For those with OCD and narcissism, dialogue, conversation, and compromise are almost never an option.

That's one of the many reasons why OCD and narcissism are so destructive to relationships.

OCD and narcissism make genuine and constructive communication impossible.

OCD and Narcissism: Abusive Behaviors

Those with OCD and narcissism are often verbally, mentally, emotionally, and even physically abusive.

"It's my way or the highway," someone with OCD and narcissism might say.

If you are not willing or able to play your scripted, choreographed part in their fantasy movie starring them, a person with OCD and narcissism will either discard you or abuse you.

It's often difficult to discard a partner, family member, or even friend.

So, instead of discarding you, those with OCD and narcissism will turn to forms of abuse.

Their strategy- abuse and mistreat you until you give in and play along.

Those with OCD and narcissism are not concerned with honesty or genuine relationships.

When in a relationship with someone with OCD and narcissism, you are a means to an end, not a person to be cherished.

You will be abused until you accept your part in the fantasy world.

A person suffering from OCD and narcissism might say, "You're ungrateful for everything I do!" or "You never support or encourage me!"

In this way, they often use guilt to manipulate you into behaving as they want.

Many who suffer from OCD and narcissism struggle with rage, bitterness, and anger.

These destructive emotions can lead to other forms of verbal abuse like name-calling or even physical abuse.

Those with OCD and narcissism believe they are superior to others- and will treat you accordingly.

As long as you play along and indulge their fantasy, those with OCD and narcissism will tolerate a relationship with you. 

Conclusion

OCD and narcissism are serious conditions with many destructive effects.

Those suffering from OCD and narcissism commonly sabotage or destroy relationships.

If you or someone you know suffers from OCD and narcissism seek professional help.

It's never too late to identify OCD and narcissism and begin forming new, healthy habits toward a stronger and happier relationship.

A licensed professional counselor who specializes in narcissism can advise you and/or your loved one, leading you to a healthier life together.

There is hope…

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October 7th, 2022

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