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Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Written by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Sep 24, 2013 and last reviewed on Oct 19, 2019   -  1 min read


Obsessive Compulsive personality disorder is a chronic, disabling and difficult to treat mental disorder that remains unrecognized in majority of patients due to lack of awareness.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Before you understand what is OCPD I am writing down a summary of a patient suffering from OCPD.

"A 26-year-old woman has a lifetime preoccupation with rules, work, order, and stinginess. Even so, she is in trouble at work because she keeps missing deadlines and has difficulty making decisions. The patient does not realize that she is the cause of her problems—rather, she blames them on others. She comes across as rigid and stubborn in manner and does not like any change in her schedule.

She is a case of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

This patient’s problems fit into a personality disorder in that she is inflexible in her thinking or behavior, which causes problems in her social or work settings. Typically (as in this case) the patient’s disorder is egosyntonic; that is, she does not recognize her problems originating from within himself but rather blames on others in the outside world. Also, she is stingy with her money, although she works many hours a week. She seems somewhat moralistic about others and about their work habits, especially when they are compared to her own. No obsessions (intrusive, repetitive thoughts) or compulsions (ritualistic behaviors) are noted that are typical of OCD.


Individuals with this disorder do best when treated with a scientific approach and should be provided with documentary evidence and details.

There are very few treatments effective for personality disorders such as this. At times, cognitive interventions can be very well received, leading to a lessening of some maladaptive behavior. For example, a patient can be confronted with a key assumption such as “I must be perfectly in control at all times,” and this assumption can then be discussed and ways created to refute it.


Frequently Asked Questions


How to Differentiate Between OCD and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

OCD is an anxiety disorder, where people realize that they have a mental illness, often having ritualistic behavior, and do not damage their relationships. In comparison, an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a personality disorder. People do not realize that they have a mental illness, show perfectionism in several areas, and make people who have a relationship with them suffer a lot.


How Does a Person With OCPD Feel Like?

OCPD is a medical condition where people may have perfectionism, overpowering need for order, and mental and interpersonal control. These people will have an obsessive need to follow specific rules and regulations as well as ethical and moral codes from which they will not deviate.


How to Treat a Person With Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

The main treatment options for obsessive-compulsive disorder are medication, psychotherapy, and relaxation exercises. For a successful treatment, there should be a strong working relationship between the therapist and the patient.


What Is the Toughest Personality Disorder to Treat?

Antisocial, histrionic, borderline, and narcissistic are some of the personality disorders. Among these, borderline personality disorder is the toughest to treat.


How Do I Know if I Have OCPD?

You can understand that you have OCPD when you have these symptoms:
- Perfectionism.
- Over-devotion to work.
- Lack of flexibility.
- Not allowing other people to do something.
- Not willing to show affection.
- Struggling with disordered eating.
- Following self-imposed rules.
- Not throwing things away, even if the objects do not have any value.
- Lack of generosity.
- Preoccupation with details, regulations, and lists.


Is OCPD a Serious Disorder?

OCPD is a serious disorder because it interferes with a person's relationship with others. They can even spoil their relationship. If they are treated, these people can improve their quality of life since they are rarely aware that there is a problem that goes untreated.


What Do You Mean by Borderline Personality Syndrome?

Borderline personality syndrome is an illness that indicates an ongoing pattern of self-image, varying moods, and behavior. People with borderline personality development may have symptoms like:
- Unstable relationships.
- Chronic feelings of emptiness.
- Self-harm.
- Explosive anger.
- Extreme emotional swings.
- Fear of abandonment.
- Unclear or shifting self-image.
- Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors.


How to Diagnose an Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

It is very easy to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder if you have symptoms like:
- Perfectionism.
- Preoccupation with details.
- A demand that others submit to one's way,
- Inconclusive.
- Devotion to work.
- Restricted expression.
- Over conscientiousness.
- Lack of generosity.
- Hoarding.


How Prevalent Is OCPD?

OCPD is more prevalent among men than women. About 3 to 8 % of people are affected by OCPD, and 1 among 100 people is found to have OCPD in the United States.


Can Both OCD and OCPD Occur in a Person?

OCD and OCPD will usually have related features, but they are two different disorders. A person can have both these disorders. But research indicates that most of the individuals with OCD will not have OCPD.


Can a Personality Disorder Be Controlled?

We can control a personality disorder by:
- Being an active participant in your care to manage your personality disorder.
- Taking your medications as directed and not skipping your medications even if you are sick.
- Learning about your condition.
- Being active.
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol.
- Getting routine medical care.


Is There a Cure for OCPD?

Treatment of OCPD is similar to that of OCD. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a talk therapy that is very effective in treating OCPD. Some people may also need additional treatment with medications like Carbamazepine and Fluvoxamine to reduce OCPD symptoms.

Last reviewed at:
19 Oct 2019  -  1 min read




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