Lo and behold, I came across this article on Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, where I read this:
Generally two hallmark thinking styles are pervasive for persons who suffer this condition. The primary manifestations of OCPD entail either a bent toward perfectionistic standards or righteous indignation. Along with perfectionism comes relentless anxiety about not getting things perfect. Getting things correct and avoiding at all costs the possibilities of making an error is of paramount importance. This perspective produces procrastination and indecisiveness. The second factor entails the rigid ownership of truth. This feature produces anger and conflict. Persons with OCPD generally lean toward one of these perspectives or another. In some cases both perspectives are of equal magnitude. Rituals, on the other hand, often play a relatively small part in this complex syndrome of perfectionistic mannerisms, intense anger and strict standards. Their way is the correct way and all other options are "WRONG".
I'm not sure if it's as obvious outside of my head as it is inside of my head, but that's me, in a nutshell. Not to mention this:
It is not uncommon for a person with OCPD to feel deeply entrenched in the belief that they are a "Good Person." This belief can paradoxically often lead to feelings of depression and disappointment. The high standards which a "Good Person" is expected to live up to are often far beyond the capacity for any human being to consistently fulfill. A belief such as "I know that I'm a good person, but I hate myself for doing so many wrong things" is not uncommon. This self-hatred along with tremendous disappointment can easily lead to feeling of depression. Since ones humanness prevents an OCPD sufferer from living according his own high standards, a tremendous amount of self-hatred is imposed.
It is not unheard of for someone with OCPD to feel that he is flexible due to an occasional shift in his beliefs. If one listens carefully, the shift in position can be dramatic and equally dramatic is the degree to which the new truth is held as fact. The knowledge that abortion is "murder" can be converted to the fact that the freedom to chose represents every woman's "God Given" right to make decisions about her own body. Most examples of this particular cognitive shift would tend to go in the opposite direction.
This indecisiveness can have devastating effects on academic, professional and interpersonal relationships. From early adolescence, through college, perfectionism can take an otherwise straight "A" student and bring him to the brink of failure due to incomplete assignments. Having to get the term paper exactly correct makes for an almost impossible task. An extremely difficult time making decisions (always looking for the correct choice) contributes to procrastination. Frequently even starting a task seems impossible, due to a need to sort out the priorities correctly. If it takes an hour to complete the first paragraph of a report, because revision after revision never seems to get it perfect, imagine the anguish experienced when contemplating the completion of a two thousand word essay. The time it could take to complete a ten page report might be multiplied by five due to checking or rewording so that it is just so.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!! I don't know if I've written it here or not, but my inability to get writing done anymore due to my perfectionistic bent has been worrying me, a lot, for quite some time. Seeing it described elsewhere, in the middle of a report categorizing a whole lot of other things that describe me to a T, has wigged me out.
Oh, and this disorder tends to co-exist with eating disorders. I am somehow not at all surprised.
I looked elsewhere. Found more exciting things, such as the possibility of this being an inheirited trait (it tends to occur in families) or maybe developing because of a certain kind of upbringing (again, this would tend to occur in families, so nature/nurture/takeyerpick) involving a lot of punishment and not many rewards, so the child develops these traits as a way of avoiding punishment.
So, on the one hand, I am wigged, particularly because everywhere I looked for more information on this, it indicated that it was insanely difficult to treat. That said, it appears to be insanely difficult to treat both because it involves long-term work on creating new ways of dealing with things, and because of the nature of the beast itself. I suppose that when the whole disorder comes from I'M RIGHT, YOU ARE WRONG, if the therapist or psychiatrist is perceived as being WRONG then it gives the patient every perceived right to ignore what they say.
Currently, I'm looking at the bright side. For one thing, I've known for quite a while that something in my operating system is working so inefficiently that it is bogging me down and exhausting me. I've done the vast majority of the grunt work over the past five years (oy, FIVE YEARS), digging into my brain to figure out what the hell is going wrong, and stringing together patterns. Really, I've done most of the work myself, and this is just a nice way of describing what I was flailing around, attempting to say.
For another thing, it's confirmed what I've been suspecting the past few months: what I need, more than anything else in the world, is to learn to let go. Hauling around the extra mental rocks (I'm now adding "perfectionism" and "truth-owning" to my mental list of heavy mental rocks) is exhausting, and is making it so I just don't have the energy for anything else-- like writing, in particular. I'm just hoping that if I can manage to let go enough, and learn to accept risk, that'll be half or more of the problem solved, right there.