Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), or anankastic personality disorder, is a personality disorder that is characterized by a general psychological inflexibility, rigid conformity to rules and procedures, perfectionism, moral code, and/or excessive orderliness.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is often confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This could be due to the more commonly known OCD and the similarities in name of the two disorders, however the mindsets are typically different and unrelated.
Those who are experiencing OCPD do not generally feel the need to repeatedly perform ritualistic actions - a common symptom of OCD. Instead, people with OCPD tend to stress perfectionism above all else, and feel anxious when they perceive that things are not "right."
People with OCPD may try to rid themselves of excess energy when anxious or excited by twitching or doing unpredictable things. They may hoard money for future use, keep their home perfectly organized, or be anxious about delegating tasks for fear that they won't be completed correctly. There are four primary areas that cause anxiety for OCPD personalities: time, relationship, uncleanliness, and money. There are few moral 'grey' areas for a person with fully developed OCPD; actions and beliefs are either completely right, or absolutely wrong. As might be expected, interpersonal relationships are difficult because of the excessive demands placed on friends, romantic partners and children. Persons with OCPD often have a negative outlook on life (pessimism).
The DSM-IV-TR, a widely-used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines that for a patient to be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, they must exhibit at least four of the following traits:
It is important to note that while a person may exhibit any or all of the characteristics of a personality disorder, it is not diagnosed as a disorder unless the person has trouble leading a normal life due to these issues.
Sigmund Freud was the first person to characterize what is now known as obsessive-compulsive or anankastic personality disorder as the anal-retentive character. This fixation fit into his theory of psychosexual development.
Treatment for OCPD normally involves psychotherapy and self help. Medication is generally not indicated for this personality disorder in isolation, but Fluoxetine has been prescribed with success. Anti-anxiety medication will reduce the feeling of fear and SSRIs can replace the chronic frustration with a sense of well-being, as well as reducing stubbornness and negative rumination. A mild tranquilizer can reduce alcohol dependence, if present. ADD medication can improve task completion by improving mental focus, which will provide visible success and improve outlook for recovery. Caffeine sensitivity may be an exacerbating factor.
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