OCD and OCPD are two mental health conditions that are usually mistaken for one another. But they are actually two very different disorders with their own unique set of symptoms and treatment plans.
Here’s a quick rundown on these mental health issues and how to tell the difference between OCD and OCPD:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Patients with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have frequent, upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and the urge to control and repeating certain behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions trigger huge waves of anxiety because they’re extremely unwanted and intrusive.
People with OCD often feel tortured by their obsessions and resort to excessive compulsions to escape them. For example, someone with obsessive symptoms with cleanliness may do unwanted and repeated rituals to stay clean. This has the potential to impact their daily living as well as their relationships.
OCD patients are usually prescribed SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, the most effective mode of treatment for OCD is exposure and response prevention, a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
The treatment goal is not to put a limit on the obstructive obsessive thoughts, but instead for patients to learn over the course of time to be open to these compulsions and not respond in fear.
Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
People with OCPD are fixated with following their own set of procedures or routines in their daily living. They tend to think that their way to do things is the “right and best way”, even though some of their routines are inefficient. They are really strict in following their own rules and tends to be controlling in their environment.
A person with OCPD has a strong need for order and a sense of “how things should be done”. For a person with OCPD, it’s always about rules and orderliness.
The symptoms of this personality disorders include perfectionism that interferes with completing the tasks, rigidity in following procedures and a deep fixation with lists and rules.
On the good side of things, a person with OCPD can excel in his craft as perfectionism keeps them at a high standard.
Treatment may involve a combination of mindful techniques medication, and psychotherapy. SSRIs are also frequently prescribed as they tend to make patients less stressed about minor things.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also effective in managing OCPD because it homes in on their perfectionism and rigid thinking. It also helps them identify the stressor that is causing her to obsessively organized and perfect.
CBT also helps these patients come up with their own more flexible and time-efficient ways of going about their daily lives. In the process, CBT also helps tone down self-criticism and broaden the person’s perspective of herself.
Read this article by Psycom to learn more about the difference between OCD and OCPD.