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Understanding Mental Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)


Overview of OCPD

Whereby an individual shows patterns of being preoccupied with control, orderliness or perfectionism. These individuals may excessively worry about potential mistakes and be highly sensitive to criticism. These individuals may be rigid, have excessively high moral standards and hold judgemental views of others. Despite the name, OCPD has no relation to obsessive-compulsive disorder, although some symptoms overlap, for example the potential to have obsessive and intrusive thoughts and mental images, although these tend to be less severe in OCPD than obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Causes

While the exact cause of OCPD is unknown, it is thought that it may be caused by a combination of genetics and adverse childhood experiences. For example, if they were told that they needed to be impeccably obedient as a child or that things always had to be done perfectly, then these traits may be carried into adulthood. Additionally, parents may have been extremely controlling or protective, and these OCPD traits may have been developed as a way of avoiding punishment from parents. Research has shown that men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with OCPD than woman.

Treatment

Psychotherapy is the first line of treatment suggested for OCPD. Cognitive behavioural therapy can be a useful intervention in examining cognitive distortions and identifying negative thinking patterns. For example, helping individuals reach the goal of becoming less focused on orderliness and perfection. Medications may be prescribed in order to treat specific symptoms of OCPD, for example low mood, or to help them become less rigid. Additionally, relaxation techniques may be taught in order to reduce anxiety and the ongoing sense of urgency that is often experienced by individuals with OCPD.

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