Having obsessive compulsive personality traits usually disorder helps people do well in some occupations that demand orderliness and precision. However, having obsessive compulsive personality disorder greatly interferes with peoples’ overall functioning.

People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder are perfectionists and try to exercise a rigid control over themselves and others. They become angry or withdrawn when other people interfere with their rigid routines or if they feel they are not in control of a specific situation. Inflexibility and the inability to delegate work may seriously prevent them from career advancement.


In the DSM IV TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision), obsessive compulsive personality disorder is classified as a Cluster C Personality Disorder (personalities typifying fearful people) and is defined as a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness and efficiency.

Patients are scrupulous and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics or values; they are unable to discard worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value and are reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they submit to exactly their own way of doing things; affected people sometimes adopt a miserly spending style and show rigidity and stubbornness.

OCD starts in teenage years

OCD starts in teenage years, has a lifetime prevalence of 1% and is more common in males than in females. The course of the disease is chronic, and it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

It involves talking about the symptoms, gaining insight into the condition and learning healthy ways to manage it. One difficulty encountered in therapy is the powerful need that patients feel to control both the therapy and the therapist. Medications (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can be effective in some cases. Early detection and intervention help improve the quality of life and productivity of those affected by obsessive compulsive personality disorder.

By Ana C Posada Diaz, M.D., Psychiatrist

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