Anancastic personality: characteristics and relation to mental health

Generally, everyone likes the feeling of having everything under control. This feeling makes us feel good and motivates us in carrying out our daily tasks. However, there is a difference between this and this feeling which becomes an obsessive need.

Something similar is what happens with the anancastic personality. Throughout this article, we will talk about this type of obsessive personality, as well as its main characteristics, the factors that can provoke it, and the possibility of treatment with psychotherapy.

    What is the anancastic personality?

    By anancastic personalities we mean a type of personality that is characterized by a pathological preoccupation with order and perfectionism. In the same way these people are distinguished by the need for control both clean and the environment and a lack of flexibility and openness, even if all this interferes with their daily or their work and their social efficiency.

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

    Behavior within the anancastic personality is also characterized by sudden outbursts of anger or rage in circumstances where the person feels they have no control over their physical or interpersonal environment. However, this anger usually does not manifest itself aggressively, but through constant mood swings or negative rumors.

    When it comes to interpersonal relationships, people with anastastic personalities express their affections in a highly controlled and forced manner, and may feel very uncomfortable around other emotionally expressive people. Their day-to-day relationships are characterized by a formal and serious nature, which can lead to uncomfortable situations for other people who perceive them as rigid and excessively playful.

    That kind of personality this can be considered a disorderAs it is a lasting pattern of internal experience and behavior that deviates from the cultural norms of the person. This model is enduring and inflexible, as well as constant in personal and social situations.

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

      Main characteristics or symptoms of this personality

      As mentioned in the previous point, the anancastic personality is characterized mainly by an excessive preoccupation with order and perfectionism. However, there are a variety of traits that define these people. In order to determine that there is an anancastic personality pattern, at least four of the following traits must be given:

      • 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 accomplishment of the task.
      • Excessive dedication to work and productivity, excluding leisure activities and friendships.
      • They are too conscientious, Scrupulous and inflexible in matters of morality, ethics or values.
      • They cannot get rid of used or worthless items that are neither practical nor sentimental.
      • They are reluctant to work with other people and delegate tasks unless others do things the way they want.
      • They see money as an asset that must be accumulated and not spent; so they tend to be stingy or stingy in the eyes of others.
      • They show significant stubbornness and stiffness.

      Traditionally, anancastic personality is usually diagnosed once a person is an adult, showing more severe symptoms between the ages of 40 and 50.

      In very rare cases, it is seen in childhood or adolescence due to the constant developmental and personality changes inherent in maturation. However, in cases where symptoms similar to the previous ones are perceived, these must last at least a year for a disorder to be considered as such.

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

        How is it evolving?

        So far, studies have failed to clarify exactly what the cause is or how anancastic personality develops. However, there are a large number of hypotheses and theories that attempt to answer this question.

        The vast majority of theorists agree on the influence of biopsychosocial causal factors. This means that among the causes that favor the development of this personality type are both 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 than personality, temperament. coping skills and stress management.

        This means that there is not a single factor responsible for the anancastic personality, but rather a complex combination of personal and environmental factors can beProbably the basis for the development of this disorder.

        Can it be treated?

        First of all, we must keep in mind that this personality does not always affect the daily life of the person and that only patients in whom it poses a problem, attrition or interference for social, family or social will require assistance or treatment. .

        In the event that the patient, or one of his relatives, requests professional help, the treatment of anancastic personality is based on a psychotherapy intervention long term. This therapy should be performed by a professional expert in personality disorders, especially obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

        In the most severe cases, it can even reach administering medications to help ease the most problematic and debilitating symptomsAs well as to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety which in some cases can appear with this disorder.

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