The 10 Personality Disorders: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

This post is intended to list characteristics of personality disorders, causes & treatments.

*These are characteristics often observed in a personality disorder though every feature may not apply to each specific personality disorder. Appreciate what is of value to you in this post and leave the rest.

Individuals with a personality disorder often experience chronic, pervasive difficulty with relationships, impulse control, & emotions. The features may be present in childhood, often become prominent in teen years, but often a diagnosis is withheld until adulthood.  Typically, a personality disorder is in sync with one’s ego. Due to this the person may lack self-awareness and externalize the problems associated with their personality disorder. Personality disorders can co-occur.

In order for a diagnosis a person must exhibit difficulty in at least one of the four, (among other criteria specific to the personality disorder);

  • Distorted thinking
  • Problematic emotional responses
  • Over or under regulated impulse control
  • Interpersonal difficulties

Data supports that any person with a personality disorder is more likely to have a substance use disorder. Though, sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate which is causing the other. Personality disorders should be diagnosed with caution.

Personality disorders are grouped into clusters based on common similarities;

Cluster A: Social withdrawal or awkwardness driven by distorted thinking

Cluster B: Dramatic, impulsive and emotional thinking/behavior

Cluster C: Driven by fear

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive compulsive personality disorder

[Cluster C]


  • Pattern of unwanted thoughts that lead to repetitive behaviors
  • Twice as common in those born as male
  • One of the more common personality disorders
  • May exhibit perfectionism
  • Attention to detail
  • Formal and rigid
  • Overly focused on being punctual
  • Paradoxically, may often be tardy due to fixation to details
  • Rigid adherence to moral or ethical values
  • Rules, regulations
  • May use lists

  • May hoard
  • Criticizes themselves harshly
  • May be extremely frugal
  • Will not delegate
  • Stress is often a trigger
  • A need to impose their standards on the outside environment
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships
  • They’re hardworking but fixation with perfection makes them counter productive
  • Often co-occurs with depression and anxiety or severe OCD may be precursor to this diagnosis

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder | OCD VS Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder | OCPD

What is obsessive compulsive personality disorder?

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by either Obsessions (intrusive, repetitive thoughts that won’t leave the mind and that cause great anxiety) or Compulsions (repetitive behaviors that are designed to reduce anxiety brought on by obsessions).


OCPD, on the other hand, is a personality style characterized by a obsessive-compulsive behavior or a preoccupation with “orderliness, perfectionism and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness and efficiency” (DSM IV).



Environmental factors play a role in Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. May have experienced abuse neglect and trauma. Personality traits may contribute. Some adults recall this beginning at a very early age suggesting genetics or brain chemistry contributes. May have felt they needed to be the perfect child. May provide a sense of control, if they were in chaotic unpredictable environment.


Therapy & Medication

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT

Exposure and Response Therapy ERP

Electroconvulsive Therapy ECT

Relaxation techniques

Deep Brain Stimulation

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – alternative treatment

In extreme cases neurosurgery can be used

Relaxation techniques

Support groups | May offer solace from others that can empathize

Group therapy | May learn coping mechanisms from others that experience this disorder

Family therapy | Support for family & help family become more constructive

Medications | Most common are anti-anxiety, antidepressants & anti psychotics

More On Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

For the other 9 personality Disorders or other mental health topics visit