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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

While the names may be similar, these two disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) have a few key distinctions, and one is considered more severe than the other. In fact, they belong to two entirely different categories of disorders.


The first part of OCD, the obsessions, is characterized by obsessive and intrusive thoughts, images, and urges. These obsessions are undesired and cause the person experiencing them distress.

The second part is the compulsions. These are repetitive rituals and behaviours that are intended to reduce the anxiety associated with the obsessions. However, they only offer temporary relief from obsessive thoughts, and the pattern soon begins all over again. OCD is categorized is an anxiety disorder.


OCPD is characterized by a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control, which often comes at the expense of flexibility and efficiency. Those with OCPD tend to lack the self-awareness present in OCD and may actually see their thoughts as the only correct way to do things. This is a crucial difference between the two disorders.

The quality of the relationships of people with OCPD are far more susceptible to the effects of the disorder than those with OCD, as they often expect compliance from others and be uncompromising in their behaviour. OCPD is categorized as a personality disorder.


Treatment for both disorders includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medication. However, those with OCPD are less likely than those with OCD to seek treatment as they may not recognize that they have a problem. If you feel that you may be struggling with either disorder, reaching out to a mental health professional can be the first step on the path toward recovery.

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