Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is characterised by a pervasive preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control (with no room for flexibility or efficiency) that ultimately interferes with completing a task.
- Individuals with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder need to be in control and do things in a specific way in their pursuit of perfectionism.
- Medical professionals diagnose obsessive-compulsive personality disorder based on specific symptoms, including preoccupation with details, rules, schedules, organisation, and lists and a focus on doing something perfectly that interferes with completing a task.
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy may help.
Personality disorders are long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause an individual significant distress and/or impair an individual’s ability to function.
Because individuals with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder need to be in control, they tend to do things alone and to mistrust the help of others.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is one of the most common personality disorders.
It is estimated to occur in about 2 to almost 8% of the general population in the United States. It is more common among men.
Certain traits that run in families – compulsivity, a limited range of emotion, and perfectionism – are thought to contribute to this disorder.
Other disorders are also often present. Individuals often also have one or more of the following:
- A depressive disorder such as major depressive disorder or dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder).
- An alcohol use disorder.
Unlike obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive-compulsive personality disorder does not involve true obsessions (recurring, unwanted, intrusive thoughts that cause great anxiety) and compulsions (rituals people feel driven to do to control their obsessions), such as excessive hand washing or repeated checking to make sure a door is locked.
Also, individuals with OCD are often distressed by their lack of control over compulsions.
In contrast, individuals with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder are comfortable with their obsessive-compulsive behaviour because they believe it is needed to achieve their goals of order, perfectionism, and control.