Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder. It is characterized by perfectionism, orderliness, and neatness. Patients of OCPD also feel a need to impose their own ideas, standards on people around them.

Patients with OCPD have the following subtle traits:

  1. They’re hardworking, but their obsession with perfectionism consumes their time and energy which makes them less efficient.
  2. They have difficulty maintaining close relationships due to their perfectionist behavior.
  3. Sometimes they feel it hard to express their feelings.
  4. They often feel righteous, stubborn, indignant, and angry.
  5. They often face social isolation.

OCPD is often mistaken for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, they aren’t the same.

Patients with OCPD find themselves always right. People with OCPD understand that there’s anything wrong with the way they think or behave. They feel that their way of thinking and behaving is the only right way and that everyone else is wrong.

What are the causes of OCPD?

Like any other personality disorder, the exact cause of OCPD is unknown. The causes have yet to be determined. OCPD may be caused by a combination of genetics and childhood experiences.

In a few cases, adults can recall symptoms of OCPD from an early age. They might have felt that they needed to be a perfect person or perfectly obedient child. This may continue during adolescents and in adults and becomes a personality disorder.

Who is most at risk for OCPD?

The International OCD Foundation (OCDF) says that males are twice as likely as females to be diagnosed with this personality disorder. Generally, 1 to 3% of the population has OCPD, making it the most common personality disorder.

Pre-existing mental health illness may trigger this personality disorder OCPD.

What are the symptoms of OCPD?

The common symptoms of OCPD include:

  1. The patient is preoccupied with rules, regulations, orderliness, punctuality, schedule, etc.
  2. Perfectionism that interferes with task completion.
  3. The patient is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activity.
  4. The patient is over conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, and values.
  5. The patient has hoarding behavior. He is unable to discard worn-out, worthless, or useless objects.
  6. The patient is reluctant to work with others or reluctant to hand over tasks to others unless they submit to exactly his way of doing things.
  7. The patient may adopt a miserly spending habit
  8. Patient is stubborn

It’s not necessary to have all the mentioned symptoms in one patient of personality disorder. Few symptoms may not be present in a particular patient.

OCPD is diagnosed when behavior impairs the ability to function and interact with family members and others. It is called a personality disorder when there are disturbances in either family life or professional life.

How is OCPD treated?

OCPD is treated with a three-pronged approach:

1. Medication

Anxiety is a very common problem during the treatment of this personality disorder due to inflexibility and stubborn behavior of the patient.

2. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of mental health counseling. CBT involves working for assessment of stubborn behavior which is problematic for oneself and others also.

3. Relaxation training

People with OCPD are typically reluctant to change their behaviors. They often see others as the problem instead. Relaxation is necessary to change the behavior to facilitate the treatment.

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