Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)is a personality disorder which involves anobsession with perfection, rules, and organization. People with OCPD may feelanxious when they perceive that things are not right. This can lead to routinesand rules for ways of doing things, whether for themselves or their families
The primary symptoms of OCPD are a preoccupation with details, rules,lists, order, organization, and schedules; being very rigid and inflexible intheir beliefs; showing perfectionism that interferes with completing a task;excessive focus on being productive with their time; being very conscientious;having inflexible morality, ethics, or values; hoarding items that may nolonger have value; and a reluctance to trust a work assignment or task tosomeone else for fear that their standards will not be met.
Some people with OCPD, but not all of them, show an obsessive need forcleanliness. Those that do not show this tendency are sometimes good at settingup systems to maintain cleanliness, but may not follow through with the need toclean because of other "more important" priorities. For example, theneed to get a good grade or finish a project at work might cause the OCPDperson to have a quite messy and unorganized home. But if that same person wassuddenly unemployed or finished with other activities, he or she could verywell start becoming obsessed with cleanliness as other activities take up lesstime.
Completion of a task or problem by an OCPD individual can be affected whenexcessive time is used in getting such to be considered right. Personal andsocial relationships are often under serious strain because the OCPD individualinsists on being in charge and the only one who knows what is right. Unseemlinessis seen by some OCPD individuals as a form of lack of perfection, as isuntidiness. They may routinely spend considerable time using a precise manner,as for instance putting everything in precisely the right place in preciselythe right manner. OCPD sufferers can be anxious about the potential for thingsto go wrong in their lives and respond by hoarding money. Pathological money hoarding, looking like miserliness orstinginess to other people, may occur to minimize that spent on daily living.
There are few moral grey areas for a person with fully developed OCPD.Actions and beliefs are either completely right or absolutely wrong, with theOCPD individual always in the right. As might be expected, interpersonal relationships aredifficult because of the excessive demands placed on friends, romantic partnersand children. Sometimes frustration with other people not doing what the OCPDindividual wants spills over into anger and even violence. This is known as disinhibition.Persons with OCPD often have a negative outlook on life (pessimism)with a low underlying form of depression. This can at times become so seriousthat suicide is a real risk. Indeed, one study suggests that personalitydisorders are a significant substrate to psychiatric morbidity. They may causemore problems in functioning than a major depressive episode.
People with OCPD, when anxious or excited, may tic, grimace, or makenoises, as in Tourette syndrome, or do impulsive andunpredictable things, including risk taking. They may keep their homesperfectly organized, or be anxious about delegating tasks for fear that they won't be completed correctly. They may even insist ontaking over a task someone else is doing so that it will be done properly.About one in four OCPD individuals may display rigid and stubborncharacteristics, a defining criterion.