Mistdork

Steris has OCPD

16 posts in this topic

So, I've been rereading the Alloy of Law recently, and the first thing I always noticed is how stiff, socially awkward, and insanely organized Steris is compared to most people. In fact, her personality seemed to fit the description of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disordered (which is not to be confused with OCD, it's cousin)...

 

OCPD often includes a need for perfectionism in all aspects of life (stern and proper to a fault), preoccupation with things like list and organization (the Courtship/Engagement/Marriage Contract she gives Wax), strict morals, and a devotion to 'work' over other aspects of life. Many of these traits fit Steris to a "T". They also can make a person appear stiff, stern, and even somewhat crazy because of their need to keep everything organized, perfect, and inflexible. OCPD effects the way a person views the world. They want it organized to their standard, and this can make them hard to live with and sometimes, hard to have a relationship with. When the woman you're trying to court wants to reform to her rigid standards, relationships become difficult (thus explaining why those three suitors who tried to court her before Wax ended their courtship...and why she has had such problems in the courting department before and in their relationship...)

 

(For a better explanation than I can provide, here's a link: https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OCPD-Fact-Sheet.pdf )

 

I know that paragraph is a bit piecemeal (Steris would disapprove of my poor organizational skills), but I just wanted to point this out... I could, of course, be barking up the wrong tree, or seeing phantoms that aren't there, but I just wanted to point out that I think Steris is, at the very least, not neurotypical. :)

Edited by Nymp
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I concur that she's non-neurotypical. However, one thing you mention brings up an interesting point. At the Ostlin wedding, Steris speaks of the world they live in, and how she makes of herself someone who can survive there. Does that contradict "wanting things organized to her standard"? I acknowledge that one can exhibit several traits of OCPD without having to do it all, but I honestly don't know if this is a point that allows wiggle room or not.

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Normal people don't have to make themselves into people who can survive in the world.

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Normal people don't have to make themselves into people who can survive in the world.

 

I have about 7 billion counterexamples.

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Am I the only one who didnt find the contract all that weird?

 

But yes, Steris definitely has some kind of control need. She seems to get over it somewhat once Wax saves her though. She might be an interesting character if she does not end up being his Princess Peach, which would be kind of funny considering how strong his female characters usually are.

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I always get a little bit twitchy when people define other people as having certain psychological conditions. I will just remind you that a desire for order and organization is not the same as having OCD or OCPD. For instance, I don't remember seeing the C-component of either disorder - compulsive behavior. Steris is, from what I remember, annoyed by disorder, not disabled by it.

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Normal people don't have to make themselves into people who can survive in the world.

 

 

I have about 7 billion counterexamples.

 

^ Yeah, this. I wish I could give you more upvotes because it could not have been said better.

 

I always get a little bit twitchy when people define other people as having certain psychological conditions. I will just remind you that a desire for order and organization is not the same as having OCD or OCPD. For instance, I don't remember seeing the C-component of either disorder - compulsive behavior. Steris is, from what I remember, annoyed by disorder, not disabled by it.

 

I concur. I myself exhibit pretty much every indicator of the "checker" class of OCD... yet for me, it's not a 'disorder'. If I'm running a bit late, and I'm already on the road headed to dinner with my friends, and I suddenly wonder whether or not I set my alarm, it might bother me. If it were a disorder, I would have to turn the car around, go home, check that my alarm was set, and be an hour late to dinner instead of 10 minutes.

 

Similarly, Steris might exhibit some of the indicators of OCPD, but, while it might have a deleterious effect on her life, it's not to the point of being an actual behavioral disorder. It's just something that kind of bothers her sometimes.

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You all really believe that 7 billion people need to consciously make themselves able to survive the world?

 

Seriously?

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I'll admit, I didn't estimate the number of people who are still infants.

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You all really believe that 7 billion people need to consciously make themselves able to survive the world?

 

Seriously?

 

Well... yeah? Maybe not actually consciously, but 99% of adolescence is observing the people around you and mimicking them so you don't stand out. At worst, Steris does consciously what every functioning adult does without bothering to think about it. If anything, she's more sane than most people, who are essentially ruled by instinct.

 

Life is painless when you're brainless.

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At worst, Steris does consciously what every functioning adult does without bothering to think about it.

That's the whole point.

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That's the whole point.

 

That just makes her more self-aware than most, not necessarily in possession of a psychological diagnosis.

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Mental disorders generally vary on a spectrum in terms of intensity anyway. She's got the signs, but they don't seem to be at the point of being extremely detrimental.

Bremen, surviving out thete is pretty much the primary motivation of every organism in existence. That humans care about anything else at all is kind of an anomaly.

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I concur. I myself exhibit pretty much every indicator of the "checker" class of OCD... yet for me, it's not a 'disorder'. If I'm running a bit late, and I'm already on the road headed to dinner with my friends, and I suddenly wonder whether or not I set my alarm, it might bother me. If it were a disorder, I would have to turn the car around, go home, check that my alarm was set, and be an hour late to dinner instead of 10 minutes.

 

Similarly, Steris might exhibit some of the indicators of OCPD, but, while it might have a deleterious effect on her life, it's not to the point of being an actual behavioral disorder. It's just something that kind of bothers her sometimes.

