May 26, 2008
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly referred to as OCD, is one of the most prevalent personality disorders, affecting more than 2% of the population. The disorder is notable for its preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. Patterns of OCD develop during early adulthood, and are categorized as either mild or extreme.
There are several distinct symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Patients with OCD attempt to sustain mental control by painstakingly abiding by rules, procedures, and schedules, and working with trivial details and lists, to an extent that the purpose of the activity is obscured or lost. These self-imposed high standards and repeated checking for errors can lead to distress and dysfunction in the individuals, who are often oblivious at the impatience of others at their seemingly trivial behavior.
Individuals with the disorder also tend to value work and productivity over leisure time and social activities. The feel very uncomfortable taking time off or participating in leisure activities, and tend to bring along things to work on in order to feel like they are not wasting time. However, time they do tend to spend away from work or with friends usually involves some sort of organized activity, such as sports.
They also may be excessively inflexible or fussy about morality, ethics, or values. They may force both themselves and those around them to follow rigid moral principles or strict standards of performance, being extremely self-critical about their own mistakes. They rely on deference to rules and authority without room for extenuating circumstances.
Individuals with this disorder may not be able to discard meaningless or otherwise worthless objects on mere principal. They worry being wasteful because they feel that at some...