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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, My sister has OCPD which she denies or does not acknowledge. I have been the re

Resolved Question:

My sister has OCPD which she denies or does not acknowledge. I have been the recipient of her out of control tirades for 20+ years. Recently she sent me an e-mail stating that she was not going to tolerate "my abuse" any longer, and after two single spaced pages, once again reminded me what a horrible daughter and mother I am, blah, blah, that afer I had sent her an e-mail asking about my mother. We have not spoken since.

I had pneumonia about a week ago and she sent me an e-mail inquiring about my health and was "very concerned." I do not want to respond in any way. Usually I swollow it all and act like everything is normal. This time, however, I do not wish to resond to this "concern" e-mail. In fact I really don't want to have anything to do with her, but she is my sister.

What should I do?

Tortured for 20 years.
Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


From your description, it sounds like your sister has more than OCPD. She may have another personality disorder or she was misdiagnosed.


You describe your sister as yelling, swearing and blaming you when you have done nothing wrong. What you are describing is someone with Borderline personality disorder. Although I cannot say for sure your sister has Borderline Personality disorder, her symptoms do fit.

There are two ways you can cope with your sister. One, you can lower your expectations. Talking with your sister is going to be like walking through a mine field. Keep in mind that anything you do can set her off. She does not realize anything she is doing is bothering other people. People with personality disorders rarely have insight or see anything outside of their own experience. So yelling at you and swearing is justifiable behavior because in her mind because she feels you did something to make her act that way.

Try to keep your emotions out of your dealings with her. People with personality disorders often provoke emotional reacts in others because their behavior is so offensive and hurtful. Training yourself to not react and to remain neutral can help. Develop a few non emotional responses you can provide to just about anything she says to you, especially when she tries to provoke you. "I'm sorry you feel that way" is a good response to just about any comment. It leaves your feelings out of it, negates a reaction and may keep her from feeling offended.

If you feel you still do not want to deal with her at all, then it is alright for you to not talk with her. It is hard to ignore your own sister, but when her behavior is so hurtful and difficult to cope with, it leaves you little choice. Protecting yourself is the most important thing when dealing with someone with a personality disorder.

You can also learn more about personality disorders to help you find more ways to cope with your sister. Here are some resources that will help:


Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder-Paul Mason MS

The more you can learn about personality disorders, the better equipped you will be to deal with your sister.


I hope this has helped you,

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