 

This ^^

 

Moreover, I have most of the markers for certain OCD behaviors.  It was pretty bad when I was a kid (due to specific stress issues that don't need to be discussed here)- I remember distinctly in early elementary school knowing my times tables perfectly well.  But I still HAD to count for the problems - it didn't matter that I knew it, I had to be sure.  There were no shortcuts.

 

I was removed from the problem environment, and slowly the compulsive behaviors backed off.  I still have some odd compulsions, like wanting to make sure that my footsteps are even on different types of floor.  It's not something that I have to do, but it's generally less stressful for me to just plan my steps than fight the compulsion.  It becomes more pronounced if I'm stressed, but mostly it's just mildly annoying, and nobody but me ever knows that I do it.

 

As an aside, can I tell you how much I hate, hate, hate the little ridge on the '5' key of most keypads?  It bothers the heck out of me, having that one finger hitting a different texture than the others.  It's bad enough on the regular keyboard where I need to keep touching my index fingers to those ridges to keep them "even" in feel, but entering data on a keypad drives me bonkers.

 

THAT is mild but undiagnosed OCD.  And I'm not saying that maybe Steris will start showing some markers later down the line, but I don't think we've seen nearly enough of her yet to make any sort of judgments as to what her mental quirks might be.

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That just makes her more self-aware than most, not necessarily in possession of a psychological diagnosis.

 

Exactly.

 

Maybe few people ever grow comfortable enough in their own skin to flat-out state it like this. And she's not saying that she has to constantly, consciously observe the people around her and mimic their behavior. But everyone, at some point in their lives, has felt the pressure to act a certain way and made the conscious decision to do so.

 

Who is crazier? The person who does this, but then convinces themselves that it was their idea in the first place, or that they really like doing the thing they don't like, or just walls off the uncomfortable memory of the event in its entirety? Or the person who faces the issue, recognizes and accepts it for what it is, makes the decision that it's a small price to pay to live in society, and moves on?

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This ^^

 

Moreover, I have most of the markers for certain OCD behaviors.  It was pretty bad when I was a kid (due to specific stress issues that don't need to be discussed here)- I remember distinctly in early elementary school knowing my times tables perfectly well.  But I still HAD to count for the problems - it didn't matter that I knew it, I had to be sure.  There were no shortcuts.

 

I was removed from the problem environment, and slowly the compulsive behaviors backed off.  I still have some odd compulsions, like wanting to make sure that my footsteps are even on different types of floor.  It's not something that I have to do, but it's generally less stressful for me to just plan my steps than fight the compulsion.  It becomes more pronounced if I'm stressed, but mostly it's just mildly annoying, and nobody but me ever knows that I do it.

 

As an aside, can I tell you how much I hate, hate, hate the little ridge on the '5' key of most keypads?  It bothers the heck out of me, having that one finger hitting a different texture than the others.  It's bad enough on the regular keyboard where I need to keep touching my index fingers to those ridges to keep them "even" in feel, but entering data on a keypad drives me bonkers.

 

THAT is mild but undiagnosed OCD.  And I'm not saying that maybe Steris will start showing some markers later down the line, but I don't think we've seen nearly enough of her yet to make any sort of judgments as to what her mental quirks might be.

 

^ Yeah, this. I wish I could give you more upvotes because it could not have been said better.

 

 

I concur. I myself exhibit pretty much every indicator of the "checker" class of OCD... yet for me, it's not a 'disorder'. If I'm running a bit late, and I'm already on the road headed to dinner with my friends, and I suddenly wonder whether or not I set my alarm, it might bother me. If it were a disorder, I would have to turn the car around, go home, check that my alarm was set, and be an hour late to dinner instead of 10 minutes.

 

Similarly, Steris might exhibit some of the indicators of OCPD, but, while it might have a deleterious effect on her life, it's not to the point of being an actual behavioral disorder. It's just something that kind of bothers her sometimes.

 

 

^ Yeah, this. I wish I could give you more upvotes because it could not have been said better.

 

 

I concur. I myself exhibit pretty much every indicator of the "checker" class of OCD... yet for me, it's not a 'disorder'. If I'm running a bit late, and I'm already on the road headed to dinner with my friends, and I suddenly wonder whether or not I set my alarm, it might bother me. If it were a disorder, I would have to turn the car around, go home, check that my alarm was set, and be an hour late to dinner instead of 10 minutes.

 

Similarly, Steris might exhibit some of the indicators of OCPD, but, while it might have a deleterious effect on her life, it's not to the point of being an actual behavioral disorder. It's just something that kind of bothers her sometimes.

 

I concur that she's non-neurotypical. However, one thing you mention brings up an interesting point. At the Ostlin wedding, Steris speaks of the world they live in, and how she makes of herself someone who can survive there. Does that contradict "wanting things organized to her standard"? I acknowledge that one can exhibit several traits of OCPD without having to do it all, but I honestly don't know if this is a point that allows wiggle room or not.

 

 

As someone who actually suffers from OCD (similar but not the same obviously :) ) I pretty much agree with all of these, OCD and OCPD exist on a spectrum and everybody has some of the traits, it becomes a disorder once it starts having a measurably negative effect on your life, which does not require all the symptoms, I'm possibly the least organized person ever and tend to act as if both time and schedules were things that happen to other people for instance.

 

Steris may have some of the symptoms a little more strongly than most but so far I don't think it's been shown to be a severer issue in her life. I'm always wary of self diagnosis or diagnosing people based on relatively little information so for now I think we really can't define her one way or another.

Edited by VindicationKnight
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