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Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

Description of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)  and the perfectionists and workaholics who suffer from it.

Obsessions and compulsions are about control of self (mental) and others (interpersonal). People with the Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) are concerned (worried and anxious) about maintaining control and about being seen to be maintaining it. In other words, they are also preoccupied with the symbolic aspects and representations (with the symbols) of control.

Inevitably, OCPDs are perfectionists and rigidly orderly or organized. They lack flexibility, openness and efficiency. They tend to see the world and others as at best whimsical and arbitrary and at worst menacing and hostile. They are constantly worried that something is or may go wrong. In this respect, they share some traits with the paranoid and the schizotypal.

It is easy to spot an Obsessive-Compulsive. They are constantly drawing up and dreaming up lists, rules, orders, rituals, and organizational schemes. They demand from themselves and from others perfection and an inordinate attention to minutia. Actually, they place greater value on compiling and following rigid schedules and checklists than on the activity itself or its goals. Simply put, Obsessive-Compulsives are unable to see the  forest for the trees.

This insistence on in-depth scrutiny of every detail frequently results in paralysis.

OCPDs are workaholics, but not because they like to work. Ostensibly, they sacrifice family life, leisure, and friendships on the altar of productivity and output. Really, they are convinced that only they can get

the job done in the right manner. Yet, they are not very efficacious or productive.

Socially, OCPDs are sometimes resented and rejected. This is because some OCPDs are self-righteous to the point of bigotry.

I described it in an article I wrote for the Open Site Encyclopedia:

"They are so excessively conscientious and scrupulous and so unempathically and inflexibly tyrannical that it is difficult to maintain a long-term relationship with them. They regard their impossibly high moral, work, and ethical standards as universal and binding. Hence their inability to delegate tasks to others, unless they can micromanage the situation and control it minutely to fit their expectations. Consequently, they trust no one and are difficult to deal with and stubborn.

OCPDs are so terrified of change that they rarely discard acquired but now useless objects, change the outlay of furniture at home, relocate, deviate from the familiar route to work, tweak an itinerary, or embark on anything spontaneous. They also find it difficult to spend money even on essentials. This tallies with their view of the world as hostile, unpredictable, and "bad".

Read about the Compulsive Acts of the Narcissist - click HERE!

Read Notes from the therapy of an Obsessive-Compulsive Patient

This article appears in my book, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"


 

next: Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) Personality Disorder

APA Reference
Vaknin, S. (2009, October 1). Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 26 from https://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/malignant-self-love/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder-ocpd

Last Updated: July 5, 2018

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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