Are you a perfectionist?
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I read a few posts and a blog with the topic of perfectionism, so I decided to see if there was a strong link between being depressed and anxious. Turns out there is. As one website noted, perfectionism might seem like an admirable trait, but in reality it can be harmful. What better to egg on depression and anxiety than trying to live up to some unattainable standard. Could it be that the reason I struggle in the daytime with depression and anxiety is because subconsciously I am aware that daytime is when many people are at their jobs? (I know that many people work late shifts, too, but it's just my theory for myself.) Not feeling like I'm living up to my full potential or any potential at all would give me cause to react to daytime hours (when my mind perceives that people work) and not in the evening or at night (which is when people return home from work). It "could" be many things, and this is just a theory.
In the articles I was reading it suggested acknowledging and praising yourself for small achievements. That is something that I have tried to get into the habit of, because I tend to see things that I do in two categories: how big was the thing I achieved, and how does it compare to what others do/did.
Depression would seem to be about the complete opposite of perfectionism. Depression seeming dark and desperate, sometimes with excessive sleep or eating, below average self care, etc. Perfectionism seeming to be about everything being super clean and always always in its place. Let me reintroduce you to depression and perfectionism as a dangerous duo.
The stereotypical descriptions of depression and perfectionism do have some truth to them. However, perfectionism can also show up in a less expected sort of way. While some perfectionists give all their energy and effort to do it all “right”, some decide that if they can’t do it “right” then they just won’t do it at all.
You see, these two problems are closely related because they share one important attribute – black and white thinking. There is only one standard of acceptability, and either it’s 100% right or it’s all wrong. No in between.
People with depression tend to believe that most things are horribly wrong, and too far gone to ever be right. Nothing gray is accepted as even partly right. This blanket judgment creates piles and piles of bad things wherever the person looks. This allows a debilitating despair to grow, something that hinders people with depression from taking even small steps to get better.