OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and OCPD– Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) are two distinct forms of mental illness with specific characteristics.
OCD is an anxiety disorder-An individual with an anxiety disorder suffers from intense anxiety or panic. They worry about activities or events.
OCPD is a personality disorder- a way of thinking, feeling and behaving that deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time.1
Patients with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder need to be in control. They suffer from obsession and compulsion. An obsession is a repetitive thought, action or behavior that won’t go away. A compulsion is an irrational behavior performed repeatedly. An individual with OCD might wash his hands repeatedly, or open and close the door a certain number of times.
They tend to be solitary in their endeavors and to mistrust the help of others. People with OCD know they need help and will usually want treatment.
Many people with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder don’t seek out treatment until the disorder starts to significantly interfere or otherwise impact their life and that of people around them. People with OCPD focus intensely on orderliness and control.
Personality disorders such as OCPD are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional. Once a person agrees to treatment, psychotherapy will typically be the main form of treatment. There are two psychotherapy options, long-term or short-term. Long-term treatment is the best way to make significant, lasting changes to the person’s overall well-being.
1.Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association. (2013).