Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

(Anankastic Personality Disorder)

Definition

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by excessive perfectionism and a need for control over one's environment. People with OCPD tend to be reliable and orderly, but also inflexible and unable to surrender control.

Causes  ^

It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of inherited factors and a person's environment.

Risk Factors  ^

OCPD is more common in men, especially in early adulthood. Other factors that may increase your chance of OCPD include:

Symptoms  ^

OCPD may cause:

  • Perfectionism interfering with task completion
  • Rigidity
  • Being frugal with money
  • Overattention to detail
  • Excessive devotion to work
  • Inability to discard worn or useless items
  • Extreme morality
  • Inability to delegate tasks or share
  • Stiff, formal, and/or rigid mannerisms
  • Extreme preciseness and/or punctuality

Diagnosis  ^

You will likely be referred to a psychiatrist or therapist, who will ask you about your symptoms and mental and medical health history. A diagnosis will be made after a complete psychiatric assessment.

Treatment  ^

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:

Counseling

Counseling that includes psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with OCPD learn to have fun, avoid over-intellectualizing, and address control issues.

Medications

In some cases, antidepressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, long-term use of medications for OCPD has not been helpful. Antidepressants may also be used to treat an associated condition, like depression.

Prevention  ^

There are no current guidelines to prevent OCPD. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce how much the personality traits interfere with your life.

RESOURCES:

Mental Health America
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net

National Institute of Mental Health
https://www.nimh.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Mental Health Association
https://cmha.ca

Canadian Psychiatric Association
http://www.cpa-apc.org

REFERENCES:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114503/Obsessive-compulsive-disorder-OCD. Updated September 25, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2017.

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). International OCD Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ocfoundation.org/uploadedfiles/maincontent/find_help/ocpd%20fact%20sheet.pdf. Accessed October 4, 2017.

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Merck Manual Professional Version. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/personality-disorders/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-ocpd. Updated January 2016. Accessed October 4, 2017.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder symptoms. Psych Central website Available at: https://psychcentral.com/disorders/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-symptoms. Accessed October 4, 2017.

Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD  Last Updated: 9/30/2013