Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder involving extreme perfection, need for order, and neatness. Individuals with OCPD also tend to feel that their standards for order need to be imposed on those around them.



Although having similar names, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) focuses more on the anxiety brought about from uncontrollable urges and unwanted thoughts to perform the obsessions. While both OCPD and OCD can interfere with our interpersonal relationships, OCPD affects the way we interact with others, which may appear unpleasant. 

✽   Type of Disorder

✽   Belief in the Need for Treatment 

  • Individuals who experience OCPD may not see a need for treatment nor notice abnormalities in their thoughts and behaviours.
  • However, those with OCD tend to acknowledge their thoughts and emotions as extreme. 
  • It is thus comparatively more difficult to convince those with OCPD to receive treatment as they believe their thoughts are valid and logical. 

✽   Consistency of Symptoms

  • Symptoms of OCPD are constant and may persist for long periods of time, whereas symptoms of OCD may fluctuate depending on their anxiety levels.


Signs and Symptoms 

  • Adherence to rules in an inflexible, rigid way
  • Excessive fixation with list-making, often down to minor details
  • Inability to complete tasks due to perfectionism
  • Reluctance to delegate tasks in fear of it not being done right
  • Prioritising work over family and friends 
  • Over controlling in relationships 
  • Hoarding items without sentimental value


Causes of OCPD

  • Genetics

  • Environmental factors such as strict or neglectful parenting. In these cases OCPD can develop as a coping mechanism


Treatment for OCPD

OCPD is commonly left untreated as many are unaware of the problem. Individuals tend to still be functional in daily life, and the traits of OCPD can often help improve one's efficiency and assertiveness. 

However, for those who opt for treatment, psychotherapy is usually highly effective in helping one cope with OCPD. Certain forms of treatment that may be employed are: 

✽   Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

  • Aims to identify and change negative thinking and behavioural patterns associated with OCPD into more adaptive thoughts and behaviours.

✽   Psychodynamic Therapy 

  • Enhance understanding of conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions to make better life choices. 
  • Make connections with past experiences to understand why they think and behave in such ways.

✽   Medication: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) 

  • Reduce rigidity and inflexibility, as well as perfectionist tendencies
  • Reduce stress 


How Can You Cope With OCPD on Your Own? 

In addition to seeking treatment, there are some coping strategies you can use: 

✽   Psychoeducation

  • Understanding your symptoms will help to identify and better cope with the stress

✽   Managing Your Stress

  • Ensure that your stress levels are low to avoid worsening of your symptoms 
  • Take a step back, delegate your work 

✽   Try Mindfulness and Meditation 

  • Be mindful of your rigidness and be sensitive to others 
  • Identifying triggers to extreme perfectionism to allow better planning when triggered. 
  • Try meditation or simple breathing exercises to calm down 


Find out more about OCPD by watching the video attached!