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 .

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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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