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:
    • Family history of OCPD or OCD
    • Background of harsh discipline
    • Being the oldest child
  • 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
    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.
    Medications
    In some cases, anti-depressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, long-term use of medications for OCPD has not been helpful. Anti-depressants 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.
  • RESOURCES

    Mental Health America http://www.nmha.org

    National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca

    Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org

    References

    Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.

    Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). International OCD Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ocfoundation.org/uploadedfiles/maincontent/find%5Fhelp/ocpd%20fact%20sheet.pdf. Accessed August 21, 2014.

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