What is OCPD? Read about symptoms, statistics and treatment options for this anxiety-based personality disorder.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a condition similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but more deeply ingrained in the entire lifestyle and personality of the individual. While OCPD doesn’t involve the same obsessions and compulsions as OCD, it is nonetheless a pervasive condition that can significantly impact an individual’s functioning.  

Symptoms of OCPD include:

  • Excessive preoccupation with rules, order and organization
  • Perfectionism that often gets in the way of completing tasks
  • Complete focus on work and exclusion of enjoyable activities or friendships
  • Inflexibility concerning morals and ethics
  • Inability to discard items that are worn out or useless
  • Reluctance to allow others to help with tasks
  • Hoards money and is miserly with expenditures
  • Exhibits rigidity and stubbornness

OCPD statistics reveal the prevalence of the condition, as well as the most effective treatment options and interventions.

Prevalence Of OCPD

In comparison to other types of personality disorders, OCPD is the most prevalent. The condition affects 2–7% of the population, which amounts to approximately 1 in 100 people. The condition tends to be more common in men than in women. OCPD frequently runs in families, which indicates a likelihood of genetic predisposition.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is most common among adult populations since personality disorders are not typically diagnosed in children due to consideration of developmental stages. Many practitioners are reconsidering this practice in favor of early intervention practices that may help reverse early symptoms of personality disorders in children and adolescents.

OCPD and Co-occurring Conditions

OCPD often co-occurs with other mental health conditions, which means the individual is experiencing another psychological disorder at the same time as OCPD. Often, co-occurring disorders can be more challenging to manage because of the overlap of symptoms and the ways the disorders influence each other.

OCPD and Anxiety

Individuals commonly struggle with feeling out of control and fearful. OCPD and anxiety often co-occur and can have a detrimental impact on the lives of those affected. The rigidity in thought and behavior that OCPD brings, combined with the distress and fear of an anxiety disorder, can result in a significant amount of emotional distress for the person facing them.

OCPD and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

OCPD and narcissism are also often closely correlated. Both conditions are personality disorders, which have overlapping traits such as a commitment to perfection and a belief that others are less capable of doing things the correct way. Generally, people with OCPD dwell on being incapable of doing things perfectly, while those with narcissistic personality disorder commonly conclude that they have already reached perfection beyond what others can achieve.

OCPD and Depression

OCPT and depression often co-occur as a result of a pervasive sense of not being good enough. People with OCPD have a high expectation for themselves and others to perform to a certain standard. This level of perfectionism is impossible to attain, resulting in feelings of low self-esteem and depression. People with OCPD often feel angry and resentful as a result of their unmet expectations, which worsens their quality of life.

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Prognosis

It is difficult to predict OCPD prognosis since there haven’t been any large-scale, long-term studies of outcomes for this population. OCPD is treatable, however, and often people with this condition can gain insight about the impact of their condition on others. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a negative life outcome, such as relationship challenges or job loss, to motivate someone with OCPD to obtain treatment.

Statistics on OCPD Treatment

OCPD treatments such as psychotherapy, relaxation techniques and medication can be useful management techniques to help alleviate symptoms of OCPD. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with OCPD learn about the impact of their rigidity on others and ways to reduce relationship distress that can often manifest for people with this condition.

If you recognize some of these OCPD symptoms within yourself or a loved one and have a co-occurring substance use disorder, help is available. Contact The Recovery Village today to get started.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Paula Holmes, LCSW
Paula Holmes is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist and freelance writer who lives and works in midcoast Maine. She received her master's degree in Social Work in 2008 from the University of Maine. Read more

Watson, K. “Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)” healthline.com. Accessed April 27, 2019.

Medlineplus.gov. “Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder” Accessed April 27, 2019.

Van Noppen, B. “Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)” International OCD Foundation, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2019.

Guilé, JM; Greenfield, B. “Introduction personality disorders in ch[…]ood and adolescence.” The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review. 2004. Accessed April 27, 2019.

American Psychiatric Association “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Men[…] Disorders (DSM–5)” Accessed April 27, 2019.

Pierce, L. “OCD and OCPD: A Case Study and Treatment” Verywellmind.com. December 28, 2018. Accessed April 27, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.