Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, commonly known as OCPD, is a personality disorder not to be confused with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, an anxiety disorder. People who suffer from OCPD are generally perfectionists with an obsession for rules, order, and control, with an irrational need for organization in ways that they see as correct.
Research that deals with the causes of OCPD shows that a genetic disorder, which is likely to arise in people with certain forms of the DRD3 gene, can lead to this condition.
Study results also suggest that the manifestation of this disorder might be dependent on events that trigger its development, so it may not manifest in people who are predisposed, but unexposed to the trigger.
In the case of children with the same form of the DRD3 gene, for instance, the likelihood of them exhibiting OCPD symptoms will depend more on nurture than nature - if they are exposed to a parent who suffers from OCPD, the child is likely to develop the disorder, whereas the reverse will also hold true.
OCPD Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms in OCPD generally revolve around an obsessive need for order and routine, irrational rigidity in beliefs and systems, and the pursuit of perfection that may actually hamper the completion of a set task in time.
Some may be labeled inefficient as a result of this trait, which makes them unable to meet professional deadlines, even with many hours of work. A person who suffers from OCPD may also have an all consuming need for neatness, and a compulsive tendency to make lists.
Some classic OCPD symptoms in adults are:
- Perfectionism to the extent that it hampers the completion of set tasks resulting in distress
- Excessive concern with order, rules, details, and routine
- Desire to be in control of people
- Inability to adapt to change, intense dislike of change
- Frugality to the extent of stinginess with regards to self and others
- Hoarding behavior - displays inability to throw away things, even those with little or no sentimental or monetary value
- Inflexibility with regard to morals, ethics, values, and 'right' behavior, rigidity, stubbornness
- Uncomfortable with relationships and emotions - beyond one's control
- Workaholic, at the expense of social relationships and responsibility, even without obvious financial need
- Reluctant to work in teams or inability to delegate tasks, high tendency to micromanage
OCPD symptoms in children are likely to be exhibited in the same manner. A child may follow a specific routine meticulously and may exhibit a compulsive need to follow rules. The child may even become aggressive in case of a disruption in what he conceives is the acceptable pattern, and such children may refuse to share.
OCPD symptoms will exhibit in daily mannerisms and behavior, for instance, the need for toys to be arranged in a particular manner, a bag to be packed in a given sequence, or a nighttime ritual that need necessarily be followed.
The treatment for OCPD generally follows a pattern of psychotherapy, often cognitive behavioral therapy is found to be beneficial in combating this personality disorder. Therapy that teaches the patient to find enjoyment in relationships and leisure activities may help improve the condition.
Specific drugs, particularly a class of medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's), which are routinely used as antidepressants, have found to be effective in the treatment of OCPD.
The prognosis for sufferers of OCPD is fairly heartening as compared to other psychological disorders, as a combination of therapy and medication may show much improvement. Certain breathing and relaxation techniques, like pranayama and meditation, may be useful to reduce the sense of urgency and stress that are experienced by people suffering from OCPD.
Understanding OCPD symptoms, and the manner in which they manifest can help in the early identification and treatment of this disorder. With support of friends and family, and a combination of therapy and medication, if needed, the outlook is optimistic - so keep your hopes up!
Disclaimer: The given information is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.