There are some key differences between OCD and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder - but it turns out the majority of people don’t know that.
According to Eurekalert.com, New research shows that the general public can’t tell the difference between these two disorders. Researchers from Binghampton University in New York conducted phone interviews asking people 3 questions - 1. Have you ever heard of obsessive-compulsive disorder? 2. Sometimes people are said to be “obsessive-compulsive.” What does this mean? And 3. "As far as you know, is a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder different from someone who you would describe as obsessive-compulsive?
The majority of participants couldn’t answer these questions.
OCD is an anxiety disorder, while OCPD is a personality disorder.
OCD consists of irrational and intrusive thoughts and behaviors that won’t go away and cause extreme distress. OCPD is defined as a “strict adherence to orderliness and the control over of one's environment at the expense of flexibility and the openness to new experiences.”
How is this different? With OCD, the behaviors are directed by thoughts you are unable to control or irrational behaviors you repeat over and over again with no apparent aim. They distress you because you know they’re not rational, and you are likely to want to seek treatment for them. Conversely, people with OCPD don’t see an issue with their behavior - they see it as productive and believe their actions have an aim and a purpose. And while symptoms of OCD tend to fluctuate, symptoms of OCPD are usually consistent.
All of this goes to show that more work needs to be done on educating the public on both conditions.
On that note, you’re in luck, because that’s what MedCircle is here for. You can watch our original series, “Freedom From OCD” featuring world-renowned OCD expert Dr. Jenny Yip. With education, we can help the general public understand these conditions, which will go a long way in reducing the stigma around mental health.
This content is intended for informational purposes only. It should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you have a medical emergency, call 911 or your doctor immediately.