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Symptoms and Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Symptoms and Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a disorder which makes a person obsessive and rigid about rules and organization. The symptoms and treatment of obsessive compulsive personality disorder are discussed in this article.
Marian K
People with personality disorders perceive, react, and relate to other people and events in patterns that are inflexible and that impair the person's ability to function socially. Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a condition in which a person is preoccupied with rules, orderliness, and control. While another condition shares a similar name of obsessive compulsive disorder, both are not the same illness. People affected with OCD exhibit some of the same symptoms, but the disorder is characterized by repetitive thoughts and behavior. In the article below, we examine the symptoms and treatment of obsessive compulsive personality disorder and how it can affect the quirks of a normal life.


While the causes of this condition are unclear, certain connections exist. It occurs more in men than women. Also, multiple people within the same family may suffer from it, pointing towards the likelihood of genes being involved. There are certain other risk factors, which increase a person's chance of getting this condition. They include a background of harsh discipline routines or being the oldest child.


Most often, obsessiveness manifests itself in areas of time management, personal, and social relationships, cleanliness, tidiness, and money in an OCPD patient's life. These symptoms of perfectionism usually begin in early adulthood. A person with OCPD always has complete and excessive devotion to work. They are often high achievers, and consequently feel a sense of urgency about their actions. They may become extremely upset if their routines are disrupted.

They experience difficulty or inability to throw things away, even when the objects have no value. They often exhibit what seems like a lack of generosity. However, what is mistaken for stinginess is actually frugality or the practice of saving money for a rainy day. They usually spend as little as possible on daily living.

Time management is often a hurdle for people with OCPD. Their high standards and perfectionism may interfere with their ability to get a job done. The person may be unable to complete a task in the determined amount of time as they will spend too much time perfecting one portion of a task. They do not break up their tasks into sub-tasks, so as to properly manage the time for each sub-task and thereby get the overall task complete on time.

In their personal and social relationships, people with OCPD often need to be in charge. They want to make all the decisions and do everything as if others will not do the tasks as perfectly. They also have unreasonable expectations from others. They are likely to spend a substantial amount of time each day cleaning and putting everything in precisely the right place using the right manner. They may also display a limited expression of affection. Relationships involving emotions are hard to control, and this aspect makes them withdraw.

People with this personality disorder believe that all their concerns and compulsions are appropriate.


Therapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy is often found to be the most effective form of treatment. In some cases, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (for example, Prozac) may help reduce obsessions and compulsions. However, sometimes a double-barreled approach of using both medication and therapy may be the most effective means to treat this disorder.

Perfection is good, but if it is present in your life to a degree that interferes with your relationships or work, you might have OCPD. In this situation, professional help must be sought.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.