Personality Disorder: Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder


Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder is a mental condition which manifests in a patient striving for perfection, without any room for failure. When such people experience failure, they normally perceive it as earth shattering. People suffering from obsessive-compulsive personality disorder tend to strive for a high level of perfection that is beyond the ordinary. In this regard, they tend to isolate themselves from others because their standards are beyond success and more into seclusion. The main symptom of this condition is the constant obsession with perfection, without any room for flexibility. Victims also tend to isolate themselves from other people because they perceive themselves as different from others. They also fear rejection or criticism. These people tend to avoid any form of interpersonal relationships and would only interact with people they perceive to like them. Victims often stay away from other people because they fear being embarrassed.

Treating obsessive compulsory personality disorder (OCPD) is a function of many treatment methods. However, group therapy has often been overlooked by many psychologists (Montgomery, 2002). Partially, this is because group therapy is a new method of treatment and does not follow the conventional pattern of OCPD treatment. Also, the lack of interest in group therapy treatment may be caused by a lack of information about group therapy modalities (Montgomery, 2002). Traditional treatment methods include hospitalization and drug treatment. Though group treatment modalities are helpful in the treatment of obsessive compulsory personality disorders, many people may fail to enjoy its full benefits. This is because many patients may fail to meet the minimal social interaction needed to make the treatment method a success. In this regard, they are likely to be ostracized by other group members because they may be critical in pointing out other people’s faults and shortcomings (Montgomery, 2002).

Hospitalization as a Treatment Method for OCPD

Hospitalization is a rare treatment method for patients suffering from obsessive compulsory personality disorder. However, in rare occasions where patients fail to carry out their normal daily activities, or endanger the life of others, hospitalization may be preferred (Montgomery, 2002). Often times, hospitalization occurs when patients are unable to get out of bed because of their obsessive thoughts. In the same manner, they may be unable to take care of themselves (Montgomery, 2002). In instances where other treatment methods, such as self- help or psychotherapy fail, hospitalization may occur as the last resort (Psych Central Staff, 2010, p. 10).


The choice of medication as an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder treatment method is almost always coupled with other factors of a patient’s profile, such as the delineation of axis one profile. However, new treatment methods have made a lot of progress in the treatment of obsessive compulsory personality disorder through medications. For instance, new drugs such as Prozac and SRRI are proved to offer reprieve to patients suffering obsessive compulsory personality disorder because they are highly effective (Montgomery, 2002). Furthermore, combining different medication is more beneficial than depending on one treatment method. Newer treatment methods such as fluoxetine do not have a lot of pre-conditions before they are used, and their perceived side-effects are also minimal. However, research studies do not recommend the use of medication as a long-term treatment method for obsessive compulsory personality disorder. This is because they have serious metabolic side-effects, and most patients find them intolerable in the long-term (Psych Central Staff, 2010, p. 5).  Moreover, patients who suffer from obsessive compulsory personality disorder may not welcome the move to put them under medication since most would think their behaviors are correct and normal. In some studies, it is proved that medication may take longer than anticipated for tangible benefits to be realized.


Self-help as a treatment method for obsessive compulsory personality disorder is rarely used because few professionals have specialized in it (American Psychiatric Association, 1994, p. 2). However, supporting ongoing treatment methods through a support group is highly effective because support groups offer emotional and social stability to patients. Support groups work by creating a framework where patients can share personal experiences and feelings with one another. This framework empowers participants to tackle their problems head-on, and possibly devise new ways of dealing with them. Moreover, support groups have a mechanism where patients can be evaluated periodically to devise new ways of improving their status. Also, since support groups involve many people (who empower one another), patients are likely to develop a strong sense of independence and stability. The greatest advantage of using support groups in the treatment of obsessive compulsory personality disorder is that, they can be found almost anywhere in the world (Montgomery, 2002). Moreover, they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of treatment such as hospitalization or medication.

Though support groups are deemed an effective tool in the treatment of obsessive compulsory personality disorder, evidently, some people may experience difficulty in realizing the benefits of the treatment method because of the failure in meeting the minimum social interaction threshold for the treatment method. In such cases, patients need extra support if this treatment method is to be pursued. Also, it is recommended that group support should be combined with individual support if optimum results are to be achieved (Montgomery, 2002). However, group therapy should be used more often because it is known to have a high level of effectiveness as opposed to individual support. The individual support method may help in solving the problem of “being picked on” because there will be minimal interaction with other people. The likelihood that, patients experience conflict with other members of the group is therefore low, but they will still be able to experience the benefits of support groups. Moreover, patients who combine individual support groups with group support groups are less likely to experience repeated episodes of “being picked on” because they experience less interaction with other group members, as opposed to patients who pursue group support systems alone.