Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) are two distinctly different conditions that are often the subject of much confusion. While they share similar names and some common symptoms between them, the two are very different forms of mental illness that can and should be recognized as such.
By far, the biggest difference between OCD and OCPD is the fact that obsessions and compulsions do not exist in OCPD in the same sense they exist for sufferers of OCD. Rather, this is a feature that is limited only to OCD. As a result, individuals suffering from OCD tend to view their need to carry out rituals as a necessary burden, something that they resent doing. People suffering from OCPD, however, generally view their rituals or habits as something that they can utilize to improve efficiency. All in all, OCD sufferers tend to spend much more of their time dealing with rituals and repeated actions than those with OCPD.
Also, people with OCD tend to seek out professional psychological help to cope with the stress caused by carrying out their compulsions or obsessions. People with OCPD don’t share this feature. Rather, they usually seek out treatment due to the conflict that is created when they refuse to conform to the way of doing things that family and friends want.
Whereas OCD’s symptoms can vary, fluctuate and be very obvious over time, OCPD’s symptoms are generally very limited and have a limited impact on personality.
While OCD and OCPD are very different conditions, both require specific treatments. As a result of some of their more similar symptoms, it’s important that anyone who is unsure attend a consultation with a medical professional and get the proper diagnosis.