Perfectionism and OCD

Perfectionists tend to exert every effort to be perfect in everything that they do. However, perfectionists are unable to reach perfection and as a consequence, depression and anxiety are manifested.

Trying to Reach the Unreachable
Considered the most misunderstood of people, the term perfectionist doesn’t mean a thing to them because they feel that they are unable to attain perfection in anything that they do. Though their works are viewed by others people as already perfect in the purest sense of the word, perfectionists still consider that something is missing in their work.

The traits associated with OCD perfectionism usually begin to manifest between the ages of 12 – 21, the age where emotional instability and mental illness start to manifest. At this age, young people are left on their own emotionally with their parents no longer making decisions for them and they need instead to connect with their peers. These factors tend to weigh heavily upon them and at times trigger the onset of OCD perfectionist traits.

The earliest manifestation of perfectionism can be seen in the educational system where perfectionist young adults tend to study their lessons excessively to keep and maintain high grades. Unfortunately, while going through this, anxiety and depression usually sets in and takes its toll and affects their memory to a certain extent and becomes detrimental to their studies. Oftentimes, a perfectionist will spend hours writing and rewriting his homework to get it perfect.

The Misunderstood Struggle for Perfection
On the downside, a perfectionist always falls victim to procrastination because he is unable to work well or is incapable of starting the work. This is caused by the anxiety brought about by thinking how to create the perfect product. “Normal” people tend to deride this kind of behavior, not knowing how much the aim for perfection makes a perfectionist struggle.

The amount of time spent to get a job done is usually longer when it comes to a perfectionist doing that particular job. A job which would take a regular person a half hour to complete may take a perfectionist more than two hours to do and this leads to the perfectionist having to struggle to be at par with his peers.

An ample amount of self-deprecation is observed among perfectionists since they set unreachable and unrealistic goals and then degrade themselves for not having attained these goals.

Looking at it from a different angle, OCD tends to compound perfectionism because once obsessed a perfectionist cannot walk away and turn his back on a project until it becomes perfect from his point of view. This is in comparison to a perfectionist who doesn’t have OCD who can calmly walk away from a less than perfect product because they are not obsessed with perceived perfection.

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