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Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria

The anecdotal stories of Terry and Shaun, both sufferers of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder have been discussed in previous articles.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) differs from its better known near-namesake Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which is one of the anxiety disorders. In contrast, OCPD is one of the personality disorders and is included in the same category as other personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial personal disorder and several others.

OCPD is a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness and perfection at the expense of flexibility and efficiency.

In order for a diagnosis of OCPD to be made, at least 4 of the following behavior patterns must be present:

  1. A preoccupation with details, rules, lists, order, organization, or schedules to the extent that the major point of the exercise is lost.
  2. Shows perfectionism that interferes with task completion ( i.e., is unable to complete a project because his or her own overly strict standards are not met.)
  3. Is excessively preoccupied with work and productivity to the exclusion of most leisure activities and friendship. This preoccupation is unrelated to economic need.
  4. The person is overly conscientious, scrupulous, and inflexible about matters of morality, ethics or personal values. This is not related to cultural or religious norms.
  5. Is unable to discard worn-out or worthless objects even when they have no sentimental value.
  6. Is reluctant to delegate tasks or to work with others unless they agree to do the task in the manner required by the sufferer.
  7. Has a miserly approach to spending and questions the spending habits of those under his or her control. Money is viewed as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes.
  8. Displays extreme stubbornness and rigidity in all activities.

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