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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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I have been diagnosed with OCPD. What is the difference

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I have been diagnosed with OCPD. What is the difference between Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and OCD please?
Also, is it normal to have a diagnosis, or show traits, of more than one personality disorder?

Hi Sue,

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and OCD differ primarily in their severity. The first one being in the class of personality disorder is seen as something that can't per se be cured but a person can learn how to manage their symptoms. The latter, falls into the anxiety spectrum disorders and is seen as a condition that may be more manageable as to where a personality disorder condition more of a "permanent" one.

Another difference b/w the two conditions may be based on the onset of each one. Personality disorder traits may have been something predominant in the individual's life as to where an anxiety disorder may have occurred at some more definite stage in the person's life. Personality disorders though are generally diagnosed in one's adulthood where the personality is more solidified than that of a developing child or youth.

Another difference b/w the two conditions is that with the personality disorder, it affects one's relationships and how the person relates to others and authorities. With the latter condition, this can be more subtle where the individuals w/ the disorder is suffering because of their symptoms but are not taking it onto others around them as it may happen in the former.

It is possible to have traits of different conditions both personality disorders and other mental health conditions. In cases where a person does not meet full criteria for a specific diagnosis, it is generally stated that the person has traits of such and such disorder or R/O (rule out) is used in the diagnostic summary. A person can have more than one personality disorder and more than any other of the known disorders.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the fact that I have been diagnosed with OCPD, Borderline PD, Avoidant PD, Depressive PD and Dependant PD is not unusual? It's all come as a bit of a shock to me .... I always knew it was more than 'just' depression and I always knew I had some form of OCD but it's taken until now for them to investigate and diagnose me!

I struggle to think that there is no cure as such, but is it really possible to 'manage' all of these PDs?

It is not unusual. Of course, you can always question these diagnosis and get a second opinion. If you have not had a psychological personality test, you may want to look into having one as well. Any mental health clinician should be able to diagnose mental health disorders but the test is more standardized tool to do so.

It is possible to learn how to manage the symptoms. One way to look at it is like someone who has diabetes. They're not per se being cured from it but their insulin is allowing them to keep the condition's symptoms under control.

DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) is one option of managing borderline personality and its techniques you could apply to other areas of your life that you're struggling with.

Dr. Rossi and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you