Artwork by

OCD vs OCPD and their Treatments

Medically reviewed by

Written by

Differences Between OCD vs OCPD and Their Treatments

You may think that anxiety disorders and personality disorders are the same thing, but there are some subtle differences between the two. Research suggests that anxiety disorders can be found in people having personality disorders, particularly those with borderline cases. When personality disorders coexist with anxiety disorders, there can be many clinical implications like higher chances of suicides, negative effects of treatment, and a greater level of severity. How anxiety affects one person can be quite distinct from how it affects another. Additionally, the difference is noticed because anxiety is, in certain ways, related to an individual’s personality.

Mental health conditions tend to be multifactorial, genetic and biological influences, for instance, can strongly impact one’s anxiety levels. Research also indicates that people with specific personality characteristics like emotional instability, introverted nature, or social inhibitions are more likely to develop anxiety disorders. But whatever the disorder, there are treatment options that can help you lead a normal and productive life.


OCD can be defined as a disorder that is marked by the presence of some obsession, usually, an irrational idea or thought that continuously repeats itself. It can take the form of a compulsion which refers to some irrational behavior that is performed repeatedly. Such behaviors can occur either on their own, or together, and they may hamper an individual’s normal functions and quality of life. OCPD, on the other hand, refers to a personality disorder that is defined by a rigid adherence to control and orderliness over your environment at the cost of openness or flexibility to undergo new experiences. Knowing the difference between OCD and OCPD, or these apparently similar-sounding disorders, is necessary because the right course of treatment can be determined only after a correct diagnosis.

  • People with OCD have obsessions and are aware of these but people with OCPD rarely think they have a problem. They are convinced that the way they live is right and others are wrong. Even where treatment is concerned, you will find that people with OCD are keener to reach out for help but people with OCPD do not seek help for their disorder; But, they ask assistance for problems relating to their personality disorder.
  • People with OCD know the distress the disorder causes and they feel guilty about following (or not following) their compulsions. But you will not find a hint of distress in people with OCPD.
  • When a person has OCD he will spend much time satisfying his obsessions. This makes him neglect other important chores and ignore household responsibilities. In short, it leads to low productivity. People with OCPD however, are highly organized and they are committed to finishing their tasks on time according to rules, making them perfectionists.
  • OCD is characterized by rather clear symptoms, stress, obsessions, guilt feelings, etc but in people with OCPD, you can only identify a pattern.
  • A striking OCD and OCPD difference is with regard to obsessions; individuals suffering from OCD have rather clear obsessions and compulsions; even if the latter is not there, an obsession must be there. But in OCPD, there are no compulsions, obsessions, or repetitive thoughts. Rather, individuals with OCPD will show repetitive behaviors that are not really a response to an obsession.

Paste typeform embed here. Don't forget to delete this before pasting!

What Are The Treatment Options For OCD And OCPD?

OCD is typically treated with SSRIs, also known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors and the most effective type of psychotherapy is a kind of CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy that is termed as exposure and response prevention. Here, the patient will work with the therapist to come to a situation that terrifies them so that they learn various ways to cope with the anxiety rather than relying on avoiding it altogether or giving in to compulsions.

The idea behind this treatment is not to stop the intrusive thoughts completely, but to learn how to embrace these and not react out of fear. Over time, the individual will be able to recognize the intrusive thoughts through various therapy sessions and homework assignments. He learns to respond without compulsion and can successfully reclaim his life.

Treating OCPD involves a combination of many treatments like medicines, psychotherapy, and mindfulness techniques. While SSRIs can help by making the patient feel less distressed about small things, the CBT is more effective as it targets his quest for perfectionism. It focuses on his need to be organized and perfect at all times.

Psychosurgeries are performed in India for treating OCD, but only when traditional therapies or medicines fail to yield positive results. Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is done to change brain chemicals that trigger behavioral changes.

Book screening with our director of triage,  Kamlesh Verma
Take the first step

Why Should You Choose Cadabam’s?

In India, you can avail of residential facilities at Cadabams for individuals unable to control these conditions by themselves. In some cases, individual behavior may even become life-threatening. This demands professional intervention by psychologists and psychiatrists. At Cadabams, you can get teams of psychiatrists who are experts in CBT, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy or IPSRT, family-focused therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation.

Share this article on social media

Articles you may like

Also watch