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Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder

Abstract: Obsessive compulsive personality disorder (which is not the same as obsessive compulsive disorder) is characterized by difficulty to perform work because of an obsession of making everything perfectly right.

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Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder

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Written by: Tasja Klausch
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 31 Jul 2008.

Note: Obsessive-compulsive PD is not the same as Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD) (More information about OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive PD is characterised by the following features: They are not able to accomplish their (job related) duties because of the striving for perfection. That is because they have a strong need of control, which at the end results in the loss of control of the general situation. They are excessively assiduous and performance-related, which leads to neglect of interpersonal relations. It is even possible that they are incapable of getting rid of old things without value, even if they don't have any personal value.

For a more detailed description see the diagnostic Criteria below.

Diagnostic Criteria of DSM-IV

The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, More) describes Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder as a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

  • is preoccupied with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the activity is lost;
  • shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion (e.g., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met);
  • is excessively devoted to work and productivity to the exclusion of leisure activities and friendships (not accounted for by obvious economic necessity);
  • is overconscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics, or values (not accounted for by cultural or religious identification);
  • is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly his or her way of doing things;
  • adopts a miserly spending style toward both self and others; money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes;
  • shows rigidity and stubbornness.
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