Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a manifestation in the group of personality disorders. A person with this disorder is marked by rigidity, perfectionism, constant controlling, and feelings of doubts and fearful caution (Dobbert, 2007). Despite some similarities in its symptoms, the OCPD is completely different from the obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While OCD is an axis I disorder with predominantly ego-dystonic symptoms (behavior and feelings are in conflict with the goals of the ego), caused by a disturbance of the brain metabolism, OCPD is an axis II disorder with predominantly ego-syntonic symptoms (behavior and feelings are in harmony with the goals of the ego).
Personality disorders often affect different personality areas and almost always are associated with personal and social impairments (Dobbert, 2007); however, resulting consequences need not necessarily lead to subjective distress. In the specific case of OCPD, lack of flexibility in thought and action is often present. Instead, an image of the “ideal-self” solidifies and is projected into the future. Thea, suffering from OCPD, thus, is faced by almost insurmountable conflicts: She constantly strives for perfectionism, exclusively devotes her time to work instead of leisure activities and friends, and is inflexible about matters of morality. However, due to her self-imposed, overly strict, and often unattainable standards, it is difficult for her to achieve this ideal. She tends to never be completely satisfied with her own performance and her functioning is disrupted by an excessive preoccupation with rules, efficiency, and insignificant details and procedures.
She will often try to justify her actions logical and rational. Emotional or affective behaviors of others will not be tolerated. Due to her pronounced indecision, decisions are postponed again and again, which is the expression of an exaggerated fear of making mistakes. This may have led to her burn-out at her job. Furthermore, she is extremely conscientious and tries to be very moral. She takes everything about herself and others very serious, and she is extraordinarily sensitive and hurt by criticism from authority figures. People with OCPD are prone to depression and often show symptoms of other obsessive-compulsive disorders (Dobbert, 2007), which may be the case with Thea.
Her ability to express emotions is might be reduced. She appears cool and rational in interpersonal relationships. Her ability to adapt to the habits and idiosyncrasies of others is limited. Rather, she expects others’ compliance to her own principles and standards.
People with OCPD have the impression that their life is laborious, full of worries, and agonizing. However, they do not blame this on their obsessive-compulsive nature. On the contrary, they believe that these obsessive-compulsive manners are what keep them afloat (Pretzer & Hampt, 1994). Patients with...