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Anancastic personality: characteristics and relationship with mental health

Anancastic personality: characteristics and relationship with mental health

May 5, 2024

As a rule, we all like the feeling of having everything under control. This feeling makes us feel good and motivates us when performing our daily tasks. However, there is a difference between this and that this feeling becomes an obsessive need.

Something similar is what happens with the ananstic personality . Throughout this article we will talk about this type of obsessive personality, as well as its main features, what factors can cause it and the possibility of treatment through psychotherapy.

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What is the ananstic personality?

We understand anancastic personality as that type of personality that is characterized by a pathological concern for order and perfectionism. In the same way these people are distinguished by the need for control both their own and the environment and a lack of flexibility and open-mindedness, although all this interferes with their day-to-day or their work and social efficiency.


For these people, decision making can become a slow and even painful process. The reason is that they have such difficulty in deciding the priority of their tasks or how is the best way to organize that they can not start the task at all, due to the need to perform it perfectly.

The behavior within the ananstic personality is also characterized by Sudden outbursts of anger or anger in those circumstances in which the person feels that they do not have control of their physical or interpersonal environment. However, this anger does not usually manifest itself aggressively, but through mood swings or constant negative ruminations.


Regarding interpersonal relationships, individuals with anan- chastic personality express their affections in a highly controlled and forced way, and may feel very uncomfortable in the presence of other emotionally expressive people. Their daily relationships are characterized by being formal and serious, which can lead to uncomfortable situations for other people who perceive them as rigid and excessively surly.

This type of personality it can be considered a disorder , since it is a lasting pattern of internal experience and behavior that deviates from the cultural norms of the person. This pattern is enduring and inflexible, as well as constant through personal and social situations.

The main consequence of this type of personality is related to a significant deterioration of the person, both socially and at work or in other areas of operation, which can lead to strong feelings of anguish and frustration.


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Main features or symptoms of this personality

As mentioned in the previous point, the anan- chastic personality is mainly characterized by an excessive concern for order and perfectionism. However, there is a variety of traits that define these people. To be able to determine that there is an anancastic personality pattern, there must be at least four of the following features:

  • Excessive concern for details, rules, lists, order, organization and / or schedules to the point of affecting the main activity or task.
  • Perfectionism that interferes with the completion of the task .
  • Excessive dedication to work and productivity, excluding leisure activities and friendships.
  • They are excessively conscientious , scrupulous and inflexible in matters of morality, ethics or values.
  • They find it impossible to get rid of worn-out or worthless objects, neither practical nor sentimental.
  • They are reluctant to work with other people and to delegate tasks unless the rest do things as they wish.
  • They perceive money as a good that must be accumulated, not spent; so they tend to be greedy or stingy in the eyes of others.
  • They show significant stubbornness and stiffness .

Traditionally, the anancastic personality is usually diagnosed once the person is already adult, with the most serious symptoms manifesting between 40 and 50 years of age.

In very few cases is perceived in childhood or adolescence due to the constant changes in the development and personality of the maturation. However, in those cases in which symptoms similar to the previous ones are perceived, they must last, at least, for a year so that it can be considered a disorder as such.

Finally, this usually appears with a higher incidence in men than in women and it is estimated that it is present, approximately, in between 2.1 and 7.9 percent of the general population.

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How is it developed?

For the moment, studies have not been able to clarify exactly what is the cause or how the ananstic personality develops. However, there are a large number of hypotheses and theories that attempt to answer this question.

The great majority of theorists agree on the influence of biopsychosocial factors of causality. This means that among the causes that favor the development of this type of personality are biological and genetic factors, as well as social factors such as the type of interaction with other people and relatives, and psychological factors such as personality, temperament and coping skills and stress management .

This means that there is no single factor responsible for the ananstic personality, but that a complex combination of both personal and environmental factors can be , probably, the basis for the development of this disorder.

Can it be treated?

First of all, we must bear in mind that this personality does not always affect the person's daily life and that only those patients in whom a problem, wear or interference for social, family or work development will require assistance or treatment. .

In the event that the patient, or someone close, requests professional help, the treatment for ananstic personality is based on intervention by psychotherapy long-term. It is necessary that this therapy is carried out by a professional expert in personality disorders, more specifically in obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).

In the most serious cases you can even get to administer medication to help decrease the most problematic and debilitating symptoms , as well as to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety that, in some cases, may appear with this disorder.


Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder - OCD - Kati Morton treatment help perfect therapy (May 2024).


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