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Anankastic personality disorder

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The most striking feature of this condition is a lack of adaptability to new situations.

Other features of this condition include:

  • lack of imagination
  • failing to take advantage of opportunities,
  • inhibiting perfectionism making ordinary work a burden
  • guilty preoccupation with wrong doing
  • no sense of humour
  • ill at ease when others are enjoying themselves
  • judgemental in their attitudes
  • often very mean
  • indecisive - a fear of making mistakes
  • very sensitive to criticism
  • little outward display of emotion
  • often have unexpressed feelings of anger and resentment

There is no one-to-one relationship between an obsessional personality disorder and the development of an obsessional neurosis. However there is a higher incidence of people with an obsessional personality disorder in patients with obsessional neurosis.

The principal problem in diagnosis here is with the distinction between obsessional personality traits and obsessional behaviour. The latter more probably describes a condition in which obsessional behaviour causes a degree of distress for the patient and those around them.

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