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News to Me: Perfectionists Are at Risk for Depression

I'm sure you all have a little voice inside you that says to work hard and be the best you can be, but some people let that voice take over their lives. There's nothing wrong with having perfectionist tendencies, but according to a New York Times article, researchers are worried that being too hard on yourself and others may put you at risk for mental illness.


According to the story:

Some researchers divide perfectionists into three types, based on answers to standardized questionnaires: Self-oriented strivers who struggle to live up to their high standards and appear to be at risk of self-critical depression; outwardly focused zealots who expect perfection from others, often ruining relationships; and those desperate to live up to an ideal they’re convinced others expect of them

While it's perfectly normal to want to do well at your job, if those feelings expand to your personal life, you could be at risk for depression or even suicidal thoughts. Why is that? Perfectionists can be overly self-critical, and that pressure can be too much to handle. Also, perfectionists may have exceedingly high expectations of others, which can in turn ruin their relationships.

Perfectionists can also be obsessive-compulsive — working long hours to get a project done earlier than needed, or redoing work to make it just right. Their fear of failure is what drives them to be super-human and to do above and beyond what may be possible.

Dear's Advice: If this sounds familiar to you, it's probably a good idea to talk to a therapist so you don't have to deal with these feelings on your own.

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