Obsessive-Compulsive Personality DisorderEn Español (Spanish Version)
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.
It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of inherited factors and a person's environment.
Factors that may increase your risk of developing OCPD include:
- Sex: males, especially in early adulthood
- Family history of OCPD or OCD
- Background of harsh discipline
- Being the oldest child
Symptoms may include:
- Perfectionism interfering with task completion
- 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
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.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
Counseling that includes psychotherapy or
cognitive behavior therapy
can help people with OCPD learn to have fun, avoid over-intellectualizing, and address control issues.
In some cases, anti-depressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, long-term use of medications for OCPD have not been helpful. They may also be used to treat an associated condition, like
There is no known way to prevent OCPD. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce how much the personality traits interfere with your life.
National Institute of Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
Updated April 8, 2012. Accessed September 9, 2013.
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). International OCD Foundation website. Available at: http://www.ocfoundation.org/uploadedfiles/maincontent/find_help/ocpd%20fact%20sheet.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed September 9, 2013.
Last Reviewed September 2013