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What is Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)?

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) should not be confused with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). According to the DSM-IV-R, people with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are characterized by a preoccupation with details, lists, rules, orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility and openness. OCPD typically manifests in early childhood. People with OCPD don’t usually participate in rituals like people with OCD. People with OCPD are often obsessed with being perfect in their professional and personal lives. They tend to keep their emotions and behavior highly controlled, and for this reason they appear cold and aloof to others.

Although people with OCD often have features of OCPD, only about 6-25% actually have full-blown OCPD. The main difference between OCD and OCPD lies in the degree of life-impairment. People with OCD suffer from their problem and want to be rid of it. People with OCPD, on the other hand, feel that the way they run their lives is correct and that they are surrounded by people living the “wrong” kind of life. OCPD is often noticed first by family members or friends; often people with OPCD don’t think they have a problem. For this reason, it is extremely difficult to treat and it causes a lot of distress in relationships.

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