Anankastic personality disorder


Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a general pattern of concern with orderliness, perfectionism, excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one's environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency. Workaholism and miserliness are also seen often in those with this personality disorder. Persons affected with this disorder may find it hard to relax, always feeling that time is running out for their activities, and that more effort is needed to achieve their goals. They may plan their activities down to the minute—a manifestation of the compulsive tendency to keep control over their environment and to dislike unpredictable events as elements beyond their control.

The cause of OCPD is unknown. This is a distinct disorder from obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and the relation between the two is contentious. Some (but not all) studies have found high comorbidity rates between the two disorders, and both may share outside similarities – rigid and ritual-like behaviors, for example. Hoarding, orderliness, and a need for symmetry and organization are often seen in people with either disorder. Attitudes toward these behaviors differ between people affected with either of the disorders: for people with OCD, these behaviors are unwanted and seen as unhealthy, being the product of anxiety-inducing and involuntary thoughts, while for people with OCPD they are egosyntonic (that is, they are perceived by the subject as rational and desirable), being the result of, for example, a strong adherence to routines, a natural inclination towards cautiousness, or a desire to achieve perfection.

OCPD occurs in about 2–8% of the general population and 8–9% of psychiatric outpatients. The disorder occurs more often in men.

Broader Problems:
Personality disorders
Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
24.03.1999 – 00:00 CET
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