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Common Concern regarding Perfectionism

Perhaps it's because "perfectionist" is a term we all use casually, saying things like, "He's such a perfectionist, he'll get it done correctly!" It is easy to ignore the reality that perfectionism is not only a psychiatric condition in and of itself, but also a substantial contributor to a variety of other issues, such as low self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, and difficulty with sleep and emotional control.

What Is Perfectionism?

Consider someone who believes that if everything they do isn't flawless, they are a failure as a human being. A perfectionist generally sets expectations for oneself that are either impossible or extremely difficult to meet. Under this kind of strain, people approach every assignment with heightened worry and tension. If even the smallest thing goes wrong, even if it is absolutely out of their control, their self-esteem and sense of order suffer greatly, and they might begin to experience significant discomfort. All of this can have a significant impact on their capacity to build healthy connections with others, work efficiently, and make good decisions for themselves.

Is Psychotherapy Effective for Perfectionism?

Psychotherapy can make a significant difference. Most significantly, it can aid the sufferer in recognizing that they have a problem and in identifying a means to question the ideas and behaviors that lead to their perfectionism. Perfectionists can be encouraged to see that we all make errors and that their failures, like everyone else's, are a chance to learn rather than an impending disaster. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, might help people handle the tough emotions of tension, panic, melancholy, and anxiety that can arise when things aren't as perfect as they believe they should be.


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