How To Recognise Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

How To Recognise Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder?

How To Recognise Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder?

Do you ever wonder if your perfectionism is a personality trait or a part of a bigger problem? Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is characterised by extreme perfectionism at the expense of the effect it might have on other people.

What is the Difference Between Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

While they share almost the same name and some symptoms overlap, they’re two different types of mental difficulties. OCD is characterised by persistent thoughts and repetitive behaviours while in the case of OCPD it’s the personality traits that impair everyday functioning. What’s more, people who suffer from OCPD might not be distressed by their symptoms and believe their perfectionism helps them achieve their goals which is why they might avoid seeking treatment.

Do I Have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is defined as a devotion to perfectionism that might make it difficult to finish tasks. If you suffer from OCPD, you have to be in control and complete work tasks even if it means neglecting your friends and family. You might obsessively focus on lists, rules and details of the task instead of the task itself. You might be over-scrupulous and exhibit extreme attachment to items. You might be inflexible with regards to morals, rules and values. You might avoid intimacy and lack emotional expression. You might not realise there’s something wrong with your behaviour, yet your personal life often suffers. It’s estimated that the prevalence of this disorder is from 2% to 8% in the UK. [1]

What Causes Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

The exact cause is unknown. It’s said to be a combination of genetic factors and early experiences. For example, someone with demanding parents might have felt the need to be a perfect child.

What is the Best Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder?

One of the most effective treatments is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that targets maladaptive distortions. A person with OCPD believes their perfectionism is a good thing while in reality, it prevents them from living a fulfilling life. The aim of CBT is to change such core beliefs. Another option is Psychodynamic Therapy that helps explore the relationship between past experiences and current thoughts. It’s the best treatment option if the cause of your disorder can be attributed to childhood experiences.


Just like in the case of other personality disorders, an avoidant personality disorder is challenging to treat but with the right help, symptoms can decrease in severity. Contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat.


If you are feeling pressured or need someone to speak to, contact My Family Psychologist for a confidential chat about how we may be able to help.

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