compulsive personality


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to compulsive personality: schizotypal personality, dependent personality

personality

 [per″sŭ-nal´ĭ-te]
the characteristic way that a person thinks, feels, and behaves; the relatively stable and predictable part of a person's thought and behavior; it includes conscious attitudes, values, and styles as well as unconscious conflicts and defense mechanisms. Personality traits are simple features of normal and abnormal personalities. Personality types are categories applicable to both normal and abnormal personalities; usually they belong to a coherent typology, such as introvert/extrovert or oral/anal/phallic.
Early Life and Personality. The newborn comes into the world completely dependent on others for satisfying individual basic human needs. Feelings of security in a relationship with the mother, or an adequate substitute, is the cornerstone of mental health in later years.

As children develop, they need to learn and to meet the day-to-day problems of life, and to master them. In resolving these challenges, one chooses solutions from many possibilities. Psychologists have studied how these choices are made and use technical terms to describe them, such as repression and sublimation. The behavior patterns chosen result in certain character traits which will influence a child's way of meeting the world—whether the child will lead or follow, be conscientious or reckless, imitate his or her parents or prefer to be as different from them as possible, or take a realistic, flexible path between these extremes. The sum total of these traits represents the personality.
The Well-Adjusted Personality. A well-adjusted individual is one who adapts to surroundings. If adaptation is not possible, the individual makes realistic efforts to change the situation, using personal talents and abilities constructively and successfully. The well-adjusted person is realistic and able to face facts whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, and deals with them instead of merely worrying about them or denying them. Well-adjusted mature persons are independent. They form reasoned opinions and then act on them. They seek a reasonable amount of information and advice before making a decision, and once the decision is made, they are willing to face the consequences of it. They do not try to force others to make decisions for them. An ability to love others is typical of the well-adjusted individual. In addition, the mature well adjusted person is also able to enjoy receiving love and affection and can accept a reasonable dependence on others.
alternating personality multiple personality disorder.
cyclothymic personality a temperament characterized by rapid, frequent swings between sad and cheerful moods; see also cyclothymic disorder.
personality disorders a group of mental disorders characterized by enduring, inflexible, and maladaptive personality traits that deviate markedly from cultural expectations, pervade a broad range of situations, and are either a source of subjective distress or a cause of significant impairment in social, occupational, or other functioning. In general, they are difficult both to diagnose and to treat.

Although individuals with a personality disorder can function in day-to-day life, they are hampered both emotionally and psychologically by the maladaptive nature of their disorder, and their chances of forming good relationships and fulfilling their potentialities are poor. In spite of their problems, these patients refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong and insist that it is the rest of the world that is out of step. Very often their behavior is extremely annoying to those around them.

Personality disorders result from unresolved conflicts, often dating back to childhood. To alleviate the anxiety and depression that accompany these conflicts, the ego uses defense mechanisms. Although defense mechanisms are not pathological in themselves, they become maladaptive in individuals with personality disorders.

The category includes: antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. Distinguishing one disorder from another can be difficult because the various traits can occur in more than one disorder. For example, patients with borderline personality disorder and those with narcissistic personality disorder both may have a tendency to angry outbursts and may be hindered in forming interpersonal relationships because they often exploit, idealize, or devalue others. The symptoms of a personality disorder may also occur as features of another mental disorder. More than one personality disorder can exist in the same person.

Because patients refuse to admit that there is anything wrong, personality disorders are more difficult to treat than other mental disorders. However, a great deal can be done in many cases, if the therapist can break through a patient's defense mechanisms and help the patient resolve the underlying conflict.
double personality (dual personality) dissociative identity disorder.
hysterical personality former name for histrionic personality disorder.
multiple personality a dissociative disorder in which an individual adopts two or more personalities alternately. See multiple personality disorder.
split personality an obsolete term formerly used colloquially to refer to either schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder.

ob·ses·sive-com·pul·sive per·son·al·i·ty dis·or·der

1. a pervasive pattern in adulthood characterized by unattainable perfectionism; preoccupation with rules, details, and orderliness; unreasonable attempts to control others; excessive devotion to work; and rumination to the point of indecisiveness, all at the expense of flexiblity, openness, and efficiency.
2. a DSM diagnosis that is established when the specified criteria are met.

compulsive personality

a type of character structure with a pattern of chronic and obsessive adherence to rigid standards of conduct. The person is usually excessively conscientious and inhibited, is extremely inflexible, has an extraordinary capacity for work, and lacks a normal ability to relax and to relate to other people. The compulsive person is likely to follow repetitive patterns of behavior, such as snapping the fingers, crossing the legs, tapping the foot, or refusing to walk on cracks in the sidewalk, and often leads an impoverished emotional life, being dominated by a need for order, cleanliness, punctuality, rules, and systems. See also compulsive personality disorder.

com·pul·sive per·son·al·i·ty

(kŏm-pŭl'siv pĕr-sŏn-al'i-tē)
A personality characterized by rigidity, extreme inhibition, perfectionism, and excessive concern with conformity and adherence to standards of conscience either for the individual person or for others.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hoarding is currently classified as a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) (4) and obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).
All of Clinton's thinking problems and emotional defenses described in this article are symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder as identified by the American Psychiatric Association.
If I had, I suspect that, with my compulsive personality, I would have been destroyed.
Miss Brenda St Prix, defending, said a report had stated that Billingham had a compulsive personality, showing an excessive respect for authority and rules.