Depression: The Effects Of Perfectionism On Mental And Physical Health

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There are occasions when most people feel down. Having lost a loved one, being terminated from a career, divorce situation, as well as other dire circumstances might make an individual feel sad, depressed, afraid, anxious, or nervous. In response to these situations, it is usual for feelings of despair or grief to develop. Those who experience loss can frequently describe themselves to be 'depressed,' but to be sad isn't alike as being depressed. The grievance mechanism is unique and natural for every individual and has a couple of characteristics same as that of depression (American Psychiatric Association, 2017). Depression is something more than grief. This interferes with everyday life, causing pain to the one suffering and to everyone surrounding him. It is usual but quite a serious disease. The word 'depression' frequently features feelings of sadness, discouragement, hopelessness, irritability, demotivation, as well as a complete loss of pleasure and interest in life. When these symptoms last for a short time, it might be considered a transient instance of 'the blues.' Yet when they extend over a period exceeding two weeks and disrupt regular daily routines, it is a depressive illness (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2016).

'Perfectionism' is a major reason among many of the social, biological, genetic life factors that cause depression among people, especially young people. In Socially Accepted Perfectionism, 'individuals believe that their social context is overly difficult, that others view them unfairly, and that they must show perfection to gain acceptance.' Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are just some of the mental health issues which specialists have consistently identified with this type of perfectionism. For example, an older study found that more than half of people who died as a result of suicide were described as 'perfectionists' by their loved ones. Another study revealed that over 70% of Qualified Source of youth who died as a result of suicide were in the habit of creating 'extremely high expectations of themselves. Toxic perfectionism appears to be hit particularly hard on young people. About 30 percent of the undergraduate students are reporting depression symptoms, and perfectionism has been commonly correlated with these symptoms, according to recent statistics.

A number of studies have revealed that a significant risk element of anxiety and depression is perfectionism (Blankstein & Dunkley, 2002). Wheeler and collaborators discovered that people with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) have higher scores for maladaptive perfectionism relative to those with panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (Wheeler, Blankstein, Antony, & al., 2011). Considering the defining characteristics of SAD, this might not be alarming. Patients with social anxiety are terribly concerned about others ' attention and thus are sensitive towards criticism. By perfect performance in social settings, they try avoiding rejection or embarrassment. We fret about not fulfilling social expectations and quite often avoid problems we feel may contribute to perceived failure, thereby choosing depression over social dedication. Much of these key signs are in line with the Socially Prescribed Perfectionist from Hewitt and Flett, who feel people have incredibly high standards and, thus, are never happy with their results. The study has indeed demonstrated a connection between anxiety and socially prescribed perfectionism (Klibert, Langhinrischen-Rohling, & Saito, 2005) (Lessin & Pardo, 2017).

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Such perfectionists are judging themselves just like others do as per their assumption. They live in constant fear of their shortcomings and strongly believe that they really are lacking in their ability to always live up to expectations and gain acceptance. The connection between Self-Oriented and Social Perfectionism, which is also marked by compassion about mistakes and strong self-criticism, is not hard to see. In addition, Wheeler and team discovered that persons with SAD registered the top levels among all study groups in terms of self-critical perfectionism, matched by just the distressed group (Wheeler, Blankstein, Antony, & al., 2011). As pointed out by Curran and Hill, 'self-oriented perfectionism'— that exists when 'people attribute excessive value to being good, have unreasonable expectations for themselves, in addition to being aggressive in their self-assessments' — is correlated with chronic depression, a disorder in eating habits, and early death between students in college and adolescents. It is also said that self-critical perfectionism increases the bipolar disorder risk. Many studies have suggested it might clarify why depression is also felt by individuals with bipolar. Perfectionism might have a serious effect on our physical and mental health. In the latest study undertaken by Thomas Curran, who is a lecturer in the Health Department at Bath University and Andrew P. Hill, of York St. John University, both in the United Kingdom, the writers demonstrate that the 'most severe' of all the types are socially prescribed perfectionism. Moreover, not only mental health is hindered by the illnesses of perfectionism. Several studies have suggested that hypertension among perfectionists is more prevalent, and other research scholars have even attributed the characteristic to cardiovascular disease (Lessin & Pardo, 2017).

There is considerable evidence that a serious cost of physical well-being is imposed by clinical depression. Patients with stroke and coronary artery disorder have been studied in recent research investigating well-being and chronic depression. Studies have revealed that it is more difficult for people with severe depression, who recover from strokes and heart attacks, to make health care decisions. They often find it almost impossible to follow the instructions provided by their doctor and to deal with the problems posed by their disease. Another research revealed that in the few initial months following a heart attack, people with chronic depression have a significantly higher mortality risk (WebMD, n.d.) (Lessin & Pardo, 2017).

Keeping in view the facts supported by numerous studies, Social Perfection Depression is the deadliest form of depression which acts as a silent killer, if not diagnosed and treated as soon as the early symptoms start appearing. In case left untreated, it can lead to psychological and cardiac disorders leading to death. Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy and Acceptance -Based Behaviour Therapy has successfully shown significant results in controlling Social Perfectionism and depression thereof by reducing anxiety and socio-phobia.

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Depression: The Effects Of Perfectionism On Mental And Physical Health. (2021, August 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Depression: The Effects Of Perfectionism On Mental And Physical Health.” Edubirdie, 08 Aug. 2021,
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