This post was originally published on December 22, 2017
The latest update to this post was made 5 years ago.
I Live With POPD
The holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve all packed so close together can create a mountain of stress and anxiety for many people. Easy flexible people will weather the season fine. They have the coping ability to survive such disasters as last minute dinner invites, gatherings of family and friends and organizing gifts for the different people in their lives and decorating. People who are not flexible and are full of anxiety will suffer greatly this season.
We all need to be aware and sympathetic of these individuals who are disorganized and seem to have no common sense. Overly organized and people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, also fall into this high stress group too. Their endless goal of having everything perfect can be very stressful and create anxiety for them and also for others around them as well.
If an OCD person has a flexible person in their life, it can drive the OCD person even more into a wave of stress and anxiety. The holiday season presents a problem with all the parties, shopping, gift selection and decorating. From houses, offices, stores and streets; an untidy decorated area can drive some people over the edge of sanity.
Tree decorating is a cause of stress and anxiety for people suffering not only from OCD, but from POPD. POPD is “Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder” and it strikes 1 in 3 Americans each year. Parties, family gatherings and office parties are ruined by POPD. The stress and anxiety a POPD person suffers can easily be averted.
What You Can Do
Family and friends need to pay close attention to directions given from the POPD person and follow them as closely as possible at all times. Failure to follow said directions could result in a meltdown and ruins much of the event. Simple tree decorating can turn into a nightmare if ornaments are not placed perfectly on the tree. Lights also need to have care when spaced out on the tree. A perfectly decorated tree will start the stressful season off right for the POPD stricken person.
Family and friends need to be tolerant of meltdowns and do everything in their power to divert such occurrences. Let your comfort and joy be last to help accommodate for the POPD person in your life. Help that POPD person by asking what they want you to do. Take notes and keep them handy for the following year because many POPD people think other should “just know”.
It helps to take pictures of previous year’s decorated tree and follow the ornament/decoration placement. Speak to the POPD person in even soft tones. Any hint of emotion or excitement in your voice could be taken as frustration on your part and place the POPD person in a meltdown.
Ease the suffering of everyone’s holiday season by keeping these simple tricks handy. Remember the season is not about you, it is about the OCD/POPD person. They are more important and we all need to be tolerant of other people’s needs and desires above our own. Doing this will ensure you have a great holiday season!