Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan
Psychiatrist

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsesif Kompulsif Kişilik Bozukluğu

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a chronic condition, in which an individual excessively focuses on details, order and rules and demonstrates a need to obtain a perfect result in a way it generally affects daily life.

People with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder can be obstinate, they may insist that everything should be done the proper way. Order, perfectionism, productivity and desire to control may limit their abilities to complete tasks, collaborate with other people and to participate in social activities or hobbies solely for entertainment purposes. In addition to persisting that others comply with the rules or meet the high standards, people with OCPD can criticize themselves at extreme levels.

As per DSM-V, OCPD is one of the most prevalent personality disorders; its prevalence rate conjecturally varies between 2.1% to 7.9%. OCPD is named a “Cluster C” personality disorder. Anxiety and fear are the common characteristics of this cluster.

OCPD is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). These two diseases share common traits, such as a strong preoccupation with the details and rules in specific parts of a person’s life, although they greatly differ from one another in significant aspects.

Unlike people with OCD, people with OCPD do not have undesired thoughts compelling them to form a routine or ritual. On the contrary, people with OCPD experience their thoughts and behaviors rationally and purposefully. Their symptoms remain stable in time, yet the OCD symptoms change in time and frequently as a reaction to situations causing anxiety.

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

As per DSM-5, obsessive-compulsive disorder starts in early adulthood, includes four or more of the items given below, and causes individuals to be excessively interested in the order, perfectionism and control.

  • An order- and detail-oriented preoccupation causing the person to miss an activity
  • A perfectionism preventing the completion of tasks
  • Commitment to excessive work and productivity that cannot be explained with economic requirements
  • Being excessively conscientious about ethics and values, and a failure to be flexible on these issues (which cannot be explained with the culture or religion of the person)
  • Failure to get rid of damaged or worthless objects even if they don’t have any sentimental value
  • Unwillingness to transfer a job or task to others when incapable of doing it and to collaborate with others
  • Unwillingness to spend money on oneself and others, and a conviction that it is needed to save money for emergencies
  • Failure to be flexible, and obstinacy

People with OCPD may experience challenges related to these symptoms at the workplace or in their social lives. For instance, they can delay starting or finishing a task, because they want complete the task “the best” or “the correct” way. In specific cases, the loss of control may lead to disappointment. People with OCPD generally have difficulty in expressing their love-oriented feelings and can be uncomfortable with others expressing their feelings.

REFERENCES:

  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition
  • Diedrich, Alice & Voderholzer, Ulrich. (2015). Obsessive–Compulsive Personality Disorder: a Current Review. Current psychiatry reports. 17. 547. 10.1007/s11920-014-0547-8.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder Fact Sheet, The International OCD Foundation.

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