Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

OCPD - Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

What is obsessive-compulsive personality disorder?

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, or OCPD, is a type of mental disorder that characterizes people whose desire to make all the pieces of their lives fit have been taken to the extreme. These people feel a great obsession to do things as they should be. It is important not to mistake this personality disorder with OCD, which we previously discussed in this blog.

What are its symptoms?

As in any of the other mental disorders, the diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder must be always performed by professionals in the field of mental health. However, knowing its symptoms can help detect it.

  1. Extreme concern by details: This is manifested practically in all aspects of life. For example, the individual schedules very precise timetables that cover everything that happens on the day.
  2. They refuse to delegate tasks: People with OCPD distrust the capacity or willingness of others to follow the exact instructions and rules about how things should be done.
  3. The constant search of productive activities: Another one of its symptoms is moving the time of leisure and relaxation to occupy it with tasks which may be deemed to be productive.
  4. Extreme ethical rigidity: Their personality is so rigid that they focus more on the formal aspects of what is considered good and bad rather than an in-depth analysis of the ethical implications of an action or another.
  5. Extreme perfectionism: They have the need of doing everything as it was planned, and this makes some tasks last longer, and sometimes they will even overlap with other plans. This mismatch of schedules can create intense discomfort and anxiety.
  6. The tendency to accumulate: It is associated with a tendency to the accumulation and saving. Little money is spent, and they keep objects whose utility in the future is not clear.
  7. Stubbornness: Patients with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder hardly change their minds, their belief system is rigid and offers stability.

What is the difference between OCPD and OCD?

The obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is often mistaken with obsessive-compulsive disorder, however, it is important to know that they are not the same. Among them, there are several different aspects to consider when diagnosing them. The most important ones are: 



Anxiety Disorder

Actively suffered

Essentially magic (nor real) thoughts

Normally unpunctual, chaotic, and unorganized people

Normally seen as a flaw


Personality Disorder

Suffered at ease

Thoughts attached to reality

Very punctual, clean, routine, and organized people. 

Normally seen as a good trait. 

How do others see OCPD?

As you can see in the previous point, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is usually seen from outside as a positive development, despite the fact that it can alter the lives of those who suffer from it. And the thing is that this disorder is accompanied by certain problems, like getting in contact with other people.

Given the mental rigidity of those who suffer from OCPD, it is very difficult for those meetings to happen. In addition, it is important to note that other people often feel undervalued and constantly judged by those who suffer from the abovementioned disorder.

Although OCPD is not considered an Anxiety Disorder, but a Personality Disorder, that does not mean that it appears on its own. It normally goes hand in hand with a lot of anxiety when the expectations of the sufferer are not met. 

Some other people suffer from Depression and “normal” OCD, and also OCPD. 

But that will be discussed in another post. 

Post made possible thanks to Montse M. and Noelia S. 

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