Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
When you hear the term OCPD you may think you know what this means. A common insight of this disorder is a person who is extremely neat or simply a person who organizes his work. Throwaway phrases, such as “That’s so OCD”, can underestimate the disorder as a character quirk that anyone can exhibit on a whim.
It is important to learn that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and OCPD are different disorders. In this article, we are going to discuss the diagnoses of OCPD, the difference between OCD and OCPD, and the treatments that are currently available.
What is OCPD?
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is defined by a persistent and rigid fixation with organisation, extreme perfectionism, and maintaining control in all situations. A person with OCPD will overlook the original goal of a task they are doing in favour of perfecting the details of the task. These personality traits typically hinder the individual in completing ordinary daily errands and sustaining interpersonal relationships.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), about 2% of us have OCPD. A 2018 report by SANE Australia also estimated that OCD is the most common of all personality disorders.
- Excessive list-making and schedule planning
- Rigid adherence to rules that others would consider insignificant
- An extreme need to be punctual
- Formal or stiff mannerisms that may appear as antisocial
- Obsessing over minor details of a task so much so that it is left unfinished
- Hoarding or an unwillingness to throw out ruined and worthless objects
- A refusal to delegate tasks as others may not do the task the “right way”
- An excessive devotion to work in place of engaging in social relationships
- A belief that everything will be fine if things are done the way they perceive they should be
Cognitive Behavioural TherapyCognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a practical approach to treating a wide range of mental health disorders. The premise for this therapy is that strong emotions can be challenging to change direction, so the therapy works on changing the negative thoughts and actions that lead to these emotions. CBT relies on the mind-body connection, meaning that a person’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and physical experiences are all interlinked. The aim is to interrupt the negative thought cycle, which in turn leads to negative feelings and physical symptoms. In comparison to traditional talk therapy, CBT concentrates on specific problems and uses a goal-orientated approach over a short period to combat these concerns. CBT is usually structured over 6-8 weeks, although this can vary from patient to patient, and will be decided between the individual and their therapist in the initial session. A typical CBT session involves:
- Identifying a current problem that is causing stress
- Recognising the thoughts and feelings that relate to this problem
- Identifying unreasonable and inaccurate perceptions
- Reshaping this perception
At present, there few studies of adequate scale to adequately assess the prognosis of a person with Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder who is receiving treatment. The treatments are promising; however, a lack of self-awareness and the presence of co-morbidities can act as a barrier to treatment.
While the treatments appear effective, it is evident that it may take significant time to see results. Therefore, the sooner treatment is prescribed, the better the prognosis.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, you should arrange to speak to a medical professional as soon as possible to discuss the treatment options.
You can be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist at Epsychiatry for an assessment and possible treatment. Speak with your GP for a referral.