Backing Up My Theory


Dear all,

As Mr. Tony Burton has requested that I show some evidence to back up my hypothesis that PC has an obsessive-compulsive personality, I am going to provide a short explanation. 

First of all, I would like to clarify that my original claim is that I strongly suspect Phil has an obsessive-compulsive PERSONALITY (I shall shorten this to OCP), which is different from an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 

OCD is characterized by the PRIMACY in one's life of either obsessions or compulsions or both.  Since some people on this list seem to be unaware of the difference between obsessions and compulsions, here are the respective definitions:

Obsessions - recurrent, intrusive unwanted thoughts, images, or impulses recognized as senseless and unpleasant, but irresistable.

Compulsions - repetitive ritualistic acts that typically result from obsessions.

Although Phil may exhibit some of each of the above, I wouldn't classify him as someone with OCD since he is not consumed by either of them.  In addition, he is not highly maladaptive as evidenced by the fact that he can function (and very successfully at that) as a member of the society.  We don't see him checking the door 48 times a day, or taking a shower every 10 minutes, or the like.

On the other hand, OCP has related but somewhat different features from OCD.  And since it is a personality disorder, the symptoms are much milder and don't necessarily imply pathology.  However, persons with OCP have a greater risk than the general population for anxiety disorder and depression.

Now I am going to list the descriptive features of OCP and match them to some of Phil's behaviors.  You can make up your own minds about whether he has OCP or not:

PREOCCUPIED WITH ORDERLINESS - Phil is a self-admitted neat freak, as someone has pointed out earlier.  He was described in the Playboy article as being extremely punctual, a sign of someone who plans out his schedule way ahead of time and runs his affairs strictly according to plan.

WORKAHOLIC - Phil doesn't admit this but I think he's in denial.  Didn't his two divorces have something to do with him working to much?  Why do you think he always has to work on many projects at once?

MISERLY - He is not miserly to other people, but he is almost a little too frugal for someone with that much money.  In an interview he said he thought he spent too much on a suit.

OVERLY CONSCIENTIOUS - Two words that Phil used when asked to describe himself on "Famous Last Words" were "conscientious" and "over-precise".

PREOCCUPIED WITH MENTAL AND INTERPERSONAL CONTROL - granted Phil is generally pretty easy-going so he probably doesn't score very high on this scale (at least not as high as a certain keyboardist we know).  Nevertheless some may consider him a control freak since he wouldn't allow another producer to produce his solo albums.

CAN NOT DELEGATE - Again in the "Famous Last Words" interview Phil said his most unpleasant characteristic was "I am constantly checking that everybody who works for me has done what they said they were going to do". 

I'm sure some of you will say "wait a minute, Phil doesn't fit all of these descriptions perfectly".  But he doesn't really need to fit all of these criteria, it is the big picture that counts.  Besides, this is just my theory about his personality, you are in no way obligated to accept it.  In fact you are welcome to join Vin if you want and say "It's all crap, these psychological terms are nothing but bullshit" :)

take care,



Index Page

Next Post