OCD Vs. OCPD: How Different Are They?


You’ve probably heard the expressions “Ang linis ng kwarto niya, OC siya eh” or “Please remove your shoes I’m kinda OC” bfore. It’s something we often hear.

“OC” has become synonymous with being extremely clean, neat, or tidy. Even Khloe Kardashian has short videos entitled “Khlo-CD” highlighting the celebrity’s organization habits.

The term is thrown around a lot, “OC” this “OC” that, but we always forget the D or the PD. Oftentimes, it is forgotten that Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder OCPD) are also conditions that have to be discussed.

It’s quite normal to not understand the differences. After all, they do have almost exactly the same name but, there are differences between OCD and OCPD.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a condition that is defined by the presence of an obsession or compulsion. An obsession being an irrational idea that repeats almost non-stop and a compulsion being an irrational behavior that is continuous.

Meanwhile, Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder or OCP is a personality disorder that’s characterized by a strict attachment or adherence to order and control over an individual’s environment at the expense of adaptability and openness to new things.

The main difference between OCD and OCPD is that OCD is defined by obsessions and compulsions.

For example, someone with OCD sharpens a pencil on her desk, so much so that there is barely anything left of the pencil. Whilst someone with OCPD has a strict regimen that makes them sharpen their pencil by turning it 4 times, after every 10 pages of writing.

While OCPD is a personality disorder that entails a continuous reach for perfection and control, the obsessions and compulsions that come with OCD are what drives one’s behavior.

With OCPD, one’s behavior is not directly related by uncontrollable thoughts that are repetitive.

An individual with OCD has an uncontrollable thought that if their socks are not the same length whilst wearing them, something bad may happen to them whilst they are wearing it, so they constantly adjust their socks to make it the same length. An individual with OCPD only has socks that are of the same length and width so that every pair has the same dimensions whether they are being worn or not.

People with OCD are oftentimes troubled by their thoughts and behaviors with no apparent aim and they are unable to control them.

On the other hand, those with OCPD consider their actions have a goal and purpose. They will also frequently seek help for the irrationality of their behavior and the constant anxiety they undergo whilst people with OCPD won’t frequently seek help because they do not view whatever they are doing as ordinary.

OCD symptoms can fluctuate due to the association of anxiety, while OCPD behaviors tend to be constant and unchanging due to its definition of inflexibility.

An example is how a person with OCD will wash their hands more than 20 times until their hands are raw and pruny because they cannot control their thoughts that make them wash their hands an excessive amount. Whilst a person with OCPD would maintain a strict routine that every time he or she touches their pet they will wash their hands right away.

A person with OCD cannot control their thoughts or behaviors which leads them to the feeling of anxiety whilst someone with OCPD maintains a strict regimen and routine that they control to make things regimented and perfect.

Regardless of the differences, there is a treatment for OCD and OCPD if one feels like undergoing treatment. Whether an individual has OCD or OCPD, it is gracious to be aware of the differences between the two as to not unintentionally offend anyone. No matter the condition, may it be OCD, OCPD, or others, mental health can be a common conversation with no stigma or judgment, to create a safe space for everyone.