Is it Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) or Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)?

Reviewed Jul 12, 2017

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Summary

  • OCD is an anxiety disorder involving unwanted thoughts.
  • OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts.
  • People with OCPD have no compulsions and no desire to change.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) sounds a lot like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But, there are some distinct differences. OCD is an anxiety disorder involving repetitive unwanted thoughts and ritualized actions. OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts. One major difference between the two is in the area of self-awareness. People with OCD are very tuned in to the negative aspects of their condition. Those with OCPD often do not think they are doing anything unusual.

What is OCD?

OCD is made up of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or images that repeatedly occur in one’s mind. They can be very disruptive and disturbing. The person will often realize her obsessions are not rational. At the same time, she is not able to stop them. This leaves her feeling anxious and afraid. Some common obsessions are feeling that things are out of order or left undone. Others include feeling one’s hands are full of germs, or a feeling of coming doom.

Compulsions are rituals done in response to obsessions. These acts are an attempt to control the obsessions and the feeling of anxiety that goes with them. The person does not want to repeat the rituals, but feels compelled to do so. She feels something bad will happen if she does not do them. Doing the rituals will not make the obsessions go away but may give some brief relief. Some common compulsions include repeatedly washing hands or checking and rechecking things.

What is OCPD?

In contrast to those with OCD, people with OCPD often have no desire to change. They are convinced that their way of doing things is the best way. They demand if everyone else just followed their example, things would go smoothly. This rigid thinking often causes problems with others.

A person with OCPD is unaware of the hardship he causes others. This can be very true in the workplace. His over-attention to detail often becomes a source of frustration to his co-workers. Those working under him may feel they are being micro-managed. He also may have a hard time meeting his work deadlines.

The actual quality of work of someone with OCPD may be better than that of his peers. But, it will often come at the expense of his relationships with those peers.

Other differences

OCD usually starts in childhood. OCPD usually does not begin until the teen or early adult years. A person with OCD will be distressed about her condition. This will often prompt her to seek treatment on her own.

A person with OCPD will more likely cause distress to those around him. Most often it is when resulting conflicts threaten his job or closest relationships that he seeks treatment.

People with OCPD do not have the compulsions that are common with OCD. They also do not have the high anxiety. They are content with their way of doing things. Their obsession with lists and rules does not cause them any stress. In fact, quite the opposite is true. People with OCPD feel relieved, not burdened, when they stick to their strict routine.

Diagnosis

Having some obsessive traits or behaviors does not mean a person has OCD or OCPD. Neither does a person have to have all the traits to be diagnosed with either disorder. Proper evaluation should be done by a mental health professional. People found to have either disorder can and do recover. There is hope.

Resource

International OCD Foundation
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) Fact Sheet

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: International OCD Foundation, https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OCPD-Fact-Sheet.pdf; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlinepl us/ency/article/000942.htm; NHS Choices, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Personality-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
Reviewed by Steve Coen, PhD, Clinical Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • OCD is an anxiety disorder involving unwanted thoughts.
  • OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts.
  • People with OCPD have no compulsions and no desire to change.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) sounds a lot like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But, there are some distinct differences. OCD is an anxiety disorder involving repetitive unwanted thoughts and ritualized actions. OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts. One major difference between the two is in the area of self-awareness. People with OCD are very tuned in to the negative aspects of their condition. Those with OCPD often do not think they are doing anything unusual.

What is OCD?

OCD is made up of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or images that repeatedly occur in one’s mind. They can be very disruptive and disturbing. The person will often realize her obsessions are not rational. At the same time, she is not able to stop them. This leaves her feeling anxious and afraid. Some common obsessions are feeling that things are out of order or left undone. Others include feeling one’s hands are full of germs, or a feeling of coming doom.

Compulsions are rituals done in response to obsessions. These acts are an attempt to control the obsessions and the feeling of anxiety that goes with them. The person does not want to repeat the rituals, but feels compelled to do so. She feels something bad will happen if she does not do them. Doing the rituals will not make the obsessions go away but may give some brief relief. Some common compulsions include repeatedly washing hands or checking and rechecking things.

What is OCPD?

In contrast to those with OCD, people with OCPD often have no desire to change. They are convinced that their way of doing things is the best way. They demand if everyone else just followed their example, things would go smoothly. This rigid thinking often causes problems with others.

