OCPD Overview

OCPD – Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder – can also be known as Anankastic Personality Disorder.

I wont go into too much detail here, as each main section (links on the right) cover each main symptom in detail. The basic features though are Perfectionism, Order, Control, Hoarding (in some cases – not all), and the appearance of being someone who you might call ‘Cold Hearted’ or ‘Emotionless’. These symptoms generally will affect almost every aspect of the sufferers life and not just small parts – all or nothing in a lot of cases.

OCPD is often confused with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), however these are two very different disorders. Observers of an OCPD sufferer may take the fact that the suffer likes to keep their home in a state of organised perfection to mean they have OCD. Sufferers of OCD (generally) have a fixation on cleanliness and patterns through life (washing their hands 3 times in a row every time, or tapping a door frame a certain amount of times before closing a door), and they often feel that if they don’t do this something catastrophic may happen. OCPD suffers do not have this problem, the desire for order and perfection is simply a part of their nature.

This is not to say you won’t find OCPD sufferers who don’t suffer from OCD – quite the opposite. I have seen many OCPD sufferers online who also suffer from OCD, but they themselves are even aware of the real differences between OCD and OCPD.

What is OCPD?

Here’s some official information on OCPD, and what would be classed as official symptoms:

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary lists OCPD as a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

The World Health Organization requires at least 3 of the following behaviours to be classed as OCPD [ICD10 / F60.5] (Along with a set of general personality disorder criteria):

  • Feelings of excessive doubt and caution
  • Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization or schedule
  • Perfectionism that interferes with task completion
  • Excessive conscientiousness, scrupulousness, and undue preoccupation with productivity to the exclusion of pleasure and interpersonal relationships
  • Excessive pedantry and adherence to social conventions
  • Rigidity and stubbornness
  • Unreasonable insistence by the individual that others submit exactly to his or her way of doing things, or unreasonable reluctance to allow others to do things
  • Intrusion of insistent and unwelcome thoughts or impulses.

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