What is the Difference Between OCD and OCPD?

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OCD and OCPD are often seen as similar, but ,in actuality, they are very different mental disorders. Learn the differences between OCD and OCPD at HealthyPlace.

What is the Difference Between OCD and OCPD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are similar terms for two very different mental disorders. Because of the similarity in name, the two are often mistaken for the same thing. In order for people to receive the best possible treatment for what they’re experiencing, it’s important to know the difference between OCD and OCPD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a mental illness that involves unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions). Frequently, someone living with OCD experiences both. The intrusive obsessions are typically disturbing to the person and cause significant anxiety. He/she engages in repetitive actions or mental acts like counting in order to dispel the obsessions. These compulsions consume a significant amount of time, and together with the obsessions, can severely limit someone’s life. (Read more about OCD symptoms.)

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, on the other hand, is classified as a personality disorder. Personality disorders are long-term patterns of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that disrupt life and relationships. OCPD is about an excessive need for orderliness and control. It can be perceived as extreme perfectionism, stubbornness, and inflexibility. A rigid adherence to rules, details, order, and schedules prevents someone living with OCPD from fully living life and participating fully in relationships.

Understanding the difference between OCD and OCPD will lead to the right treatment approach to help people take back their lives.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2017, August 14). What is the Difference Between OCD and OCPD?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Last Updated: August 16, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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