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Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

(Anankastic Personality Disorder)
  • Definition

    Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by excessive perfectionism and a need for control over one's environment. People with OCPD tend to be reliable and orderly, but also inflexible and unable to surrender control.
  • Causes

    It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of inherited factors and a person's environment.
  • Risk Factors

    OCPD is more common in men, especially in early adulthood. Other factors that may increase your chance of OCPD include:
  • Symptoms

    OCPD may cause:
    • Perfectionism interfering with task completion
    • Rigidity
    • Being frugal with money
    • Overattention to detail
    • Excessive devotion to work
    • Inability to discard worn or useless items
    • Extreme morality
    • Inability to delegate tasks or share
    • Stiff, formal, and/or rigid mannerisms
    • Extreme preciseness and/or punctuality
  • Diagnosis

    You will likely be referred to a psychiatrist or therapist, who will ask you about your symptoms and mental and medical health history. A diagnosis will be made after a complete psychiatric assessment.
  • Treatment

    Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
    Counseling that includes psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with OCPD learn to have fun, avoid over-intellectualizing, and address control issues.
    In some cases, antidepressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, long-term use of medications for OCPD has not been helpful. Antidepressants may also be used to treat an associated condition, like depression .
  • Prevention

    There are no current guidelines to prevent OCPD. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce how much the personality traits interfere with your life.

    Mental Health America

    National Institute of Mental Health


    Canadian Mental Health Association

    Canadian Psychiatric Association


    Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.

    Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). International OCD Foundation website. Available at: Accessed August 21, 2014.

    Revision Information

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