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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Can anybody tell me about OCPD?

    Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder - have just been diagnosed, but I am in denial as I feel this is too much to deal with.
    I have some perfectionistic traits but just thought this was me always trying to do my best.
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    Dr Simon Kinsella

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Dr Simon Kinsella is a Melbourne based clinical psychologist, who has been practicing since 1993. Currently he is the Director of Corporate and Personal Consulting, … View Profile

    OCPD is Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  Like other personality disorders it usually emerges around the late teens.  OCPD is similar in some ways to OCD. Symptoms include:
    “A pervasive pattern or preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expese of flexibility, openness and efficiency”
    The person with OCPD tends to extend perfectionism into almost all aspects of life, and the lack of flexibility becomes a significant problem in social and occupational settings.
    Where it differs from OCD is that you usually don't see ritualistic patterns of behaviour that occupy large amounts of time - for example, a person with OCD might wash his or her hands repetitively, sometimes taking up hours, and potentially damaging the skin because they are obsessed with the fear of being contaminated.
    The person who has OCPD will have much more purposeful behaviour.  For example, he or she will spend hours writing a report that should have taken a short perios of time.  Or he or she won' be able to delegate work because “no-one else will get it right”

    The good news is that it is treatable.  Like most personality disorders though, treatment takes a long time.  So set realistic goals, prepare for the long haul, and most of all be patient with the process.

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