Living with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a unique challenge, not just for the person with the disorder, but for the person’s friends, family and co-workers. People with OCPD tend to be slaves to perfection and have a constant need for control. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder may be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, unlike OCPD, OCD is an anxiety disorder, not a personality disorder, although the two conditions do share some symptoms.
Complications of OCPD Disorder
Although many personality disorders can lead to destructive behaviors, such as lawbreaking or substance abuse, the rigidity displayed by people with OCPD makes these behaviors less of a risk. However, the tendency to become hyper-focused on details and lose sight of the big picture may cause problems with career development, which is especially unfortunate because people with OCPD tend to value work so highly. In addition, poor social skills may lead to unsatisfying or difficult personal relationships.
Living and Working with a Person Who Has OCPD Disorder
Constantly being around someone who has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder can be extremely frustrating. They may become upset and angry over seemingly insignificant problems. They also struggle with interpersonal relationships and may act with inappropriate formality around you, even if you’ve known them for a long time. This stiffness is due to their need to always say or do the perfect thing–if they’re not sure their wording or gesture is ideal, they’ll hold back.
If it’s a co-worker who’s living with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, you’ll face some unique challenges. First, individuals with OCPD often try to maintain absolute control over a project. If they’re delegating to you, they’ll likely insist that you do everything in a certain way. They also tend to get bogged down in minor details. People with OCPD tend to show great admiration to superiors whom they respect, but they’ll often defy authority figures whom they do not respect.
When someone in your life has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, encourage them to seek help from a professional therapist. Although it’s helpful to know the signs of OCPD so you can better understand their behavior, therapy is usually the best way to break through personality disorders.
OCPD and Effects on Children
Although, like all personality disorders, OCPD can’t be officially diagnosed in a person younger than 18 years of age, symptoms of OCPD disorder can begin to show themselves at a very young age. Children who are at risk for OCPD tend to set strict rules for everything they do and pay close attention to details. These kids are often perfectionists, which may cause problems with friends or siblings. They may become extremely distressed or aggressive if their schedules or rules are disrupted.
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder shares some symptoms with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but there are key differences between OCD and OCPD. OCD usually causes a great amount of anxiety in a child, because they recognize that their behaviors aren’t normal. However, a child living with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is typically unconcerned by the symptoms.
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