What is perfectionism associated with?

Individuals with these perfectionistic traits, behaviours, and thoughts can experience a variety of negative outcomes. These problems can be found with perfectionistic children, adolescents, and adults. Here are some problems that have been found to be associated with perfectionism.

Psychological/Psychiatric Problems:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Anxiety
  • Binge eating and bulimic disorders
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Self esteem problems
  • Personality Disorders

Relationship Problems:

  • Low self compassion and the tendency to feel responsible for fulfilling others’ needs at the expense of one’s own
  • Poor marital satisfaction
  • Sexual dissatisfaction
  • Excessive anger towards others
  • Social disconnection
  • Difficulties with intimacy
  • Loneliness
  • Social hopelessness (i.e., having negative expectations concerning future relationships)

Physical Health Problems:

  • Prolonged elevations in stress responses
  • Sleep Problems
  • Chronic headaches
  • Cardio-vascular responses
  • Early Death

Achievement Problems:

  • Workaholism
  • Burnout
  • Fear of failure
  • Procrastination
  • Self-handicapping (i.e., where individuals spend time finding excuses for poor performance rather than preparing for a performance)

Treatment Problems:

  • Negative attitudes toward seeking help with professionals
  • Difficulties in self-disclosing personal information which negatively impacts treatment
  • Not being able to engage in treatment