Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is often confused with the well-known anxiety disorder OCD.
People with OCD have unwanted and irrational thoughts that drive them to repetitive behaviours i.e. compulsions such as counting numbers/actions, ritualised handwashing and repeatedly checking door locks/car locks. Completing these compulsions helps to dispel anxious feelings and thoughts, however, the person is likely aware that their compulsions are unrealistic and can feel distressed as a result.
In contrast to this, a person with OCPD does not have these compulsions, but instead an inflexible view of life and adherence to extreme standards. This on its own is not a negative, and many people with OCPD may excel in their careers due to their level of focus; however, they will persist with their rigid routines even if it is negatively impacting their lives. They are not known to be described as approachable or relaxed, and their inflexibility and obsession with details tend to lead to difficulty in maintaining relationships and a display of perceived antisocial behaviour.
People with OCPD are steadfast in their beliefs and fully resolved that their actions are “right”. They are often quick to anger when someone disagrees with them and may feel the need to impose their views on those around them. They have no awareness that their habits may be negatively impacting their efficiency in work or engagement in relationships.
There is currently no known cause of OCPD, however, it is suspected to be a combination of cultural norms, childhood experiences and genetics.