A person with OCPD is unaware of the hardship he causes others. This can be very true in the workplace. His over-attention to detail often becomes a source of frustration to his co-workers. Those working under him may feel they are being micro-managed. He also may have a hard time meeting his work deadlines.

The actual quality of work of someone with OCPD may be better than that of his peers. But, it will often come at the expense of his relationships with those peers.

Other differences

OCD usually starts in childhood. OCPD usually does not begin until the teen or early adult years. A person with OCD will be distressed about her condition. This will often prompt her to seek treatment on her own.

A person with OCPD will more likely cause distress to those around him. Most often it is when resulting conflicts threaten his job or closest relationships that he seeks treatment.

People with OCPD do not have the compulsions that are common with OCD. They also do not have the high anxiety. They are content with their way of doing things. Their obsession with lists and rules does not cause them any stress. In fact, quite the opposite is true. People with OCPD feel relieved, not burdened, when they stick to their strict routine.

Diagnosis

Having some obsessive traits or behaviors does not mean a person has OCD or OCPD. Neither does a person have to have all the traits to be diagnosed with either disorder. Proper evaluation should be done by a mental health professional. People found to have either disorder can and do recover. There is hope.

Resource

International OCD Foundation
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) Fact Sheet

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: International OCD Foundation, https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OCPD-Fact-Sheet.pdf; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlinepl us/ency/article/000942.htm; NHS Choices, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Personality-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
Reviewed by Steve Coen, PhD, Clinical Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • OCD is an anxiety disorder involving unwanted thoughts.
  • OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts.
  • People with OCPD have no compulsions and no desire to change.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) sounds a lot like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But, there are some distinct differences. OCD is an anxiety disorder involving repetitive unwanted thoughts and ritualized actions. OCPD is a personality disorder marked by controlling thoughts. One major difference between the two is in the area of self-awareness. People with OCD are very tuned in to the negative aspects of their condition. Those with OCPD often do not think they are doing anything unusual.

What is OCD?

OCD is made up of obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts or images that repeatedly occur in one’s mind. They can be very disruptive and disturbing. The person will often realize her obsessions are not rational. At the same time, she is not able to stop them. This leaves her feeling anxious and afraid. Some common obsessions are feeling that things are out of order or left undone. Others include feeling one’s hands are full of germs, or a feeling of coming doom.

Compulsions are rituals done in response to obsessions. These acts are an attempt to control the obsessions and the feeling of anxiety that goes with them. The person does not want to repeat the rituals, but feels compelled to do so. She feels something bad will happen if she does not do them. Doing the rituals will not make the obsessions go away but may give some brief relief. Some common compulsions include repeatedly washing hands or checking and rechecking things.

What is OCPD?

In contrast to those with OCD, people with OCPD often have no desire to change. They are convinced that their way of doing things is the best way. They demand if everyone else just followed their example, things would go smoothly. This rigid thinking often causes problems with others.

A person with OCPD is unaware of the hardship he causes others. This can be very true in the workplace. His over-attention to detail often becomes a source of frustration to his co-workers. Those working under him may feel they are being micro-managed. He also may have a hard time meeting his work deadlines.

The actual quality of work of someone with OCPD may be better than that of his peers. But, it will often come at the expense of his relationships with those peers.

Other differences

OCD usually starts in childhood. OCPD usually does not begin until the teen or early adult years. A person with OCD will be distressed about her condition. This will often prompt her to seek treatment on her own.

A person with OCPD will more likely cause distress to those around him. Most often it is when resulting conflicts threaten his job or closest relationships that he seeks treatment.

People with OCPD do not have the compulsions that are common with OCD. They also do not have the high anxiety. They are content with their way of doing things. Their obsession with lists and rules does not cause them any stress. In fact, quite the opposite is true. People with OCPD feel relieved, not burdened, when they stick to their strict routine.

Diagnosis

Having some obsessive traits or behaviors does not mean a person has OCD or OCPD. Neither does a person have to have all the traits to be diagnosed with either disorder. Proper evaluation should be done by a mental health professional. People found to have either disorder can and do recover. There is hope.

Resource

International OCD Foundation
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) Fact Sheet

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: International OCD Foundation, https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/OCPD-Fact-Sheet.pdf; National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/index.shtml U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlinepl us/ency/article/000942.htm; NHS Choices, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Personality-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
Reviewed by Steve Coen, PhD, Clinical Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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