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Research Medical Center
Research Brookside

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by excessive perfectionism and a need for control over one's environment. People with OCPD tend to be reliable and orderly, but also inflexible and unable to surrender control.


It is not clear what causes personality disorders, but it is likely a combination of inherited factors and a person's environment.

Risk Factors

OCPD is more common in men, especially in early adulthood. Other factors that may increase your chance of OCPD include:

  • Family history of OCPD or OCD
  • Background of harsh discipline
  • Being the oldest child


OCPD may cause:

  • Perfectionism interfering with task completion
  • Rigidity
  • Being frugal with money
  • Overattention to detail
  • Excessive devotion to work
  • Inability to discard worn or useless items
  • Extreme morality
  • Inability to delegate tasks or share
  • Stiff, formal, and/or rigid mannerisms
  • Extreme preciseness and/or punctuality


You will likely be referred to a psychiatrist or therapist, who will ask you about your symptoms and mental and medical health history. A diagnosis will be made after a complete psychiatric assessment.


Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:


Counseling that includes psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with OCPD learn to have fun, avoid over-intellectualizing, and address control issues.


In some cases, anti-depressant medications can help reduce obsessive-compulsive personality traits. However, long-term use of medications for OCPD has not been helpful. Anti-depressants may also be used to treat an associated condition, like depression .


There are no current guidelines to prevent OCPD. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce how much the personality traits interfere with your life.

Revision Information

  • Mental Health America

  • National Institute of Mental Health

  • Canadian Mental Health Association

  • Canadian Psychiatric Association

  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 23, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.

  • Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). International OCD Foundation website. Available at: Accessed August 21, 2014.