Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
(Anankastic Personality Disorder)
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. This makes it hard for people with this condition to express their feelings, have close relationships, and enjoy their successes.
Unlike many other mental health disorders, people with personality disorders are not aware that their thought and behavior patterns are inappropriate. OCPD is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of genetic (inherited) factors and a person's environment.
These factors increase your chance of developing OCPD. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
- Family history of OCPD or OCD
- Background of harsh discipline
- Being the oldest child
- Gender: male
- Age: early adulthood
- Being stingy 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
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 that rules out other disorders, such as OCD, and other personality disorders.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Counseling that includes psychotherapy or cognitive behavior therapy can help people with OCPD learn to have fun, avoid over-intellectualizing, and address control issues.
In some cases, anti-depressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, overall, long-term use of medications for OCPD have not been helpful. They may be used, though, to treat an another condition, like
Mental Health America
National Institute of Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . April 19, 2007.
Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Research Program, National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://intramural.nimh.nih.gov/pocd/pocd-faqs.htm . Accessed April 23, 2007.
Personality disorders. Merck website. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec07/ch105/ch105a.html. Accessed April 19, 2007.
Psych Central website. Available at: http://psychcentral.com/disorders/ .
Last reviewed January 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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