Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Unlike the similarly named Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is, as the name suggests, a personality disorder. Diagnosing someone with a personality disorder, much like a psychological disorder, is often contingent on the diagnostician’s own beliefs on what constitutes a ‘normal personality’, but a useful indicator is whether this personality ‘type’ causes significant distress and impairment to the life of the sufferer and to those around them. Alongside Avoidant and Dependent personalities, OCPD is grouped as a Cluster C personality disorder.

Cluster C personalities are typically described as “anxious” and comorbid anxiety, and often occurs in obsessive compulsive personalities. Much like stereotypes and preconceptions of OCD, OCPD or anankastic personality disorder, as it is also known, is characterised by an excessive need for perfection and order, an obsessive preoccupation with details, rules, lists, organisation, and other methods of external regimen and control.

Developing OCPD is arguably a result of genetic and environmental influences, with overly protective or involved parental styles leading to the expression of this genetic predisposition. Additionally, childhood trauma has been implicated as a possible contributor to the development of OCPD and this personality’s overwhelming need to control.

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