MSD Manual

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Quick Facts

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Oct 2018| Content last modified Oct 2018
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Your personality is your unique way of thinking, understanding, reacting, and relating to people.

A personality disorder is not just an unusual personality. It's when your personality traits cause significant problems in your life or keep you from relating normally to others.

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 OCPD 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.

People with OCPD often also have depression or abuse alcohol.

OCPD is different from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Obsessive-compulsive disorder involves unwanted thoughts and repeated actions that are upsetting to the person who has the disorder. In OCPD, people aren't upset because they believe their habits are helping them reach their goals.

What causes OCPD?

OCPD is probably caused by traits that run in families, such as perfectionism.

How do doctors treat OCPD?

Doctors treat OCPD with:

  • Therapy

  • Sometimes, antidepressant medicines

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
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