What is causing all of this anger towards Kaitlyn? Find out here!

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by,

Suzanne Coleman, MD

There’s been a lot of conversation surrounding the behavior of many fans towards Kaitlyn, the current Bachelorette.  I wanted to take a minute to talk about that.

You might be surprised to learn what the reasons are that some of these people are acting this way.  Have you ever heard of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)?  You might have heard of obsessive-compulsive disorder because it’s been talked about quite a bit on TV over the last decade or so.  Well, OCPD isn’t the same thing, though they have some things in common.

OCPD is where the word “fan” originally came from, well that was back when the full word was used, “fanatic.”  OCPD are people who are literally obsessed and feel compelled to act on those obsessions.  This can be an obsession with anything or anyone.  It can obsessions with famous people, someone down the street, religious ideas, political issues, and more.  The problem comes when the person isn’t able to see clearly and rationally due to their illness, and then acts in an unhealthy way, for themselves and/or others.

With Kaitlyn, her choices this season (and the choices of the producers of the show “The Bachelorette”) have struck a nerve with a good number of people.  Some of the people who have had a problem with her decisions have lashed out at her, becoming degrading and verbally abusive.  This is their attempt to control her behavior, which obviously they have no right to try and do.  But, because people who behave this way often have OCPD or trait, their obsessive disease forces them to express their opposition to what she has done in forceful ways, and that is called compulsion.

In addition, people with personality disorders are generally inflexible and have difficulty compromising with others.  This often becomes an issue when they cannot accept others’ different points of view or life choices.  So when they are faced with someone who lives their life in a way that isn’t one that they would choose, or that they have been told to believe is “right,” then this causes them a lot of internal angst and they can lash out as a result.

Most people with this disorder aren’t aware that they have it and don’t know how to get the help they need in order to stop the problems that it can cause.  OCPD and other personality disorders are not uncommon, in fact one out of every seven people in the US has a personality disorder.  Those who have them will generally benefit from counseling which can literally change their lives for the better.  It’s important to understand that these are diseases, no different than diabetes and high-blood pressure.  And like those diseases, they also require treatment and monitoring to get them under control.  In this case, counseling with a therapist qualified to treat personality disorders and abnormal personality traits is what is needed.

The people who have these disorders do not choose to be impacted this way by their illness, and no one should lash out at them or be hateful towards them in response.  Instead, look at this as an opportunity to be compassionate towards those who cannot control their impulses, try to lead them to the help that they need in a supportive manner.

Also note that OCPD isn’t the only underlying reason for abusive behavior, but I have found that it is a very common one.  There are other personality types that abuse as well, including borderline PD, anti-social PD, and narcissistic PD.  Helping to increase the understanding of the reasons behind why some people do what they do might just lead some people to get the help they need to live a happier and healthier life.

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*Please note that I don’t know any of the people who have made negative comments about Kaitlyn individually, and no one can make a definitive medical diagnosis without a proper evaluation.  This article is meant to share information on general behaviors and what likely causes them and not to label any individual or individuals.

Never hesitate to seek out help from a professional, it just might be the best thing you ever did!  And I always tell people, if one counselor isn’t working out for you, just find a different one.  It’s your health and it’s your decision.

If you found this article helpful, please share with your friends!

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