Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are often mistaken for the same condition, but they are, in reality, quite distinct from each other. They are different in symptoms, severity, and psychiatric category.
OCPD (Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder)
A person with OCPD has remarkably high expectations and a visceral need to control their environment. The person strives to achieve perfection and does not perceive themselves as a candidate for professional treatment. However, unfortunately, this personality disorder can significantly impact the individual’s interpersonal relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.
These problems can occur because the person may exhibit the following:
- Extreme fixation on rules
- Over-commitment to one’s job or profession
- Refusal to reassign duties to others
- Unrealistic expectations for others, including criticism
- Adherence to stringent ethical or moral standards
- Need to create and live by extensive lists and rules
- Stinginess with money and hoarding cash or other items
OCPD is also associated with several other mental illnesses, including depression, alcoholism, somatoform disorder, illness anxiety disorder (formerly known as hypochondria), and OCD.
The Correlation Between OCPD and Addiction
OCPD is a cluster B personality disorder categorized by the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Substance abuse and addiction can occur in many personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and, occasionally, OCPD. Individuals that have these conditions sometimes abuse drugs or alcohol to escape from their issues or self-medicate their symptoms.
As noted, OCPD symptoms include an intense desire to be perfect and a stringent set of values and morals, which cannot be compromised. A person with this disorder might view using intoxicating substances as a moral failure or believe that drugs and alcohol reduce their ability to perform up to their own expectations.
For all the stressful outcomes associated with OCPD, it seems addiction is an uncommon concern. However, this doesn’t mean that one cannot engage in substance abuse if one has OCPD. It only means OCPD does not come with an increased risk compared to the general population.
Additionally, if a person has OCPD and substance abuse issues, they may be exorbitantly hard on themselves for engaging in this habit, leading to severe self-defeating thoughts and a severe worsening of both disorders to mentally numb themselves as a result.
OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
OCD is an anxiety disorder hallmarked by an unrealistic, irrational fear or anxiety of disabling intensity. In contrast, OCPD is a personality disorder characterized by a chronic pattern of rigid and distorted personality and behavior.
People with OCD experience repetitive thoughts and engage in behaviors that make little sense to others. Their obsessive thoughts may include the following:
- Persistent fear of harm coming to themselves or a loved one
- Irrational concern with being contaminated
- Intrusive and unacceptable violent or sexual thoughts
- Excessive need to do things perfectly, correctly, or in a specific order
Compulsive behaviors may include the following:
- Excessive checking of safety controls, such as door locks and stoves
- Excessive checking of money or resource-saving precautions, such as water faucets, light switches, etc.
- Repeatedly creating lists, counting, ordering, or aligning things
- Collecting and hoarding useless items
- Habitually repeating routine actions a specific number of times until it feels right
- Needless rereading and rewriting
- Mentally repeating phrases
- Excessive washing or cleaning, sometimes for hours every day
These obsessive thoughts and behaviors can be highly challenging for the individual to overcome. If severe and left unaddressed, OCD may seriously affect an individual’s ability to function at work, school, or home. OCD may also increase the risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts and engaging in related attempts at self-harm.
The Correlation Between Anxiety Disorders and Substance Abuse
OCD is one of many psychological disorders classified as anxiety disorders. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that around 1/5 of individuals with anxiety disorders also have a substance abuse problem. Unfortunately, these substances often worsen symptoms and, as a result, exacerbate the issues associated with the anxiety disorder.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and drug or alcohol addiction is a terrible combination. Those who suffer from OCD have tremendous anxiety in their everyday lives. As a result, many who experience this disorder resort to abusing drugs or alcohol as a misguided way of coping with their stress. And unfortunately, a person with OCD is far more likely to develop a physical and emotional dependency on addictive substances.
Getting Treatment for Mental Health Conditions and Addiction
Unfortunately, substance abuse is closely linked to a wide variety of mental health disorders, including those related to anxiety or personality. Fortunately, co-occurring conditions such as these can be effectively treated simultaneously using an integrated approach to rehabilitation.
Just Believe Detox and Just Believe Recovery offer comprehensive rehab programs in both residential and partial hospitalization formats. Our approach to addiction and mental health is all-encompassing and include various evidence-based therapeutic services and activities clinically proven to be beneficial for the recovery process, including the following:
- Medical detox
- Behavioral therapy
- 12-step groups
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Relapse prevention
- Substance abuse education
- Health and wellness education
- Mindfulness meditation
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning
- Alumni events