Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a condition characterized by a chronic preoccupation with rules, orderliness, and control.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This disorder tends to occur in families and thus may have a genetic component. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder most often occurs in men. It should not be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is another psychiatric condition that shares some symptoms with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
People with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder believe that their preoccupations are appropriate. They tend to be high achievers and have a sense of urgency about their actions. They may become extremely upset if others disturb their rigidly ordered routines.
A person with this personality disorder has symptoms of perfectionism that usually begin in early adulthood. This perfectionism may interfere with the person’s ability to complete a given task because the rigid standards cannot be upheld. People with this disorder may emotionally withdraw when they are not able to control a situation.
Signs and tests
Some of the common signs of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder include:
- Preoccupation with details, rules, and lists
- Reluctance to allow others to do things
- Excessive devotion to work
- Restricted expression of affection
- Lack of generosity
- Inability to throw things away, even if there is no value in the object
Medications such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (e.g., Prozac) may help reduce obsessions and compulsions. Cognitive/behavioral therapy may also help, and medications in combination with talk therapy may be more effective than either treatment alone.
The outlook for people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder tends to be better than that of other personality disorders. The self-imposed rigidness and control of people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may prevent many of the complications - such as drug abuse - that are common to the other personality disorders.
However, the social isolation common with this illness may eventually lead to feelings of Depression later in life.
- Relationship difficulties
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if an attitude of perfectionism is interfering with employment or relationships.
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.