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Obsessive-Compulsive Personality

 

Explanations > Personality > Personality Disorders > Obsessive-Compulsive Personality

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The Obsessive-Compulsive Personality occurs where a person has a particular focus on perfectionism.

Noticeable symptoms may include:

  • An extreme focus on work and success.
  • Little flexibility. Seeking control. Stubborn.
  • Little generosity or affection for others.
  • Preoccupation with rules, lists and fine details.
  • Highly conscientious. Ethically scrupulous.
  • Difficulty in delegation. Tendency to micro-manage others.
  • Miserly with money and other resources.

The obsessive-compulsive personality often emerges in early adulthood.

Discussion

The obsessive-compulsive personality seeks success. To achieve this, they need control and believe that 'the devil is in the details', and so put great effort into understanding and managing these details. In doing so they may miss the bigger picture. Their need for control also makes it difficult for them to adapt to new situations.

They have little time for relationships or entertainment and generally see others as collaborators, blockers or unimportant in their quest for success. Money and other resources are seen as means to future success and are hoarded in a miserly manner.

They typically believe their way is best and that others are less careful and less perfect. This can lead them to feel responsible for everything, with consequent high levels of worry and stress.

In business, the focus on personal achievement can make them very successful. Like the narcissistic personality they may manipulate others, but in pursuit of goals other than praise. A paradox of the condition is that their grabbing of control can lead to them losing control, particularly as they focus on the detail and perfection at every stage, at the expense of time and budget.

The Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder is one of the ten DSM-IV personality disorders. Psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral therapies can be effective in treating this.

The single-minded focus on work means that people with this disorder are likely to have less problems with such issues as self-harming or drug abuse.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) is related to, but is not the same as, the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCPD people consider that they are in control of their thinking, whilst those with OCD are plagued with unwanted thoughts and compulsions.

See also

Micromanagement

 

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