Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

  • 01 Jan 2023
  • General

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder may sound the same, they are actually two different conditions. While OCD is considered an anxiety disorder, as the name suggests, OCCD is actually a personality disorder. It is possible to suffer from both obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder at the same time.

What is Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder?

People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) have an obsession with perfection, control, and order. This obsession is a condition that negatively affects and disrupts daily life. It is one of the most common personality disorders.

What are the Causes of OCPD?

Studies show that between 3 and 8 percent of the population have OCPD, and it is most common in older individuals. However, the reason is not fully known. As a result of the researches, it is thought that the way of upbringing plays a role.

What are the Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

The primary symptom is an obsession with perfectionism and a need for control. The symptoms of OCPD are as follows:

  • Having trouble giving things to others
  • Inflexible, rigid adherence to rules
  • Problems with self-identity or self-direction
  • Problems giving up control and delegating tasks
  • Acting in moderation or restraint with their emotions
  • Sorting and creating lists for tasks
  • Desire to control relationships with others
  • Difficulty empathizing with others or maintaining close relationships
  • Excessive commitment to their work
  • The need for perfection even in the smallest details

OCPD Diagnosis

There is no specific test that can determine if a person has OCPD. So, to make a diagnosis, a clinician asks questions about your symptoms and their impact on your life. Also, laboratory tests and physical examination can be part of the diagnostic process to help rule out other conditions.

To be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, a person must constantly be preoccupied with perfectionism, order, and control of oneself, situations, and others. In addition, at least four of the following symptoms must be accompanied. These;

  • Engage with details, rules, lists and layout
  • Inability to be generous to others
  • Excessive commitment to work at the expense of family or friends
  • Extreme need for perfection and relentless control over your environment and interpersonal relationships
  • Excessive conscientiousness
  • Strict adherence to morals, ethics, values, or rules
  • Inability to delegate tasks
  • Inability to get rid of worn or worthless items (even those with no sentimental value)

Clinicians may also look for additional signs of OCPD. These include the presence of rigid perfectionism and at least two other personality traits:

  • Reduced emotional expression
  • Mentally stuck on an idea
  • Avoiding intimacy

Risk Factors for Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

OCPD is one of the most common personality disorders. While it is less common in young adults, men and women experience it at approximately the same rate. It can also occur with a few other conditions, such as:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Depression
  • illness anxiety disorder
  • Eating disorders

OCPD Treatment

More research is needed for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. However, while most treatment plans for personality disorders begin with psychotherapy, medication can be used as a supplement. The methods used in the treatment of OCCD are as follows:


Psychotherapy treatment for OCCD may include:

  • Psychodynamic therapy aimed at helping you understand your conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings so that you can make healthier choices in your daily life.
  • CBT, which focuses on helping you recognize and ultimately change the negative thought patterns associated with OCPD


Your doctor may recommend medication to help control some of your OCPD symptoms, especially if you also have another condition such as depression.

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