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Quick Facts

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Oct 2020| Content last modified Oct 2020
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Your personality is your unique way of thinking, understanding, reacting, and relating to people.

What is obsessive-compulsive personality disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is:

  • A pattern of needing things to be orderly and perfect and to do things a certain way

People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder often:

  • Take an unusual interest in rules, schedules, and lists

  • Focus on being careful and neat

  • Stubbornly need to be in control and plan everything

  • Are inflexible and don't like change

  • Focus on details instead of what's important

  • Resist getting help from others

  • Are very rigid in their values and don't make exceptions

Lots of people like an orderly life and try to get details right. However, these kinds of behaviors can become a disorder when too much planning and inflexibility get in the way of relationships or keep people from completing normal tasks.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Obsessions are things you just can't stop thinking about, even if you want to. They could be worries, ideas, images, or urges to do something. Having an obsession usually makes you anxious and... read more . Obsessive-compulsive disorder involves unwanted thoughts and repeated actions that are upsetting to the person who has the disorder. In obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, people aren't upset because they believe their habits are helping them reach their goals.

What causes OCPD?

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is probably caused by traits that run in families, such as perfectionism.

How do doctors treat OCPD?

Doctors treat obsessive-compulsive personality disorder with:

  • Therapy

  • Sometimes, antidepressant medicines

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