Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a type of personality disorder marked by rigidity, control, perfectionism, and an over concern with work at the expense of close interpersonal relationships.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder sufferers often feel helpless and may become panicked or upset if they are unable to directly, mentally or physically, control their environment. Individuals who suffer from this disorder often have trouble relaxing because they are preoccupied with details, rules, and productivity. Emotional growth is also often stinted at an early age and their personal behaviors will tend to reflect this. There will often be an inability to form meaningful relationships as well as resentment for authority and uneasiness when involved in emotional situations. Hoarding methods are also commonly associated with OCPD, in contrast to the usual disconnection to emotion, as an individual may find it difficult to get rid of their possessions regardless if there is a sentimental value. If OCPD is continually ignored of left untreated, symptoms can only worsen and become more intricate. This will usually drive a sufferer to feelings of depression and may even lead to suicidal thoughts.

Symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

  • Preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the point at which the major goal of the activity is lost.
  • Excessive concern for perfection in small details that interferes with the completion of projects.
  • Dedication to work and productivity that shuts out friendships and leisure-time activities, when the long hours of work cannot be explained by financial necessity.
  • Excessive moral rigidity and inflexibility in matters of ethics and values that cannot be accounted for by the standards of the person’s religion or culture.
  • Hoarding things, or saving worn-out or useless objects even when they have no sentimental or likely monetary value.
  • Insistence that tasks be completed according to one’s personal preferences.
  • Stinginess with the self and others.
  • Excessive rigidity and obstinacy.

Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Therapy methods have only been explored recently but are still noting early improvements in most patients, often in the reduction of ritualistic behavior. If OCPD rituals and habits are more in control of your life than you are, it may be time to seek out professional help in dealing with the issue.

Although the treatment of OCPD is only becoming recently explored, therapy that involves intense exploration of a patient’s psyche, as well as intense cognitive therapy to initiate behavioral changes, has proven successful in individuals who suffer from OCPD. Even if therapy cannot completely rid OCPD behaviors, focus on small improvements can lead to huge changes that can help you get back in control of your life.

Psychodynamic therapy and behavioral therapy methods have both shown early success in the treatment of OCPD behaviors. Pyschodynamic therapy involves the OCPD sufferer being open about their rituals and trying to apply meaning to the situation. This type of therapy usually helps combat perfection behaviors as well, by helping patients realize that everyone makes mistakes and those small imperfections are usually insignificant. Cognitive therapy allows patients to share about their concerns with OCPD behaviors, while therapists talk them through problems and help them see that stopping their rituals will not negatively impact them. While medications have also been prescribed to help combat the anxiety and depression that commonly accompanies OCDP, they have not proven as a long-term means of treatment as other courses of therapy have.

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